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Archive for the ‘Surname F’ Category

The documents described below indicate that this individual served in the US Navy and not in the 1st US Colored Cavalry — but the pension index card shows that he served in both. The Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) for”William H. Firman/Furman” indicates that he was born in New York, worked as a baker before enlistment, was assigned the rank of private at enlistment and was mustered out as a corporal. The CMSR has no information about service in another branch of the military. It’s a mystery. More research is required to sort this out.

Invalid — 967, 924 / 1,068,549
C – 2,524,977

Navy Department, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Washington, DC, 1892
“Furman enlisted in the Navy at New Bedford, Mass., June 30, 1862, as landsman, for two years, that he served on board the USS Emma, and was discharged from that vessel, June 30, 1864; that he re-enlisted at Hampton Roads, Va., May 5, 1866, that he served on board the ‘Conemaugh,’ that he deserted from that vessel, July 20, 1867, that he was arrested on December 7, 1867, and that he was discharged from the receiving ship at Norfolk, Va., December 11, 1867.”
“Furman enlisted in the Navy June 30, 1862, for two years, that he served on board the USS Ohio, R.R. Cuyler and Emma, and was discharged from the last-named vessel, June 30, 1864; that he re-enlisted May 5, 1866, that he served on board the ‘Conemaugh,’ and that he deserted from that vessel, July 19, 1867.”

Letter from Wm. H. Furman to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 25 November 1914
“I have reached the age of 75 years. I was born on the 25th day of November 1839 … and reside at 420 E. 23rd Street, Baltimore, Md”

General Affidavit, Clarence W. Furman, 12 April 1918
33 years old; residence, Baltimore, Maryland
[notes about marriage] Married once; she died in 1899.
[children] none
[life, accident, or health insurance] Baltimore Life Insurance, $36.00 paid
[pensioner’s beneficiary] his son, Clarence W. Furman
[who paid the insurance premiums] pensioner and son

Letter from Charles F. Wood, National School of Domestic Art & Science, Inc., 2650 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, DC, to E.C. Tieman, Deputy Commissioner, Washington, DC, 14 June 1918
“Clarence H. Furman … is an uneducated colored man, and blind. It is impossible for him personally to look after the details, and because relatives of his have been servants in my family for many years, I have been trying to assist him to secure what seems to rightfully belong to him under the law.”

General Affidavit, Theoderick Mitchell, 28 May 1900
55 years old; residence, 14 E. Hamilton St., Baltimore, Md.
“I am well acquainted with William H. Furman … have known him well for twenty years or more. Visit him at his home frequently”

General Affidavit, William H. Furman, 28 May 1900
60 years old; residence, 318 20[illegible] St., Baltimore, Md.
“I cannot furnish medical testimony … for the reason that I have not been treated by a physician, not being able to employ one, and for that reason am compelled to treat myself with such remedies as afford me relief. I am compelled to give up my work about three fourths of my time and remain at home under home treatment”

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The soldier sustained serious injury to his right side while in battle at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

Invalid — 894, 309 / 785,267

Sworn Statement, Oscar Fields, 26 October 1891
“That in the spring of the year Eighteen hundred and sixty-five at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in the line of his duty, and while engaged in close quarters fighting the enemy deponent fell and several of his comrades fell on top of him and he got crushed which caused said injury to said right side”

U.S. Pension Agency (Form 3-405), New York, New York, 2 May 1899
“I hereby report that the name of Oscar Fields … has been dropped because of reported death Feb 98”

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Following witnesses over time is as important as following claimants over time. It’s an aspect of “reasonably exhaustive research.” For example, if a witness’s surname changed because of marriage, not only might an existing problem be solved, another (even useful) line of inquiry might open. Today’s post includes research notes from documents dated July 14, 1892 to October 4, 1900. Last week’s post included research notes from documents dated May 5, 1889 to June 27, 1892.


Widow — 404,544 / —–, Sarah Wiggins

Record Evidence, Maria Ballard, 14 July 1892
Residence and post-office address, Bowers Hill, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That Elijah Freeman husband of Sarah Wiggins formerly Sarah Freeman died December 15th 1882 at Gettys Station in the County of Norfolk from scurvy. I as undertaker prepared the body for burial and superintended the burial of Elijah Freeman on the 16th day of December 1882.”

