Posts Tagged ‘Pension file’

The Revolutionary War File of Peter Owen

March 4, 2017

Here’s another paper file that I’ve had for close to 20 years. It is 34 pages. Thirty-four! You’d think there would be something of genealogical value for me, but alas. There is not.

My father has an ancestor named Josiah Owen(s). Josiah had a brother named Staples, who is in no way affiliated with the store nor the Swingline company. They settled in the vicinity of Henry and Weakley counties in Tennessee.

They were from Virginia, and so when I found that this Peter Owen was from Virginia and settled in Henry County, Tennessee, I figure that there might be a relation. Nope. I got nuthin’. At least, if they are related, I don’t know where the connection is.

Almost 90 years ago, someone else was looking for a connection to Peter Owen. A Miss Nelle Kell (really, that’s her name) from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, wrote to the U.S. Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, D.C., looking for information on Peter Owen, John Kell, Joe Luke, and Robert Little.  Her letter, and the reply, is located here.

There are some random papers that seem out of order, and perhaps there are bits of the original file that are missing. I present the file to you in the order that I received it, all stapled (no relation) together.

Remember to trot on over to the to see transcriptions of this and other files.


Good-night, Peter Owen. We’re thinking of you.


The Pension File of Daniel Carter Webb

September 1, 2016

Daniel Carter Webb was married twice. His first wife was Rhoda Webb who died March 13, 1911. Daniel then married the widow of W.P. White, one Phoebe Ann White.

Daniel enrolled on the 26th day of July, 1864, in Company C, 3rd Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry as a Private. He applied for an invalid pension on August 15, 1890. The act of June 27, 1890, provided for the application of invalid soldiers. He was another broken man from the war, suffering from “phthisic, side pleurisy, and disease of respiratory organs.”

As a side note, I’ve been without DSL for about 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this horrible situation happened. Last night I was able to get the new system hooked up and running, and I find that I can’t scan to a PDF any more unless I pay a yearly fee for PDF services. Y’all, I’ll just have to muddle along without it. Stay tuned.

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The Pension File Of John Webb and Martha Belle Duggan Webb

August 31, 2016

John Webb married a younger woman. She wasn’t even born when he left the service of the B Company, 2nd Regiment of the Tennessee Vols Cavalry in 1865. They had several children. One appears to have been born before they were married, so I’m not clear if this child was born to another woman. At any rate, the mother of that child is not named.

The PDF file will follow this transcription of some of the more interesting parts of the file. Please do open the PDF and read it all, if you know how to read cursive.

ACT OF JUNE 27, 1890.



To be executed before a Court of Record or some officer thereof having custody of its seal.

On this 8th day of July, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety, personally appeared before me, Clerk of the County Court, a court of record within and for the County and State aforesaid, John Webb, aged 45 years, a resident of the County of Blount, State of Tennessee, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical John Webb, who was ENROLLED on the 15th day of August, 1862, in Company B, 2d Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry Vols as a Private in the war of the rebellion and served at least ninety days, and was HONORABLY DISCARGED (sic) at Nashville Tennessee, on the 6th day of July, 1865. That he is wholly unable to earn a support by reason of deafness of both ears and broken thigh (left thigh) and injury to small of his back. That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits, and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent. That he has formerly applied for pension under application No. 733,733. That he makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States, under the provisions of the Act of June 27, 1890.

He hereby appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation, W.C. CHUMLEA, OF MARYILLE, TENN.

his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. That his post-office address is Uceba, County of

Blount State of Tenn.

It is agreed that the attorney’s fee be Ten Dollars  as prescribed by law under this Act.

John (X his mark) Webb


(Two witnesses who write sign here.)

  1. M. Webb
  2. Samuel Cameron



So. Division

Department of the Interior,


Washington, D. C., Aug. 27, 1897

No. 854786

John Webb

Co. B, 2 Reg’t Tenn. Vol. Cav.


