Civil War Profile
Co. M & Co. C, 7th NY Heavy Artillery
Fonda, Montgomery County, N.Y.
Private Henry Siver has no direct descendants to take pride in his service. However, there should be quite a few people who are related to him, and to his friends and neighbors he was highly respected as a skilled artisan and marble designer, and served at various times as Fonda village clerk, Town of Mohawk overseer of the poor, and Montgomery County court crier. He was admired for his singing voice, so was probably an interesting-to-hear court crier.
According to his Civil War profile, Henry Siver was an 18-year-old farmer, residing in Guilderland, Albany County NY, when he enlisted at Guilderland on January 14, 1864. His service records say that he enlisted in Co. M of the 7th NY Heavy Artillery, and mustered out August 1, 1865 at Fort Federal Hill, Baltimore MD. His obituary says that he enlisted in Company C of the regiment. His G.A.R. records state that he mustered into the GAR at age 26, and was a marble maker residing in Fonda NY. The latter record states that he mustered in to Co. M. of the 7th H.A. and mustered out as a private of Co. C. A note on his Civil War service index card says that his records were originally filed under the name "Henry Simon." There is also a card under that name for a man who was a member of Co's. M and C of the 7th N.Y. H. Art'y. The 7th Artillery Regiment started out as the 113th NY Vols. but is also known as the Albany County Regt. and the Seymour Guard.
Henry Siver filed for his invalid pension on March 6, 1879. His application number was 270.922 and his certificate number was 172.822. Maggie R. Siver filed for her widow's pension May 5, 1922. Her application number was 1188678 and her certificate number was 921.186. Both Co. C and Co. M are noted on his pension index card. A May 24, 1864 Albany Morning Express article lists members of the 7th Heavy Artillery who were killed or wounded and lists an H.R. Siver of Battery M who was wounded in the hand on May 19th at Spotsylvania. The 1897 Adjutant General's Report roster of the Seventh Artillery states that Henry Siver enlisted at age 18 on Jan. 14, 1864 at Guilderland NY and was mustered in as a private into Co. M on Jan. 21, 1864 to serve three years. He was wounded at River Po, Spottsylvania VA on May 19, 1864. He was transferred to Co. C on June 30, 1865 and mustered out as a private with his company on Aug. 1, 1865.
Henry filed for a Civil War veteran's invalid pension in 1879 and received it. In the 1890 veteran's census of the Town of Mohawk (S.D. 6, E.D. 81, page 3, line 30), he said that his disabilities incurred were having been wounded in both the left hand and his right side. Henry personally created and dealt in fine marblework, including tombstones. "A beautiful tablet made from the famous Quincy granite, very heavy and substantial, has been erected over the grave of Lyman C. Lewis, in Green Hill cemetery, by his widow. The work was done by Henry Siver, Fonda's well-known marble merchant." [Amsterdam Daily Democrat, Thursday evening, January 8, 1885] But who created his own stone, or did he even have a stone? His and his wife's obituaries both state that they were interred in Fultonville Cemetery, but as of 2016 their names don't turn up on any online transcription of Fultonville Cemetery or any other cemetery.
Henry gained the public's respect and confidence in his abilities after his first quarter-century residing and doing business in Fonda. "Fonda, April 6 - Henry Siver has been appointed clerk of the village and superintendent of the water works." [Amsterdam Daily Democrat, Friday, April 6, 1894]
Towards the end of his life, Henry was active in Civil War commemoration activities:
At the annual meeting of Van DerVeer post, G.A.R., the following officers were elected: Commander, Martin McIntyre; senior vice commander, J. B. Smith; junior vice commander, A. H. Loucks; quartermaster, Silas W. Horning; adjutant, Henry Siver; chaplain, R. H. Tipple; sergeant, H. Bentley; instructor, S. W. Horning. [Per The Morning Herald (Gloversville), December 12, 1914]
Henry Siver attended the re-union of his regiment, the 7th Heavy artillery, of the Civil war in Albany this week. [Per The Morning Herald (Gloversville), Friday, August 23, 1918]
DEATH'S SUMMONS FOR COURT CRIER
Henry Siver of Fonda, Who Enlisted in Army as a Boy, Dies After Brief Illness.
