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John Klugh - Snapshots of his Life


I'm devoting an entire page to John Klugh, as he has always been one of the more mysterious figures in the Butler Klugh clan. We just can't seem to get beyond John in our research. I'm hoping the information below, though inconclusive as to his parents, will shed some light on who they might be.
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John Klugh married Elizabeth Hepler. I recently received John's Civil War Pension papers where her maiden name, "Hepler" is listed and connected with John's name. This is the first time their relationship has been proven. Not even the Heplers have any record of their marriage, and they have done extensive research on their lineage and have won awards in genealogical excellence. There are other documents showing that John's wife's name was "Elizabeth", as will be shown further on. Also, please note that I've contacted court houses, museums, and societies in the following counties regarding any marriage records for John and Liz.


The first indication for our John comes from the 1850 Federal Census for Kittaning Township in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. The family is headed by Samuel Clugh and Catherine nee Parchey. ("nee" indicates the person's maiden name). We know Catherine's maiden name is "Parchey" from other documents. There are two census data sheets shown below.

1850 Samuel Clugh
Samuel Clugh-1
1850 Samuel Clugh
Samuel Clugh-2

The first discrepency is that Samuel's last name is spelled with a "C". That's no big deal as it's oftentimes the case where our name has been spelled that way. Genealogists in both Butler and Indiana County say this has to be our John Klugh. A couple points are that John is listed as being 20 years old. That makes his birth year 1830 (as is our John). They also say we must consider the region AND how few people there were in the region at that time. Also, upon researching the census data sheets for the year (1850), we see there were no other John Clugh/Klughs who were alive at that time and who were born in 1830. Still, more research must be made. This first set of census sheets doesn't prove John's parentage, but only points the way.

Interestingly, I've seen evidence that there was yet ANOTHER John and Elizabeth Clugh living in the region, in Redbank Township (Twp) in the earlier part of the 1800s, i.e. prior to our John and Elizabeth. The earlier John is listed in the census reports for 1810 and 1820. Could this earlier John and Elizabeth be the grandparents of our John, or his Aunt and Uncle? This needs more research.
Also, there's a hand-written Indenture (Servitude) contract involving the earlier John and his wife Elizabeth and a third party. It's dated 1816. There's yet another ledger entry for this John Clugh for 250 acres of land in Redbank dated 1814, and yet another reference to John Clugh as a Witness for another person's Will dated 1808! We need to continue our research and find more documents that can be cross-referenced.
If we assume this John is young, in his mid twenties for these earlier dates, it implies he was born in the mid 1780s. This makes this reference to the earlier John Clugh the oldest reference to date of any Clugh/Klugh in the Butler, Armstrong, or Indiana County region!

The 1860 census continues to show Samuel and Catherine Clugh, with the same kids, but now in Valley Twp and without John. This is probably because John and Liz married sometime in the early 1850s abd are living on their own. I will continue looking into that.

1860 Samuel and Catherine Clugh
Samuel Clugh
and family

The next reference is from the 1870 Federal Census showing John and Elizabeth Clugh living in Sugar Creek Township in Armstrong County in Pennsyvania. They have nine children. Two of them are: William F. Clugh (my great grandfather), and James H. Clugh. William F. is 12 years old. James H. is 3 years old. The census was taken in August. The census data sheets for John and Liz are shown below.

1870 John Clugh
John Clugh-1
1870 John Clugh
John Clugh-2

By 1880, Elizabeth is still living in Sugar Creek but without John. She's also listed in the "1880 Indigent and Pauper Schedule" for Sugar Creek. The question is, where's John? As it turns out, he's living with his younger brother William F. married to Agnes Fairlie in Valley Twp (this William F. shouldn't be confused with John's son, also William F. Klugh). John is 50 years old. His brother William is 18 years younger than John. All the dates and ages correspond to those listed for the original 1850 census for the children of Samuel and Catherine Clugh. The census sheets are shown below.

1880 Elizabeth Clugh

Elizabeth Clugh
1880 Census
1880 Elizabeth Clugh Pauper
1880 Pauper Schedule
Elizabeth Clugh
1880 William Klugh
William & Agnes

A few points are in order here...

John Klugh
John Klugh
Regiment: 14
Company: L
John Klugh1
John Klugh
Regiment: 14
Company: L
Filed in 1904 in Leechburg, PA.
John Clugh Vet
Veterans Schedule
John Clugh 1890

There's a wonderful literary work by Samuel P. Bates written in the late 1860s. Its Title is: "History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-5". Made up of five volumes, each volume is over 1300 pages and they list all the officers and enlisted men in every Company and Regiment who served from Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

I've made an extensive search of and created a chart for the Pennsylvania Volunteers book showing all the references to any Clough, Clugh, Klugh, Klough, Kluge, or Klug and the Volume and Page where the person's full name can be found. This difference in name is even more believable when you see the "Census" page of the family website where John’s last name is spelled "Clugh" in the earlier decades but “Klugh” in later decades. Also, on this page (further below) the J. Bruce Armstrong Funeral Home has two entries for John. The first is for his funeral costs and his name is written as “John Klugh” while the second is for his death stats and his name is written as "John Klough".
Here's the chart.

