James Garfield

James Abram Garfield (1831 - 1881)

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President James Abram Garfield
Born in Orange, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Hiram, Portage, Ohio, USAmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Washington, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Mar 2011 | Last significant change: 6 Dec 2018
22:39: EditBot WikiTree edited the Biography for James Garfield. (Renaming category: Assassinated+FindAGrave Url to Template) [Thank EditBot for this]
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Categories: Namesakes US Counties | Freemasonry | Pentalpha Lodge No. 23, Washington, D. C. | Assassinations | Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio | Notables | US Presidents.

James Garfield is notable.
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The Presidential Seal.
James Garfield was the President of the United States.
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Preceded by
19h President
Rutherford B. Hayes

James Abram Garfield
20th President
of the United States
Presidential Seal
Succeeded by
21st President
Chester Arthur

Descendant of Pilgrim John Billington.



Family Ancestry

His parents were Ohio farmers. The oldest paternal ancestor in WikiTree is [1] Edward Garfield born about 1525 in Kilsby, Northamptonshire, England

Family Descendants

View all direct descendants here According to familypedia.com a great-grandson named Newell Garfield married Elizabeth Harrison a descendent of both Presidents William and Benjamin Harrison.

James A Garfield[2] was born on November 19, 1831, in Orange, Ohio. Garfield's father died in 1833, and James spent most of his youth working on a farm to care for his widowed mother. At the age of seventeen, Garfield took a job steering boats on the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Garfield received minimal schooling in Ohio's common schools. In 1849, he enrolled in the Geauga Seminary in Chester, Ohio. After briefly serving as a teacher, Garfield attended the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College) in Hiram, Ohio. He transferred to Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1858. He returned to Hiram College in that same year as a professor of ancient languages and literature. He also served as Hiram's president until the outbreak of the American Civil War. In 1859, Garfield began a political career, winning election to the Ohio Senate as a member of the Republican Party. During the Civil War, Garfield resigned his position at Hiram College and joined the Union Army. He began as lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry and fought in the Battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga. He resigned from the army on December 5, 1863, with the rank of major general.

Garfield resigned his commission because Ohio voters had elected him to the United States House of Representatives. He served nine consecutive terms in the House of Representatives before he was elected President of the United States in 1880. In Congress, Garfield was a supporter of the Radical Republicans. He opposed President Andrew Johnson's lenient policy toward the conquered Southern states and demanded the enfranchisement of African-American men. He was appointed by the Ohio legislature to the United States Senate in January 1880. He declined the office, because he was elected president a few months before he was to claim his seat in the Senate. Garfield served for only four months before he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau had sought a political office under Garfield's administration and was refused. Angered by his rejection, Guiteau shot Garfield while the president waited for a train in Washington, DC. Garfield lived for two more months, before dying on September 19, 1881.

While Garfield accomplished little as president, his death inspired the United States Congress and his successor, President Chester A. Arthur, to reform the public service system with the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883. Rather than having the victors in an election appoint unqualified supporters, friends, or family members to positions, the Civil Service was created to assure that at least some office holders were qualified for their positions.

Freemasons: James A. Garfield --November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881 March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881 Initiated on November 19, 1861 in Magnolia Lodge No. 20, Columbus, Ohio and raised on November 22, 1864 in Columbus Lodge No. 30. Joined Garrettsville Lodge No. 246, Garrettsville, Ohio in 1866 and was its Chaplain for the years 1868-69. Charter Member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 23, Washington, D.C."
From the Masons History book.
President James A. Garfield PRESIDENT

