91st PA: Francis J Blee

Francis J Blee

Before the war

He was born in 1809/1818, in Pennsylvania. [sources: date: 3 (43 in 1861), 6 (70 in 1880), 8 (60 in 1870), 9 (50 in 1860). place: 6, 8, 9 (Ireland)]

In 1838, he seems to have been a manager of the Wreckers' Club 'first grand Fancy, Firemen's, Military and Citizens' Ball', on 11 April, at V Guillou's Saloon. [source: 13]

In 1842, he seems to have been a director of the Western Hose Company. [source: 12]

He married Elizabeth [unknown family name]. She was born in 1819/25, in Ireland or Delaware. They seem to have had at least these children:

[sources: 6, 8, 9, 11]

In 1860, he may be the Alexander Blee living in ward 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If so, he was living with Eliza (presumably his wife), with Sarah, Thomas, and Rebecca (presumably their children), and with Henrieta Smith. He was a cordwainer. [source: 9]

During the war

He enlisted and was mustered into service at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 23 September 1861. He was mustered in as a private. He was a private in company D. [sources: 1, 3, 15 (corpl)]

He was discharged on 8 December 1863 on surgeon's certificate of disability. He was a private, in company D. [sources: 1, 2 (medical board), 3, 15]

After the war

In 1870, he may be the Rojers Blee living in Ridley Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. If so, he was living with Elizabeth (presumably his wife), and with Thomas H and Rebecca (presumably their children). He was a brickmaker. [source: 8]

On 6 December 1873, he applied unsuccessfully for a pension. [sources: 4, 5]

In 1880, he was living in Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He was living with his wife Elizabeth, children Thomas and Horace, and a laborer and domestic servant. He was a retired farmer. [source: 6]

On 15 June 1880, he died, in Chester, [Delaware County,] Pennsylvania. He died of dropsy. He was buried in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [source: 7]

In 1890, his widow Elisabeth may have been living at 921 Pearl Street, Camden, Camden County, New Jersey. [source: 14]

On 27 June 1891, his son, Thomas Henry Blee, died. Thomas's mother, Elizabeth S Blee, was then living at 626 North Eighth Street, Camden, New Jersey. He was buried in Philadelphia Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [source: 10]

On 28 January 1893, his widow, Elizabeth S Blee, applied unsuccessfully from Pennsylvania for a pension. [sources: 4, 5]

On 15 May 1903, his widow, Elizabeth, died. She was buried in Philadelphia Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [source: 11]

Note on identification

Another Francis Blee was born in Pennsylvania about 1810. He was a brickmaker, and married to Ann [unknown family name]. (Since the pension cards list Elizabeth as the widow of the Francis Blee who served in the 91st, he is not the right Francis Blee.)

He was living in Philadelphia in 1850, and in New Jersey in 1860, 1870, and 1880. He died on 23 December 1881, in Salem, Salem County, New Jersey. (See 'Sources checked unsuccessfully' below for the citations.)

Sources

1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (Francis J Blee)

2 company D, register of men discharged, entry 5 (Francis J Blee)

3 Civil War Veterans' Card File, available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, searched 7 August 2004 (Francis J Blee)

4 pension index, by name (Francis J Blee)

5 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company D (Francis J Blee)

6 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Chester, 3rd [?] [ward?], supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 14, microfilm series T9, film 1126, page 237 A = 5 handwritten (Francis Blee)

7 Philadelphia Pennsylvania death certificates, 1803-1915 (Francis J Blee)

8 1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Ridley Township, post office Darby, micrfilm series M593, film 1337, page 413 recto = 194 handwritten (Rojers Blee)

9 1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 1, microfilm series M653, film 1151, page 633 = 167 handwritten (Alexander Blee)

10 death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4 July 1891, page 6 (Thomas Henry Blee)

11 death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 18 May 1903, page 15 (Elizabeth Blee)

12 advertisement about Western Hose Company, Public Ledger, 6 January 1842, page 2 (Francis J Blee)