Fonda, April 19, 1922- Henry Siver, aged 75, court crier of Montgmery County and long a well known resident of Fonda, died at 11 o'clock Tuesday night at his home on Center street hill, after a brief illness.
Mr. Siver was born in Guilderland, Albany county, January 26, 1847. He received a common school education and while still a boy, in January 1864, enlisted in Company C, Seventh New York volunteers, and saw service in five battles in the Civil war, being wounded at the battle of the Wilderness. He received an honorable discharge from the army in August, 1865. He learned the marble cutting business and in 1870 located at Fonda, where he was employed at his trade and in 1882 opened a shop which he had since continued. He was an expert in his line and many products of his skill adorn the cemeteries of the central section of the county. In earlier life Mr. Siver took a prominent part in politics and served as overseer of the poor of the town of Mohawk for six years and as clerk of the village of Fonda for three years. For several years past he had capably fulfilled the duties of court crier.
He was a leading member for many years of Van Derveer post, Grand Army of the Republic, and for nineteen years has been an officer of the Fonda ruling of the Fraternal Home Insurance company, formerly known as the Mystic Circle. For years he was active in musical circles and was a leading vocalist of the choirs of the Methodist and Episcopal churches. He was an attendant of the Methodist church.
In 1879 Mr. Siver married Miss Margaret Rulison, daughter of Henry Rulison, of Fultonville, by whom he is survived, together with several nieces and nephews. [Per the 1910 census, they'd both been married one time only, for 32 years, and Margaret had never had any children. Their marital notice was published in 1877, not 1879.]
The funeral will be held at the home Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock, the Rev. M. J. Overholser of the Methodist church, officiating. Interment will be in the Fultonville cemetery. 1
Henry's passing was also announced back in the region where he originally came from, in a brief funeral notice from Troy NY:
The funeral of Henry Siver, for many years the court crier of Montgomery County, was held yesterday afternoon from the residence in Fonda, Rev. M.J. Oberholtzer of Fonda Methodist Church officiating. Interment was in Fultonville cemetery. Mr. Siver was a Civil War veteran and before he became court crier had served as Overseer of the Poor of the town of Mohawk and as Clerk of the village of Fonda. He died Wednesday. 2
Henry Siver in the Census
In the 1850 census of Guilderland, Albany County NY, 4-year-old Henry resided with farmer Christian Siver and his wife Frances, and 3 older sisters and an older brother. In the 1855 NYS census of Guilderland, 8-year-old Henry resided with his parents and 3 sisters. In the 1865 NYS census of Guilderland, dated June 1865, Henry Siver age 18, resided with his parents Christian age 60 and Fanny age 53. As Henry was still in the service, perhaps he was on a leave when the census-taker stopped by, but he wasn't included in the notes, following the enumeration pages, pertaining to men who were currently or formerly in the services. Henry's parents Christian (d. January 11, 1882, age 82) and Fannie (d. March 14, 1879, age 73) rest in the large Prospect Hill Cemetery, Guilderland. Their well-preserved matching stones are small, perhaps made by Henry. Mr. Siver hasn't been located in the 1870 census, but his obituary said that he located at Fonda in 1870 and he was still residing in Fonda by the late 1870s when he married a local young woman.