"James A. Garfield became a Master Mason in Columbus Lodge No. 30, Columbus, Ohio, November 11, 1864, the degree being conferred in that lodge as a courtesy to Magnolia Lodge No. 20 of the same city. He there- after, October 20, 1865 affiliated with Garretsville Lodge No. 246 of Garretsville, Ohio. He demitted from Garretsville Lodge to become, May 4, 1869 a charter member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 23, Washington, D. C. Although a number of Presidents of the United States, before, during or after they were President, visited, were associated with, or held honorary memberships in District of Columbia lodges, James A. Garfield has been the only President who was a regular member of a lodge in our grand jurisdiction. He received the Royal Arch Degree and the Ca- pitular work in Columbia Chapter [then No. 15 of Maryland, now No. 1 of the District of Columbia], and the Templar Degrees in Columbia Commandery No. 2, Washington, D. C., all in 1866. Later, in 1872, he received the Scottish Rite's Lodge of Perfection degrees, the 6th through the 13th Degrees being communicated to him in person by Grand Commander Albert Pike. Columbia Commandery was part of the Honor Guard at President Garfield's inauguration on March 4, 1881. He was therefore a member in a Symbolic Lodge, and in the Capitular, Templar and Scottish Rites in the District of Columbia. " from pages 66-68 "SESQUI-CENTENNIAL HISTORY"

Personal Details

Political party: Republican

  • Alma mater: Hiram College, Williams College
  • Profession: Lawyer, Teacher, Lay Preacher, Elder
  • Religion: Churches of Christ


Six U.S. states named counties in President Garfield's honor. They are: Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington.


  • Video tour of Lawnfield, Garfield's home in Mentor, Ohio [1]
  • Ohio State History [2]
  • Wikipedia President James A. Garfield [3]
  • Find a Grave Memorial #381, Find A Grave: Memorial #381
  • List of Presidents of the Freemansons [4]
  1. http://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Garfield-39/8 view paternal ancestors
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Garfield From Wikipedia

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with James by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with James:

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Images: 5
James A. Garfield 20th US President
James A. Garfield 20th US President

James Garfield Image 2
James Garfield Image 2

James A Garfield 20 Cents US Postage
James A Garfield 20 Cents US Postage

Grand Masters & Masons Dist Columbia
Grand Masters & Masons Dist Columbia

Grand Masters & Masons Dist Columbia
Grand Masters & Masons Dist Columbia

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On 31 Oct 2018 at 17:32 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Please add wikitreepresidents@googlegroups.com as a manager on this profile. Thank you.

On 21 Dec 2017 at 20:59 GMT Ray Jones wrote:

Sure - sounds good - this definitely is a relevant category. Is there another source for him being a freemason other than Wikipedia (i.e. i believe that our source guidelines encourage us to use an original source to support a fact about a person)?

On 21 Dec 2017 at 13:31 GMT Carole Taylor wrote:

may we add

Category: Freemasonry James A. Garfield November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881 March 4, 1881 – September 19, "1881 Initiated on November 19, 1861 in Magnolia Lodge No. 20, Columbus, Ohio and raised on November 22, 1864 in Columbus Lodge No. 30. Joined Garrettsville Lodge No. 246, Garrettsville, Ohio in 1866 and was its Chaplain for the years 1868-69. Charter Member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 23, Washington, D.C." source: wikipedai.com

On 15 Jun 2015 at 22:43 GMT Ray Jones wrote:

Hey sounds good. I just added you.

On 15 Jun 2015 at 22:32 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Please add wikitreepresidents@googlegroups.com to the trusted list for this profile

On 15 May 2015 at 01:14 GMT Ray Jones wrote:

Hey sounds good. Unfortunately, in my case anyway, I don't descend from his line. I am related to him through his mother's line.

On 15 May 2015 at 00:22 GMT Carleton Procter wrote:

For Pres. Garfield, (and all the Presidents for that matter), can we also put all the descendants down to the present day ?

Some of Garfield's descendants live near here in Townshend, Vermont. They moved up from Greenwich, CT with their Mother, "Tiz" (Elizabeth) Tough Schauffler Garfield in 1970, after their Father, Samuel Howe Garfield had died a few years earlier (1961) in a tragic car accident.

The kids I knew growing up were ; "Elsie" (Elizabeth), John (who lived out in Australia, died 1992), Sam (who went to Phillips-Exeter School in NH), and Robert, who now lives out in CA. He had earlier worked for Janos Optical in Townshend, VT and now works out in CA on the lenses of many NASA space telescopes.

Samuel Howe Garfield (born 2-17-1917), his Father was John Milan Garfield of Cleveland, Ohio. I'm not sure which Garfield descendant branch he descends from. Any help in figuring this out would be much appreciated.

James is 28 degrees from Rosa Parks, 23 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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