Origin of Disability, Squire Bright and Albert Jones, 29 August 1892
[Bright] 52 years old; residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Virginia
[Jones] 49 years old; residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Virginia
“[Claimant] was attacked with scurvy which first affected said soldier in the legs and afterward attacked his body, and he was attended for that complaint by Dr. Manley the Regimental Physician … the affiant Albert Jones heard Dr. Manly say that the disease of which soldier was afflicted was scurvy”

Record Evidence, J. Maurice Armistead, Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Va., 15 October 1892
Residence and post-office address, 306 Effingham St., Portsmouth, Va.
“I celebrated the marriage of Miles Wiggins and Sarah Freeman at Olive Branch Baptist Church in Norfolk County, on the 26th day of September 1888 (1888) of which last named church I was at the time mentioned and am now the Pastor.”

Origin of Disability, Thomas Reddick, 14 January 1893
Residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That I was well acquainted with Elijah Freeman (deceased) called Eli Freeman in the service and after discharge. … At Brazos Texas in 1865 and 1866 he took a bad cold and cough … and troubled him through the remainder of service. He also had the scurvy in the Army
“I knew him after his discharge and up to his death”

Affidavit, Squire Bright and Thomas Reddick, 14 January 1893
[Bright] 52 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
[Reddick] 53 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That they were member of Co K, 1st Regiment U.S.C. Cavalry and were well acquainted with Elijah Freeman .. [Eliah Freeman] was honorably discharged … was the husband of Sarah Freeman since intermarried with Miles Wiggins … according to the best of their recollection said Elijah Freeman was known in said service as ‘Eli Freeman.'”

Claimant’s Affidavit, Sarah Wiggins, 7 February 1893
Residence and post-office address, 1311 Chestnut, Portsmouth, Va.
“That she cannot furnish her husband’s discharge certificate for the reason that it was placed by the soldier in the hands of a pension agent who absconded the parts several years ago and went to parts to the affiant unknown.
“That as near as she can recall the said Eli Freeman called also Elijah Freeman was enlisted about January 1864 … Capt. S.J. Whiteman; First Lieut. Charles Hart; 1st Sergeant Thomas Pitt; Col of Regiment Jeffrey Gerard

Affidavit, Rosetta Bright and Mary J. Riddick, 21 March 1893
[Bright] 48 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 313 Dinwiddie St., Portsmouth, Va.
[Riddick] 56 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, cor King & Armstrong Sts, Portsmouth, Va.
“That Annie and John are the only children Sarah and Elijah Freeman … [they were living] and under the age of 16 years at the time of the death of said Elijah Freeman and they the said Annie and John are still living.
“That James the child heretofore mentioned died before his father and should not be claimed for.”

Affidavit, Squire Bright and Thos. Reddick, 11 May 1899
[Bright] 59 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
[Reddick] 62 years old; residence, King St., Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That we were well and intimately acquainted with Elijah Freeman”

Affidavit, Sarah Wiggins, 4 October 1900
Residence and post-office address, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address 624 Glasgow St., Portsmouth, Va.
“That she is now weak and unable to earn a living. That she has been in an enfeebled condition for three years. That she has to be taken care of by her friends. That she has no property real or personal and no income from any source. That she has no one lawfully bound to support herself. That was it not for her friends she would have to be taken care of by this state. That she is in destitute circumstances. That she has no physician in attendance.”

Affidavit, James Hoffler, 4 October 1900
Residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va. resides in Norfolk County
“That he is well acquainted with Sarah Wiggins … that he has been acquainted with her for 15 years — That claimant has lived in affiant’s community for 15 years”




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Following witnesses over time is as important as following claimants over time. It’s an aspect of “reasonably exhaustive research.” For example, if a witness’s surname changed because of marriage, not only might an existing problem be solved, another (even useful) line of inquiry might open. Today’s post includes research notes from documents dated May 5, 1889 to June 27, 1892. Next week’s post will include research notes from documents dated July 14, 1892 to October 4, 1900.


Widow — 404,544 / —–, Sarah Wiggins

Widow’s Application for Pension, Sarah Wiggins, 5 May 1889
53 years old; residence and post-office address, 1225 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, Va.
“the widow of Eliah Freeman who died at Norfolk Co., Va. on the 15 day of Dec A.D. 1882 of [illegible] …. I was married under the name of Sarah Griffin … at Isle of Wight Co., Va. … I have not remained his widow to the present date having remarried Miles Wiggins Sept 27, 1888. That the following are the names and dates of birth of all his children, under 16 years of age when he died:
Annie Freeman, born January 15, 1867;
John Freeman, born March 17, 1869;
James A. Freeman, born August 1, 1871.
“Also personally appeared Isaac Watkins, residing at Portsmouth, Va., and Mariah Riddick residing at Norfolk County, Va.”

