Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Once Was Lost, But Now Am Found: James Galmore Sr.

Sarah "Mama Sarah" Galmore-Thompson
and Family Griot on my very first trip to Mississippi
One of the few genealogical mysteries I'd been wanting to uncover was the origins of my Galmore family line. My maternal great-grandmother was born Sarah Galmore in about 1893 to Candy and Clara Galmore. Candy and Clara raised nine children; Anna, Nannie (Nancy), Mary, Jimmy (James), Clara, Cressie, Phoebe, Sarah, Candy and a nephew John whom they considered a son, in southern Adams county, Mississippi. According to Galmore oral family history, the Galmore's came to Mississippi from Virginia. This I have found is a common story among many Adams county African-American families as The Forks of the Road was a major overland slave market with major slave dealers operating out of Virginia.
In order for my search to begin, I looked for my oldest known Galmore ancestor which was my great-great grandfather, Candy Galmore. Through census research, I was able to determine that Candy Galmore was born in 1858 in Adams County, Mississippi. The earliest record of Candy was in the 1870 census. Listed as "Kendy" Galimore (a variant of the surname Galmore), he was living in Natchez, Mississippi. There were two other Galimore's who were listed  under household #261 with Kendy, Phoebe Galimore whose age is listed as 40 and James Galimore whose age is listed as 5.

The Galmore Family on the 1870 Census

 I was able to locate Candy Galmore and his descendants in each successive federal census from 1870 through 1920. Upon exhausting this resource, I then turned to trace any Galmores or Galimores in Adams County, Mississippi. My goal was to trace the descendants of James Galimore/Galmore, Candy's younger brother. While conducting a general name search in Mississippi at Ancestry, I came across a pension card for a much older James Galimore who had served in the 5th USCT Heavy Artillery out of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The person who applied for the pension was named Canada Galimore and the pension #839577 had been applied for from the state of Mississippi. I wondered if this Canada Galimore was my Candy Galmore.

Civil War Pension application card
for James Galimore
 I ordered the pension file for James Galimore from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Below are some of the key documents from the pension file that I used in analyzing if this James Galimore was the father and husband of Phoebe Galimore listed in the 1870 census. I followed up with another search of the federal census records from 1870 to 1930 for anyone in the state of Mississippi who was born with the surname Galimore or Galmore, as well as an interview with the oldest known Galmore descendant my grandfather also named Candy. My grandfather confirmed that William "Billy" Galmore was the father of John Galmore who had been raised with his mother, Sarah. Additionally, looking through the more recent Galmore descendants, there are a number of Phoebe's, Clara's, James' and even a few Candy's and Canada's in the family who took residence in the states of Mississippi and Louisiana.

The service record card
of James Galmore. This gives
a brief description of the soldier.

The request of James Galimore's children
Canada, William and James Jr. to receive a pension. This form lists the dates of their births as well as information about their mother Phoebe Galimore - Wade who remarried after receiving her husband's pay and bounty. It  gives details such as when Phoebe and James were 'married'. The brother Billy (William) was the father of John Galmore who was raised with my great grandmother,  Mama Sarah.

The determination by the Treasury Department,
 the Auditor for theWar Department
regarding the history of  payments made
to the Galmore family. Dated January 13, 1906.
Phoebe Galmore - Wade received James Galmore's
bounty payment of $100 and back pay of $30 in 1871.
Phoebe also received an additional $100 in 1879
based on the Bounty Act of July 22, 1861 because of
her status as the widow of James Galimore.

Page two of the letter from
the Treasury Department's office of the Auditor for the War Department