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The applicants were among the children whose father died in the war and whose mother died shortly after the war ended. Witnesses had grown up with the enslaved couple on adjoining plantations in Northampton County, North Carolina. They described how the couple was allowed to marry and ultimately had eight children. They also named Jacob’s enslaver, his parents, and his parents’ enslaver. They also identified Sarah and her enslaver Before enlistment, the 42-year-old husband and father worked as a hog feeder.

Minor — 393,113 / 292,364, Annie Lockhart etal

General Affidavit, Isaac Lockhart Gee, 28 May 1889
60 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, NC
“That in the year 1846 Jacob Lockhart … was a slave, the property of Wm. Lockhart’s widw … and that Sarah Ellis was at the same time a slave, the property of D.L. Ellis … [Gee] heard the said Jacob Lockhart ask for and obtain the consent of D.L. Ellis that he should take the said Sarah Ellis as his wife.”

General Affidavit, London Ellis, 28 May 1889
61 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, NC
“That in the year 1846 … this affiant was a slave belonging to D.L. Ellis … Sarah Ellis was … a slave belonging to D.L. Ellis … affiant was personally present when Jacob Lockhart asked for and obtained the consent of said D.L. Ellis to his marriage with said Sarah Ellis”

General Affidavit, L.J. Norwood, 15 June 1889
60 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“That he was born and had all his life lived in Northampton Co., NC That he knew said Jacob Lockhart and his wife Sarah Ellis before and after their marriage, that before their union, they were both virtuous people … marriage was about the year 1847.”

General Affidavit, William Bradley, 15 June 1889
“That he has lived in Northampton Co., NC for the last 60 years of his life”

General Affidavit, London Ellis, 16 July 1889
60 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“Has lived in Northampton County, NC all his life, that he was born a slave to D.L. Ellis until the end of the war was 1861-65 … Jacob Lockhart and Sarah Ellis (who lived on the same plantation, belonged to the same master, and whom this affiant knew all his life also) were allowed to marry.”

General Affidavit, Wm. Bradley, 16 July 1889
73 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“That he was a slave belonging to W.H. Gray who was a neighbor of D.L. Ellis, that he married a girl belonging to D.L. Ellis”

General Affidavit, London Ellis and William Bradley, 16 September 1889
[Ellis] 60 years
[Bradley] 73 years
post-office address, Garysburg, NC
“They were well acquainted with said Jacob and Sarah Lockhart … that no physician attended at the births of any of them, as in slavery times it was always customary to have only an old ‘granny’ woman in attendance, that they believe such midwife or midwives are long since dead.”

General Affidavit, London Ellis, 9 December 1889
60 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, NC
“That he knew Jacob Lockhart and his wife Sarah Ellis, before and after their marriage, that he lived in the same place with said Sarah … that he was present at the births of all their children, and helped in attending to their mother.”

Deposition, Annie Lockhart, 20 April 1891
about 30 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“I understand I was born in June 1862 … I am the daughter of Jacob & Sarah Lockhart. They are both dead. Jacob, my father died in US Army & my mother Sarah Lockhart died here at this place since the war, the year I cannot give.”
“My father was a slave of Joseph Lockhart & my mother was a slave of Daniel Ellis near this place. Both of them are dead.
“I ask a pension as the minor child of my father who was in the army. My brothers & sisters are:
Penny is the oldest,
Cornelius,
Samuel, he’s at Franklin, Va.,
Jacob, somewhere in Halifax Co., NC. Sam knows.
Nellie,
Nancy,
Bettie – Sam knows where she is, I don’t —
Annie – that’s me
I don’t know the ages of any of them. I was too young to know anything of my parents.
My father’s father was named Jacob.
My father’s mother was named Milley.
They are both dead, died near here. My father had no sisters or brothers.
I never heard of Mary Lockhart, do not know any such person. I never knew Henry Wilson & Moses Lester.”

Deposition, Cornelius Lockhart, 21 April 1891
43 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., Va.
“I am the son of Jacob & Sarah Lockhart. They are both dead. My mother died the 2nd year after the war. My father Jacob Lockhart was in the 1st US Col Cavly & died there…. My father’s father was Jacob Road [sp?].
“Penny was my oldest sister born some time before I was. I was born Sept 15th 1849; Samuel is not 12 months older than I am. He was born Aug 10th 1850; Nellie was born Nov 6th, 1854; Jacob came before her, he was born July 20th, 1852; Nancy – Oct 10th 1856; Bettie – Apl 20th 1858; Annie, June 10th, 1862. These ages I got from the older colored persons, they will be here, we have no better way of getting them. There is no record & I don’t know any white people who can tell you about our ages as all are dead who knew.”

Deposition, Nancy Lockhart, 21 April 1891
35 or 36 years old; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., Va.
“I am the daughter of Jacob & Sarah Lockhart. Both are dead.
“My grandparents on my father’s side are Jacob & Milly Lockhart. They were slaves of Col. Wm. Lockhart, near this village. All of them are dead.
“There were eight children born to my father Jacob Lockhart by my mother Sarah.
Penny — the oldest
Cornelius,
Samuel, P.O. Franklin, Va.,
Jacob, Sam knows. I don’ t know his P.O.
Nelly,
Nancy – that’s me
Betty, Sam knows her post office
Annie
I don’t know the ages of any of them.
My father had no brothers or sisters. I do not know Mary Lockhart, or Polly, or John Lockhart, never heard of them before. “

Deposition, Penny Lockhart, 21 April 1891
45 years old … “that’s what I was always told was about my age”; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“I am the oldest child… I am about two years older than Cornelius & there is about that time between each of us — two years.”

Deposition, Nellie Lockhart, 21 April 1891
“I am about 37 or 38 years of age”; residence, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“I never heard of Mary Lockhart or Henry Wilson or Moses Lester.
My father & mother had 8 children. … I do not know their ages, or the years any of us were born. All were born here in at Garysburg, NC.”

Deposition, Lewis J. Norwood, 22 April 1891
63 years old; occupation, carpenter & preacher; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“I remember Jacob Lockhart, a slave of Col. Wm. Lockhart. I also knew his wife, Sarah Ellis, she was a slave of Daniel Ellis, knew them from boyhood up…. I remember Jacob & Sarah Lockhart had eight children of which Penny is the oldest. I remember perfectly the day [they] became man & wife with the consent of their owners. That was in the year 1847 I am sure. I was married in 1849 & I know it was 1847 in that way, two years before I got a wife. Jacob was a little older than I was. I think they had been man and wife about a year when their first child came. Her name was Penny. Then they had a boy two years after Penny named Cornelius. There is about two years between them all except Cornelius & Sam and there was hardly a year between them……The parents of Jacob Lockhart were Jacob Rhodes & Milly Lockhart. I never knew Polly Lockhart or John Lockhart or Mary Lockhart. “

Deposition, William Bradley, 22 April 1891
76 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton, NC
“I was a slave of Mr. Wm. Gray, his farm was adjoining farm to Daniel Ellis near Garysburg, NC. I knew Sarah Ellis very well. She was a slave of Daniel Ellis & I had a wife also a slave of Daniel Ellis. So when I went to see my wife I saw Sarah Ellis. … I think it was at least 15 yeas before the war Sarah Ellis became the wife of Jacob Lockhart with the consent of her owner … They had eight children, Penny, Cornelius, Sam, Jacob, Nelly, Nancy, Betty, Annie. these were all they and & they came in the order I have given you. I do not know where they were born … [Jacob Lockhart’s] parents belonged to Col. William Lockhart. All are now dead. … Jacob Lockhart was some 42 years old when he left home for the war…. I cannot write my name.”

Deposition, London Ellis, 23 April 1891
60 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“I was a slave of Mr. Daniel Ellis who is now dead… Jacob [Lockhart] belonged to Joseph Lockhart I was right there & heard Jacob Lockhart ask Mr. Ellis to give Sarah Ellis to him for his wife & Mr. Ellis told him all right … they became man & wife in that way just as slaves were married in that day … I can’t read or write”

Deposition, Henry E. Pate, 23 April 1891
61 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Garysburg, Northampton Co., NC
“I remember Jacob Lockhart very well, born & raised 3/4 of a mile from my house… [He named Jacob’s enslaver, his parents, and his parents’ enslaver. He also identified Sarah and her enslaver– Leslie]
“I knew all of the Lockhart slaves… [Jacob Lockhart] had no brothers or sisters…. I was my father’s car driver & I was with Jacob Lockhart a great deal as he was the hog feeder… Jacob Lockhart I heard died in the army… Jacob Lockhart was some five years younger or more old than I was. My father at one time was the overseer for Col. Wm. Lockhart.”