Proof of Birth, Maria Riddick, 8 November 1889
residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That I was present in the capacity of nurse at the birth of Annie Freeman, on the 15 day of January 1867 and that said child is the legitimate child of the above named soldier and his wife Sarah Freeman (now Wiggins).”

Proof of Birth, Maria Riddick, 8 November 1889–ok
residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That I was present in the capacity of nurse at the birth of John Freeman, on the 17 day of March 1869 and that said child is the legitimate child of the above named soldier and his wife Sarah Freeman (now Wiggins).”

Proof of Birth, Maria Riddick, 8 November 1889 –ok
residence and post-office address, 1311 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, Va.
“That I was present in the capacity of nurse at the birth of James A. Freeman on the 1st day of August 1871, and that said child is the legitimate child of the above named soldier and his wife Sarah Freeman (now Wiggins).”

Affidavit, Maria Ballard and Joshua Providence, 26 March 1891
[Ballard] about 40 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 1311 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, Va.
[Providence] 39 years old; residence, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, Bowers Hill, Va.
“the said Maria Ballard states that she was living with the said Elijah Freeman at the time of his death in Norfolk County, Va. and that said Freeman died on the 15 day of December 1882.
“The said Joshua Providence states that he was the undertaker who buried the said Elijah Freeman, that he died on the 15 day of December 1882 of complaints caused by scurvy contracted in the war.
“The said Maria Ballard also states that the said Freeman died of complaints caused by scurvy contracted in the war.”

Proof of Birth, Mariah Ballard, 31 January 1891
residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“I was present in the capacity of was living with Sarah Wiggins at the birth of Annie Freeman, on the 15 day of Jan, 1867 and that said child is the legitimate child of the above named soldier and his wife Sarah Freeman now Wiggins.”

Proof of Birth, Mariah Ballard, 31 January 1891–ok
residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“I was present in the capacity of was living with Sarah Wiggins at the birth of John Freeman, on the 17 day of Mar 1869 and that said child is the legitimate child of the above named soldier and his wife Sarah Freeman now Wiggins.”

Proof of Birth, Mariah Ballard, 31 January 1891–ok
residence and post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“I was present living with Sarah Wiggins at the birth of James A. Freeman, on the 1 day of Aug., 1871 and that said child is the legitimate child of the above named soldier and his wife Sarah Freeman now Wiggins.”

Affidavit, James M. Armistead, 3 June 1892
residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I hereby certify that I officiated at the marriage of Sarah Freeman, the widow of Elijah Freeman to Miles Wiggins Sept 1888 in Norfolk County, Va. J.M. Armistead, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church”

Affidavit, Hannah Young and Maria Ballard, 3 June 1892
[Young] 60 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Glasgow St., Portsmouth, Va.
[Ballard] 45 years old; residence, Getty Station, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That they are personally well acquainted with Sarah Wiggins … and Elijah Freeman. That they were married according to the custom among slaves by consent of their owners about three years previous to the war of the rebellion near Carrsville in Isle of Wight Co. in Va. and continued to live together as husband and wife and were so recognized by the communities in which they lived … to the time of the death of Elijah Freeman.”

Testimony of Employers, Neighbors or Acquaintances of Soldier, Albert Jones and Mary Jane Riddick, 27 June 1892
[Jones] 49 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
[Reddick] 55 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, King Street, Portsmouth, Va.
“well and personally acquainted with Elijah Freeman, the said soldier, for 30 years, and 40 years, respectively … that they were neighbors and acquaintances of the said soldier … frequently met him at our houses and talked with him about his complaints”

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This pension application is rich with detailed observations about individuals, their character, their occupations, their living arrangements and relationships: “third cousin to her said husband … underage and could not get a license in Virginia … a white man’s child … the minor has been shaving for more than three years … were not married and did not occupy the same room … now running on a schooner between Norfolk, Boston & New York … visited his family at different times while in service, and the family were then living in Portsmouth … made a bargain herself to buy the land … they are both gentlemen, don’t think either one of them would tell a lie.”

