52 Ancestors: #17 James Parks – a Memorial Day tribute

My 4x great grandfather, James Parks died from typhoid fever while he was serving in Co. H of the Ohio 159th infantry regiment during the Civil War. Since it’s Memorial Day (or at least it was when I started writing this), I thought this would be the perfect day to remember him.

James was born 29 May 1833 (1), and I believe he was the son of William and Jane Parks (2). On 6 Sep 1853 in Pike Township, Coshocton County, Ohio, he married Catherine J Crawford (3,8), and they made their home in Jackson Township in Muskingum County, Ohio (4).  They had six children:  Eliza Jane (b. 1854), John A (b. 1856), Sarah E (b. 1858), William Stevenson (b. 1860), Samuel A (b. 1862), and James R (b.1864). I’m descended from their daughter Eliza Jane Parks, who married Joseph Hamlin Conard.

On 2 May 1864, just a little over a week after his youngest son’s birth, James enlisted in Co. H of the Ohio 159th infantry regiment (5), a National Guard unit that was to serve for 100 days (6). His company mostly just performed guard duty for duration of their service – no combat (6). Nevertheless, James fell ill with typhoid fever and died on 18 Jul 1864 in a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland (7). This left Catherine a widow with six young children (all 10 years old or younger) to provide for and care for. As far as I can tell, he has gravestones in both West Carlisle Cemetery in Coshocton, Ohio with his wife (1) and in the Loudon National Park Cemetery in Baltimore Maryland (9).

Rest in peace, Grandpa James, and thank you for your service to our country!


(1) “James Parks“, findagrave.com

(2) United States Federal Census; Year: 1850; Census Place: Jackson, Muskingum,Ohio; Page: 325

This is the only James Parks in the 1850 census that lived in either Muskingum or Coshocton County (where James lived in 1860 and was married in 1853, respectively) that is the right age to be “my” James Parks, and in this 1850 census record, he is in the household of William and Jane Parks. I have not been able to locate any records that state who his parents are for sure.

(3) “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1614804), James Parks and Catherine Crawford, 06 Sep 1853; Coshocton County Marriage Records 1852-1859, vol. 1, image 82.

(4) United States Federal Census; Year: 1860; Census Place: Jackson, Muskingum, OhioPage: 507.

(5) Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

(6) “159th Infantry Regiment Ohio”. Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Regiments [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

(7) Ancestry.com. U.S., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865 [database on-line], Ohio, N-R, p. 87/image 79, “James Parks” . Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

 Original data:

Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861–1865. ARC ID: 656639. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s–1917. Record Group 94. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

(8) Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War Veterans, ca. 1861 – ca. 1910, Ohio, Infantry, Regiment 159, Company H, James Parks (WC40755), p. 21 “Widow’s Army Pension”. NARA.

(9) “Pvt James Parks“, findagrave.com