7001 George W Countryman PortraitGeorge Washington Countryman was born on 21 Dec 1838 in the Varick Township of Seneca County, New York (365). He was the last child of Isaac Countryman and Elen (Voorhees) Countryman (365). When he applied for a pension based on service during the American Civil War, George Countryman was described as 5 feet, 5 and 1/2 inches tall with dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair (365).

The 1840 federal census of the Varick Township of Seneca County, New York enumerates the household of Ira Countryman, 30–39 years old; a female, 30–40 years old and presumably his wife; along with seven children (749). The youngest child, a boy less than five years old was almost certainly George Washington Countryman. This was the last census to include Elen (Voorhees) Countryman with the Isaac Countryman household. According to Fred G. Countryman, a son of George Countryman, Isaac Countryman and his wife separated soon after George W. Countryman was born (760). Fred Countryman said that his grand parents, Elijah M. Kniseley and Abby Jane (Benjamin) Kniseley raised George W. Countryman (760).

At the 1850 federal census, George W. Countryman, 12 years old, was living in the Varick Township of Seneca County, New York with his father, age 50, and George’s 15 year old brother, Martin V. Countryman (750). The 9 Jul 1860 federal census George W. Countryman, at 21 years old, working as a farm laborer while living in the household of David Vancourt in the Romulus Township of Seneca County (761). The census enumerates the Elijah Nizely household within four dwellings from the David Van Court household (772). On 30 Jun 1863, George Washington Countryman registered for the draft to serve in the Union Army (768). Born in New York, he registered as 24 years old, single, and a laborer.

On 1 Jul 1864, at 25 years old and in the middle of the American Civil War, George Countryman married Amelia Kniseley, 19 years old, of the Romulus Township of Seneca County, New York (365). The couple married at Ovid in Seneca County, and the Reverend M. W. Holmes presided over the ceremony. Amelia Kniseley was a daughter of Elijah Kniseley and Abby Jane (Benjamin) Kniseley, the couple who reportedly raised George W. Countryman following the separation of his parents. George Countryman must have known Amelia Kniseley since her birth.

On 30 Jun 1863, George Washington Countryman registered for the draft to serve in the Union Army (768). Born in New York, he registered as 24 years of age, single, and a laborer. During the American Civil War, George Countryman served as an Artificer with Company H of the 15th New York Engineers Regiment (776). He enlisted at Ovid in Seneca County, New York on 3 Sep 1864—just 64 days after his marriage—as a Private for one year and was appointed Artificer on 24 Dec 1864. The 15th Engineers Regiment New York organized 25 Oct 1861 and mustered out on 2 Jul 1865. George W. Countryman was honorably discharged on 18 Jun 1865 at Fort Barry, Virginia.

Between 3 Sep 1864 and 18 Jun 1865, the 15th Engineers Regiment New York engaged in the following battles:

Mine Run Campaign, Virginia, 26 Nov 1864 – 2 Dec 1864;
Before Petersburg, Virginia, 1 Jul 1865 – 2 Apr 1865;
Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 15 Jan 1865;
Campaign in the Carolinas, 1 Mar 1865 – 26 Apr 1865;
Wise’s Fork, North Carolina, 7 Mar 1865 – 10 Mar 1865;
Bennett House Virginia, 26 Apr 1865;
Fall of Petersburg, Virginia, 2 Apr 1965; and
Appomattox Court House, 9 Apr 1865.

Almost certainly, George Countryman was able to return home during his military service as his wife was with child by about May 1864. George and Amelia Countryman’s first child, William Lincoln Countryman, was born on 8 Feb 1865 at Ovid in Seneca County, New York. About four months later, George W. Countryman was discharged from military service on 18 Jun 1865 at Fort-Barry, Massachusetts (776).

In Dec 1865, George Countryman paid income tax on $496 at Ovid in Seneca County, New York (54). A Seneca County, New York gazetteer for 1867-68 lists George W. Countryman as a stone and brick mason in Varick Township (238).

A second son, Fredrick Glonar Countryman, was born to George and Amelia Countryman on 22 Jul 1866 in the Romulus Township of Seneca County, New York (788). A daughter, Emma Jane Countryman, was born in the Varick Township of Seneca County on 25 Jan 1868 (365). A third son, Samuel E. Countryman, was also born in Varick Township on 14 Aug 1869 (365).

The 1870 federal census enumerates George W. Countryman as 33 years old and living at the Village of Ovid in Seneca County with his wife Amelia Countryman, 24 years old, and four children: William L. Countryman, 5 years old; Frederick G. Countryman, age 3 years; Emma J. Countryman, age 2 years; and Samuel E. Countryman, 11 months old (542). All children were born in New York. George Countryman worked as a stone mason. Amelia (Kniseley) Countryman may have inherited prior to the 1870 census when according to the census, she held real estate valued at $1,200 and a personal estate of $150.

John V. Countryman was born to George and Amelia Countryman on 18 May 1871 at Ovid in Seneca County (365). George Washington Countryman, Jr. Was born at Ovid  on 30 Dec 1873, and a second daughter, Catharine Amelia Countryman, was born at Ovid on 20 Feb 1876 (365).