Will you kindly answer, at your earliest convenience, the questions enumerated below? The information is requested for future use, and it may be of great value to your family.

Very respectfully,

J. L. Davenport

Actg Commissioner

Mr. John Webb, Uceba, Tenn.

No. 1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife’s full name, and her maiden name.

Answer: Marth Belle Duggan Webb

No 2. When, where, and by whom were you married? Answer: April 9 – 1894 at Marville, S. M. Morton

No. 3. What record of marriage exists? Answer: at Marville, Tenn.

No. 4. Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and pace of her death or divorce. Answer: No.

No. 5 Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth. Answer:

Nancy Henry Etta Webb. Sept. 11 – 1892

Mitchell Dillard Webb. May 4 – 1895

George Francis Webb. Nov. 29 – 1896

Date of reply, Sept – 5, 1897.

John Webb





State of Tenn, County of Knox, ss:

IN THE MATTER OF Martha N. Webb wid John Webb, 2 Reg. Tenn Cavalry Vol

ON THIS 9 day of December A. D. 1918 personally appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid County, duly authorized to administer oaths, Leah E. Day aged 57 years, a resident of Knoxville in the County of Knox and State of Tenn

well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows:

I will say that I am a sister to Martha B. Webb. I have been personal associated with her all my life and I know from personal knowledge that they lived together as husband and wife to his deth and neither of them was divorced. who died April 7 1898 I was present and atten his funer She then married Patrick Johnson August 21, 1904 and was divorced from him March 12, 1918. he proved to be such a wicked & drunkard he would not only abuse her but he would fight her. She was afraid to live with him he would threaten her life. he would not provide anything for the support of the family. he was a man that would run after lude women. he proposed to her to get the divorce – but she did not have the money so he said he would get it himself.

Her Post-Office address is 1407 Morres St. Knoxville Tenn

FURTHER DECLARES that no interest in said case and not concerned in its prosecution.

Leah (X her mark) E. Day

Signature of Affiant

  1. Wily Lyons
  2. Mattie Webb





State of Tenn, County of Knox, ss:

IN THE MATTER OF Martha B. Webb wid John Webb, 2 Reg Tenn Cav Vol

ON THIS 9 day of December A. D. 1918, personally appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid County duly authorized to administer oaths, Martha B. Webb aged 51 years, a resident of Knoxville in the County of Knox and State of Tenn.

well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, neing duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows:

will say that I am the Claimant in this case – and will say my first husband John Webb and I got along peaceabley and happy during his lifetime and after his death I married Patrick Johnson August 21 1904 and was divorced from him March 12 1918 he was an awful wicked man he drank and cursed me – and he threatented diferent times to kill me – he would not provide for the family. We could not get along together So he proposed to me for me to get the divorce I told him I did not hav the money – he said he would get it – So I was afraid to live with him and I left him for feare he would kille me So he went a head and got the divorce.

Her Post-Office is 2138 Erine Av Knoxville Tenn

Marth B. Webb

Signature of Affiant

WebbJohn & WebbMartha – Pension & Widow’s Pension File

Wouldn’t want to be related to Patrick Johnson…

Moses and Isabella Graham’s Pension File

May 28, 2016

Poor Isabella Graham. Her husband died of smallpox in 1866 while serving in the United States Colored Troops. She was left with 4 young children: Amelia, William, Richmond, and Lavinia. She attempted to get a widow’s pension, but it took years. YEARS.

She was formerly owned, before Freedom, by Alexander James Lawton of Blackswamp, South Carolina. She was married in 1854 to Moses Graham, a slave on a neighboring plantation, by Preacher Jack Lawton, alias John Taylor, who was also owned by Alexander J. Lawton.

