William Herzkey Tombow
William Herzkey Tombow
My Family Tree, by Patrick Tombeau, PhD White Feather
White Feather

Samuel R. Tombo

Male 1839 - 1868  (29 years)


Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Samuel R. Tombo 
    Born 1839  E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 Jul 1868  Philadelphia, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I03718  Tombeau Family Tree
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2007 

    Father William Herzkey Tombow,   b. 6 Jul 1813, Lampeter, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1865, Sterling, Whiteside Co. IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Rohrer,   b. 13 Jul 1818, Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1853, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Married Abt 1838  Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1356  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Frances Alwilda Lake,   b. Abt 1842, Susquehanna County, Lenox Twp. (?), PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1890, Olyphant, PA (?) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 49 years) 
    Married 13 Dec 1863  Dandoff, Susquehanna Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. William Tambo Tombow,   b. 12 Apr 1866, Olyphant, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Dec 1929, Olyphant, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years)
    Family ID F1353  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Histories
    Samuel Tombo Civil War Documents
    Samuel Tombo Civil War Documents
    Contains contemporary newspaper articles, Civil War enlistment and pension documents, regimental histories, and drawings

  • Notes 

    • The Descendants of Samuel R. Tombo and Frances Alwilda Lake

      II-1 Samuel R. Tombo was the first of the nine children of William Tombow, Jr. and Elizabeth Rohrer of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was also the oldest grandson of his paternal grandparents, William Tombos and Mary Herzkey, the first of the Tombow Family in America. Samuel appears to be named after his maternal grandfather, Samuel Rohrer, as was the custom of the time. His mother was of fourth generation Alsatian stock. His father's father was a Dutch immigrant. Unlike the other members of his family, Samuel signs his name with out the final "w".

      The evidence that Samuel R. Tombo is the son of William Tombow, Jr. is found in three separate records: in the l852-55 Lancaster County Register of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, on the occasion of his youngest brother William's birth in l852. The second mention is found in the l865 proceedings in the Whiteside (IL) County Circuit Court as an heir to his father's estate (Letters of Administration). The third mention occurs in papers filed by David F. Kauffman in Whiteside County Circuit Court on 2 March l904 against the heirs of William Tombow, Jr., to obtain clear title to William's property who had died 39 years before without a will. (General No. l727, Whiteside County Circuit Court). The details of this case may be found in the section of this history narrating the events in the life of William Tombow, Jr.

      Samuel R. Tombo is the great-grandfather of this writer and the ancestor of those family members who spell their name in a French manner, as either Tambeau or Tombeau, a practice started by this writer's father, Leo Thomas Tambeau, despite the Dutch origins of the name.

      Most of what we know about Samuel R. Tombo comes from the public record. Very little oral tradition has come down in this family about him and our ancestry, unlike other branches. This appears to be due to the fact that Samuel died at the early age of 28-29 years, five years married, and when his only son and child, William, was but two years old. His widow subsequently remarried and moved away from Carbondale, which is in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, to Carbon County, with her new husband, Nicolas Johns. All of Samuel's brothers and sisters had moved with his father to Whiteside County, Illinois, a thousand miles away. All of Samuel's aunts, uncles and cousins lived in Lancaster County.

      The oral tradition passed down to this writer by his Aunt Pearl Tambeau was that the Tambeau Family had "relatives in Lancaster". The writer's Aunt Peg Tambeau, upon reading a reference to Smoketown, Pennsylvania, as the site of the Tombow Family homestead, stated that every summer her father, William Tambo, would visit there for a week. When she was asked if she ever head that her grandfather, Samuel, had been in the Civil War, she replied that she remembered being told this as a child. My Aunt Pearl also remembered towns near Carbon County, such as Hazleton and McAdoo where her father, as a child, must have lived as his step-father, Nicolas Johns, pursued coal mining as an engineer, an occupation that his step-son, William Tambo, would take up years later in Olyphant.

      Such, then, was the meager oral history of the origins of our family passed down to this writer. The writer's father, Leo Tambeau, when asked questions about the family, always jokingly responded that there were probably horse thieves in the family and it was best to leave well enough alone. Whether this remark was just a joke, or reflects another dimly remembered rumor in the family history is not known. But, as it so happens, my father's great uncle Jacob Tombow, out in Whiteside County, Illinois, was indeed a horse thief!

      Samuel R. Tombo was most likely born in l839 in Lancaster County, PA, from ages found in the Federal Censuses and his Civil War papers. He died in Philadelphia, PA, on 7 July l868 while undergoing surgery for the amputation of his leg.

      For a good part of his young adulthood, Samuel suffered hip and leg problems. It is not clear whether they were congenital or the result of injuries suffered in the Civil War, as is claimed in his pension papers. His burial place is unknown at this writing, although at the time of the birth of his son, William Tambo, in l866, he was living in Carbondale, near Scranton, Pennsylvania.