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The applicant was the couple’s adult daughter. The midwife who delivered her testified that the applicant’s parents had been enslaved in Chowan County, North Carolina where they had a “slave marriage.”


Minor — 411,416 / 331,910, Harriet Allen

General Affidavit, Nathaniel Davis, 30 January 1890
52 years old; “citizen, Town of Norfolk … 257 Green [or is it Queen Street? — Leslie] St., Norfolk Co., Va.
“That he knew Willis Nixon from his return from army … was present at the time of his death which occurred in August 1868 … knows these facts from having lived in his house at time and having raised applicant from childhood. Mariah Davis age 53 living 257 Green [as above …Leslie] testifies to same facts as Nathaniel Davis. Penny Nixon the wife of Willis Nixon died in August 1883. She died in Mariah Davis’ house in Portsmouth, Va.”

General Affidavit, Richard Thompson, 14 Feburary 1890
34 years old; “citizen, Town of Norfolk … 283 [or is it 288? 238? — Leslie] Cumberland St. … “That he knew Willis Nixon from the time of his return from Army … Affiant waited on him during his sickness and was present at his death and attended his funeral. Also knows Harriet Allen daughter of soldier … his only child … Dr. Jassle attended him but is now dead. Emma Jane Ferebee, 32 years of age, living Springfield, Norfolk Co., Va. testifies to same, their knowledge is derived from having known the family well….”

Physician’s Affidavit, Harriet Allen, 15 February 1890
“citizen, Town of Norfolk, No. 19 Fifth St. … That she is unable to give the testimony of Doctors as there was none in attendance that she knows of, none who attended her father or mother, that she was young at the time and is entirely dept on the testimony of his comrades & friends…”

General Affidavit, Matilda Chambers, 15 February 1890
52 years old; “citizen, Town of Norfolk … Chapel Lane No. 21 … [that she knew] Harriet Allen from time of birth, that she was present when she was born and waited on mother in her confinement … January 1859 was the month and year … [the applicant’s mother and father] belonged to John Thompson in 1858 and were married on his farm in Chowan Co., NC. Know fact from having been present at time when married. Penny Nixon had two other children which were younger. They died in 1865, the same year and only one month after heir mother…”

General Affidavit, Mariah Davis, 30 January 1890
53 years old; “citizen, Town of Norfolk … 257 Queen St. … That she knew Penny & Willis Nixon, knew they were married, was present at time June 1858, cannot give exact date, that they had three children: Harriett, Willliam, and Henrietta
Harriet was born January 1861 living
Willliam ” ” ” August 1863 dead
Henrietta ” ” ” October 1864 dead
My knowledge of facts are derived from being present at time of birth but am unable to give a more accurate statement but know the month and year …”

General Affidavit, Ellen Johnson, 26 February 1890
45 years old; “citizen, Town of Norfolk … 158 Brewer St. … That she knew Willis Nixon, that he died close to my residence, that she visited him in last sickness, that he had been afflicted with what I supposed to be consumption … wasting away for years before death until he was a mere skeleton …”

General Affidavit, Thornton Johnson, 26 February 1890
52 years old; “citizen, Town of Norfolk … 158 Brewer St. … That he knew Willis Nixon, that he visited him frequently during his last illness … that he died on August 1872 I think I know that I attended his funeral and present when he died …”

General Affidavit, Edward Bray and America Hall, 5 March 1890
[Bray] 42 years old; residence, Princess Anne Rd., Norfolk Co., Va.
[Hall] 45 years old; 56 North Street, Norfolk, Va.
Norfolk County, Va. “That they knew Willis Nixon that they knew him from time of his return from Army until his death … finally died at Currituck Co., NC on or about 1869 … attended his funeral and assisted in burrying him. Also know Harriet Allen and know she is the only child of Willis Nixon, this knowledge is derived from long acquaintance and being intmate with the family until the present time.”

General Affidavit, Harriet Allen, 2 July 1890
29 years old; “Her father Willis Nixon died in 1868 August 3rd … her statements were made from what was told her by her uncle Nathaniel Davis that he had miscalucated the time and made it 1868 instead of 1869, that she was quite young and could not give dates from her own knowledge and was entirely dependent on others’ statements, that what she can learn from Maria Davis‘s statement was correct she being present when applicant was born and asserts that it was on the first month of 1861, the year the soldiers from her section entered in war of the rebellion, and this is what fastens the correct time of her memory. Claimant prays that the correct dates of August 3rd 1869 and the date of birth January 1861 be accepted as amendatory to her original statements in Declaration and that such corrections be accepted in proof of her claim.”

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**The thirty or so witnesses provided “time and place” details about themselves and for many others known to them. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated October 1917-1921. Last week’s post included research notes for documents dated 1890-July 1917.

The Colding family from Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia applied for and received pension benefits for about thirty years. The soldier’s pension index card (not shown here) stated that he applied for benefits as an Invalid in 1890, his minor children received financial support, and his widow received a pension until her death in 1921.

Invalid — 765,634 / 598,507
Widow — 563,334 / 832,979, Burry Colding
Minor — 754,537 / 617,871
, Burry Colding, Gdn.

Deposition, Willie Colden, 9 October 1917
52 years old; occupation, huckster; post-office address, 330 Main St., Suffolk, Va.
“I was born here and have resided here ever since.
“Charles Colding was my father. He was a Civil War pensioner. My mother was Mary Colden. She died about 1884.
“Father then got married to Burry Kelly. They lived together before their marriage and had two children. Father died in October 1892 but I forget the day of the month.
“I have resided within two or three blocks of her, this claimant, ever since father ndied.
“She had a beaux named James Peoples about 8 years ago but he is dead.”

Deposition, Luther Colden, 9 October 1917
45 years old; occupation, barber; post-office address, 719 Washington St., Suffolk, Va.
“I was born here in Suffolk and have resided here ever since. Charles Colden was my father. … He died about 1892. My mother Mary Colden died about 1884…. I have resided here in town ever since father died and have seen her every some every year.

Deposition, Robert H. Crump, 10 October 1917
54 years old; occupation, carpenter; post-office address, 212 Church St., Suffolk, Va.
“I have resided in Suffolk between 28 and 29 years last past. I have for a wife Zusie Colden. She was a daughter of Charles Colden by his wife Mary according to my understanding.
“I was acquainted with Charles Colden in his lifetime.
“This claimant lived next door for me for four or five years while she was a chamber maid on a boat and has lived within two or three blocks of me ever since her husband died…. She works some at my house and visits my wife and my wife visits her.”

Deposition, Mary Bryant, 10 October 1917
40 years old; occupation; housekeeper; post-office address, 204 Pine Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I am the wife of George E. Bryant who by occupation is a barber. I was born in this town and have resided here ever since.
“I have known Burry Colding from my earliest recollection.
“I knew her husband Charles Colding and remember about the occasion of his death.
“I have resided within three or four blocks of this claimant since her husband’s death.”

Deposition, Zusie Crump, 10 October 1917
“42 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 212 Church St., Suffolk, Va.
“I am the wife of R.H. Crump, Jr. who by occupation is a carpenter.”

Deposition, Joseph Johnson, 10 October 1917
60 years old; occupation, painter; post-office address, 100 Mahan Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I have been rooming at the place where I now stay for 18 years. The Hales run the place until Burry Colding moved there. When the Hales were there I paid $1 and $2 for month rent… There are six rooms in the house.
“Her son Willie made his home there up to five or six months ago. he is now away at work. …”
“I occupy a room upstairs, the room I had before Burry came through. Burry had a room upstairs awhile, the front room. I had the back room. There is a hall room and upstairs also. There is no communicating room between the front and back rooms. A person would have to come out in the hall to get from one room to the other. A person would have to come out in the hall to get from one room to the other. I take no meals with Burry. I am never there — only nights and mornings. I spend my spare time at the barber shop and where I take my meals at Sarah Williams house. … I rent the room and and furnish it just as I did before she came here. She does not even sweep my room or clean it up. I carry the key to my room and she has nothing to do with it.”

