Francis Cordrey

b. 6 February 1838, d. 15 February 1917
Francis Cordrey|b. 6 Feb 1838\nd. 15 Feb 1917|p2966.htm|Moses Ayres Cordrey|b. 9 Jul 1810\nd. 17 Mar 1873|p10391.htm|Hannah Black|b. 1 Jan 1812\nd. 6 Apr 1875|p10392.htm|Nathan Cordrey|b. bt 1775 - 1776\nd. 1859|p10444.htm|Dorcas J. Ayres|b. s 1785\nd. 1863|p10445.htm|Philip Black Jr.|b. c 1775\nd. 2 Aug 1823|p10393.htm|Catharine Baughman|b. c 1777\nd. 26 Aug 1854|p10394.htm|

Grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
2nd great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
Click to view thumbnails
Francis Cordrey
     Francis Cordrey was born on 6 February 1838 in New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.2,3,4,5 He was the son of Moses Ayres Cordrey and Hannah Black.1 He married Christiana Catharina Gramlich, daughter of Johann Friederich Gramlich and Friederike Juliana Foit, on 24 December 1865 in Hardin County, Ohio.6,2 He died on 15 February 1917 in Hope Hospital, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, at age 79.4,7 He was buried on 18 February 1917 in Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne.4 Click to view image
     Francis, the oldest son, was born and raised in Tuscarawas County. He left home about 1860 and moved to Hardin County, Ohio. There he briefly attended, then taught school in Cessna township, and fell in "love at first sight" with one of the pupils, Christeann Gramlich.

     Francis returned to Tuscarawas County without assurance that Christeann would wait for him, and enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 at age 24. As a member of Company E, 126th OVI, he was in many of the major battles in Virginia, including Battle of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor and the Siege of Petersburg. During the siege he wrote a letter to Christeann and enclosed a dogwood leaf from the tree he was sitting under at the time. At the Battle of Monocacy (Maryland) in 1864, he was shot through the thigh and spent time recuperating in Army hospitals. He returned to active duty and was honorably discharged in May 1865. His two diaries survive and are in the possession of Jean Horn of New Richland, Minnesota. The first diary commences 22 August 1862 and ends 30 December 1863. The second diary has entries dated between 4 May 1864 and 22 May 1904.

     Following his discharge, Francis immediately returned home to Tuscarawas County, but by December he was in Hardin County where Christmas Eve, he and Christeann married. They apparently lived there a few months before setting up housekeeping in Tuscarawas County on 19 April 1866. Francis taught school in Fairfield township.

     In August 1868, Francis, Christeann and baby John Ayres returned to Hardin County and moved into a new home on November 1st that Francis built on his land. That same day, their daughter Hannah was born. Francis returned to his old job as a teacher in Cessna township, and probably farmed as well. While living there, he applied for and was granted an invalid pension for his war injury.

     On 14th March 1871 the family, now increased to five members by the birth of Minerva in 1870, moved four miles west of Fort Wayne, Indiana. There Francis farmed, taught school, dabbled in local politics, worked for the railroad, and was an inventor. He received a patent for a car coupler and a mowing machine.

     Francis also like to write. Several of his articles about Civil War battles were published in newspapers. In a long, unpublished manuscript, he wrote of his childhood and of his experiences in the War. He also wrote poetry. He had professionally printed a poem to his brothers and sisters in memory of their parents. In about 1891, he wrote the Family Record in a ledger now owned by his great-grandson, Charles Horn.

     Francis and Christeann had another child, Ralph Ethen, born in Fort Wayne, but he lived only a few months. A month after his death Christeann died and Francis never remarried. Of their three surviving children, Ayres never married so the Cordrey name daughtered out in his line, Hannah married and had two daughters who had no children, and Minerva married and died from complications a few weeks after giving birth to her only child, Ruth Minerva Fairfield. When Ruth's father Ed, who had remarried, moved to Texas and sent for his family, including Ruth who had never lived with him, Francis was devastated. He couldn't believe Ruth was being forced to move to that "God forsaken country." Defying strict instructions from Ed, he took Ruth on his lap and told her all about her real mother. He never saw Ruth again, but he provided for her generously in his will.

     Francis fell and broke his femur in 1917 which was a contributing factor in his death from pneumonia. Funeral services were at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Hannah and David Bitner.