History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-5
  Vol I Vol II Vol III Vol IV Vol V
Clough Franklin G.: Pg 174
John: Pg 4691
John B.: Pg 8742
Eleazer A.:Pg 929
William C.: Pg 273
William H.: Pg 2238
Franklin G.: Pg 194
John: Pg 5323
Walter: Pg 1026
George R.: Pg 1159
John: Pg 8904
Zaddock K.: Pg 1019
Thomas: Pg 584
Thomas: Pg 1204
Thomas: Pg 1279
Clugh None Thomas: Pg 465 None None Hugh W.: Pg 556
Klugh George A.: Pg 99
Joseph: Pg 1108
Henry: Pg 513
Horace H.: Pg 996
Samuel: Pg 10595
Charles C.: Pg 1097
None Jacob H.: Pg 67
Jacob H.: Pg 748
George: Pg 1112
Charles C.: Pg 418
Charles C.: Pg 423
John: Pg 7256
Klough None None None George: Pg 892 None
Kluge None None None None None
Klug None None None None None
Chart Notes:
1. John Clough-Private: 28th Regiment, Company I - recruited from Philadelphia.
2. John B. Clough-Private: 40th Regiment, Company K - recruited from Jefferson County - Died 1863.
3. John Clough-Private: 99th Regiment, Company E - recruited from Philadelphia.
4. John Clough-Private: 159th Regiment (14th Regiment), Company L - recruited from Armstrong County PA.
5. Samuel Klugh-Sergeant: 78th Regiment, Company G - recruited from Armstrong County PA.
6. John Klugh-Captain: 209th Regiment, Company I - recruited from York County PA.
I suspect there aren't any references for either "Kluge" or "Klug" as the surnames are from the Revolutionary War era and had already evolved into "Klugh" by the time of the Civil War.

Below is the obit (from the Leechburg Advance - 1904), his gravesite from Evergreen Cemetery, and a scan of the funeral home register showing the funeral costs for John Klugh from Gilpin Township in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. The funeral costs scan is from the J. Bruce Armstrong Funeral Home. Each funeral home entry has two entries per person: the costs of the funeral, and their stats. Note how they spelled John's last name in the second entry. This gives credence to the problem with finding records due to different spellings of the Klugh name.
Photo for his grave site courtesy of Find-A-Grave.com.

1904 John Klugh
John Klugh
Obit 1904
John Klugh Liz
John Klugh
(Husband of
Liz Hepler)
John Klugh Plot
John Klugh
John Klugh FunHom
John Klugh
Funeral Costs
John's grave is in Section 7. Notice the GAR emblem to the left of the grave stone. "GAR" stands for Grand Army of the Republic (see Wikipedia.org). It was a fraternal organization, founded in 1866 and dissolved in 1956, of service men who served in the Civil War. At one time it had just under 500,000 members. Its successor is the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
John's funeral was handled by the J. Bruce Armstrong Funeral Home in Leechburg Twp. Additional information given is that John died in his home on Monday, June 20, 1904 at 11 a.m., and that the wake was also held in his home on Wednesday, June 22nd at 2 p.m. The funeral home is now out of business. John is buried at Evergreen Cemetery. His grave photo is also in the "Grave Site" section of this website.
I also contacted Armstrong County Register of Wills, Deeds and Orphans Court. They checked "Klugh", "Klough", "Clugh", and "Clough". They don't have ANY record of John's death in their book of deaths. Additional information says the costs were paid in full in Cash on Aug 19th of 1904.
To date I've worked with researchers and genealogists in Butler County, Armstrong County, and Indiana County. I've also invested endless hours of research on the Internet.
There's two more interesting bits of information.
John and Liz separated (no indication of a divorce), and he remarried. Again, his name is spelled "Clugh". His new wife's first name is Susan and according to the 1900 Federal Census and they lived in Parks Twp in Armstrong County. John is 70 years old (born in 1830). Susan is 43! The census chart is to the right.
J and S
John and Susan
Clugh - 1900
Also, Susan remarried after John's death. There's a marriage application for a Susan (Susie) Klugh dated 1911. She's marrying a Michael Kline. In the application, Susan is asked for the date of the divorce or death of a previous husband. She wrote "June 20, 1904", John's exact date of death. Susan's maiden name was Smith (from John's Pension Papers). Her marriage application to Michael Kline is shown at the right. Marriage Appl
Kline-Klugh - 1911
Recent Searches:
  • The 1890 Federal Census sheets were destroyed in a fire in 1921. This will always prove to be a great loss in genealogical research.
  • On April 14th, 2012, I sent a request to New Castle, PA for eight death certificates and one birth certificate of Klughs in the Butler-Armstrong Counties region. They said they'll take up to four months to respond.
  • I also called the Leechburg Advance and asked how to look up old newspaper clippings. It's now out of business and is called by another name. They suggested I call the Vandergrift Library, which I did. They don't have any records.
  • In addition, I've worked extensively with the Leechburg Museum. They're the ones who found the burial information above.
  • I also recontacted the care-takers of Evergreen Cemetery in Gilpin Twp. They were a bit more helpful than in the past, but they said many of their records were destroyed in a fire many years ago.
  • I've also worked with researchers at both the Butler County and Indiana County Historical Societies. The former sent marriage certificates that can be viewed in the "Marriage" section of this website. The latter sent me info I already had.
  • I also contacted the Shelocta United Presbyterian Church and Cemetery in Shelocta, PA and spoke with the Pastor. Samuel and Catherine Clugh lived in Shelocta. I contacted the Pastor three times. He finally emailed me and said they don't have any records and that many of the records were destroyed in a fire many years ago (this seems to be a common theme in genealogical research), but said they will keep looking.
  • I also checked websites for Curry Run Cemetery (now the Reformed Presbyterian and Peelor Farm), Union Cemetery, and West Union Cemetery, all in Armstrong Twp in Indiana County. None of them had any listings for Klugh, Clugh, Klough, or Clough.
  • On May 2, 2012 I recontacted the National Archives in Washington, DC and asked them to do a search for John's Pension information. On May 23rd, I received 101 photocopies of original documents for John. They're now on John's Pension Papers page.

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