Deposition, Kate Kelly, 10 October 1917
50 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 107 Mahan Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I am an unmarried woman. I am an aunt of Burry Colding. I am a half sister of her late mother Mary Colden. I have resided in this town over 30 years. I have not resided over four blocks from Burry Colding at any time since her husband Charles Colding died. She has not remarried since he died. …
Joseph Johnson rented a room from her… They do not go out together. Never have I ever seen them together. I do not know what rent he pays but think $2 per month unfurnished. Her rent has been raised and Johnson may have to pay more now. ..”
“This claimant has made her living by washing and ironing, on a boat as a chamber maid, and hired out as a cook.”

Deposition, Henry Holmes, 10 October 1917
65 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 220 Mahan, [illegible] Church St., Suffolk, Va.
“I have resided here in Suffolk, Va. for forty years. I am not related to Burry Colding. I have known her ever since before her husband Charles Colding died. I have not resided over 300 yards from her at anytime since her husband’s death.

Deposition, Florence Johnson, 11 October 1917
over 50 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 115 Mahan Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I was born here and reside here now. Never resided any please else but did work away from here.
William Johnson is my husband. He is a mill hand. I am not related to Burry Colding. I have known her ever since she was a child.”
“I reside the third door from this claimant and have so resided for 3 or 4 years. I visit her and she visits me. She is a hard workig woman. I never see any man hugging her.”

Deposition, William Puryear, 11 October 1917
48 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 117 Pine Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I have known Burry Colding ever since I came to Suffolk in 1888…. She was the maid on the steamer “Virginia Dare” that runs from here to Norfolk, Va. I guess she was on the boat about five years in the 90s but I can’t fix the time. I was on steamer 22 [?] years. She had a good reputation for value on the steamer. … I used to know James Peoples before he died. I did not know he kept company with Burry Colding…. I know Joseph Johnson. I think he had a room at Burry Colding’s house. I was there once last year.”

Deposition, Neverson Phillips, 11 October 1917
55 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 102 Mahan St., Suffolk, Va.
“I have resided in this town over forty years. I came here when a boy.
“I have known Burry Colding over 30 years. When I first got acquainted with her her name was Burry Kelly.
“I remember about her getting married to Charles Colding. She then lived right across the street from me. She lives next door to me now. I have resided within two blocks of her. Since her husband died, the most of the time nearer than that. “
“She now has a roomer named Johnson. He had been stepping out my sister in same house before Burry rented it. My family owns the property Burry Colding lives in. She may have been there about four or five years. She pays my son the rent. Johnson pays his rent.”

Deposition, Lula Colden Rountree, 11 October 1917
about 36 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 806 Milner Dr., Suffolk, Va.
“I am the wife of George Rountree who by occupation is stevedore.
“I am daughter of the late Charles Colding and the late Mary Colding. Father used to spell his name Colding but most all his children spell their surname C – O – L – D – E- N. I was two years old when mother died.
“I was 10 or 11 years old when father did. A pension was also claimed for me but it never was worked up. A pension was also worked up for Sister Ada but she never got it. She died.
“Burry Colding is my stepmother. I have resided close to her, only a few blocks from here, ever since father died. He has been dead for five or six years.”

Letter from [illegible], 15 November 1917
“I am writing in interest of one Lula Colding. She claims that her father was a Sergt. in Co. A. 1 Reg. U.S.C. Cav. That her father dies in 1892 when she was but ELEVEN years old and understands that she is or was entitled to a pension of $2.00 per month until she was Sixteen.
“If this is a fact will you kindly mail me the necessary application blank with instructions. Or, you can mail direct to her uncle Luther Colding, Suffolk, Va.”
[Note: This letter was typed on stationery “J. Walter Hosier, All Kinds of Insurance, Suffolk, Virginia”].

Letter from Mary Colding, 119 Church Street, Suffolk, Va. to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 29 October 1921
“My mother, Burry Colding, died on Oct. 23rd 1921 andd I am to ask you to send me the necessary papers in order to obtain what pension may be due her, to apply on her funeral.
“This account of funeral and other expenses incident to her lalst illness and death has been assumed by me, and I am to pay.”
[Note: This letter was typed on stationery “J. Walter Hosier, All Kinds of Insurance, Suffolk, Virginia”].

Letter from Mary Colding, 119 Church Street, Suffolk, Va. to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 29 October 1921
“I have a brother, William Colding, now about 27 years old. He was paralized [sic] about five years ago and is totally unable to do anything whatever, and now Mother is dead, and I am unable to take care of him.
“Is there any assistance that can be rendered him, on account of my Father’s service in the Civil War. If so, would thank you to give me the necessary information and kindly send the necessary papers to fill out.”
[Note: This letter was typed on stationery “J. Walter Hosier, All Kinds of Insurance, Suffolk, Virginia”].

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*The thirty or so witnesses provided “time and place” details about themselves and for many others known to them. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1890-July 1917. Next week’s post will include research notes for documents dated October 1817-1921.

The Colding family from Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia applied for and received pension benefits for about thirty years. The soldier’s pension index card (not shown here) stated that he applied for benefits as an Invalid in 1890, his minor children received financial support, and his widow received a pension until her death in 1921.

Invalid — 765,634 / 598,507
Widow — 563,334 / 832,979, Burry Colding
Minor — 754,537 / 617,871
, Burry Colding, Gdn

Statement, Dr. John T. Kilby [date illegible]
residence, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va. “I knew Charles Colding before the war & learned from himself and others that he enlisted & was a Sergeant in the Army of the U.S. during that late war between the states. … I am a graduate of University of Virginia, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia [illegible] 1848 & 49 & attendant lecturer for two years in the hospitals & schools of France & have been in active practice for forty years.”

Statement, Ed D. Phillips, MD [date illegible]
residence, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va. “I have been practicing medicine ever since my graduation 40 years and five days ago this the 29th March 1890…. his disability may very justly be estimated at one half.”

Marriage License, Charles Colding and Burry Kelly, 14 October 1892
Nansemond County, Va.; Colding was a 51-year-old widow when he married 21-year-old Burry. Both born in Nansemond County; both live in Suffolk. The groom’s parents were William Colden and his wife Mary. The bride’s mother was Mary Kelly; her father wasn’t named. The officiant was W.W. Gaines.

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 14 December 1892
residence, Suffolk, Va.; “I commenced to live with soldier about Jany 1st, 1889, after the death of his first wife…. I had two children by him, Mary born Oct 14, 1889, and William born Oct 28, 1891. … Although we were not married by any legal ceremony prior to Oct 14, 1892, under the laws of Virginia, our cohabitation in the open manner of man and wife, recognized as such …”

General Affidavit, Sarah Lawrence and Kate Kelly, 14 December 1892
“We were present at the birth of Mary Colding … who was born Oct 14th 1889 … and also at the birth of William Colding … who was born October 28th, 1891.
“The said Sarah Lawrence was present in the professional capacity of midwife in eah occasion and Kate Kelly on account of her relation to the said Burry Kelly.”

General Affidavit, Thomas Holl and H. Holman, 14 December 1892
residence, Suffolk, Va.
“Affiants state they personally knew the soldier Charles Colding, from 15 years or more, they were also acquainted with his first wife, Mary Colding, who died in April 1884, which fact is known to affiants by reason of having attended her funeral. Affiants further declare that shortly after the Church Street Colored Cemetery in Suffolk, Va. on the 14 of April 1884.
“She died on Main Street in Suffolk, April 13, 1884 … we were intimate personal friends of the family …”

General Affidavit, S.S. Brosier and Wm. I. Reid, 17 December 1892
“We were present at the burial of Mary Colding, the first wife of Charles Colding who was buried in the Church St. Colored Cemetery in Suffolk, Va. on the 14 of April 1884.”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 18 January 1893
“I am unable to furnish a certified copy from the public or church record showing dates of births of the children because the church does not keep any record. There is no public record to be had.
“I am also unable to obtain the testimony of the physician in attendance at their births because there was no physician in attendance.”

General Affidavit, Thomas Holland and Oscar Powell, 18 January 1893
“We were well acquainted with soldier and claimant prior to January 1889…”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 30 January 1893
“I am unable to furnish a certified copy from the public records of the marriage of Charles Colding to his first wife Mary as I have been informed it took place about 1859 and in 1866 all the public records in the County Clerk’s Office were destroyed by a fire and I can find no one who can testify as to the time the marriage took place.”