Additional Data
Francis Cordery appeared on the 1 June 1850 Federal Census of Fairfield township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in the household of his parents, M.A. and Hannah Cordery.8 Click to view image

Francis Cordery appeared on the 1 June 1860 Federal Census of Cessna township, Hardin County, Ohio, enumerated 11 July 1860, in the household of William Gray, relationship, if any, unknown..9 Click to view image

Francis Cordrey enlisted in the Union Army in August 1862 in Canal Dover, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.10,11 He was described as 5' 10" tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair.11

Francis and Christina Cordry appeared on the 1 June 1870 Federal Census of Cessna township, Hardin County, Ohio, enumerated 3 June 1870. Their children John A. and Hannah J. were listed as living with them.12 Click to view image

Francis Cordrey appeared on the 1 June 1880 Federal Census of Aboite township, Allen County, Indiana, enumerated 5 June 1880. His children John A., Annie J. and Catarin M. were listed as living with him.13 Click to view image

Francis Cordrey was listed as a pallbearer in his mother-in-law Fredericka Foit Gramlich's obituary that appeared in the Kenton Democrat on 3 May 1899 in Kenton, Hardin County, Ohio.14

Francis Cordery appeared on the 1 June 1900 Federal Census of Aboite township, Allen County, Indiana, enumerated 5 June 1900. His son Ayers was listed as living with him.15 Click to view image

Francis Cordrey appeared on the 15 April 1910 Federal Census of Adams township, Allen County, Indiana, enumerated 5 May 1910. His son John A. was listed as living with him.16 Click to view image

Francis Cordrey made a will on 10 June 1914 in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana. Mentioned were his granddaughter Ruth Minerva Fairfield and children John Ayres Cordrey and Hannah Bitner.17 Click to view image

Children of Francis Cordrey and Christiana Catharina Gramlich


  1. [S948] Cordrey Family, miscellaneous papers, 1863-1917, Charles Horn, Pasadena, Texas.
  2. [S944] Francis Cordrey pension application file; 137007 Certificate 96353; Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1960; Records of the Veterans Administration, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington.
  3. [S942] "Francis Cordrey Civil War Diaries," (MS, 1863-1865; Ohio, Virginia and Maryland); Jean (Romine) Horn; New Richland, Waseca County, Minnesota. Hereinafter cited as "Civil War Diaries."
  4. [S943] Francis Cordrey, death certificate 229-135 (16 February 1917), Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis.
  5. [S979] M.C. Heminger, comp., Complete Family Record of the Heminger and Cordrey Families (Akron, Ohio: Unpublished, 1940), 86.
  6. [S945] Hardin County Marriage Book 3: 347, County Clerk's Office, Kenton, Ohio.
  7. [S1111] Francis Cordrey entry, Allen County Deaths, Board of Public Health, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  8. [S954] M.A. Cordrey household, 1850 U.S. Census, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, population schedule, Fairfield twp, page 327, dwelling 50, family 50; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 734.
  9. [S960] William Gray household, 1860 U.S. Census, Hardin County, Ohio, population schedule, Cessna twp, Dunkirk, page 86, dwelling 578, family 578; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 983.
  10. [S977] "Civil War Diary of Francis Cordrey," (MS, 1862-1863; Ohio and Virginia), Jean (Romine) Horn; New Richland, Waseca County, Minnesota.
  11. [S976] Francis Cordrey, Civil War Compiled Military Service Records (Washington: National Archives). Click to view image
  12. [S947] Francis Cordry household, 1870 U.S. Census, Hardin County, Ohio, population schedule, Cessna twp, Kenton P.O., page 345, dwelling 37, family 33; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 1219.
  13. [S773] Francis Cordrey household, 1880 U.S. Census, Allen County, Indiana, population schedule, Aboit twp, enumeration district (ED) 109, sheet 9A/315, dwelling 70, family 70; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 264.
  14. [S994] Fredricka Foit Gramlich, Kenton Democrat, Kenton, Ohio, 3 May 1899. Hereinafter cited as Kenton Democrat.Unknown comments.
  15. [S774] Francis Cordery household, 1900 U.S. Census, Allen County, Indiana, population schedule, Aboit twp, enumeration district (ED) 1, sheet 2B, dwelling 30, family 34; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 357.
  16. [S786] Francis Cordrey household, 1910 U.S. Census, Allen County, Indiana, population schedule, Adams twp, enumeration district (ED) 2, sheet 7A/18, dwelling 129, family 129; National Archives micropublication T624, roll 338.
  17. [S975] Francis Cordrey will (1914), Allen County Wills, County Clerk's Office, Fort Wayne, Indiana.