Brick Wall of the Month: Elijah Perry

My brick wall for the month of March is Elijah Perry.

Elijah Perry was born about 1823 in Kentucky. Probably. At least, that’s what is indicated on the 1860 US Census. Maybe he was born somewhere else, and some when else. Whoever reported the information to the census taker didn’t even report his wife’s name (Dinah). She is represented by just a squiggle.

Elijah and Dinah married in Missouri in 1851.

Shortly thereafter, he traveled overland on horseback with a few friends to California to try his hand at mining. Evidently he did okay, because he sent for Dinah and her two children (George and Delia) to join him in California, which they did, sailing from Texas around the Horn of South America to reach San Francisco.

Elijah and Dinah had three other children (Sarah, John, and Tommy) together.

Soon after the 1860 Census was taken, Elijah joined the Union Army (in 1861), traveled with his cavalry regiment to Arizona, where he died of scurvy in 1862, almost exactly a year after he joined up.

Though the history is sketchy, I do know a little of what happened to Elijah between 1851 and 1862, as described above.

But what happened before that?

Where did Elijah come from? Was it really Kentucky? If so, what county?

Who were his parents? Where were they from?

Why was he so eager to join the Army, despite a wife and five kids at home?

Had he already served during the Mexican War? He was the right age, if he was born in 1823, and there was a soldier named Elijah Perry who fought in that war. I just don’t have enough information about either Elijah to know if they are, in fact, the same person.

I welcome any ideas and thoughts about how to discover more regarding Elijah Perry!

2 thoughts on “Brick Wall of the Month: Elijah Perry

  1. Have you tried to trace a sister or brother? Try that end around and see what information shows up. His war record with the National Archives may give information, especially if a pension was applied for. Also you could try a newspaper search. Many newspapers in Arizona and California are on line now from that time period. Also research his children for clues, as you never know what will turn up. For Kentucky try: For Arizona try: For California try the following: and also:
    These are just some quick thoughts that come to mind. Best of luck to you.

    1. I don’t know if he even had siblings. I have tried researching his other children, but to no end, so far. I will check out the sites you listed, though, and thank you! I can use any suggestions you’ve got…!

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