General Affidavit, Josiah Crocker and William W. Newby, 6 February 1893
“That we have known Charles Colding for about twenty years and that his wife’s name was Mary … recognized each other as husband and wife up until up to within about two years of her death which occurred about seven or eight years ago and that he always recognized … Ada and Lula as his own children. We do not know the cause of their separation nor can we tell when they were married or became husband and wife.”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 13 March 1893
“I have made every effort to obtain some kind of proof of marriage of soldier to his first wife and proof of birth of her two children Ada and Lula … I have failed to find any such proof….”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 9 August 1893
“I am the widow of Charles Colding and we lived together and man and wife for four years, although no ceremony of marriage was performed … During that time two children were born and as we were told these children would not be considered legitimate by the laws of Virginia, and my husband being in bad health said that it would be best for us to have a ceremony performed and sent for Rev. W.W. Gaines of Suffolk, Va. who married us on the 14th day of October 1892. My husband died in about a week after the ceremony.”

General Affidavit, R.H. Hines, 16 April 1902 [stamped by Pension Office]
post-office address, Suffolk, Va. “I am well acquainted with Burry Colding … I live near the widow and have well know her, and her late husband for more than eighteen years.”

General Affidavit, Jas. S. Pleasants, 18 April 1902 [stamped by Pension Office]
post-office address, Suffolk, Va. “I have known Burry Colding all her life and also knew her husband Charles Colding. There is two children of Charles Colding now living with their mother, Mary and William, both of them beind under sixteen years old … I live close to her and have lived close to her for nearly all her life, therefore, am in position to know these facts.”

General Affidavit, Charlie Phillips and Josiah Crocker, 23 June 1903 [stamped by Pension Office]
post-office address, Suffolk, Va.
“We are well acquainted with the applicant, Burry Colding and were also well acquainted with her late husband, Charles Colding.
“Charles Colding only left two children, William and Mary, and we positively swear that these two children were under sixteen years old, Dec. 20th, 1901”

Statement, Luther Colding and John Cohoon, 16 October 1916
residence, Suffolk, Va.
“They have lived all these years in Suffolk, Va. and very close to the applicant …”

Statement, Mary Bryant, 10 March 1917
41 years old; post-office address, Suffolk, Va.
“I have known Burry Colding all my life, and knew her before her marriage to Charles Colding. I have always lived her in Suffolk, Virginia in same part of the town as Burry Colding…”

Deposition, Hannah Johnson, 20 July 1917
about 51 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-offcie address, 815 Newlies [sp?] St., Suffolk, Va.
“I am the widow of Henry Johnson and am drawing a pension of $12 per month.
“I have known Burry Colding … since before the death of her husband. She was a chamber made [sic] on the boat between here and Norfolk, several years. I do not know how she has made her living since Colding died. I have seen her all along since her husband died 25 years ago in passing around. … I do not go about her. I don’t visit much.

Deposition, Burry Colding, 20 July 1917
“I do not know my age. I am beyond 40 though.”; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 100 Mahan St., Suffolk, Va.
“I do not remember the regiment in the army in which my late husband served but his company was H. When he died I had two children to draw pension William and Mary Virginia. I drew the pension as their guardian. I had to give bond to the court. Walter Hozier my attorney made settlement with the court for me.
“My maiden name was Burry Kelly. My father’s name was Peter Kelly and my mother’s name was Mary Kelly. I was born at Seppes [?] Chapel about 10 miles from here in this county. My parents brought me here when I was 8 or 10 years old and I have been here every since. I do not know what year I was married. I cannot say how old I was when I was married. I know I was wrong. My children were born before I was married. … I married him (the soldier) only a short time before he died but can’t give the date. I was living with my mother when I got married. Father and mother had separated. …. I never heard my late husband was ever married but once before he got married to me and I never knew the wife’s name that I remember. I understood that she died.”
“My youngest child was not twelve months old when his father died. He is 24 or 25 years old now.
“My husband died right across the street from where I now live. The house he died in has been torn down and a new one erected.”
“While the children were small I staid [sic] around home and washed and ironed and took care of them. I staid [sic] where my husband died only a short time. I then moved to Church Street. I have only lived in four places since my husband died and they were within a ston’es throw of each other. After my children got a little larger I got to be a chamber maid on the boat which used to run from here to Norfolk.
“I worked on there for 7 years. My rheumatism had gotten bad and I had to quit…. Here lately I have been doing some washing and ironing. All the officers on the boat are dead.
Willis Price, Pine Street was a deck hand. He is the only deckhand I know of in Suffolk who worked on the boat. Different boats were used. It was called the Old Dominion Line. We made a round trip every time.
“I worked for Mr. ‘Nat’ Withers as cook for 4 yaers.
“I worked for Mrs. Hershey Woodard about one year before I went on the boat.
“I worked for a few weeks and a few months for some other people….
“I have been in this house for about 4 years. My son made his home here up to 3 or 4 months ago. He has gone to Hopewell to work. I lived at 110 Church Street before I lived here.
Beda Butler and her daughter Margaret lived with me there. Margaret got married and I do not know she married. I do not know where in Norfolk they live. They went to Norfolk near 7 years ago. … Mr. Hozier is my attorney. I have not paid him anything or promised him anything.
“When he got my children money he took out his fees. I do not known how much ….”
[Note: Two witnesses were Tempie Kelly and Leon S. Colden — Leslie]

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Years after their ‘slave marriage’ in Perquimans County, North Carolina, the couple established a ‘legitimate marriage in that state.

 

Widow — 366,305 / —–, Tresia Reddick

 

Declaration of a Widow for Original Pension when no Child under Sixteen years of age survives, Trasia Reddick, 24 December 1887
70 years old; residence, Hertford Street, Hertford, NC; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“that she is the widow of William Reddick … who died at Belvidere, NC of consumption. When he came home he was suffering gratly [sic] from ‘heavy cold’ & he died of loung [sic] disease [he died on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1883, who bore at the time of his death the title of citizen … that she was married under the name of Tresia Hurdel to said William Riddick [in] September, A.D. 1835 by her master at Perquimans Co., NC.
“Also personally appeared M.W. Speight … C.G. Elliott [both resided in Hertford Street, Hertford, Perquimans County, NC]”

 

Memorandum, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, 12 March 1888
William Riddick … was enrolled on the 17 day of Dec. 1863, at Norfolk, Va. mustered out with Co. as Sergt. Feb. 4, 1866, at Brazos Santiago, Tex. Also borne as William Reddick … born in Gates Co., NC, occupation, farmer.

 

Declaration for Widow’s Pension and Increase, Tricy Riddick, 29 January 1890
post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
“she is the widow of William Reddick … Sergeant in Company A, commanded by Captain Dyer in the 1st regiment of U.S.C.C.… that her maiden name was Tricy Hurdel, and that she was married to said William Reddick on or about the September 14 or 15 day of September, 1854 at Perquimans, in the county of Perquimans, and State of North Carolina, by Moses Hurdel, her former master, and that there is no record of marriage
“She further declares that said William Riddick, her husband died … as foresaid at Cumberland[?], in the State of NC, on or about the 13th3 day of December A.D. 1882 of consumption and deep hacking cought [sic] and shortness of breath…. that she was the mother of 11 children by the soldier but none of them was under sixteen years old at the date of soldier’s death”

 

Physician’s Affidavit, Dr. Thos. N. White, 11 January 1892
post-office address, Belvidere, NC
“that he is a practicing physician and has been acquainted with the abovenamed soldier about 10 years, and that during the last two years of his life he frequently prescribed for him and attend him when he was down sick. He was afflicted with and died of consumption.”

Memo, W.H. Speight, Register of Deeds & Clerk of the County [is it Common?] Court, Perquimans County, NC, 16 September 1892
“I found duly record on the record of my said office under date of the 16th day of January 1867, the marriage of William Riddick of color to Treasy Hurdle, by the said parties appearing before the clerk of county court (Jas. C. Skinner) and acknowledged themselves to be husband & wife (they having lived together as such for twenty-two years prior to said date) as provided in an Act of the General Assembly of state of North Carolina authorizing and legalizing the marriages of Freedmens [sic]”

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Four brothers from Southampton County, Virginia — all freeborn — enlisted in cavalry units: Henry Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; Joshua Charity, Company A, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; Thomas Charity, E, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; and Friday Charity alias Friday Whipple, Company I, 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry.

