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The Climer Family

Part 1

Isaac and Sarah Jane Climer around 1900
Isaac and Sarah Jane Climer around 1900

Isaac Denny Climer was born in Guilford Co., North Carolina on June 15, 1845. His parents were Waggoner Climer and Mary (Polly) Climer. Very little is known about Waggoner Climer. Some sources indicate he married Mary in 1844 and died the same year. If this is true, he could have been the father of Isaac Denny Climer, but not of William Jenkins Climer who was born in October 1854 according to the 1900 census. The 1860 census shows Polly Climer, age 40, living with William Climer, age 70, in Guilford Co., North Carolina. William Climer's relationship to Mary Climer is not known. By 1870, Mary Climer was living with just Isaac and Jenkins.

Mary Climer's maiden name is not known at this time; however, there were many Denny's living in Guilford Co. Because her son Isaac's middle name was Denny, it's possible that Mary Climer was born Mary Denny. There were also many Waggoner's in Guilford County. Waggoner Climer's name suggests he may have been related to one of these Waggoner families, perhaps through his mother.

The roster for the 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company F, shows that Isaac D. Clymer enlisted in Guilford Co. on May 24, 1862. Isaac would have been 3 weeks shy of his 17th birthday at the time. On Nov. 10, 1862, just a month before the Battle of Fredericksburg, the 2nd Regiment was assigned to General W.H.F. Lee's Brigade under General J.E.B. Stuart in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The 2nd Regiment rode with J.E.B. Stuart around Meade's army during the Gettysburg campaign. During an encounter with the enemy at Hanover, Md., the 2nd Regiment was encircled and had to fight their way out. Most of their men were either killed or captured that day. The regiment continued to be attached to Lee's army through the defense of Richmond and Petersburg and the retreat to Appomattox Court House. Only 7 members of the 2nd Regiment surrendered at Appomattox. Like men from other units, many just rode or walked away rather than surrender. According to official records, Isaac D. Clymer was paroled at Greensboro, N.C. on May 9, 1865.

The 1860 and 1870 census records have some interesting details and inconsistencies. There's a twelve year difference in Mary's age which is not too unusual, but there's a seven year difference in Isaac's age which is more significant. Since Isaac was born on June 15, 1845 and each census was supposed to reflect conditions on June 1, his age in 1860 should have been 14 and in 1870 was appropriately listed as 24. In 1860 Julia Climer is listed as a male. There were a number of male Julia's in the North Carolina census, so this may be accurate. His relationship to William and Mary Climer is not known at this time. Lotty and John (Jno) Climer are listed as mulatto. Again, their relationships to William and Mary Climer are not known.

1860 Census - North Division, Guilford County [Census Record]
NameAgeSexProfessionRealPersonalPlace of BirthAttend SchoolRead/Write
Wm Climer70MFarmer$500$550North CarolinaNo
Polly Climer40FNorth CarolinaNo
Julia Climer32MNorth Carolina
Isaac Climer17MNorth Carolina
Lotty Climer23FNorth CarolinaNo
Jenkins Climer8MNorth Carolina
Jno R. Climer1MNorth Carolina
1870 Census - Madison Township, Guilford County [Census Record]
NameAgeSexProfessionRealPersonalPlace of BirthAttend SchoolRead/Write
Mary Climer52FKeeping House$100North CarolinaNo
Isaac Climer24MFarmerNorth CarolinaNo
Jenkins Climer17MHired on farmNorth CarolinaNo
Sarah Jane Climer
Sarah Jane Climer

Sarah Jane Hill was born on May 9, 1845. Her parents were William Hill and Martha (Seamster) Hill. William Hill, a farmer, married Martha Seamster on Jan. 17, 1842 in Pittsylvania Co., Va. Sarah Jane (Hill) Climer's 1915 death certificate indicates her father was Wesley Hill, but their marriage record and the 1850 census record for her family indicate that her father's name was William. There is some question about Sarah Jane's year of birth and place of birth. In the 1880 census (see below) her age is listed as 32, which would make her year of birth 1848. The Pittsylvania Co., Va. record of her marriage in 1873 indicates her age was 22, which would make her year of birth 1851. Finally, her death certificate, which was signed by her daughter Martha Stahley and is consistent with the 1850 census record, gives a birth date of May 9, 1845. The 1850 census indicates she was born in Kentucky while the rest of her family was born in Virginia. The 1910 census also indicates she was born in Kentucky. The 1880 and 1900 censuses and her death certificate say she was born in Virginia. We tend to believe the 1850 census since it was compiled only five years after her birth and is confirmed by the 1910 census. Therefore, it would appear that the Hill family moved to Kentucky for a few years in the 1840s before moving back to Pittsylvania Co., Va.

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