Widow — 158,200 / 123,131, Letitia Foulkes

Sworn Statement, Dr. H.P. Ritter, 28 October 1868
“He has examined Harriet Foulk, General Jackson Foulk & Alexander Foulk children of Samuel & Letitia Foulk and … Harriet was born during the month of December 1856 & that the said General Jackson was born on or about the month of November 1859 & that the said Alexander was probably born about the latter part of the month of February 1861″
“Also personally appeared Mary Ann Porter and Matilda Parker, residents of Gates Co., NC … they have been for more than 25 years personally acquainted with the claimant … they were present at the marriage of the parties at the home of the late Revd Wm. Cross a Justice of the Peace of the said Gates County, NC & that said marriage occurred on or about May 2/1855 … [Cross] died about the month of April 1865 at said Gates County, NC”

Exhibit A, Letitia Foulk, 25 July 1878
about 41 years old; residence, near Gilmerton Locks, Norfolk Co., Va.
“She was born and raised free, and lived in the neighborhood of Holy Neck Chapel, Nansemond Co., Virginia from birth until about two years after the commencement of the late war, that she was married on the last Thursday in May, and think it was in the year 1856, to Samuel Foulk a free coloured man who lived in the same neighborhood. Affiant maiden name was Letitia Foulke and she was third cousin to her said husband. They were married in Gates Co., NC by a Magistrate named William Cross, it was the nearest point in NC where they could find a Magistrate, it was not far from Gatesville, went to NC to get married because she was underage and could not get a license in Virginia. Affiant has learned that William Cross … died during the late War learned the fact by writing through her attorney when she first applied for a pension…. he died at Fortress Monroe of smallpox during the first year of his enlistment … Affiant was sent for by soldier before his death. She went to Old Point but found the soldier was dead on her arrival … The point in North Carolina at which she was married was about 12 miles from her residence at Holy Neck, Nansemond Co., Virginia. There was a large party with her to see the marriage, James Faulk and wife who live near Holy Neck waited on them at their marriage … Her attorney Thomas Baker proved the marriage by a letter from a member of Mr. Cross’s (the Magistrate) family, was not acquainted with any person who lived near Wm. Cross in Gates Co., NC thinks Dr. Elliott of Somerton was present at her marriage. Mary Ann Porter was not present at her marriage but was at the wedding after her return home. Mary Ann Porter died five or six years ago. Matilda Parker was not present at her marriage. Granville Joiner and Benjamin Fly nor either of them were present at her marriage. Affiant had two children by the soldier viz General Jackson who will be 21 years old the 25th day October 1878, and Alexander who will be 17 years old on the 27 of February 1879. When she put in her claim through Thomas Baker, she told him that she had three children, but that Harriet the oldest child was not the child of the soldier, he Baker told her it made no difference … and she did as he advised Harriet was a white man’s child, was not married to Harriet’s father … [affiant] lived in the same house with Armistead Moore for three or four years … has not lived with Moore for the past two years … She never had a child by Moore, never cohabited with him … said Moore is now running on a schooner between Norfolk, Boston & New York, don’t know the name of the schooner. She first lived in the same house with Moore at Coxes Point, can’t fix the date, has lived at her present place of residence four years next March, Cox’s Point is the same place lately rented by Robt Noel. Thomas Nickerson, was a near neighbor when she lived at Cox Point, Nickerson now lives near Gilmerton Locks, Armistead Moore does not visit her now. Miles Copeland, one of affiant’s neighbors has known her all her life, he is an intelligent coloured man, believe Armistead Moore is courting Copeland’s stepdaughter. Affiant’s oldest son works at Baxter & Collins Mill seven or eight miles above Great Bridge. Don’t know where Ben Fly is, thinks Granville Joiner lives at Lincolnville. Matilda Parker lives near Getty Station.”

Exhibit B, Alexander Faulk, 28 July 1878
16 years old; residence, near Gilmerton Locks, Norfolk Co., Va.
“He is the son of claimant … he will be seventeen years old on the last day of February 1879, that he never saw his father to his knowledge, he has always lived home with claimant … Claimant and Alexander Moore lived together four or five years, but they were not married and did not occupy the same room, claimant employed Moore as a farmer for her, Moore rented the Cox & point farm but claimant paid the rent”

Exhibit C, L.B. Kenney, 28 July 1878
40 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“He a Pension Examining Surgeon … made an examination of Alexander Faulk … he gives it as his professional opinion that the said Alexander Faulk is twenty-one years of age, his general development indicates that age and he admits that he the minor has been shaving for more than three years.”