SIVER-RULISON - At the residence of the bride on the 10th inst., Mr. Henry Siver, of Fonda, and Miss Maggie, daughter of H. W. Rulison Esq., of Fultonville. 3
In the 1880 census, Henry Siver age 33, occupation marble work, and his wife Maggie age 20, were enumerated in the 2nd election district of the Town of Mohawk. They and their neighbors were erroneously mis-indexed as residing in Minden. In the 1892 NYS census of the 1st election district of the Town of Mohawk, stone cutter Henry Siver age 46 resided with his wife Maggie Siver age 31. In the 1900 census, Henry and his wife Maggie resided on E. Main St. in the village of Fonda. They'd been married 22 years and Maggie had had no children ever. Henry's occupation was "marble laborer," and he owned a mortgaged home. In the 1905 NYS census, Henry "Sivar" age 58 and wife Margaret "Sivar" age 44 resided on E. Main St. in Fonda. Henry's occupation was self-employed mason. In the 1910 census Henry and Margaret resided on Center St. in the village of Fonda. He was a marble worker doing "odd jobs" on his own account, and had served in the Union Army. In the 1920 census of Fonda NY, Henry Siver age 72 rented a home on Broadway with his wife Margaret age 59. He was retired from his own successful marble shop business as he was a marble worker working for wages for someone else. He might have had some health problems requiring him to "slow down" as in 1906 the Broadalbin NY paper mentioned that "Henry Siver of East Main street, was taken suddenly ill this morning, the attack being due to heart trouble." 4
Margaret Rulison Siver
Six months after Henry's passing, Margaret Siver moved from their rented home but the notice didn't state where she moved to. "Fonda, Oct. 10- Mr. and Mrs. Schermerhorn have moved from Putman avenue to the Leander Everson house on upper Center street, lately occupied by Mrs. Henry Siver." 5
In the 1930 census of Fonda, widow Margaret Siver age 69 lived alone and rented a house on Center St. for just $10/mo. Google street view shows this small frame house still standing. Her age at marriage was 17. In the 1940 census, Mrs. Margaret Siver age 79 resided alone in a $10/mo. rented home on E. Main St. in Fonda and had resided in the same house in 1935. A supplementary question noted that her age at first marriage was 22 and she'd had 5 years of schooling.
Both before and after Henry's passing, Mrs. Rulison spent time visiting with one of her few living close relatives. According to the Amsterdam Evening Recorder, Monday, August 6, 1917, Mrs. Henry Siver had as a week-end guest her brother, the Rev. William P. Rulison, of Ames. An Evening Recorder mention from Tuesday, September 14, 1937, notes that Mrs. Siver was visiting her brother the Rev. William Rulison at his home at Delmar NY. A Nov. 26, 1926 Evening Recorder mention said that she was spending the week with her brother the Rev. Putman Rulison and his family in Delmar. The Reverends are one and the same person, and occasionally his name was published as Rev. William Putman Rulison. The Sept. 3, 1935 Morning Herald noted that Margaret had been visiting her brother the Rev. William P. Rulison, and her niece Ethel Rulison, of Delmar. Other social mentions over the years indicate that she was a frequent visitor to her brother's home. Of importance to Siver researchers, there was another Mrs. Margaret Siver, a resident of Gloversville and wife of George Siver, who passed away in 1929 and shouldn't be confused with Margaret Rulison Siver.
Margaret Siver was receiving her Civil War widow's pension 81 years after the war ended! Just days before her death on June 29, 1946, the Morning Herald had a brief mention that "Mrs. Margaret Siver is now at the Hamilton Convalescent home in Fultonville." 6
FINAL RITES FOR MARGARET SIVER 7
FONDA- Funeral services for Mrs. Margaret Siver, who died Saturday afternoon at the Amsterdam City hospital, were held yesterday afternoon at the Jackson funeral home. Rev. Fred F. Brown, of the Methodist church officiated. Burial was in the Fultonville cemetery.
The bearers were Charles Marsh, Howard Conroy, Howard Christiance, Sr. and Neal Phillips, all of Fonda.
Those attending from out of town were Dr. and Mrs. Foster Rulison and Miss Bea Rulison, Syracuse; Miss Ethel Rulison and Mrs. Millard Smith, Albany, and Miss Ann Carson, Fultonville.
Sources of information:
1 - Amsterdam Evening Recorder, Wednesday, April 19, 1922
2 - The Troy Times, Troy NY, Friday evening, April 21, 1922, page 5
3 - The Register, Fort Plain NY, October 12, 1877
4 - Broadalbin Herald, Thursday, February 20, 1906
5 - Amsterdam Evening Recorder, Tuesday, October 10, 1922
6 - The Morning Herald, Gloversville, Friday, June 23/28(?), 1946, page 6
7 - The Morning Herald, Gloversville & Johnstown, Wednesday, July 3, 1946
Various newspaper articles, census listings, etc.
Ancestry.com- New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900
Ancestry.com- U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865
If you have information to share about Mr. Siver, his family, or the service of his company in the Civil War, please contact the site coordinators.