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Michael James Shanafelter
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Birth: Mar. 22, 1828
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: May 29, 1920
Perry County
Pennsylvania, USA

CIVIL WAR VETERAN ............

The son of Jacob & Catherine "Katie" (Dick) Shanafelter, he married Hannah [possible first marriage -Anna sounded like Hanna] and Anna Mary Dick 10 Aug 1863, in Maryland and fathered Catherine Philomena (b. 1856), Michael James (b. 09 Aug 1859), Frederick (b. 09 May 1861), Mary C. (b. 1864), and Isabella (b. 06/??/69 - married Daniel Kunkle). In 1860, he and his family lived with sixty-five-year-old Barbara Hinkle in Manchester District, Carroll County, Maryland. A laborer by trade, he stood 5' 8" tall and had black hair and gray eyes. He apparently moved to Pennsylvania shortly thereafter.

A Civil War veteran, he enlisted in Perry County, Pennsylvania, August 5, 1862, at the stated age of twenty-seven, mustered into federal service at Harrisburg August 11 as a private with Co. G, 133rd Pennsylvania Infantry, and honorably discharged with his company May 23, 1863. He also enlisted in Chambersburg February 23, 1864, at the stated age of twenty-nine mustered into federal service there February 25 as a private with Co. D, 187th Pennsylvania Infantry, and honorably discharged with his company August 3, 1865. His name is on the 187th Pennsylvania roster and he applied for a pension as "Shanafelser," just one of many spellings applied to his surname throughout his life, including "Shenafeltzer" on his death certificate.

After the war, he lived with his family in Madison Township, Perry County, but died in Jackson Township from "fibrinous consumption" at the supposed age of 92-2-7. It is doubtful that he was that old. According to every census from 1860 through 1900, he was born somewhere around 1834, which matches both of his stated enlistment ages. Clerical errors are unlikely because both enlistment ages are consistent with a ca. 1835 birth year. While lying about ages was commonplace, they did it for a purpose. Twenty-seven-year-old recruits had no reason to add six years to their ages, and it is not likely that Michael Shanafelter did. Only in the 1910 and 1920 censuses did he begin to "age" at a more rapid pace. That was a common event for Civil War veterans after the turn of the twentieth century after a change in the pension law permitted them to apply for increased pension benefits upon reaching defined age plateaus. Michael applied for his pension increase in 1907 and needed an 1828 birth year to make him sixty-five, the lowest of the age plateaus. [Bio thanks to Dennis Brandt] 
Note: Buried Section S1, Lot #130, "A", Grave #10
Restland Cemetery
Perry County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: S. G. Shanafelt
Originally Created by: giraffelove
Record added: May 30, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53016076
Michael James Shanafelter
Added by: giraffelove
Michael James Shanafelter
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ron
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- S. G. Shanafelt
 Added: Sep. 15, 2012

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