13 advertisement about Wreckers' Club ball, Public Ledger 7 March 1838, page 2 (Francis J Blee)

14 1890 US census, veterans' schedule, New Jersey, Camden County, Camden, enumeration district 164, page 3 (image 34 of 142 on Ancestry) (Elisabeth S Blee widow of Thos [sic] U Blee)

15 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Francis J Blee)

Sources checked unsuccessfully

1850 US census
LDS pilot index (accessed 27 Nov 09); FamilySearch index (accessed 12 Feb 10)
see the 'note on identification' above for the Francis Blee (40, brick maker, born PA) living in Philadelphia with Ann (36 [?] b. PA), Jacob (13, b. PA), Abby (64, b. PA), and Cath (6, b. PA) [Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Moyamensing, ward 5, page 477 verso = 950 handwritten (FamilySearch)]
note also Francis Blee 11, with John Blee (37 b. PA) Brickmaker, Sarah (35 b. PA), George Brickmaker (15 b. PA), Elizabeth (13), David (6), Mary (4) and John (2), in Cedar Ward, Philadelphia, page 58 verso = 116 handwritten
the 1851 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 34, has two Francis Blee's: 'Blee Francis, brickmr., Cedar bel Ashton', and 'Blee Francis J., brickmr. 1 Park av E Sch 3d' (accessed on Fold3)
the table below suggests that the Francis Blee on Cedar is the one living with Ann and others
searching Fold3's OCR-based index for 'Park av E Sch 3d' found no other entries, alas
1851 Biddle's directory page 497: 'Park av. E fr Sch 3d bel Locust'
householdfamilynameoccupationcity directory
282449Ewen Bockuscooper[no entry]
283450John R Coatscarter[no entry]
283450Benj [and David] Coatsbrick maker[no entry]
283451Jas McCullylaborer[no entry]
283451Robt Bowmercarter[no entry]
284452John Monklaborer[no entry--the only John Monk is at 614 N 4th, and has 'tin plate wr' as occupation]
285453Wm McEwencarter[no entry]
286454Francis Bleebrick maker
287455Henry Huhnbrick maker[p.202] 'Huhn Henry, brickmr., Cedar ab Ashton'
1860 US census
HeritageQuest and LDS pilot indices (accessed 27 Nov 09)
searched 'Blee' on HeritageQuest index (accessed 10 Feb 12)
see the 'note on identification' above for the Francis Blee (50, brickmaker, born Pennsylvania) living in Edinborough Township, Salem County, New Jersey (microfilm series M653, film 707, page 325 handwritten = 17 handwritten)), with Ann (46, born NJ)
1870 US census
HeritageQuest and LDS pilot indices (accessed 27 Nov 09)
searched 'Blee' on HeritageQuest (accessed 10 Feb 12)
see the 'note on identification' above for the Frances Blee (66, born PA, grocer clerk) living with Ann (55, b. NJ) in Salem, Salem County, New Jersey (microfilm series M593, film 887, page 157 verso = 22 handwritten)
1880 US census
see the 'note on identification' above from the Francis Blee (69, laborer, born PA), living in Salem, New Jersey, with his wife Ann (66, b. NJ) (New Jersey, Salem County, Salem, East Ward, supervisor's district 3, enumeration district 147, microfilm series T9, film 797, page 140 = 18 B handwrtten)
1900 US census
FamilySearch index (searched Francis Blee born 1808 to 1820, and Elizabeth Blee born 1810-1830) (accessed 11 Feb 12 and 6 Feb 14)
HeritageQuest index (accessed 11 Feb 12)
no Elizabeth Blee is listed in the 1901 Gopsill's Philadelphia directory (accessed on Fold3, 6 February 2014)
1910 US census
FamilySearch index (searched Francis Blee born 1808 to 1820, and Elizabeth Blee born 1820-1830) (accessed 11 Feb 12 and 6 Feb 14)
1920 US census
FamilySearch index (searched Francis Blee born 1808 to 1820, and Elizabeth Blee born 1820-1830) (accessed 11 Feb 12 and 6 Feb 14)
1930 US census
FamilySearch index (searched Francis Blee born 1808 to 1820, and Elizabeth Blee born 1820-1830) (accessed 11 Feb 12 and 6 Feb 14)
1940 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 6 Feb 14)
RootsWeb WorldConnect
accessed 27 Nov 09
searched Francis Blee (metaphone) born Pennsylvania 1810 +/- 10 years; Francis Blee (metaphone) died 1880 (accessed 10 Feb 2012)
accessed 6 Feb 14
Find a grave
accessed 4 Oct 10
New Jersey deaths and burials, 1720-1988
Francis F Bee or Blee
accessed 10 Feb 2012, on FamilySearch
death notice
checked Philadelphia Inquirer death notices, 15-17 June 1880, on GenealogyBank (accessed 11 Feb 2012)
searched Blee in June 1880 in all Philadelphia newspapers on GenealogyBank (accessed 11 February 2012)
Find a grave
accessed 6 February 2014
records of headstones of deceased Union veterans, 1879-1903
FamilySeach index (accessed 6 February 2014)
headstone applications for US military veterans, 1925-1949
FamilySearch index (accessed 6 February 2014)