Joshua’s application for pension benefits has little information about his family but a neighbor’s affidavit suggests he moved from Southampton County. Further research is required.

Invalid – 1,056, 143 / 890,992

General Affidavit, Thomas Blizzard [sp?], 13 April 1893
54 years old; residence, Burrusville, Prince George County, Virginia
“I have known the applicant all my life. Having lived in half mile of him before & since his discharge … I see him daily.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Joshua Charity, 4 June 1898
[married] no
[previously married] yes, Susan, Johns, Charity, died May 1, 1880
[living children] none
[Note: Three commas appear in the wife’s name. Was “Johns” her maiden name? — Leslie]


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When the war ended the 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry sailed from Fort Monroe to Brazos Santiago, Texas. A near-mutiny occurred when some of the troops in the regiment initially refused to board the transport ship Meteor. The soldier took ill during the voyage and was accidentally poisoned by the ship’s surgeon. He was buried at sea. Many who supported his family’s applications described how they migrated from Northeastern North Carolina to Norfolk in search of work before they enlisted. Interestingly none of the witnesses mentioned what happened on the Meteor.

Minor — 343,711 / 298,530
Mother — 221,286 / —–, Pauline Simons

Mother’s Application for Pension, Elizabeth Simons, 24 May 1875
70 years old “That she is the widow of Stephen Burke, deceased and mother of Squire Simons, deceased … who died whilst in the services, aforesaid, at sea in the Gulf of Mexico … in June 1865 …. She appoints L.W. Boone of Hertford County, North Carolina her attorney …. also personally appeared E. Brace and W.E. Ferebee residents of the County of Perquimans in the State of North Carolina …”

Sworn Statement, Nick Williams, 14 October 1889 [?]
54 years old; residence, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
“[He knew] all of Mr. John Simons slaves for his father Mr. John Simons both was large slave holders … he played with the colored children that he knowed [sic] …. [the former master] has been dead some 9 or 10 yrs. …. Mr. John Simons slaves & his father’s slaves visited each other all the time up untill [sic] freedom”

Deposition, Pauline Simons, 4 April 1891
“I was born Jany 10th 1863 at least I was always told that was the time.” post-office address, 713 Bart St., Portsmouth, Va.
“I am the daughter of Squire Simons & Eliza Simons. I was born near Hertford, NC, a slave of John Simons. My parents both were slaves. Both were slaves of Mr. John Simons … I do not know anything of my father except what my people have told & the woman Matilda Simons who raised me after my mother died …. I was an only child … My grandmother was Elizabeth Simons. She is now dead. She lived near Hertford, NC & died there. I heard she got my father’s bounty money.”

Deposition, Andrew Madre, 13 April 1891
68 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“I was a slave of Jack Madre Washington Boon read the marriage ceremony [for Squire and Eliza] with the consent of Mr. John Simons. Washington Boon was a colored preacher, was there myself & saw them get married …. [W]e all started from Fort Monroe, Va. to Texas on steamboats. Simons was on one boat & I was on another…. When we all landed I was told of his death and burial… Eliza Simons was called Elizabeth Simons sometimes … Squire Simons mother was also called Elizabeth Simons … “

Deposition, Thomas N. Williams, 13 April 1891
55 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“I sometimes write my name N. Williams leaving out the Thomas. My right hand is so sore I can hardly write my name. I knew Mr. John Simons well. I lived on the farm adjoining his & my father used to hire Mr. Simons’ Negroes often. … I remember Squire Simons. He & myself were boys together & often were together playing. I also remember Eliza Simons … it was the first of January 1861 they became man and wife. Boon & John Simons & his family are dead. I was home when Squire Simons ran away & went to Norfolk, Va. in the fall of 1862 … Eliza was with child when he ran away from home. This child came the same year he left home in 1862. They called it Pauline. I had a child born about the same time, Sarah E. Williams, Oct 2, 1862. Pauline came very soon after after that … I have a Bible record of my child’s birth …. Hester Sutton was the granny that attended Eliza in Pauline’s birth. She is dead. [Eliza] died the year after Pauline was born … Sabre Simons and Matilda Simons both raised Pauline. They all lived together near me at the time. I was with Mr. John Simons slaves nearly all the time before & during the war & in that way I knew them as well as he did.”

Deposition, William Ward, 14 April 1891
51 years old; occupation, attorney-at-law; post-office address, 273 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was Ordly Sgt. of Co. “D” 1st US Cold Cavly. … [Simons] was given a dose of medicine by a surgeon which proved to be poison & killed him. He was buried in the sea. I was present when he was buried & saw him put in the sea.”

Deposition, Aaron Thompson, 14 April 1891
50 years; occupation; post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
“I was a slave of John Devreaux & I knew Squire & Eliza Simons … all of us living near each other in Perquimans Co., NC. … she was big with child at the time he ran away.”

Deposition, Uriah Elliott, 14 April 1891
56 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
“I knew Squire Simons & Eliza Simons before they became man & wife. They were slaves of Mr. John Simons. … I lived near his plantation. I was a slave of Mr. Axell Elliott. We slaves knew each other well. … I was not present [at the ceremony] but it was the talk all over the county at the time. It was a fine wedding. … A woman named Sabrey Simons took the child & she & Matilda Simons raised the child. Sabrey Simons is dead. …. Eliza died in Sept. 1863 in Hertford, NC.”

“Elizabeth Simons was the mother of Squire Simons. She is dead. She has been dead some 16 years.”

Deposition, Matilda Simons Elliott, 14 April 1891
66 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
“I was a slave of John Simons near Hertford, NC. Squire Simons & Eliza Simons were also his slaves. I was raised with them. They were younger than I was. …. Rev. John Washington Boon was the preacher … … I was right there when Pauline was born. Hester Sutton was the old midwife that attended to her. She is dead. I can’t give the year. … I and Sabry Simons my aunt took the baby Pauline as soon as Eliza died & we raised her. Sabry is dead. I am 1st cousin to Pauline’s mother Eliza & Pauline always called me mammy as I raised her.”

Deposition, Pauline Simons, 23 May 1891
28 years old; occupation, servant; residence and post-office address, No. 713 Bart St., Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I do not recollect my said father and do not know anything of his whereabouts from the time he left his master until he joined [the Army]….  I think Uriah Elliott at Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC can tell where he was and how employed … I have only been in the State about one year. Matilda Simons Elliott [my aunt] of Winfall, NC can tell of the date of my birth.”

Deposition, Uriah Elliott, 8 June 1891
56 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC;
“When [Simons] started for the war I was at Dillard Army camp on Chowan River in N.C. … When he and 500 others left for Suffolk, Va. to work on fortifications for the Govt. … after that I heard that he had enlisted in the U.S. Army and I heard that he died there….I did not go in the Army. I stayed at home through the whole war. Dillard camp was 16 miles from where I lived & I visited there often. …. Andre Madre was not on the Dillard farm camp …. “

Deposition, Gilbert Leeson, 9 June 1891
58 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC;
“I first knew Squire Simon before the war. He was a slave of John Simon. I was a slave of Josiah White. Our farms was two miles apart. His wife was Eliza Simons … He was living with Eliza when he left home in August 1862 … I next saw Squire Simons in Norfolk, Va. in 1863. I was working in the Govt service there then. It was the 1st part of 1863. [He] was there working for the Govt. at Norfolk, Va. My work was at Fort Monroe, Va…. I think he enlisted at Norfolk, Va. and I went in at Fort Monroe, Va. … In June 1865 we started for Texas on the steamer Meteor …. He was very ill with some fever … We were told he died from poison given to him by mistake. The next day his body was served up in a blanket & shoved overboard into the ocean. It was all done after we passed the Bluff of Mobile Point … “

Deposition, Thomas N. Williams, 9 June 1891
55 years old; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“I remember perfectly when Squire Simons left home in 1862. Ir was in the fall. He was then living about a 1/4 mile of a mile from me. He was living with his wife…. She was recognized by us all as his gal. I had a daughter born Oct 2nd 1862 & that child of Squire Simons came that very same winter, her mother called her Pauline. …. Eliza the wife of Squire Simons & mother of Pauline died in Sept 1863 ….”

