Monday, December 30, 2013

+David C. Edingburg " Alias" David C. White, a Mystery

   While I was doing research on my Edingburg side, I thought I had found all my my gr grandfather Daniel T. Edingburg's siblings.  Then a few years later after getting the Eastern Band Cherokee Roll documents from my cousins, I discovered that Daniel had an older brother. He was listed in the documents along with a mention of a half sister which I thought was a full sister.

David Charles Edingburg born June 13, 1845 Washington County, Virginia to William and Rachel Edingburg, died April 19, 1930.  Buried in The National Cemetery, Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Missouri. Section 57, Grave # 12956.

   David has left me with a puzzle, one I hope to eventually figure out.  He was a Sgt in the Civil War, Company D 5th United States Colored Calvary and was discharged March 16, 1866. 
Check out his names:

Some cousins and friends from one of my DNA genealogy Facebook groups helped me find David in Fold3 before I subscribed to it.  They found this document and another one.  In this document he's in the Cavalry. 

Now check out this next document:

When he goes into the Infantry he uses a different name. He keeps his first and middle name the same, but his surname changes.  At first I thought he was two different people but then I got his document where his headstone was ordered and it's the same thing.
So far I haven't found out why they gave him two names and why they buried him with his alias.  Hopefully someone reading this might have a clue.
After finding David I just happened to be going to Chicago area for a visit, and I stopped by the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to see if I could find David's tombstone, unfortunately they were moving things around and opening up a new section so the computers were down so we didn't get to find him that day. One of my new cousins that helped me search for Daniel on Fold3 requested a photo of his tombstone from Find a Grave and it came back right away.

David was married to a Kate Jones on April 19, 1882 in Washington County, VA., mostly likely in Abingdon where his family lives.  David was 35 years old and Kate was 16 years old.  They had two children Mary Edingburg b: 1884 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Dave Charles Edingburg b: 1885 Chattanooga, Tennessee. 
I checked the census for 1910 but David is already a widower.   I haven't been able to find how Kate died or when or where. Kates parents were Owen and Mary Jones, I haven't found Mary's surname yet.
   In the 1910 census David is 64 years old living with his daughter Mary, age 26 in a boarding house.  The census says that Mary can't read or write.  

David and Kate's Marriage License:

David stayed in St Louis the rest of his life and from the letters my grandmother had that he wrote to his brother Daniel, he was happy and content, enjoying his retirement and was even doing some side jobs to make extra money. He didn't say what the side jobs were. 
I continue to research David and his children, I haven't found what happened to Mary his daughter, his son David married a woman named Julia born 1887 VA, no maiden name found yet, they were married by the year 1900 and living with a John Cotton which says he's a cousin of Dave. Hummm another person to research. 

Source Citations: U.S Colored Troops, Military Services Records 1861-1865 ( data base on-line) Provo, UT, U.S.A Operations 2007.  Original data, Compiled Military Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Washington DC, National Archives & Records Administration. U.S National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 ( data on-line) Provo, UT, USA: Operations 2012.

Historical Society Washington County Virginia.

Find A Grave ( on-line)

Fold3 by 

National Archives.


  1. Interesting...I do hope you'll be able to find why he was listed under the surname "White" perhaps the name of a previous Slave Owner.

    1. You know Terrence, after you mentioned a former slave owner, I remembered my gr grandmother Rachel's last slave owners surname was White. It didn't ring a bell though until now, Rachel was David's mother, also it listed David's father William last slave owner as J.B.Dunn.. I'll have to investigate that.. Now it makes me wonder if he was using a former slave owner's name then where did they come up with the Edingburg name... The questions go on and on and on...LOL Thank you Terrence for the insight, I'm going to check that out.

  2. Very interesting post. I noticed in Donald Shaffer's book, After the Glory. The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans (2004) that many of the men had aliases, or changed their names during and after the war. The author cites several reasons (e.g., choosing one's own name, choosing wife's name, taking white father's name, escaping prosecution, etc.). Perhaps it wasn't so uncommon? Fascination story of your gr grandfather's travels to different places as well as using different names.

    1. M.Dawn, thank you, I'll have to check out that book, I'm happy to know there is a book about that.

  3. Great story, can't wait to see what you find out.

  4. Great Mystery. I have that same one. You just wonder? Continue on. Great Post!

    1. Thank you True Lewis. I'd be interested to hear about your mystery.

  5. Wow, you are on a role. Great story and you told it very well.

  6. What a mystery. I love how you're putting the pieces of the puzzle together...Sometimes we don't know all of the answers from the start. We learn them along the way :). Great job cuz.

    1. Thank you cousin, I love being a detective...LOL