Display


Francis J Blee in the 91st PA gedcom on RootsWeb WorldConnect

Francis J Blee in the 91st PA database

1860 census

[1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 1, microfilm series M653, film 1151, page 633 = 167 handwritten]
[identification is uncertain; although his forename and occupation do not match Francis Blee, the rest of the data does]
line353637383940
Dwelling number973     
Family number1277     
NameAlexander BleeEliza "Sarah "Thomas "Rebecca "Henrieta Smith
Age50381211520
Sexmffmff
Color      
OccupationCordwainer     
Value of real estate owned      
Value of personal estate      
Place of birth" [sc. Ireland]"Phila."""
Married within year      
Attended school within year  11  
Cannot read & write      
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.      

1870 census

[1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Ridley Township, post office Darby, micrfilm series M593, film 1337, page 413 recto = 194 handwritten]
[identification is uncertain: the personal name is not 'Francis', but his name and the spouse, and children match my Francis (see the 1880 census entry transcribed below), and I have found no other Rojers Blee]
line28293031
Dwelling-house number637   
Family number582   
NameBlee Rojers [sic]- Elizabeth- Thos H- Rebecca
Age60482115
SexMFMF
Color    
OccupationBrick MakerK H  
Real estate value    
Personal estate value    
BirthplacePennaDeldodo
Father foreign born    
Mother foreign born    
Birth month if born within year    
Marriage month if married within year    
Attended school past year    
Can't read    
Can't write    
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.    
Male US citizen at least 21 years old1 1 
Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...    

1880 census

[1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Chester, 3rd [?] [ward?], supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 14, microfilm series T9, film 1126, page 237 A = 5 handwritten]
[identification is likely, since (1) Elizabeth's name matches the name of the widow who applied for a pension, and (2) the county matches the county in which he died]
line202122232425
street name      
house number      
dwelling visit #42     
family visit #42     
nameBlee FrancisElizabethThomasHoraceHarper, WilliamRebbecca
colorWWWWWW
sexMFMMMF
age7055 [?]3162625
month born if born in year      
relationship WifeSonSon Servant
single      
married11    
widowed/divorced      
married during year      
occupationRetired farmerKeeping houseLaborer LaborerDomestic
months unemployed      
currently ill?      
blind      
deaf/dumb      
idiotic      
insane      
disabled      
school this year      
can't read      
can't write      
birthplacePennaDelawarePennaPennaPennaPenna
father's birthplacePaDelDelDelPaPa
mother's birthplacePaDelDelDelPaPa

1890 census, veterans schedule

[1890 US census, veterans' schedule, New Jersey, Camden County, Camden, enumeration district 164, page 3 (image 34 of 142 on Ancestry)]
[identification is speculative, because of the listed personal name, the service information, and the cause of death--but I don't know who else this could be]