      Samuel married Frances Alwilda Lake on l3 December l863 in Dandoff, Susquehanna County (just north of Scranton), Pennsylvania, according to the widow's pension papers found in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Frances Alwilda Lake was the daughter of William and Catherine Lake. What is known about her family and origins will follow later.

      Samuel R. Tombo is found in three Federal Censuses. He apparently has a double entry for the l840 Federal Census of Lancaster County as he appears to be registered, perhaps on different dates, as living with his paternal grandparents and with his parents.

      The following entry is found on p. 386, dwelling #4, of the Federal Census for Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:

      Tambo, William, Senior:

      Male l (0-5 years
      Male l (50-60 years)
      Female l (l0-l5 years)
      Female l (l5-20 years)
      Female l (20-30 years)
      Female l (40-50 years)

      The second entry for Samuel for the l840 Census is recorded in Lampeter Township, p. 382, as follows:

      William Tombow, Jr.

      l male (0-5 years)
      l male (20-30 years)
      l female (20-30 years)

      In l840, Lampeter Township had a population of 3,284 people, (l840 Federal Census, Lancaster County, PA, p. 39l)

      In the l850 Census, Samuel Tombo again has a double entry as the result of being in different places on the days the Census was being taken.

      He is recorded in his grandfather's entry in E. Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, p. 202, dwelling #ll6, under the name of "Dombo", a Germanic corruption of "Tombo". This entry was taken on 28 August l850.

      Dombo, William, 6l years, farmer, real estate valued at $2,500.
      Dombo, Elizabeth, 54 years, born in Pennsylvania
      Dombo, Samuel, l4 (?) years, born in Pennsylvania, attends school
      Dombo, Mary, 8 years, born in Pennsylvania, attends school
      Wilson, Robert, 32 years, laborer, born in Pennsylvania
      Wilson, Catherine, 25 years, born in Pennsylvania

      Samuel is also found for a second time on another date, l0 September l850, living with the family of John Weaver, in E. Lampeter, dwelling #34l (p. 2l7, l850 Federal Census, Lancaster Co., PA):

      John Weaver, 3l years, farmer
      Mary Weaver, 7l years
      Anna Weaver, 33 years
      Maria Weaver, 28 years
      Jacob Weaver, 30 years
      Jacob Milk (?), age l6 years
      Samuel Tombo, age l0 years, attended school in the last year

      (In this entry Samuel's age is unambiguously l0 years old. In the previous entry, the writing is illegible, but looks like "l4", as the best guess. In this year Samuel would have been l0 going on 11 years.

      In the l850 Census, E. Lampeter township, newly formed from Lampeter Township, had a population of l,980 people. There were 34l dwellings housing 360 families. (1850 Federal Census, Lancaster Co. PA, p. 2l7)

      In the l860 Federal Census for Lancaster County, Samuel Tombo, is found living in W. Lampeter Township, dwelling #ll6, p. 805, with the Jacob Delp Family, as a farm hand, age 2l:

      Jacob Delp, age 42, farmer
      Harriet Delp, age 40
      Lusetta Delp, age l7
      Rachel Delp, age l4
      Meno Delp, age 7,
      Suzanna Delp, age 5
      Catherine Landis, age 50
      H Jacob Lamais, age l4
      Samuel Tombo, age 2l, farmhand

      Samuel does not appear in later Censuses as he died in l868.

      On l2 April l86l, at 4:30 in the morning, the Confederate Commander, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, ordered his men to fire on Ft. Sumter. Thus began the American Civil War, which lasted four years and which was to reek havoc not only in the United States but upon the microcosm of the Tombow Family.

      Seventeen days after Ft. Sumter, on 29 April l86l, Samuel R. Tombow enlisted as a private in Co. E of the l0th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers for a three month stint. This would be the first of his four enlistments. A few years after the Civil War he would die of ailments aggravated by his soldier days, leaving only one son to carry on the name.

      In Illinois, his brothers, Jacob and John, also enlisted while still in their early teens. John Tombow would die before the War ended of diseases contracted while in the army. Jacob Tombow would survive the war, but turn to a life of crime, serve time for stealing a horse, change his name to Jacob Miller, and though married twice, die childless.

      Samuel's cousins, Nathaniel Tombow, William Tombow, and John Tombow, Jr., sons of his Uncle John Tombow, would enlist in the Ohio Volunteers. Nathaniel would suffer a war injury but survive and marry to have sons. William was killed in action and was buried in Tennessee. John Tombow, Jr., also survived the War, but remained a childless bachelor. Another cousin, Calvin J. Groff, a son of Samuel's Aunt Lydia Tombow Groff, also entered the War and survived to raise a family. William J. Bowers, a son of Samuel's Aunt Sarah Tombow Bowers Weaver, also entered the war and survived to marry. And two cousins from the Smith side of the family, sons of his Aunt Mary Ann Tombow Smith, Henry and William Smith, also enlisted and survived the War.