Deposition, Andrew Madre, 10 June 1891
68 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., N.C.
“We were at Fort Monroe, Va. together when we enlisted … Before I enlisted I had been about Norfolk I reckon about a year doing all kinds of work. At Suffolk I cooked & worked on fortifications and as I could not get my pay I went to Norfolk, Va. & cut wood for for a Mr. Howard & while there I enlisted in the Army.
“[Simons] & myself ran away from home together, we got separated & I did not see him until I left Suffolk & went to Norfolk, Va.  I heard he had been in Suffolk, Va. working on the fortifications a while and left there a few days before I got there. … Simons who has been working in the Qr. Master Dept. at Norfolk, Va. and was now with the soldiers to be taken to Fort Monroe, Va. to enlist … he got a letter from home while we were at Fortress Monroe telling him his wife had a girl baby. He was well pleased when he came to me and said ‘By God, I now have something else to fight for as Eliza has a girl child.’ He was very proud of it. I remember that perfectly.”

Deposition, Maria Skinner, 3 August 1892
about 73 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“I belonged to John Simons, dead, before the late war and knew all his colored people well … the following named enlisted in U.S. Army during the late war viz. John Mills, Henry, Andrew and Squire. The four first named were my brothers all of whom I believe to be dead unless it is Andrew of whom I know nothing.
“Squire Simons above named was my cousin … [he] was hardly grown when he went away. His mother’s name was Bettie, now dead. Matilda Elliott, the wife of Urias or Uriah Elliott is the only living sister of Squire Simons. She lives near Winfall in this County.”

“Q.  Do you know Pauline Simons or Pauline Wilson?
A.  [Pauline] is now living in Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va. She was and is the daughter of John Long by his wife Harriet now Mrs. Harriet Long. She has re-married to Earl Elliott, and she is in Elizabeth City, NC …. John Long & his wife Harriet had the following named children viz. Pauline, now living in Portsmouth, Va.; Lavinia, Bertie Co., NC; John, Elizabeth City, NC; and Andrew who lives near Hertford when at home. I am sure that Squire Simons had no children and that he was not the father of Pauline Simons, the pensioner. …. Eliza had no husband but she had two children whose names are Mattie & Sally. I raised Mattie and she is now living in Kehore, NJ. She is married to a man named Little and Sally is married and is living in Pasquotank Co., NC “

Deposition, Uriah Elliott, 3 August 1892
58 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
[How is your wife Matilda related to Pauline Simons?]
“She and my wife are cousins.”
[Who are Pauline Simons’ parents?’
“I only know what I have heard. That John Long and his wife Harriett now Mrs. Harriet Elliott was and is the father and mother of Pauline Simons.
I have also heard it said that Squire Simons was the father of this girl but I have only heard that talk in recent years. Probably three or four years ago.
[How’s Pauline able to claim pension?]
“Yes, sir. A white man by the name of John Bright who lived about 6 miles from Hertford Co., NC had a book with the names of all the dead soldiers in it and he got this thing up, got Pauline to go into it. He ran away from here about four years ago when you were in here after Jno. H. Vane. He ran off then and I have not heard from him since. Soon after Bright ran away a colored man by the name of William Ward of Norfolk, Va. came here and took the matter in hand.  By the way, the pensioner’s name is not Simons. Her maiden name was Long and then she married a man by the name of Wilson and she is now the wife of Jordan. I think his first name is William. Pauline is living in Portsmouth, Va. and was living there as the minor child of Squire Simons. I was in Norfolk when she got his money. I saw her get her pension money out of one of the banks in Norfolk, Va. William Ward and I were the only persons with her when she drew her pension money from the bank on the check issued in the amount of her pension.”

Deposition, Matilda Simons, 3 August 1892
60 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
[Do you know a woman named Pauline Simons?]
“Her name is Pauline Jordan now and she lives at No. 1007 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, Va.”
[What is her relationship to you?]
“She is my second cousin.”
[Who were her parents?]
“John & Harriet Long were her parents. Pauline’s name before marriage was Long and then she married a man name of Wilson. Then she was known as Pauline Wilson and now is the wife of Wm. Jordan.”
[How are Pauline and Squire Simons related?]
“She was his second cousin and not his daughter. Squire was not married at all and had no children.”
“Q.  How did she come to make application for pension as the daughter of Squire Simons.
“A.   I do not know.
“Q.  How did you come to make a statement for use in her pension claim.
A.    I was asked to make a statement by Mr. Tyler, the Special Examiner, and done so and I told him that Pauline was Squire Simons child by Eliza. I did this because others were telling so. I heard others tell Mr. Tyler so and I did the same but at the same time I knew better.
Q.  Who was or who is Elizabeth Simons who drew the bounty due Squire Simons?
A.   She was my mother and the mother of Squire Simons. She is dead long ago. The woman Eliza who child we said Pauline was, is dead.”

Deposition, Harriett Elliott, 4 August 1892
about 60 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“I am the wife of Eli Elliott. Mr. Elliott is my second husband. My first husband was Jno. Long by whom I had five children viz. Lavinia, Pauline, Lydia, Jno. & Andrew. My three girls were born before the late war commenced and Pauline was six years old when the war commenced. She is now the wife of William Jordan and resides at No. 1007 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, Va. She visited me about two months ago. Up to about five years ago she always lived near me. and she has visited me every year since she went to Portsmouth to live.
“Q.  Did you ever know a man by the name of Squire Simons?”
A.  Yes, sir. He was my cousin.
Q.  Did you have a child or children by Squire Simons?
A.  No, sir. He and I were cousins and belonged to Jno. Simons late of Perquimans Co., NC.
Q.  Did you know a woman named Eliza who belonged to Jno. Simons?
A.  Yes, sir. She died during the late war and she and Squire Simons were brothers and sisters and Matilda the wife of Uriah Ellicott now living near Winfall, NC is also a sister of Squire Simons.”

Deposition, Pauline Jordan alias Simons, 5 August 1892
29 or 39 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, 1007 Chestnut St., Norfolk Co., Portsmouth, Va.
“… [I cashed my pension check] at a bank on Main Street in this city. I think the bank is called Burruss Bank. … I gave two hundred dollars to Uriah Elliott to give to his wife Matilda Elliott who is my aunt … I gave her this money because she raised me. And I wanted to renumerate her for my raising… I bought the property in which I now live for which I was to pay $700 of this sum I have paid six hundred & fifty dollars out of my pension money. I also bought a parlor suit of furniture for which I paid $50.00 …
“Q. Then you are not the daughter of Squire Elliott & Eliza Simmons?
A. No, sir…. The property where I live was not bought with this or any part of this money but it is and was paid for out of my husband William Jordan’s earnings. … I was not telling the truth to either you or Mr. Tyler…”

Deposition, Luther C. Williams, 5 August 1892
30 years old; occupation, U.S. Claims Agent & Notary Public; post-office address, 308 Bute St., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Please state whether you known William Ward, a writer in Pension Claims doing business at No. 273 Queen St., this City.
A.  I do. I was a Clerk in his office from May 1st 1891 to Dec 1st, 1891.”
“… [I remember the names] Andrew Madre, Gilbert Felton, N. Williams and Grafton Tyler …”
[NOTE: This deposition is quite lengthy and names several other individuals and a bank related to questionable transfer of funds – Leslie]

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The soldier’s left hand was severely damaged “by the bursting of a gun while shooting birds in Norfolk County, Virginia” — presumably he was hunting game.

 

Invalid — 1,009,563 / 750,860

 

Declaration for Invalid Pension, George Elliott, 7 April 1891
59 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 624 Glasgow St., Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“was left at home sick when the regiment left for Texas … also appeared Thomas Riddick residing at Norfolk Co., Va. and Joseph Jones residing at Portsmouth, Va. … 27 years old and 40 years old, respectively … ”

 

General Affidavit, George Elliott, 26 December 1891
58 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That I suffer loss of the left hand about 10 or twelve years ago since my discharge from the service of the United States. The same occurred from the bursting of a gun while shooting birds in Norfolk County, Virginia the exact date of which I cannot remember.”