[line] 36
[house] 257
[family] 259
[name] Elisabeth S. Blee widow of Thos. [sic] U. Blee
[rank] Private
[company] D
[unit] 91 Penn Inf.
[enlistment date] Sept 25 1862
[discharge date] May = 1863
[length of service] = years 8 months = days
[post office address] 921 Pearl St Camden N.J.
[disability incurred] Diseas [sic] of Throat, turned to Gangrene, cause Death.
[remarks] [blank]

index to compiled service records

[index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania]
[transcribed 10 Mar 2014, from Fold3]


Blee, Francis J.
Co. D, 91 Pennsylvania Inf.
Corpl. | Pvt.
See also [blank]

GENERAL INDEX CARD.

death certificate

[Philadelphia Pennsylvania death certificates, 1803-1915]
[accessed on FamilySearch, 10 February 2012]
[the index lists the burial place as New Phila. Burial Ground]

Crumbie [?] Bros.
Return of a Death in the City of Chester.
PHYSICIAN'S CERTIFICATE.
1. Name of Deceased, Francis J Blee
2. Color, White
3. Sex, [blank]
4. Age, 65 years
5. Married
6. Date of Death, June 15th 1880
7. Cause of Death, Dropsy
Samuel Starr M.D.
Residence, 215 East 5th St Chester

death notice for son Thomas

[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4 July 1891, page 6, Thomas Henry Blee]
[transcribed from GenealogyBank, 10 February 2012]

BLEE.--On June 27, 1891, Thomas Henry, son of Elizabeth S. and the late Francis J. Blee, late of Chester, Pa., in his 43d year.

The relatives and friends of the family, also Washington Castle, No. 2, K.G.E., Eureka Commandery, No. 11, K.G.E., Euphemia R. Grieb Cavalry Camp, No. 38, Sons of Veterans, and all orders of which he was a member, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, on Sunday afternoon, at 1 o'clock, from his mother's residence, 626 North Eighth street, Camden, N.J. To proceed to Philadelphia Cemetery, Philadelphia.

death notice, spouse

[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 18 May 1903, page 15, Elizabeth Blee]
[transcribed 10 February 2012, from GenealogyBank]

BLEE.--At Chester, May 15, 1903, Elizabeth, widow of Francis J Blee, in her 83d year. Relatives and friends of family are invited to attend funeral services, Monday evening, at 8 o'clock, from the residence of her daughter, Mrs. John Harper, 19 W Fourth st. Interment Philadelphia Cemetery, Tuesday morning, at 11.30.

Western Hose Company advertisement

[advertisement about Western Hose Company, Public Ledger, 6 January 1842, page 2, Francis J Blee]
[transcribed 10 February 2012, from GenealogyBank]
[identification is uncertain, based only on the name]

At a Stated Meeting of the WESTERN HOSE COMPANY, held on Tuesday Evening, January 4th, the following named gentlemen were duly elected Officers for the ensuing year:

President--JOSEPH R. FLANIGEN.
Vice President--WM. M. MULLIN
Secretary--GEORGE W. WATSON
Assistant Secretary--CHARLES KNOWLES
Treasurer--SAMUEL R. REED, (for 6 months)

Investigating Committee--John Addis, Richard R Young, Henry Baker

Standing Committee--John Addis, Chas. Knowles, Samuel R Reed, Wm Mullin, George W Watson.

Directors--Wm Fow [?], Isaac Watson, Charles Carter, Wm Hinckle, Francis J. Blee, George Kinsley, Wm. Sipps, F. Murphey

R. R. YOUNG, Sec'ry pro tem.

Wreckers' Club advertisement

[advertisement about Wreckers' Club ball, Public Ledger 7 March 1838, page 2, Francis J Blee]
[transcribed 10 February 2012, from GenealogyBank]
[identification is uncertain, based only on the name]

THE WRECKERS' CLUB. No. 1--Intend giving their first grand FANCY, FIREMEN'S, MILITARY and CITIZENS' BALL, on WEDNESDAY Evening, 11th of April, at V. GUILLOU'S SALOON.--Tickets to be had at the following places:--Mr. Dubon's, Pine street, below 7th; Mr. Miller's, Thirteenth and Race streets; James Hutchinson's, Twelfth and Locus streets; Walpole's Naval Inn; Mr. Steinmetz's, Ridge Road and Vine st; Mr. McMamee's, (their Head Quarters,) Spruce street, between Schuylkill 4th and 5th sts.