During the spring of 1875, George Washington Countryman migrated to Kansas in order to acquire land to homestead and work as a brick mason (760). His family remained in Seneca County, New York until 10 May 1876 when they joined George W. Countryman at Larned in Pawnee County, Kansas. Amelia Countryman’s mother Abby Jane (Benjamin) Kniseley accompanied the family to Kansas. Fred G. Countryman, would later recall that the family traveled from New York to Kansas by excursion train and arrived at Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas on 10 May 1876. Fred Countryman said that his father went to Kansas a year ahead of the family, primarily to seek work as a mason and contractor, but also to acquire 160 acres of land as a homestead. The land was adjacent to railroad company land.

The 1880 federal census records George W. Countryman, 41 years old and born in New York, living at Garfield in Pawnee County, Kansas (362). His wife Amelia Countryman was 33 years old. Seven children were living in the household: William L. Countryman, 15 years old and working as a herder; Frederick G. Countryman, age 13 years and working as a farm hand; Samuel E. Countryman, age 11; John V. Countryman, age 9; George W. Countryman, age 6; and Katharine Countryman, 4 years old.  All seven children were born in New York.

The Countryman’s youngest child, Charles Edwin Countryman, was born on 3 Apr 1882 at Garfield in Pawnee County, Kansas (365).

On 10 Sep 1883, the General Land Office at Larned, Kansas issued a patent to George W. Countryman for 160 acres of land in Pawnee County, Kansas described as the Northeast 1/4 of Section 30 in Township 23 South of Range 18 West of the 6th Prime Meridian (784).

On 23 Mar 1897, George Countryman was made moderator of Immanuel Baptist Church in Pawnee County, Kansas. The Immanuel Baptist Church was organized on 12 Mar 1896.

At the 1900 federal census of the Garfield Township in Pawnee County, Kansas, Samuel, 28 years old, George, 27 years old, and Charles E. Countryman, 18 years old, were still living with George W. Countryman, age 68, and his wife Amelia Countryman, age 55  (363). At the 1910 federal census, George W. Countryman and Amelia Countryman, age 64 born in New York, were living in Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas. Amelia Countryman is recorded as having 8 children all of whom were living. Ed Countryman, age 28 born in Kansas, and his wife Elva Countryman, age 19 born in Illinois, were living on the property adjacent to the home of George and Amelia Countryman. Ed Countryman’s parents are recorded as born in New York. Charles E. Countryman, son of George and Amelia Countryman, was 28 years old.

A 1916 Plat of Township 23 South in Range 18 West of the 6th Prime Meridian in Pawnee County, Kansas shows George W. Countryman as the owner of the 160 acre northeast 1/4 of Section 30 (769). Two sons of George W. Countryman, Samuel Elijah and Charles Edwin Countryman owned 309.9 acres of the south 1/2 of Section 19, with the exception of two small parcels on the western boundary. J Frank Ware owned 720 acres in parts of Sections 15, 16, and 21.

George Washington Countryman died on 23 Mar 1917 at Kinsley in Edwards County, Kansas. He is buried in Hillside Cemetery at Kinsley, in Edwards County, Kansas (764).

Notes and Comments

The tombstone at the grave of George Washington Countryman in Edwards County, Kansas shows his date of birth as 1 Jul 1839, while he stated on an application for a Civil War service pension that he was born on 21 Dec 1838 (365, 764). Although the day and year of the birth of George Washington Countryman are illegible on the 1900 federal census form, the month of his birth is recorded clearly as December. The tombstone appears to be a standard marker provided by the government to Civil War veterans. Dates of birth and death on these markers were sometimes taken from best available government records and were approximate.

The 1840 federal census of the Varick Township of Seneca County, New York enumerates Isaac Countryman as Ira Countryman (749).

Fred Countryman recounted to his daughter, Fannie Lee Countryman, that Isaac Countryman and his wife separated while George Washington Countryman was a small baby, and that the Kniseley family raised him (760). Isaac Countryman and his wife may have separated soon after the 1840 census, when George was 2 years old. The Kniseley family may have raised George Countryman as a child, and then by the 1850 census, George may have lived with his father and brother, Martin V. Countryman, as a young boy for a period before the 1860 census. At the 1860 census, George W. Countryman was almost 12 years old.

At the 1860 federal census, George W. Countryman was living in the David Vancourt household and working as a farm laborer. The 1860 census enumerates the David Vancourt household at dwelling 612 and the Elijah Nizely (almost certainly Kniseley) household at dwelling 608, suggesting that George Countryman became acquainted with David Vancourt as a boy raised by the Elijah Kniseley family.

During the American Civil War, persons appointed as an Artificer were skilled at working on mechanical devices in the field.
 
At the 1870 U.S. Federal Census of Varick Township, Seneca County, New York, the family of George W. Countryman’s brother Martin V. Countryman was living adjacent to the Elijah M. Kniseley household. Elijah M. Kniseley was George Countryman’s father-in-law and raised him and likely Martin Countryman as small children. Elijah Kniseley worked as a blacksmith.

