Those Amazing Timanuses

Part II

On this Veterans’ Day, I thought it appropriate to post this second part of the “Those Amazing Timanuses” series.

In my previous post, Part I of “Those Amazing Timanuses”, I concentrated on Fannie C. (Timanus) Pardee. Fannie was the youngest child of Jesse Timanus and Jane Carr Means. I will now be revealing what I was able to find out about John Means Timanus, the son and middle child of Jesse Timanus and Jane Carr Means.

John Means Timanus (1847-1932)

The life of John Means Timanus began as a mystery for me since I could not find the 1850 Census for this Timanus family, and in the 1860 Census, he was not with his mother and sisters in Iowa, although his military record indicated that he had lived in Davenport, Iowa.

There are far too many Ancestry and Fold3 records I found for John’s military service (1864-1869) to show here. What I will show you will give you an idea of what he went through.

John M. Timanus survived being a prisoner of war at the Andersonville prisoner of war camp in Georgia. Anyone that has done research on the Civil War knows about the atrocities that happened there, and for an 18-19 year old soldier, it must have been unfathomable to comprehend what he was going through and how he felt, just as the many other soldiers that were held there:

Image courtesy of Ancestry©

Here is John’s U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Form. You can see the list of dates of when he enlisted and re-enlisted and was discharged:

Image courtesy of Ancestry©

In 1868, John was brought before the Board of Officers in Tallahassee, FL by Special Order of the Headquarters of the 7th U.S. Infantry in St. Augustine, FL, where upon the board was to decide if Sgt. John M. Timanus was eligible for promotion to 2nd Lieutenant. Here is his statement to the Board:

Image courtesy of Fold3©

Transcription of the above record reads as:

“My name is John Means Timanus, a Sergeant, Company B., 7th Infantry. 21 years of age, unmarried, born in Cincinnati, Ohio. served as a private soldier in the 16th Iowa Vols. from Feb. 29, 1864 to March 1865, & from then as Sergeant Major, 135 U.S.C. Troops until November 1865.”

The Board then proceeded with the following:

Image courtesy of Fold3©

Essentially, this record indicates that John’s education and knowledge of certain subjects was being ascertained by the Board for his possible promotion.

Transcription of the above record reads as:

“The Board are of the opinion that Sergeant John M. Timanus, Co. B. 7th Infantry is not qualified for the position of second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.”

John did not get his promotion. So where did I go from here?

There seemed to be a rather large gap of time between John’s discharge from the Army in 1869 and his residency in the various U.S. Soldiers Homes.

I needed to go back to Jane C. Timanus, the children’s mother. That’s when I found a record that took me in a different direction (again, I cannot emphasize enough that anyone looking for records of an ancestor, whether they have a simple or unique surname, always use the “?” and the “*” in your searches if you run into problems finding someone…you stand a better chance of finding more records!)

I then found the marriage record of 23 May, 1865 for Jane C. Timanns and a Rufus Linderman:

Image courtesy of Ancestry©

With this information, I was able to track down the Timanus family in 1870, now known as the Linderman family:

Image courtesy of Ancestry©

It appears everybody is accounted for…Sara(h) is there, says born in Ohio, and John, also born in Ohio, and for some odd reason, Fannie is listed with the Timanus surname, also born in Ohio. The other Linderman children are the children of Rufus Linderman from his previous marriage.

By 1878, Jane C. Linderman was back to her previous married name of Timanus, living in Chicago, Ill.:

Image courtesy of Ancestry© – Chicago, Ill. City Directory of 1878

I found Rufus Linderman living in Leadville, Colorado in 1880. He later went back to Iowa and became a noted judge. I am not sure of the reasons for why Jane and Rufus went their separate ways.

At this point, I lost sight of John, and did not pick up his trail again until 1904, when he was transferred between 3 different National Soldiers’ Homes in Tennessee, Virginia and Ohio, all in that same year. In 1910, he is back at the National Soldiers’ Home in Tennessee.

I then found a newspaper article for Tues., 22 April, 1919 in the Dayton Daily News:

Image courtesy of Newspapers©

In 1920 Census, I found John in the National Soldiers Home in Montgomery Co., Ohio.

He eventually made his permanent home at the U.S. National Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C.

On the 20th of Feb., 1932, John M. Timanus passed away and was buried in the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmens’ Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

The 135th U. S. Colored Troops Grand Review

May 23-24, 1865 – The 135th United States Colored Troop Regiment, marched with General William T. Sherman’s Army, in the Grand Review at Washington DC, on May 24th, 1865. They tell the story in their pension records that they not only marched in the Grand review but marched past the President of the United States under their own Regimental Flag ( you can see from left to right, General Ulysses S. Grant leaning forward in the front row of the grandstand, after which is Sec. of War Edwin Stanton behind General Grant facing President Andrew Johnson, then Sec. of the Navy Gideon Welles, unidentified person, General William Sherman, Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, unidentified person and General George Meade). Sgt. Major John M. Timanus was more than likely present at and participated in this historic event.

Image courtesy of


Try the “?” and “*” wildcards in your next search.

Always try to think outside the box when researching. Using different research methods sometimes can reward your efforts in ways you can’t imagine.

So go and find your amazing families…they are out there, you just have to dig a little deeper sometimes.

Brian S. Miller


Historical Society of Baltimore County – Jim Long
Howard County Historical Society – Shawn Gladden
Hamilton County, Ohio Genealogical Society
Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Find-a-Grave Timanus Contributors
The U.S. National Archives
The Civil War Archive
The National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Database

The featured image at the top is a flag of the 135th U.S.C.T. – courtesy of

Special Thanks to:
Cheryl, my wife, my proofreader and the love of my life

To all the veterans that have served past and present, we say…

Thank You!

2 thoughts on “Those Amazing Timanuses

  1. It appears to me that when the enumerator began writing on a new page he had to begin with the surname instead of ditto marks. It is often annoying to have a family on the bottom and top of a page but in this case, it was fortunate. Nice Veterans’ Day post, Brian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cathy! It was kismit that I was going to be posting this on Veteran’s Day. John Timanus was truly one of those rare finds! Just wait until you read about his older sister.

      Liked by 1 person

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