MANAGERS.
Wm. Finn,
Wm. Christy,
Adam Shivers,
Henry Hinkle,
Francis J. Blee,
G. Kingley,
Albert Fenton,
John Huhn.
JOHN HINKLE, Treasurer

Philadelphia city directories

[transcribed selected entries from selected years, 11 Feb 12, from Fold3; I stopped after these because I decided I wasn't going to be able to identify my Francis with any confidence, or to use this to help find him in the 1850 census]
1851 [Biddle's] Philadelphia directory, page 34
Blee Chas., brickmr., Ann W Sch 4th
Blee Francis, brickmr., Cedar bel Ashton
Blee Francis J., brickmr. 1 Park av E sch 3d
Blee George, brickmr., Spruce n Sch 4th
Blee John, brickmr., Wilcocks [sic] n Sch 4th
1852 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 36
Blee Chas., brickmr., Ann W Sch 4th
Blee Francis, brickmr. Cedar bel Ashton
Blee Francis J., brickmr. 1 Park av E sch 3d
Blee George, brickmr. Spruce n Sch 4th
Blee John, brickmr. Wilcocks n Sch 4th
1853 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 34
Blee Francis J., brickmr. 1 Park av E Sch 3d
Blee George, brickmr. Spruce n Sch 4th
Blee John, brickmr. Wilcocks n Sch 4th
1854 Biddle's Philadelphia directory page 42
Blee Chas., brickmr., 9 Ann
Blee John, brickmr, Wilcocks n 20th
[none at Mint, none at Park av, none at Robinson ct
1855 Biddle's Philadelphia directory page 43
Blee Francis J., mint, 1 Park av
Blee George, mint, 6 Robinson ct
Blee Chas., brickm., 9 Ann
Blee John, brickmr., 3 Wilcox
1856 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 49
Blee Chas., brickmr., 9 Ann
Blee Francis J., mint, 1 Park av
Blee John, brickmr, 3 Wilcox
[no Alexander or Rogers Blee; no other Blee at Park av]
1857 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 52
Blee Chas., brickmr., 9 W Ann
Blee Francis J., mint, 1 Park av
Blee George, mint, 6 Robinson ct
Blee George, brickmr. Wilcox
Blee John, brickmr., 3 Wilcox
1858 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 56
Blee Chas., brickmr., 2015 Locust
Blee Geo., mint, 6 Sidmouth pl
Blee Geo., brickmr., 1909 Wilcox
Blee John, brickmr, 1909 Wilcox
[no Francis Blee]
1859 Biddle's Philadelphia directory
[couldn't find correct page, and the OCR index didn't help]
1860 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 127
Blee Frs. J. brickmaker, Gray's F rd ab Christian
Blee George brickmaker, 1909 Wilcox
Blee George U.S. Mint, h 6 Sidmouth pl
Blee James brickmaker, 2015 Locust
Blee John brickmaker, 1909 Wilcox
1861 Biddle's Philadelphia directory, page 74
Blee Francis, brickmaker, Christian n Gray's Ferry rd
Blee Frank, brickmaker, 1909 Wilcox
Blee George, musician, 1909 Wilcox
Blee John, brickmaker, 1909 Wilcox
[no other Blee's at those addresses]
[no Alexander or Rogers Blee]
1868 Gopsill's Philadelphia directory, page 238
Blee Francis, police, h 1909 Wilcox
Blee Francis J., brickmkr, h Vine n N 57th, W P
Blee John, brickmaker, h 1909 Wilcox
[no other Blee's at either address]

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revised 10 Mar 14
contact Harry Ide at hide1@unl.edu with comments or questions