 

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Though he was born enslaved in Louisiana, the soldier enlisted in New York and returned to Donaldsonville and Burnside, Louisiana on a bend of the Mississippi River.  His application for pension benefits as an Invalid included a score of names of family members and comrades-in-arms and officers thus providing many clues for further research.

Invalid — 1,288,325 / 1,172, 166

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Joseph A. Virriste, 20 August 1902
[wife’s name] Mary Jane Anderson
[where, when, by whom married] Donaldsonville, Louisiana by Rev. Thos. Kennedy
[record] recorded at Donaldsonville, Louisiana
[previously married] Fillis Washington (dead)
[living children] Frank Varriste born 1866; Mary Jane Varriste born 1877

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-474), Joseph Verrio, 20 August 1902
[birthplace] Assumption Parish, Louisiana
[enlisted at] New York
[residence before enlistment] Assumption Parish, Louisiana
[occupation] laborer
[name of former owner] Baptiste Landry
[discharged at] Cedar Point, Virginia
[residence since discharge] Assumption Parish, Louisiana; nine years
[height / color / permanent marks] 5′ 9 inches / griffe / none
[previous service] [blank]
[other names] “I am now known by Francois Joseph nicknames
[current name] Francois Joseph
[present residence, nearest post-office] Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Burnside P.O.

 

General Affidavit, Victor Richard, 21 November 1909
64 years old; post-office address, Baston, Louisiana
“I have known the petitioner for fifty years. Was a member of the same army…”

 

Letter from Special Examiner to Commissioner of Pensions, 26 November 1913
“[The claimant] is of good native intelligence and memory, he is regarded as a steady and reliable old man; and the impression he made with me is a distinctly good one … The claimant cannot produce his discharge certificate and he has never had a photograph of himself made…. The fact of the different companies of the regiment being separated at various places is a reason why the claimant does not know more of the regimental officers.

“Victor Richard, original affiant is dead and it is not known that any other comrade now alive is resident in this district.
“The claimant’s true name appears to be Joseph Francois, but he does not know where he was baptized and he can produce no record of his age or the date of his birth. On the rolls the soldier’s name appears variously as Verrice, Vreece, Vyreece and as Joseph A. Virriste. All those are without doubt the attempts of one not familiar with it to spells not uncommon French  or Creole name which is properly EVARISTE — pronounced Ev—are—eece, or as the negro often gets it, — Ev-eye-reece, or corrupted or shortened to Varrice or nearly Vy-reece as it is on the rolls.”

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-442), 20 November 1912

Name Rank Present Post-Office Address
Lemuel Babb R.D. #2, Portsmouth, Va.
John Farmer Winchester Ave.
    alias Wm. Brown       Lakewood, Ohio
Fred’k W. Browne 2d Lieut. #33 Wiggins Court, Cincinnati, Ohio
Patrick Cofer Smithfield, Isle of Wight Co., Virginia
Thomas Cross Bowers Hill, Norfolk Co., Va.
David Grissom #28 Cleveland St., Norfolk, Va.
Duncan Jones Eliz. City, Pasquotank Co., NC
Gordon Jones #1418 High St., Portsmouth, Va.
Thomas Land #7 Burk’s Court, Norfolk, Va.

 

Deposition, Joseph Francois or Verrio, 23 May 1913
72 years old; post-office address, Burnside, Ascension Parish, La.
“I gave my discharge paper to a colored man Collisle Landry many years ago to get my back pay or bounty that might be due me & he never gave it back to me & I can’t tell what became of it. I was born on Grand Bayou in Assumption Parish, La. below here, that is in the swamp way back of the Bayou Laforche. My father was Michael Joseph & my mother Clarisse Joseph. My father died when I was small & my mother than had a husband named Jefferson Collins.  My first owner was Baptist John Bourg [sp?] long since dead. When I was 7 years old I was sold to Baptist Landry. When he died I fell to his son Anatole Landry now dead. I lived on the Landry place was a field hand until I joined the army. Mr. Landry’s place was in Assumption Parish, La. on Bayou Laforche 7 miles below Donaldsonville. I suppose I was christened somewhere but I can’t tell where or when. It must have happened when I was an infant because my owner was Roman Catholic. I can’t tell the year or date of my birth except by what my mother told me. My mother died 16 years ago & the year she died she told me I was born on July 13 & was then 56 years old.

“[My mother] had a brother named Varrice much older than she was … My uncle Varrice died 18 or 19 years ago … I went away in the army & left him on the old home place & came back and found him there.  The last part of August 1864, my stepfather Jefferson Collins, Samuel Luzerbey, and I and Victor Richard and John Walkin — all 4 field hands — ran away to New Orleans to enlist in the army. … Jeff Collins & my mother broke up before the war & then she had Samuel Luzerbey & it was Samuel Luzerbey who was my stepfather who ran away with me. When we were first got to New Orleans to enlist, we met up with a colored boatman who was a hand on one of the New York mailboats. I believe it was the “Star” or the “Evening Star.”  …. We landed in New York on Sunday … we arrived in New York Tuesday, remained on the boat that day & on Monday we went to a recruiting office & enlisted. I can’t tell what street it was on. The Captain & colored man went with us…. I was sent to my Co. A that was located at Fort Magruder on York River. The companies were scattered about …. Victor Richard & I were put in that & John Walker & Samuel _______ were put in Company I of the 1st Colored Cavalry. Victor Richard witnessed for me in this claim. He died two years ago. He was the only …. the rest of my co. all came from Virginia & North Carolina. Samuel Luzerbey died about 6 years ago & John Walkin died long ago but his widow Ellen Walkin is a pensioner & lives now somewhere in New Orleans …. [I have no scars except] a shot in my buttock that I got before the war when the overseer shot me for running away in the woods for 6 months. I was 22 years old when I enlisted … Before I joined the army I spoke Creole French altogether & it was very hard for me to understand English when I first enlisted …. The first place we were located was Fort Magruder where we did garrison duty & then we were sent to Cedar Point near West Point, Va. & did garrison duty until we mustered out…. In the army I served under the name of Joseph Verrice. I did that at the advice of my stepfather of my stepbrother because I had run away & I was afraid my owners might get up with me. I had always heard that if we ran away & joined the Yankees & we got caught we would be killed & our bodies would be given to the buzzards so I took the name of Joseph Verrice because Varrice had been my nickname. Samuel Luzerbey’s real name was Samuel Joseph but he took the name Luzerby in the army & John Walkin went as Paul Joseph. I was never sick or off duty while I was a soldier.

“My Regt. had been in lots of fights before I joined & I was one of the recruits taken in to fill the places of men who had been killed in battle.  Lt Brown was a portly light-complexioned man. Orderly Sergent was John Fuller, a light brown man & slew footed & rather small in size. He was from N.C. or Va. Henry White & ____ Banks & ____ Thomas were Desk Sergeants. Corporals were ____ Banks [illegible] & ____ Ricks. Privates I recall are Robert Fall, John Moseley, Stephen Hair or Harold, Debby Nicholson, James Reed, Isaac Reed, Henry Whitehurst, & Thomas Armgage [Avery?]. …. I can’t recall any of those names at all except Robert Fall or Forbes, Victor Richard and John Moseley — just five of us in the tent together. When I came out the army I went to the same place in Bayou Fourchette 4 miles below here & lived 9 years & then I lived in Port Barron [sp?] opposite Donaldsonville 8 years & then I moved to the Burnside place over the River from here and have lived there ever since except 2 years. I lived on the Union place a few years ago & that place is in the James Parish & adjoins the Burnside property. I have worked as a field hand & yard man ever since I came out the army. Have never drank to excess or been in any trouble and I never had any bad disease in my life. I have been married 3 times and three times only. My first was Dicey Anderson.

“She died in Port Baron [sp?]  25 or 30 years ago. My next wife was Phyllis Washington who died about 12 years ago while I was staying here a while in Donaldsonville. My third wife was Sukey Baptiste. She died in New Orleans a year before last — no, Jany a year ago. We were separated when we died. I had no children except two now alive by the first wife & they are both grown. When I was discharged [illegible] at Cedar Point, well, maybe it was City Point. …. [My daughter by Dicey Anderson] is named Mary Jones … I did not sooner put in for pension because I had lost my discharge certificate”

 

Camille Collins, Deposition, 23 May 1913
54 years old; occupation, ferryman; residence, Donaldsonville, La.;

 

Deposition, Anderson Ross, 23 May 1913
76 years old; “not able to work as I am blind”; residence and post-office address, Donaldsonville, La.
“I am a pensioner & I was an Orderly Sergt. Company D, 99 U.S.C.T.  I have lived in Donaldsonville ever since I came out of the army. Before I joined the army I lived on the Maxile Le Blanc place down Bayou Laforche from here in Assumption Parish, 8 or 9 miles & 2 miles below the Landry place. … He lived on the Landry place before the war & I knew him good before the war & we was [sic] raised together but he is 3 or 4 years younger than I am. …. I knew his father Matthew Joseph & his mother Clarissa. His owners and mine were kinfolks.”