      Ten men of the Tombow Family, six bearing the name of Tombow, served in the Civil War. Only two of the six men bearing the Tombow name, however, perpetuated the name. Thus in the third generation in this country the Tombow name nearly ceased to exist.

      References to Samuel Tombo's enlistment in the 10th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers are found in Ellis and Evans' History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, pp 90-9l, the name distorted by the transcriber to Samuel Tumlow. References to this enlistment are also found in the Lacaster County Daily Express newspaper 3 May l86l (as published in the Lancaster County Heritage Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 3, 3 July l985, pp. l22-23).

      This regiment, organized 29 April l86l, went to Camp Slifer, near Chamberlain, Pennsylvania, on l May. On 8 June it marched for Greencastle, PA, and joined Gen. Patterson's Army. On 2 July it crossed the Patomac and on 3 July reached Martinsburg, PA. It participated in demonstrations before the Confederate Army at Manassas, VA, and was then ordered to Charleston, S.C. On 23 July it went to Harper's Ferry, WV, and on 24 July to a point opposite Antietam Creek, MD, whence it marched to Hagerstown, MD, and then by rail to Harrisburg, PA., where on 3l July the men were mustered out of service. Samuel's military records indicate he was owed $2.00 for his enlistment when he mustered out.

      Nineteen days later, on l9 August l86l, Pvt. Samuel R Tomboor (according to regimental records which again distorted the name) enlisted in the 79th Regiment, Co. A., for three years. He was discharged on a physician's certificate as physically unfit for further service on l9 December l862.

      The Lancaster County Daily Express newspaper carries notice of this enlistment on 11 September l86l (as published in the Lancaster County Heritage Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 3, 3 July l985, pp. l22-23). His name is distorted to Samuel P. Tembo. Ellis and Evans' History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, pp. lll-l27, gives a history of this regiment and the names of its men and officers.

      At his second enlistment, Samuel was described as 2l years of age, five feet, seven inches tall, having a dark complexion, dark eyes, and dark hair, and by occupation a laborer.

      His military papers indicate that he was at Camp Andy Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, at the time of discharge and that the reason for discharge was the result of "chronic synovitis and atrophy of the muscles of the hip, which patient says existed before enlistment." He had been adjudged as unfit for duty for 60 days prior to his discharge.

      It was based on this admission of a medical condition existing prior to enlistment that he and his widow would be denied a pension in the years following the War.

      During his second enlistment in the 79th regiment, Samuel was detailed as a Brigade Teamster (horse driver) on 20 November l86l.

      He listed his mailing address upon discharge as Strassburg, Lancaster County, PA.

      Undaunted, several months after his discharge in December of l862, Samuel enlisted for the third time on 6 July l863 at Lancaster for six months duty in the 2lst Pennsylvania Cavalry, also known as the 182nd Regiment. This time the name came out as Samuel R. Trumbo. He had now advanced to the rank of corporal with this enlistment. His occupation is listed as that of farrier, or blacksmith. On the Company Muster Roll of 3l August l863 he was noted to be a Quartermaster Sergeant. On 8 November l863 he was reduced to the ranks for unspecified reasons. On l2 November l863 he was appointed horse farrier.

      On l8 January l864 he mustered out of Co. C, to join Co. I for a three year tour of duty. This was at Camp Cooke, near Scranton. Co. C of the l82nd had apparently been stationed near Scranton since about August of l863. It will be recalled that Samuel married Frances Alwilda Lake l3 December l863. Clearly a whirlwind romance must have occurred between the two, perhaps after meeting each other at a Soldiers' Ball. The Scranton papers of this period might provide further information about this period in the lives of our ancestors.

      Ellis and Evans' History of Lancaster County, pp. l60-62, details the history and men of the l82nd regiment. In this history, Samuel's name is recorded as Samuel R. Tambo.

      At his fourth enlistment, at Scranton, in Co. I of the l82nd Regiment, Samuel is given a bounty of $60.00 and a twenty day furlough, perhaps for a honeymoon with his newly wed wife. His enlistment papers also contain his signature as "Samuel R. Tombo".

      On 2l February l864 he is again restored to the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant. On the Company Muster Roll, dated 30 June l864, it is noted that Samuel has been sick in the hospital in Washington, D.C., since 23 May l864. On 9 July l864 he is given a disability discharge with the rank of quartermaster sergeant. He was discharged at Camp Stonemen, Washington, D.C., with a total disability due to chronic arthritis of the knee with which he suffered at the time of enlistment. He was deemed not entitled to a pension by the Chief of the Cavalry Division Department, Washington, D.C., according to Samuel's military papers.