Exhibit D, General Jackson Faulk, 29 July 1878
21 years old; residence, Gilmerton Locks, Norfolk Co., Va.
“He is the oldest son of claimant, that he doesn’t remember his father, but recollects seeing a man near Wingates in Norfolk Co. with a uniform on and has always been taught that was his father, and that his name was Samuel Faulk, and that he died in the U.S. Service at Hampton, Va. Affiant has always lived with claimant … Armistead Moore lived with claimant for some five or six years, he did not live with her as husband and wife, but they farmed together and she did his washing and cooking, they did not occupy the same room … they rented first from Smoale & Co [?] of Philadelphia, and afterward from J.J. Bilosoly. When claimant lived at Cox Point, Armistead Moore was responsible for the rent. After moving to Bilosoly’s place claimant made a bargain herself to buy the place, so much each year until paid for … Moore lived with claimant for five or six years preceding last autumn, since which time he has been running on a schooner to New York and Boston, he has not been to claimant’s house since last Autumn, he lived with her as a boarder until that time… Moore is not a married man”

Exhibit E, Robert Noel, 31 July 1878
50 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“owns and works a farm near Cox Point, has known [claimant] for about 10 years, about nine of which she has lived with Armistead Moore as his wife … about six years ago they moved from thence across a creek nearer to Gilmerton Locks, thinks they bought the property … often heard Moore speak of claimant as his wife… Moore shipped the production of the land they lived on in his own name…. about a year ago he went away with Captain Trammell [?] on a schooner which trades north. Is acquainted with her (claimant) sons”

Exhibit F, Martin J. Ballentine, 1 August 1878
72 years old; residence, Gilmerton Locks, Norfolk Co., Va.
“acquainted with claimant, she resides on a place adjoining his farm, she came to live there about three years ago with a colored man named Armistead Moore … [they lived there] until about a year ago, when Moore went off on the schooner Lydia Roper [sp?] Capt. Crasmer [sp?], thinks Moore went as steward … don’t know claimant’s children”

Exhibit G, J.J. Bilosoly, 9 August 1878
39 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“has known her since Feb 17 1873 at which time he sold her a piece of land in Norfolk Co. She did not pay him for the land, but gave notes endorsed by Armistead Moore, and a deed of trust to secure him, the notes have never been paid. Claimant has lived on said land ever since, don’t know whether Armistead Moore has lived with her or not.”

Exhibit H, Miles Copeland, 9 August 1878
resides at Western Farm, Norfolk Co., Va.
“has known [claimant] since she was a child, she was a freeborn coloured woman, raised near Holy Neck, Nansemond Co., Virginia … claimant was married some years (three or four) before the late Rebellion to a free coloured man named Samuel Faulk, her maiden name was Letitia Faulk. She had one daughter before she married Samuel Faulk. She was not married to the Father of said Daughter. Affiant was not present at the marriage of claimant, he lived in same neighborhood at the time she was married. … it is not certain whether she was married in Nansemond Co. or in North Carolina, many people went from Virginia to North Carolina (which was only a few miles off ) to get married … knows that [Faulk] was a Cavalry soldier, has seen him in uniform, thinks he enlisted in Norfolk or Portsmouth or vicinity because he visited his family at different times while in service, and the family were then living in Portsmouth he (the soldier) died of smallpox … thinks his regiment was on the James River at the time.”

Exhibit I, Armistead Moore, 9 August 1878
residence, schooner Lydia H. Roper, Norfolk Co., Va.
“he has never been married to the claimant, did not live in cohabitation, lived with her as an employee for six or seven years, left her employment last Autumn, never lived with her as husband and wife, never occupied the same bed or same room with claimant … knows Robert Noel and M.J. Balentine, believes they are both gentlemen, don’t think either one of them would tell a lie. Miles Copeland is a respectable colored man, and is friendly to affiant, don’t believe he would tell a lie.”

Exhibit K, Henry Faulk, 10 August 1878
38 years old; residence, near Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Virginia
“He is a brother of Samuel Faulk … affiant was a soldier in same co. & Regiment. Affiant enlisted in 1863 or 1864 … Affiant was not at their marriage but know they were regularly married and lived together as husband and wife … Affiant has not regarded Armistead Moore and claimant as husband and wife … The deceased soldier and claimant were distant cousins, heard of their marriage shortly after it took place, and visited them in their domicile … don’t visit claimant because of living with Armistead Moore and not being married to him, or denying her marriage.”

Widow’s Claim for Arrears of Pension, Act Jan. 25, 1879, Letitia Falk, 28 September 1881
43 years old; residence, Norfolk, 3 miles from Portsmouth;
[also appeared] Irena Porter, residence, Norfolk, Va., No. 69 Newton St., and Milly Smith, residence, Norfolk, Va., No. 44 Fourth St…. long acquainted 30 years”

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