The known and Unknown about Henry Fredrick William Tarnow


Henry Fredrick William Tarnow


Henry Fredrick William Tarnow was born 27 November 1818 in Germany, most likely in Rostock, Mecklinburg Schwerin. According to the Muster and Descriptive Roll of Company E, Henry was 5' 6" tall, with gray eyes; dark hair and light complected. According to family history, our Henry left Germany to avoid fighting in a war for causes he felt were unjust. We do not know when he came to America, in which ship he made the journey, or the port of entry.

Henry was 30 years old when he filed a Declaration of Intention to become an American Citizen in St. Louis, Missouri on 31 March 1849. (Several attempts at getting this record have failed)

Henry Tarnow and Nancy Sheffield were married 26 August 1855 in Jefferson County, Missouri and he became a U.S. citizen ~ renounced all allegiance to foreign Power "and particularly to the Grand Duke of Mecklinburg Schwerin of whom he is at present a subject" ~ 20 April 1860 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Click to view in larger script
Paper furnished by Mary K. Jones......... Thanks Mary!

If we have Amandus' place of birth correct, the family was in Atchison, Kansas by 20 January 1862. Why did Henry leave Missouri? Did the talk of Civl War disturb him? Remember this was a man with ant-war sentiments. What was the planned destination and how did the family travel? Overland Stage? Were they delayed at Atchison? The county government had strong views on slavery. Was Henry encouraged to join the War between the States?

Within the last week (Sept 25th), Mary K. Jones discovered a reference to Henry Tarnow, of Atchison, Kansas; enlisting in the Union: Co K., 13th Infantry Regiment Kansas on 20 September 1862; and deserting on 19 October 1862 in Drywood Creek, Kansas. According to Civil War history books, soldiers had to travel through unfamiliar territories with wooded areas and rugged terrains; ocassionally separated from their ranks; and reported as deserters by their superior officers. Is that what happened in this case? Or, was Henry forced to join the fight and escape shortly after his enlistment? We do not have proof this is our Henry. Mary is requesting the military records from NARA. If this was our Henry, was he related to John Tarnow, another soldier who joined the same Regiment?

We do not know when Henry left Kansas and return to Missouri. We believe he was the same Henry Tarnow who joined for 1 year service in the Union, Company E, 144th Infantry August 23, 1864 at Alton, Illinois by Lt. Col A. F. Rogers; Mustered into service Sept 7, 64 by D. M. Farland at Alton, Madison County, Illinois; Mustered out July 14, 1865 at Springfield, Illinois by Capt Hall.

Muster and Descriptive Roll of Company E




Soldier's Name Rank Age Feet Inches Hair Eyes Complexion   Occupation Town


Tarnow, Henry Private




Dark Gray






We know Henry and family were in Jefferson County, Missouri by 1870 when he and family were enumerated as follows:

Population Schedule of the Ninth Census of the United States
1870 - Roll 783 Missouri Volume 14 (1-393)
Jefferson County, Meramec Twp., Line 9
85 / 85 Taurna, Henry 52 M W School Teacher 500/200 Mecklenburg
    Nancy 36 F W Keeping House   Missouri
    Mary 13 F W At School   do
    John 13 M W do do   do
    Charles 12 M W do do   do
    Amandus 8 M W do   do
    Augustus 6 M W do   do
    Henry 5 M W do   do
    Nancy 2 F W do   do

Children of Henry Tarnow and Nancy Sheffield are:

  1. Mary Margaret Tarno, b. 05 May 1857
  2. John William Tarno, b. 29 March 1858
  3. Charles Henry Tarno, b. 30 May 1859 in Missouri
  4. Albert Lorenzo Tarno, b. 05 September 1860; d. 28 August 1861.
  5. Amandus M. Tarno, b. 20 January 1862
  6. Andrew Jackson Tarno, b. 30 January 1863; d. 13 October 1866.
  7. James Augustus Tarno, b. 14 January 1865; d. 16 March 1878, According to M.E. Harding, " Gussie died at 14" .
  8. Henry Edward Tarno, b. 09 August 1866
  9. Nancy Meleta Tarno, b. 05 January 1869
  10. Agness Tarno, b. 09 January 1871; d. Abt. 1873, According to M.E. Harding, "Agness died at 21/2 years old ".  

According to a family member, Henry Tarnow died 25 March 1880. I do not know the source for this information and we do not know where he died. Most of his children were living in Lindsey households when the 1880 Woodruff County, Arkansas census was enumerated. His daughter, Mary married December 1879 in Woodruff. If Henry date of death is correct then we must assume he died in the same county. I do not know if Bible records exist for the Tarno / Tarnow family.

Any additional information on the family will be appreciated.

Connie Rushing 2001 - 2008

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