Another woman, named Ellen Corsee, also attempted to get a widow’s pension by claiming that SHE was the widow of Moses Graham.  While it sounds like a ridiculous claim, it turns out that witnesses stated that she was what was known as a camp mistress, and that she cohabited with Moses Graham while he was stationed in Beaufort, and that she had previously cohabited with Moses before he entered the service. She knew he had a wife and children, as well as HE knew, but that didn’t stop them from cohabiting. She retained an attorney, a certain James D. Bell, living in Beaufort but from New Hampshire, to pursue her claim of widowhood and pension.

Isabella finally obtained her pension. Alexander James Lawton had continued to write letters to Ellen’s attorney to have her claim proven fraudulent, and to testify of Isabella’s good character and to verify the names and birth dates of the children, and to affirm that she was a poor widow who was entitled to her pension BY LAW. Among other things, Alexander J. Lawton was an attorney, and he knew the law and how to write an effective letter, but it still took years, because the wheels of government grind slowly, then as now.

How do we know these things? From a blessed pension file that took one week to receive, electronically, from the time I ordered it online. Fortunately, it didn’t take as long for me to receive the pension file as it took for poor Isabella to qualify for her widow’s pension.

Near the end of the file, Alexander James Lawton refers to his former slave, Isabella Graham, as his friend.

Here’s the link:


The Pension File: Waiting on Moses and Isabella

May 22, 2016

I last posted about the pension file of Nelson Brown. If you will scroll all the way to the bottom of that post, there is a link. When you click on that link, you should be transported to a pdf about Nelson and his wife Bella. 

Sugar, not to be outdone in the former-slave-and-USCT category, produced his Uncle Edward’s book “A Saga of the South”. 

His Uncle Edward quotes a paper by Inabinett. Sugar actually has this paper that he obtained from the Caroliniana Library. We don’t have permission to reproduce any of that paper here, which is a good thing because he has misfiled the paper, which is a nice way of saying it is somewhere in his wannabe filing system. 

The page above states that “Daddy Jack” is a former slave of Alexander James Lawton, and Daddy Jack Taylor was a preacher who performed the marriage service for Isabella, a slave of Alexander James Lawton, and Moses Graham, a slave on a neighboring plantation. 

Alexander James Lawton also assisted in a federal pension application for Isabella. Moses was killed in the service. 

The regiment he served in? The 128th. The same as Nelson Brown. 

And as a bonus…

The Freedmen’s Bank Records. 

A close-up for the account of Amelia Graham follows. 

I’ll be back in 42-120 days with the pension record. 

The Pension File: Meet Nelson Brown

May 19, 2016

We haven’t talked about Nelson Brown, have we?

We HAVE talked about Nelson’s wife, Bella Brown, whom is believed to have given birth to Winnie Joe Brown by a white man, precisely unknown. In 1880, Bella Brown was enumerated on the census next to a Lawton family. There’s no man in Bella’s house, but there are several children, one being named Joseph.

I came across a record index for pensions. There’s Bella Brown, and she’s listed with Nelson Brown. This was my first true link that Bella’s husband was named Nelson. There is no census for 1890, and I can’t find him on the 1870 or the 1900 census. The only census-type record I can find for Nelson Brown is the 1890 Veteran’s Schedule, and he is recorded as having served in the 128th Regiment of the USCT.

I haven’t ordered a census file in perhaps 18 years. Ouch, the price has gone up. But I couldn’t stand it. I needed to know more about Nelson Brown. I chose to have the file delivered electronically, because I don’t want more paper. Plus I’d scan the paper and then load it to the blog, which is a few steps too many for me.

My grandmother received a monthly pension, which makes me think that I should look for a pension file for my grandfather. But first: Nelson Brown.

This file was chock-full of surprises and details. During slavery times, Nelson Brown was owned by Joseph Maner Lawton, which is not the same one that I mentioned in a recent post, but rather an ancestor. Bella Brown was owned by William McBride. Her maiden name was Duncan, and Nelson Brown also went by Nelson Lawton. If you are a black person looking to break through the 1870 brick wall, a pension file might just be your way to go.

There are over 100 images in this file. I’d say I got my money’s worth.