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This 21-year-old enlistee was born free in Nansemond County, Virginia. He worked as a woodcutter. The soldier was charged with mutiny, “confined to Hard Labor Prison in Norfolk, Virginia,” and “ordered to wear a ball and chain weighing twenty (20) pounds attached to his left leg.”

 

Invalid -– 608,514 / 543,484
Widow -– 1,025,911 / —– , Adolph Babb

 

War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, 19 January 1888
“General Order No. 40 Head Quarters Desk of Eastern Va., Norfolk, Va., Dec. 18, 1864 show him tried by General Court Martial on
Charge 1st – Disobedience of Orders;
Charge 2nd – Conduct prejudicial to good order & military discipline;
Charge 3rd – Threatening the life of superior officer.

“Findings of the 1st and 2nd Charges and specifications: “Guilty;”
Of 1st specification of 3rd charge: “Not guilty;”
of 2nd specification of 3rd charge: Guilty;”
Of 3rd Charge: “Not guilty.”
Sentence: “To be confined at hard labor at such place as the Commanding General may direct for the balance of his term of enlistment: to wear a ball and chain weighing twenty (20 pounds) attached to his left leg, and to forfeit to the U.S. ten (10) dollars per month of his monthly pay for the same period.

“Proceedings, findings, and sentence approved & confirmed and will be carried into effect at the Jail at Norfolk, Va.

“Special Order No. 76 …”The unexecuted portion of the sentence of Genl. Ct Martial promulgated in G.O. No. 40 dated Dec. 15, 64 …is hereby remitted.
“He will be released from confinement at hard labor prison, Norfolk, Va. & furnished transportation to Richmond, Va. to enable him to report to Chief Mustering Officer for discharge, his regiment having been mustered out of service.

“He was furnished a discharge by Chief Mustering Officer of Dept of Va. at Richmond, Va. April 7, 1866.

“Records on file furnish no evidence of disabilities alleged or of any other disability during his service….

“Requested Hospital Records, gave Surgeon’s Numerical Morning Reports, which furnish no information are not on file.”

 

General Affidavit, J.D. Wilson, 12 March 1892
37 years old; post-office address, Deep Creek, Norfolk Co., Va. “I live in the immediate neighborhood the claimant and see him almost every day, have known him for 16 years and he is in my opinion unfit for manual labor.”

 

General Affidavit, Jerry Edlow, 17 April 1897
50 years old; post-office address Portsmouth, Va. … “I was a member of the same company with the claimant, and while in Camp Hampton [?] the said Lemuel Babb received a fall from a horse which greatly disabled him…”

 

General Affidavit, Abner Lamb, 19 April 1894
50 years old; post-office address Hickory, Va. … “ …member of the sd company … I saw the sd Babb thrown from a horse….  And the sd Babb also received ingers [sic] at the explosion of the crater in front of Petersburg, Va.”

 

Deposition, Warren Jordan, 24 November 1894
40 years old; farmer; post-office address, Indian Creek, Va. … “I know Lemuel Babb the clt.  I first met him in the spring of 1867 or 1868.  He lived in my neighborhood about 2 years and afterwards while he was living at Deep Creek, Va.  we worked together 4 or 5 months for Mr. Wallace now dead.  I don’t remember the year in which I worked with him ….”

 

Deposition, Lemuel Babb, 8 July 1895
56 years old; post-office address Deep Creek, Norfolk Co., Va.; farmer … “I was born and raise [sic] in Nansemond Co., Va. between Holy Neck and Sumpter.  I was free born.  I came to Portsmouth, Va. about a year before I enlisted and waited on Lt. Mayhan of the 11th Pa. Cav.  Judge Advocate.  Jordan Jones and Robt. Rawls knew me well before enlistment … I enlisted in Portsmouth …”

 

Deposition, Henry White, 8 July 1895
48 years old; post-office address, King St near Pine St, Portsmouth, Va.; laborer … ”I served in Co A, 1st US C Cav as Sgt, 1st Sgt and Pvt.  I enlisted Dec 22, 1863 and was discharged Feb 4, 1866, as near as I can recollect the dates….”

“I know the clmt Lemuel Babb, he served as Pvt in the same Co and Regt for a part of the period of my service….”

 

Deposition, Jordan Jones, 10 July 1895
58 years old; grocer; post-office address, High St., near Godwin, Portsmouth, Va. … “I have known the clmt Lemuel Babb from boyhood.  He served with me in Co. A, 1st USC Cav.”

 

Deposition, John Wright, 11 July 1895
51 years old, post-office address, 822 Griffin St, Portsmouth, Va. …”I am acquainted with the clmt Lemuel Babb. I first met him in the Army …”

 

Deposition, Lemuel Babb, 3 November 1902
60 years old, Deep Creek, Va., residence, 1½ miles east of post office; farmer … “I was free born in Nansemond Co, Va. … I don’t know my father’s name.  My mother was named Edna Babb and I have never been known or called by any other name.

“I was discharged by myself at Richmond, Va.  I recall that it was in 1865 or 1866.  I know my company was discharged before I was…

“I was sent from my Company to Norfolk, Va. and was there in jail for 3 months.  Then I was made stable boss at the “Hard Labor Prison” Norfolk, Va.  This imprisonment took place shortly before my company moved to Texas and I never did my duty with my company afterward….

“I have lived in Norfolk Co., Va. ever since my discharge from the Army.  I have no brothers or sisters.  Hansom Lee and Tom Dundall, P.O. Bowers Hill, knew me before the war.”

 

Soldier’s Application for Increase or Additional Pension, Lemuel Babb, 25 July 1904
“He was born on or about March 4th 1842”

 

Soldier’s Application for Increase or Additional Pension, Lemuel Babb, 22 May 1905
“He was born on the 14 day of March 1842.”

 

Sworn Statement, March Corprew & George Hurlsen, 3 January 1914
[Corprew] 77 years old; Berkley, Va., R.F.D No. 3
and [Hurlsen] 67 years old; Portsmouth, R.F.D. No. 3
“have known the soldier Lemuel Babb for more than fifty years” and Alef Babb his widow was “never married until they were married to each other …”

 

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Adolph Babb, 11 April 1914
67 years old; Deep Creek, Norfolk Co., Va. … “[S]he was married under the name of Adolph Corprew to said soldier at Hickory Grounds, on the 5th day of Jany 1873 by Jno. D. Berryman, that there was no legal barrier to the marriage; that she had no (sic) been previously married; that the soldier had not been previously married.”

 

Letter from J.M. Johnson, Notary Public, Norfolk Co., Virginia, to Bureau of Pensions, 24 August 1914
“Personally appeared before me in my County and State aforesaid this the 24 day of Aug 1914 W.H. Creekmore Register of Births & Deaths for Deep Creek Magisterial District and states on oath that Lemuel Babb died on the 23rd day of March 1914.  Sworn to before me in my county & State.  This is the 24 day Aug 1914.”

 

Sworn Statement, March Corprew & Geo. Harrlson, 20 October 1914
Both knew Lemuel Babb and Adlph Babb his widow since they were very young and that they were never married before they were married to each other and that they have lived as man and wife until the death of the soldier (Lemuel Babb)”

 

Sworn Statement, Geo. H. Wilson, 10 November 1914
“I am sixty-eight (68) years of age and I think I have known Adolph Babb for forty-eight years. She was about 20 years of age. And that I have known the late soldier Lemuel Babb for forty-eight (48) yeas when he came out of the late war in 1866.”

 

Sworn Statement, March Corprew, 10 November 1914
Has known the widow Adolph Babb all of his life and that he is 77 years old “having been born on 2nd day Jany 1837” and that he knew the late soldier Lemuel Babb for about 52 years.

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