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Question about 1863 Civil War Draft Registration -- NAVY??
Posted by: Marylou Benjamin (ID *****0044) Date: September 12, 2013 at 10:56:16
  of 29675


Need some help from a Civil War NAVY guru.

I am having a heck of a time tracking down my ancestors' Civil War enlistment papers.

I see him on the June 1863 Draft Registration for Suffolk Co, MASS. His name was Andrew Willard, born Denmark. His occupation is listed as Sailor. This is definitely my ancestor because his address is listed as Prescott St [East Boston] which is the address given as Place of birth for his eldest daughter born there in Dec. 1863.

He immigrated about 1855 from Denmark. This is gleaned from his Naturalization records from Philadelphia, PA. That same day that he became a citizen [July 1860] he received his Seaman's Protection certificate. So the logical assumption is that he was a mariner of some type before becoming a citizen. Over the years from census and other documents, he was listed as Sea Captain, mariner, sailor, ship's carpenter etc.

By Sept 1860 he was in Boston, MA per his marriage cert. I rec'd from the MA archives. His name initially was recorded as ANDREW WILLDE but by 1863 he was known as ANDREW WILLARD.

Now I have found mention of an Andrew Willard, Navy officer who enlisted from Mass. on 20 July 1864 and whose rank was acting Ensign and who was honorably discharged on 6 Aug 1865. He served on board the US Schooner ORVETTA. Another book shows he was Actg. Ensign on board the CANANDAIGUA. Both ships were part of the South Atlantic Blocking Squadron. This info is from various books I have found on Navy Officers. In only one of the books, however it says he [Andrew Willard] was born in Sweden. I think this was a mistake made by whomever. I strongly believe that this was my ancestor who did join the NAVY but I am seeking concrete proof.

I contacted NARA in Washington DC who told me that they didn't keep compiled service records for Navy until after 1882? They did send me a copy of a handwritten note from Actg Master Comdg of the ORVETTA, William Fales, to Hon. Gideon Welles, Sec. of the Navy. Letter was dated Sept 23, 1864 and is a list of officers on the US Schooner Orvetta. The return address says Navy Yard Charleston. Andrew Willard is listed as Actg. Ensign.

NARA also sent me copy of page from "General Register of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" by Thomas Holdup Steven Hammersly, p. 773 that says "Willard, Andrew. Acting Ensign, 20 July 1864. Honorably discharged 6 August 1865.

I do not find any Rendezvous Report for Andrew Willard and am thinking that these reports were only for enlisted sailors and not for officers. Can anyone confirm this?

I also do not see Andrew Willard on the 1890 vets schedule nor do I find a pension for him.

Anyone have any ideas on where the enlistment papers would be?

I contacted the MASS archives and am waiting back to hear if MASS kept their own records.

Any and all suggestions would be most welcome. Bottom line is I am trying to find out where in Denmark my ancestor was born. I have pension records for 2 other ancestors who served in Army for Civil war and they were most helpful in giving specific information.

Mary Lou
in PA

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