Assuming that George W. Countryman and Amelia Alice Kniseley married on 1 Jul 1864 and that William Lincoln Countryman was born on 8 Feb 1865, William L. Countryman was born about 10 days less than two months premature or was conceived about two months before the couple married. William L. Countryman’s tombstone in Hillside Cemetery documents his date of birth.

The George W. Countryman homestead was located near the southwestern boundary of Pawnee County, Kansas with Edwards County. Kinsley in Edwards County was a nearby town and presumably offered medical care.

Hillside Cemetery at Kinsley in Edwards County, Kansas is located at 37.93750° north latitude, -99.44860° west longitude.

The 1880 federal census of Pawnee County, Kansas enumerates Catharine Countryman as Katharine Countryman (362).

Sources

Image of George Washington Countryman in portrait is courtesy of Janette Friesen.

54. George W. Countryman, 1865 U.S. IRS Tax Assessment List, Division 12 of Collection District 24, Ovid, Seneca County, New York. Records of the Internal Revenue Service, Microfilm Publication M603, Record Group 58, The National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

169. Town Clerks’ Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War 1865-1867. New York State Archives, Albany New York. Collection Number (N-Ar)13774, Box Number 56, Roll Number 30. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

238. Child, Hamilton. Gazetteer and Business Directory of Seneca County, New York, for 1867-8. Journal Office, Syracuse, New York, 1867.

362. George Countryman Household. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas, 4 Jun 1880. Enumeration District: 369, Roll T9_392, Family History Film 1254392, Page 55.1000, Image 0763. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

363. George W. Countryman Household. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Garfield Township, Pawnee County, Kansas, 11 Jun 1900. Enumeration District 167, Roll T623_494, Page 7A. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

364. George W. Countryman Household. 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Garfield Township, Pawnee County, Kansas, 25 Apr 1900. Enumeration District 124, Roll T624_452, Page 3B, Image 966. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

365. Declaration for Pension, American Civil War Service. George Washington Countryman. Pawnee County, Kansas, 2 Apr 1907. (Images on file.)

542. George W. Countryman Household, 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Ovid, Seneca County, New York, 13 Jun 1870. Roll  M593_1093, Page 119A, Image 243, Family History Library Film 552592. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

749. Isaac Countryman Household, 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Varick Township, Seneca County, New York. Roll 339, Page 232. (Images: Ancestry.com. Images on file.)

750. Isaac Countryman Household, 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Varick Township, Seneca County, New York, 16 Sep 1850. Roll M432_597, Page 69B, Image 144. (Images: Ancestry.com. Images on file.)

760. Recollections of Fredrick Glonar Countryman, Fairview, Major County, Oklahoma. (Originals and images on file.)

761. David Vancourt Household, 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Romulus Township, Seneca County, New York, 9 Jul 1860. Roll: M653_861; Page: 572; Family History Library Film: 803861. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

762. George Washington Countryman Household, 1885 Kansas State Census, Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas. Roll KS1885_105, Line 8. (Images: Ancestry.com. Images on file.)

764. Gravestone, George W. Countryman, Hillside Cemetery, Kinsley, Edwards County, Kansas. Find A Grave Memorial 11301242. (Images: Find A Grave. Image on file.)

765. Gravestone, Amelia Alice (Knisely) Countryman, Hillside Cemetery, Kinsley, Edwards County, Kansas. Find A Grave Memorial 11301228. (Images: Find A Grave. Image on file.)

766. George W. Countryman, U.S. Internal Revenue Service Tax Assessment List, District 14, New York, 1862. Record Group 58, Records of the Internal Revenue Service, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

767. 1902 Plat of Township 23 South of Range 18 West of the 6th Principal Meridian. Plat Book of Pawnee County, Kansas. Northwest Publishing Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1902. (Image on file.)

768. George Washington Countryman, Civil War Draft Registration, Ovid, Seneca County, New York, Jun 1863. Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War), Record Group 110. National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

769. Plat of Township 23 South of Range 18 West of the 6th Prime Meridian in Pawnee County, Kansas, 1916. (Images on file.)

772. Elijah M. Kniseley household, 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Romulus Township, Seneca County, New York, 9 Jul 1860. Roll M653_861, Page 571, Image 576, Family History Library Film 803861.  (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

776. George W. Countryman Muster Roll Abstract, Union Army, American Civil War, Ovid, Seneca County, New York, 1864. New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900. New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York. Archive Collection 13775-83, Box 955, Roll 611. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file.)

784. Patent Issued to George W. Countryman, Pawnee County, Kansas, 160 acres. Larned, Kansas Land Office, 10 Sep 1883. General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Document Number 2946. (Images: Bureau of Land Management. Image on file.)

788. Fredrick Glonar Countryman Family Sheet. Fairview, Major County, Oklahoma, ca 1940. Handwritten by Fredrick Glonar Countryman. (Original and images on file.)


Revised 25 Apr 2017