Monday, July 17, 2017

A Precious Pension File

When all the evidence comes together to reveal family relationships, it's an exciting moment. Another Lake researcher finally was able to understand the connections in a document after my recent posts on two women named Precious. She shared with me the document, which is one that I had not seen.

As a quick recap, Precious Moore Weathers and her sister, Elizabeth Moore Muntman, were daughters of Elizabeth Lake Moore. After being orphaned as a toddler, Elizabeth was raised in the household of her (presumed) aunt, Precious Lake York.

Precious York filed for a military pension based on her husband's Civil War service. Wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, John York returned home to Morgan County, Illinois, where he died from his wounds.

There were few birth certificates in Illinois at the time of the Civil War, so the ages of pensioners and minor children needed to be proven via Bible records or through affidavits from neighbors. For elderly soldiers later in life, census lookups were even used to verify age.

Precious had several minor children and in her file is a fascinating affidavit. In July of 1880, a woman named as Lizzie Montman gave an affidavit that listed the names and birth dates of the children of John and Precious York, her aunt. She signed the affidavit as Elisabeth Muntman. The document was witnessed by her sister, Precious Weathers.

One of my theories had been that the 13-year-old Elizabeth in the York household in 1850 was actually Elizabeth Moore. The affidavit confirms there was no Elizabeth York; therefore, the theory holds.

Thank you to the researcher who shared this fascinating look at family members supporting one of their own.

The entire file and this complete document can be found on Fold3.

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