My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. ILIFF, a native of Cedarville, Greene County, and one of its oldest residents was born in the then embryo village, July 18, 1840. His parents were natives of this county, while his grandparents on both sides of the house came from Pennsylvania when young people, in 1804, two years after Ohio was admitted into the Union as a State. His father, Wesley Iliff, was married in early manhood to Miss Sarah, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Ballard. Joseph Ballard was the son of an old Revolutionary hero, Lyman Ballard, while Grandfather Wesley Iliff, was the son of James and Betsey (Hill) Iliff of Pennsylvania and of substantial old stock. Both families trace their ancestry to Germany. Wesley Iliff was for forty years engaged in the lime business, to which his son, William H. has succeeded.

The subject of this notice remained under the parental roof until the outbreak of the Civil War and was the first man in his township to proffer his services in behalf of the Union, enlisting April 16, 1861, two days after the attack upon Ft. Sumter. That night and the day following twenty-six more had been added. They joined a squad at Xenia and were put into the field as Company D, Twelfth Ohio Infantry, in the three months service. Going to Columbus they assisted in laying out Camp Jackson, which became a noted rendezvous during the war. While the barracks was being prepared they slept in the Senate Chamber. Subsequently they organized Camp Dennison and at the expiration of the three months the regiment and company were re-organized, enlisting for the three years service or during the war.

Mr. Iliff and his comrades were sent to Virginia in June, being assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and served three years and three months, participating in the battle of Bull Run, Antietam, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gains Mills, Gettysburg and Winchester, besides numerous other engagements and skirmishes and serving under nearly every general of that army. Being young and full of life and vigor, Mr. Iliff enjoyed the vicissitudes of a soldier’s life, being blest with good health, never being confined a day in the hospital or absent from his post and was never in an ambulance. He was the life of a squad, being always ready for mischief or duty as the case presented. Two of his brothers, Thomas V. and John W., were also in the service, being respectively in the Fourty-fourth Infantry and Eighth Cavalry. All three of the boys entered the army before reaching their majority and celebrated their twenty-first birthday in the service.

His term of service having expired, Mr. Iliff in 1864, received his honorable discharge and returned to his native haunts. He is an active Republican and has held many offices of trust and responsibility, being a member of the Town Council, serving as City Marshal and as a member of the School Board, and being one of the census ennumerators of 1880. For the last four years he has been a guard at the State Prison in Columbus. He was married September 15, 1870, to Miss M. L. Small. She was born August 29, 1841, in Cedarville Township and is the daughter of David and Mary (Wright) Small; the mother is now living in Cedarville, the father is deceased. Mrs. Iliff’s paternal grandfather was James Small, who came to Ohio from South Carolina in 1804, and who spent his last days in this township. Mr. and Mrs. Iliff are the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters, viz: Mary, Harry, Walter, Wallace Sarah and Fanny. Mary is the wife of John McCorkell, a leading merchant of Cedarville. The other children are at home. Mr. Iliff is a member in good standing of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Patriotic Sons of America. He attends the Methodist Church while his wife finds religious consolation with the Reformed Presbyterians.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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