Tennessee Genealogy Research by Debbie W. Spero

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Jemima Williams, widow of Tobias Williams, Private of NC, Revolutionary War

by deb - October 15th, 2012.
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Jemima Williams, my 5th great grandmother, was the widow of Revolutionary War Soldier, Tobias Williams of NC and Smith County, TN.  Tobias Williams was granted a pension in 1833, and died in April 1834.    Following is the penison application of widow, Jemima Williams…

Smith Co. TN:  On this 21st day of November in the year 1837 personally appeared before me Daniel Smith one of the acting Justices of the Peace in and for the county and state aforesaid, Jemima Williams, a resident of Smith Co and state aforesaid aged eighty three years of age who being first duly sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Provision made by the act of Congress passed July the 4, 1836: 

That she is the widow of Tobias Williams who was a pensioner of the United States and drew his pension in Nashville, State of Tennessee, for services rendered during the War of the Revolution.

She further declares that she was married to the said Tobias Williams on the 1st day of April one thousand seven hundred and seventy five:  and that her husband the aforesaid Tobias Williams died on the 15th day of April 1834 and that she the said Jemima Williams has remained a widow ever since that period… Sworn to and subscribed before me, David Smith….

                                                                                           Jemima X (her mark)Williams

Daniel Smith gave his own statement that same day, that “I am well acquainted with Jemima Williams, widow of Tobias Williams a pensioner, deceased.   That she is a woman of respectability and truth…and credit (is) due…and ought to be given to her statement.   I further certify that from old age and bodily infirmiy she cannot travel to the court house to make this declaration in open court”.

On 1st day of October 1838, Daniel Smith, certified that, “the small slip of paper hereto annexed as bearing the date of the birth of William Williams was taken from the family bible in the possession of Mrs. Jemima Williams…She made the foregoing declaration and that she stated him to be her first born child”. 

The next paper in the file, giving a summary of the facts of the military history of Tobias Williams, stated in a remarks section that soldier married April 1775 Jemima.  She was allowed pension on a application…21 Nov 1837, while a resident of Smith Co, Tenn, aged 83 years.  William Williams b. Oct 19, 1775  was her first born child.

State of Tennessee Haywood County…22nd day of September 1838, appeared Herrod(?) Haralson…and made oath in due form that during the Revolutionary War and particularly from about the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy six or 1777 up to the year 1800 or thereabouts, making twenty odd years, he was personally acquainted with Tobias Williams and Jemima his wife then of Caswell County North Carolina   that they were during that period living a near neighbor and that they were reputed as lawful man and wife and he never heard it suggested to the contrary and further, that they were of honest and respectable character.

2nd October 1838, a letter from Carthage, TN by a Mr. A, Fergusson to the Commissioner of Pensions, James L.Edwards, Esqr., stating that he had “sent to three counties in North Carolina and Viginia but no record as yet has been discovered  indeed I presume there is none so early a period as 1775  there are few records of the kind in existence.  I had taken the record of the oldest child from the bible at the time the magistrate attended at her house to qualify her…I have also after long enquiry and search found out Mr. Herndon Haralson in the western division of this state…and I am informed a minister of the gospel.   This is the best proof I have been enable to procure as yet in her behalf.  I have no doubt myself as to the Justice of the claim and believe to a certainty that the claim is genuine.  It would be a very pleasing…to the old lady to receive her pension.  I hope you will feel fully authorized to allow it.”

Her application was “admitted” and certificate of pension was issued the 22nd day of April 1839 and sent to A. Fergusson, Carthage, TN.

One last item of interest in this pension file was a letter from 30 Oct 1912 from a Mr. R.R. Williams, who requested the claim papers and abstract of service of Tobias Williams, a soldier in the War of the Revolution.   The letterhead was United States Trust Company, Louisville, KY.  In a handwritten “P.S”, Mr. Williams said: “I wish to qualify for membership in Sons of American Revolution”.

 

 

 

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