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John Klugh's Parents - A Proposal

John Klugh's parents have always been a mystery to the contemporary members of his descendants. We've never been able to get beyond John. I believe, with all the documents I've accumulated over the years, I can now make a prediction as to who his parents were.

To do that, I'm going to present documents that not only suggest who his parents were, but they narrow them down to only one choice of father and mother. I won't present the documents in their entirety here, as I don't want to be redundant. What appears here are excerpts. The documents in their entirety can be found elsewhere on this website. What follows is an example of investigative journalism. I'll present the facts as I understand them. I can assure you, this won't be a long-winded exposition, but will be to the point. If what I'm about to present is true, it will open up a whole new branch of Klughs, as there's another researcher who has been doing his own investigation of his line coming from one of John's brothers, i.e. coming from the same parents. I welcome any constructive critique of my findings.

The first suggestion as to who John's parents were comes from the 1850 Federal Census for Kittanning Township, Armstrong County. The census report is for a Samuel and Catherine Clugh and it shows their children up to that point in time. Both Samuel and Catherine are in their forties. They have ten kids. Their children's names are listed below according to age:

One of them is "John" and he's twenty years old (born in 1830). While this in itself isn't proof that this John is our John, more evidence is yet to come. An excerpt is given below. There are two images as their family continues from the bottom of the first image up to the top of the second. Joseph Clugh, though listed by himself, is married and living on his own and either lived next door or across the street as he is listed sequentually after Samuel's family. Take note of the occupation for both Samuel and Joseph: Stone Mason.

Samuel Clugh1
Samuel Clugh's
1850 Census1
Samuel Clugh2
Samuel Clugh's
1850 Census2

The next census sheet is for 1860. Samuel and Catherine are still living in Armstrong County, but in Valley Township. Note that John is no longer listed. That's because he and Elizabeth Hepler were married in Worthington, Armstrong County on September 16, 1852 (as per Liz's Widow's Application for John's Pension Benefits). Excerpts from both the 1860 census and the Elizabeth's Widow's Application form are shown below.

1860 Samuel Clugh
Samuel Clugh
1860 Census
Klugh-Hepler Marriage Info
Marriage Info

This brings us up to the 1860s decade. With John no longer living at home, out on his own, married, and with six kids by 1860 (they had a total of eleven kids), there should be a census report for him. To date, I haven't been able to find any Federal census data for John and Liz in 1860, whether for Klugh, Clugh, or Clough.

Now we come to the Civil War era. Most of my proof as to who John's parents were will be taken from John's Civil War Pension papers.

When I first received the papers, they were organized from the most recent entry of 1941, back to 1862. Reading through them was exciting. My wife and I sat on the couch and just kept reading page after page, going further back in time. We didn't order dinner or feed the cats. It was like a soap opera. We had to get through all 107 pages before we could do anything else. We had to see what came next... or in this case, before.

The first indication as to who John's parents were comes by inference and is from the Index of the Special Examiner assigned to Elizabeth Klugh's request for John's Pension Benefits. It lists two of John's brothers: George A. Klugh and Charles K. Klugh. I'm not just assuming they're his brothers. The report lists them as his brothers. Note that their surname is now spelled with a "K". There's another person listed as his brother, Jacob Hepler, but Jacob is actually John's brother in-law. Note also that the surname of John's 2nd wife is spelled "Clough", while in the 1900 census (elsewhere in this site) it's spelled "Clugh". This gives credence to the thought that they're all the same people. The report is below.

Examiner's Witnesses
Examiner's List of
Witnesses for

The next evidence comes from the many Affidavits given by relatives and neighbors from the 1890s. The first is from Charles K. Klugh. Even though he's talking about John "Clugh", note that Charles' surname is spelled with a "K", and that he is speaking from "personal knowledge".

Affidavit Charles K. Klugh
1890 Affidavit of
Charles K. Klugh

The next is from 1882, from another brother of John Clugh, William F. Clugh (there was more than one William F. Clugh/Klugh back then). They're from two excerpts from the same document, spliced together to save space.

Affidavit William F. Clugh
1882 Affidavit of
William F. Clugh

And there is another Affidavit dated 1889 from John's brother, George A. Klugh ( both names with a "K"). George and John were in different Companies but the same Regiment while in the Army at Harper's Ferry.

Affidavit George A. Klugh
1889 Affidavit of
George A. Klugh

Lastly, I offer an excerpt from John Clough's Certificate of Disability showing he was a Mason by occupation and born in Mifflin County.

1863 John Clough Certificate of Disability
1863 John Clough
Certificate of Disability

In addition to the above, there are other entries for:


John Klugh, Clugh, Clough's parents were Samuel Clugh and Catherine nee Parchey ("nee" means "maiden name"). I offer as my evidence all the names on this page. If I had given the name of just one sibling, then the question would still be open. Instead, I give SEVEN names, all of whom are siblings. When a census data sheet is found with all said siblings coming from the same parents in the same region at the same point in time, and with so few Klugh, Clugh, Cloughs in the region, and with all the pension papers referring to the same John Klugh, Clugh, Clough, then simple logic dictates that that they all come from the same family. I believe my logic is sound, and that any professional genealogist would agree with me. We can now add another generation to the Klugh family tree.

Please feel free to comment as you wish. You all have my email address.

(c) July 4, 2011: (All rights reserved)