      Upon discharge, Samuel's mailing address was noted to be Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

      On 2l June l865, Samuel appeared before a Court clerk in the city of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, to state his identity as the same Samuel R. Tombo, quartermaster sergeant, who enlisted l8 January l864 at Scranton in Co. I of the 2lst Regiment of Pennsylvania Cavalry Volunteers, commanded by Capt. McMillen, and discharged 9 July l864.

      He further stated that while he was in the service, he received in the line of duty "a severe wound upon his knee enlarging the knee joint and has resulted in reducing his leg and thigh to about one half its natural size, compelling him to use two crutches or canes constantly for walking when he walks at all, that it was caused by the fall of his horse upon him while on duty at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, about the l5th of February A.D. l864, that his occupation is a common laborer, that his residence is Carbondale, State of Pennsylvania."

      These statements were made as part of his application for a pension. His signature on this document appears as "Samuel R. Tombo". He brought as his witnesses, Henry C. Spencer and G. R. Crocker. In addition he brought an affidavit from Drs. R. Ottman and Charles Burr, surgeons, city of Carbondale, stating that Samuel had "an injury upon the knee joint resulting in an enlargement and partial anchylosis and that he was wholly disabled from obtaining subsistence by manual labor." The surgeon's affidavit goes on to state that the injury occurred on or about l5 February l864 at Chambersburg.

      It is not clear what action was taken on Samuel's pension from papers in the National Archives. There is no evidence that he was granted the pension and years later his widow's request for his pension was turned down on the grounds that Samuel had a disability by his own admission before entering the service.

      On l2 April l866 his one and only child, William, was born, according to the pension application filed by William's mother.

      A little over two years later, as noted previously, on 7 July l868 Samuel dies during an operation to amputate his leg in Philadelphia Hospital. It is not known why he was in this hospital for this operation. Perhaps because of the seriousness of the operation, he went to a specialist in a larger city than nearby Scranton.

      The life of our ancestor Samuel R. Tombo is a testimonial to one of the tragic aspects of the Civil War. Many died inglorious deaths, not from gun shot wounds, but diseases and injuries sustained during the War effort. Recruiting practices were "shady" at best in what was to be a short war in which Yankees were to beat the Rebel upstarts in three months. Samuel's first tour of duty was for only three months as were most tour of duties early in l86l, reflecting the North's ill-fated optimism about the strength of the Southern forces.

      But as time wore on, it was clear that the rural South was every bit a match for the industrial North, mainly because of the ineptitude of the northern generals and the bravery and tactics of the southern generals.

      And, as the conflict dragged on, months turning into years, and the horrors of war mounted in the daily press and the letters back home, the North could not rely on new fresh faces of recruits from the younger brothers of families, emulating their heroic older brothers.

      The bounties began to mount in size. While Samuel was paid only a $60 bounty in his February, l864, enlistment, his younger brother, Jacob Tombow, out in Illinois, in July of l864 was given a handsome bounty of $480.

      But other practices of recruiting were less savory. A philosophy of getting a recruit at all costs before forced conscription was ordered by President Lincoln became more and more corrupt. Orders were issued that doctors were to verify recruits were sober, free of disease, and of a proper age at enlistment. Such orders did little good as the case of Samuel Tombow and his younger brother Jacob Tombow proves. Jacob at his enlistment in l864 was only l5 years old. When he mustered out at the end of the War, he was only l6. His older brother, John Tombow, had enlisted long before he died at the age of l7 of illnesses contacted while in service.

      Samuel himself, through four enlistments was clearly suffering from a congenital disability involving his legs and hip joints. He should not have been allowed with these disabilities considering the life of a soldier which involved forced marches day and night, as the regimental histories adequately detail, and the endless parade drills in Camp when not marching, as the letters back home again and again complain of.

      Samuel might have survived into an honorable old age, like many of his siblings, if his own patriotism and ambitions, as the oldest child and son, to become an officer in the Army, had not dulled his recognition of one inescapable fact: that there would be a lot of marching before a comfortable job in the officers' quarters was his and that the endless marches would aggravate a chronic physical disability that led to his untimely death three years after discharge in a Philadelphia Hospital, his leg having become fatally gangrenous.

      And had the army followed its instructions not to recruit those with serious disabilities, his third and fourth enlistments could not have occurred after his discharge on a physician's certificate in December of l862.

      Samuel was ambitious and, being in his early twenties, felt immortal, as we all do at that age. The army had its needs. The combination was tragic.

      Samuel R. Tombo and Frances Alwilda Lake had one child: William Tambo