Today I am looking at a document in Edward’s pension file created in August of 1820. This document gives me a very interesting picture of Edward Marden as of that date. It also provides me with some family data, but unfortunately it does not give me any names or other dates of value.
You can click on these images to enlarge them.
My readers can also read the transcript which follows.
State of New Hampshire
Grafton At the Court of Common Pleas being a court of record by law established … on the second Tuesday of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty …
Personally appeared in open court Edward Mardin aged sixty eight years resident in Lyman in said county of Grafton who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath declare that he served in the revolutionary war as follows vis a private soldier in Capt. Moody Dustin's Company & Col. Henry Dearborn's Regiment in the New Hampshire line. That his original declaration is dated 9th day of April 1818 that he has received a pension and his pension certificate in numbered 7,831.
And I do solemnly swear that I was a resident at _ of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 And that I have not since that time disposed of my property or any part thereof, with intent thereby _ to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land & naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed on the 18th day of March 1818. And that I have not nor has any person in trust for me any property or securities contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule here to connected And by me subscribed I further declare I am by Occupation a farmer and I am not of sufficient Ability to pursue it My wife is aged forty years feeble & contantly out of health.
I have but one child alive to my knowledge he is of age & does not live in my family he is poor & has a family of his own I owe seventy dollars & have no one to assist me to support myself my wife being able to do but little I have lived by my pension money & should have been chargeable to one of the town if I had not received it I have no family except my said wife & have to borrow a few things to cook with I cannot even cultivate the few acres I occupy for my wife but let it out for part of the work & it usually yields about ten dollars profits a year this cannot do but little to support me & my sick wife afflicted with the king's evil & I must suffer or receive Charity if my pension is lost. Edward Mardin
Schedule Containing the whole estate and income of Edward Mardin his necessary clothing & bedding accepted / by him subscribed, exhibited to the Court of Common Pleas for the county of Grafton in the State of New Hampshire on the 2d tuesday of August 1820 and __ to his Oath viz
The use & income of About 40 acres of land in Lyman mostly wild which I have no title to except in right of my wife who has a deed of the same from Mr. Charles [K?] White I have the right of occupying during her life & Coventure & no longer having about ten acres cleared up on it & an old log house & barn on it, yearly value of all ten dollars $10.00
one heifer year old last spring 5.00
four common sheep at l.50 6.00
one ax one hoe both old 2.00
2 chairs 3 knives & forks broken table & part of Old set Cups & Saucers 3.00
One broken spida .50
One hog & 2 pigs all small 5.60
said heifer is mortgaged for nearly her value but I keep her still
What does this document tell me?
- The date is the 2nd Tuesday of August 1820 (using the calendar function of my RootsMagic software produces a date of 8-Aug-1820)
- 68 year old Edward is at Lyman, NH
- He is currently collecting a pension ($96/yr is stated on other documents)
- His occupation is farmer but he is “not of sufficient Ability to pursue it”
- His wife at this time is 40 years old “feeble & contantly out of health”. She was born abt. 1780 - this woman can not be the mother of Edward Jr. b.abt.1785. Edward Sr. is old enough to be her father.
- He claims only 1 child alive “to my knowledge”
- His child is a son “of age” (over 21) “with a family” (perhaps we can assume at least one child). This fits with what we know about Jr.
- The son is poor and does not live with Edward
- Edward owes $70 (he does not tell us to whom or for what)
- Edward’s wife owns about 40 acres of land in Lyman which she acquired by deed from a Charles [K?] White.
- Edward has about $10/yr income from renting his wife’s land to another farmer.
- Edward has a small quantity of basic livestock, but not much more. His personal property is old and broken and his cow is mortgaged.
What do I need to investigate further?
- I should try to locate the deed mentioned to see if I can properly identify this wife. How did she acquire this land?
- I should look for other deeds in Lyman for this woman or Edward (Sr. & Jr.).
- If I am able to identify the wife, I should look to see if I can learn more about her. Was she a widow? Did she have children? Who were her parents? Is there anything to suggest she was Native?
I am always sadden when I read the inventories found in Revolutionary War pension records. Most folks of this time period had very little in the way of personal property to begin with. As they got older and could no longer toil from sun up to sun down and then some, their meager income dwindled even more. They no longer had the ability to replace necessities as they broke or wore out from every day use. By the time the government got around to helping it’s veterans, they were frequently living in abject poverty and had been for years. Since the beginnings of our Nation, we have never taken our responsibility to our veterans seriously.
I was curious what the “King’s Evil” was, so I Googled it and found a number of nice lists of old diseases. No sources given, but a quick review suggests a reasonable level of accuracy. I looked at 4 lists, each of which was slightly different, so they are not just copies of each other. I learned that “King’s Evil” is a TB infection of the throat lymph glands and also called Scrofula. I thought TB only effected the lungs. I love research because I am always learning new things. Now if only I could remember what I learn!
Edward says he has only 1 child alive “to my knowledge” - I find this a curious choice of words. I’ve read a lot of pension files in my time and I don’t recall anyone using that phase before.
Have any of my readers come across the use of this phase in legal records of the time period? Care to comment or speculate?