A Rough Rider in the Family

While I have more than my share of colorful relatives, it’s not often that I find one that has a connection some well-known historical group. Such is the case with Heye Albers who was in the First United States Cavalry in the Spanish-American War.

Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” were actually the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry. There is no indication on his records that this unit was the “Rough Riders.”  Little did I know until recently that I had a relative in this unit. The discovery that Albers’ unit was famous was made by performing a simple Google search for the unit.

Heye’s index card provided minimal information on his service.

General Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the War with Spain. Microfilm publication M871, 126 rolls. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s–1917, Record Group 94. Obtained on Ancestry.com 19 December 2012. 

There is a little more information on Heye’s service on the Application for Headstone or Marker (the actual card was located on Ancestry.com) which was completed by his widow. Apparently the information was validated given all the various marks on the application card as shown below.

U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 card for Heye L. Albers-obtained at Ancestry.com

There will be more information on Heye at the National Archives–his actual service record and perhaps a pension. I’m not certain how much more information on Heye I will actually obtain as he’s not that close of a relative. One does have to rein in how much one spends on researching the extended family. But it was interesting to find a family member with a connection to Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.

Heye L. Albers (1872-1947) is buried in Albuquerque, New Mexico (reference on FindaGrave). He (like me) is a descendant of Jurgen Ehmen Tonjes who died in Ostfriesland, Gemany, in 1850).


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