27 January 2010

Stephen L. Collins as a Methodist minister?

The Wayne County Ohio Library website has a listing of early ministers who performed marriages in Wayne County. S.L. Collins is listed as a Methodist preacher, no date, with the notation under township location as "fm". I don't know what the "fm" means. I do think he was an itinerant circuit preacher.

From another source, I have that S.L. Collins was a Methodist preacher in "Fred's Circuit" in Wayne County OH in the 1840s. He married Mary Marie Helfer in Wayne County in 1840. The ceremony was performed by George W. Howe who was a Methodist Minister, in Wayne Co, in 1840.

The American Baptist Year-Book, 1870, has the following listed as an Ordained Minister:
Collins, S. L., Amazonia, Missouri [ note: Amazonia is a small town in Andrew County Missouri, north of St Joseph). S.L. Collins does not appear in the 1868 Baptist Year-Book.

We know that by about 1847 he was a Baptist Minister.

25 January 2010

S.L. Collins - Baptist Home Missions

In the Civil War letter written by Stephen L. Collins, he mentions that he is a "Missionary Baptist" preacher. Googling led me to books re: the Baptist Home Missions in North America and the American Baptist Home Missionary Society. A few listings for S. L. have been found as follows in Ohio and Missouri:
Rocky River Association, Church at Seville, Medina Co., OH, 6 Baptisms, 77 members. [note this is where Christopher Royce Collins was born, 11 May 1847, I previously thought it was Leesville, I was wrong).
Rocky River Association, Church at Westfield, Medina Co., OH, 29 members.
Zoar Association, Church at Steubenville, Jefferson Co., OH, 30 members. S.L. was the minister at this church from May of 1851 to about Apr 1852.
In a History of the Baptists in Missouri, a State Convention of Baptists was held in Sept. 1865. Rev. S. L. Collins is listed as being on the executive board of missions. This would mean that the Collins family moved from Nebraska sometime after the birth of John Tim Collins in June of 1864, and before the Missouri Baptist Convention in Sept 1865.
From the Missouri Baptist General Association 50th Annual Session in Marshall MO, Oct 21st, 1884, S.L. Collins is listed as a minister from Greenfield MO.

15 January 2010

Collins 1820 Census Jefferson Co. NY

Speculation has gotten me into trouble before, but here are the Collins families in Jefferson County NY, 1820. Without more evidence, we won't know which, if any, of these are related to Stephen L. Collins. High on my list will be checking for will/probate records. Also, I have not yet determined if any of these 5, were born in Vermont. Only three of these households had a male under the age of 10 years. If S.L. was born after the census (official date for the enumeration was August 7th, 1820), then he would not have been counted. Most records indicate that S.L. was born before that date (most likely in May). Here are all 5 families.

Collins, Clarissa, Henderson Twp: 1 male (0-10), 1 female (0-10), 1 female (16-26)

John Collins, Watertown: 1 male(16-26), 1 male (25-45), 1 male (45+), 3 females (0-10), 3 females (10-16), 1 female(26-45), 1 female (45+)

John B. Collins, Ellisburg: 4 males (0-10), 2 males (10-16), 1 male (26-45), 1 female (0-10), 1 female (10-16), 1 female 26-45)

William Collins, Ellisburg: 1 male (45+), 1 female (0-10), 1 female (16-26), 1 female (45+)

William Collins Jun, Ellisburg: 2 males(0-10), 1 male (26-45), 1 female (16-26)

09 January 2010

Stephen L. Collins Civil War part 2

+++++++ Click to enlarge.
The Civil War Records of Stephen L. Collins, included this handwritten three page letter by S.L., in which he describes the circumstances surrounding his service. He asks that his name be cleared, and mentions a wife and 7 children dependent upon him for support. While not perfect, it was well written and certainly gives a different side to the charge. I'll continue to process the rest of the documents in his folder. S.L. was officially released from service 22 July 1864. The original terms of enlistment only called for 9 months service, but he was not officially discharged until 16 months after volunteering.

08 January 2010

Stephen L. Collins Civil War Records

Yesterday I downloaded copies of 27 pages of Civil War Documents from Stephen L. Collins' service file.
I have known for some time that he was listed as a private in Company "M", 2d Nebraska Cavalry. The indexed listing also indicated he had deserted. The most interesting documents were, the enlistment paper (shown above), and Stephen L.'s, 3 page, handwritten response to his charge of desertion.

His enlistment paper was interesting for a number of reasons, transcribed below:
Volunteer Enlistment
Territory of Nebraska, Town of Nemaha City
I, Stephen L. Collins born in Jefferson County, in the state of New York, aged 42 years, and by occupation of Minister of the Gospel, do hereby acknowledge to have volunteered this 16th day of March, 1863, to serve as a soldier in the Army of the United States of America for the period of nine months unless sooner discharged by proper authority. Do also agree to accept such bounty, pay, rations and clothing, as are, or may be, established by law for volunteers. And I, S. L. Collins, do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honorably and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers [sic] whomever and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War.
Sworn and subscribed to, at Nemaha City this 16th day of March, 1863, before R. W. Furnas, capt Co 2nd Neb Cav.
S. L. Collins
I certify, on honor, That I have carefully examined the above named Volunteer , agreeable to the General Regulations of the Army, and that in my opinion, he is free from all bodily defects and mental infermity [sic], which would in any way, disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier.
C.F. Stuart (Examining Surgeon)
I certify, on Honor, That I have minutely inspected the Volunteer previous to his enlistment; and that he was entirely sober when enlisted; that, to the best of my judgment and belief, he is of lawful age; and that, in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied Soldier, I have strictly observed the Regulations which govern the Recruiting Service.
This soldier has Black eyes, Light hair, Dark complexion, is 6 feet - inches high.
S. F Cooper (2nd Regiment Nebraska Volunteers, County? Luet & Recruiting Officer.
Of particular interest: he lists his place of birth as Jefferson County, New York and his age (as of March 1863) is listed as 42 (b. abt 1820 if his birth month is May). In later records S.L. indicated he was born in Erie county New York, and his birth year as 1819. His physical description is listed as: 6 ft tall, black eyes, dark complexion, and light hair.

More to follow.