This week we will hear from Thomas MacEntee about the War of 1812 and how it applies to our genealogy research. Below is an example of what you can find in the very valuable pension records.
Cyrus Bailey of Vermont enlisted in 1814 in the "late war with Great Britain" today known as the War of 1812. He was part of Captain Smead's Company, in the 11th US Infantry. In August of that year Cyrus suffered several injuries during his service.
Testimony from Samuel Dutton, his tent-mate in 1838, describes that while "pulling up and mooveing a tent pin or hook did receive a wound" and subsequently in the state of New York he received an additional injury "in the same place by carrying a pole for wood by stepping and slipping on the ice." Dutton said Bailey was taken to the hospital and remained there until discharged.
A Cephus Bailey further testified in 1855 that "from the time he returned from the service of the United States, to the day of his death, that said Cyrus Bailey never enjoyed good health after his return, that he always said it was in consequence of disease contracted while in said service."
Cyrus' initial pension application in March 1839 was denied a month later because it "afford not evidence of his having sustained any injury while in the service."
After Cyrus' death in 1840 his widow Chloe persevered in attempting to collect the pension. Depositions were given by Widow Bailey herself, Jacob Abbott of Merrimack, NH, Jesey [sic] Adams of Weston, Vermont and Jacob Bailey.
While it is unclear whether Widow Bailey was successful in her efforts what is clear is that the pension file of Cyrus Bailey contains valuable genealogical information about Cyrus Bailey, his family, friends and associates.
From the documents we learn:
- that he married Chloe on 2 August 1805
- the exact date and location of Cyrus' death
- that Jesey and Cyrus were acquainted for 35 years
- that Jacob Bailey knew him since the time of his marriage in 1805
- Cephus Bailey also declares that Cyrus Bailey is his father
- perhaps most fascinating is Widow Bailey's detailed description of where and when Cyrus served.
Even if your ancestor didn't serve in the War of 1812, he or she may be mentioned in the War of 1812 pensions files. You can learn more about how to research your War of 1812 ancestor during the Wednesday, 15 October webinar presented by Thomas MacEntee. There's still time to register.