Tennessee Genealogy Research by Debbie W. Spero

Genealogy–tips, research ideas, problems and answers

Revolutionary War Soldier Private David Herron of Albemarle Co VA and White Co TN

by deb - September 24th, 2012

The continuation of the pension application of David Herron, age 103, of White County, TN in 1833.

Answers to the questions prescribed by the War Department and propounded by the Justice

1st  He was born either in Orange or Albemarle he does not recollect precisely which, he thinks however in Orrange County Virginia in the year 1730 to the best of his knowledge and belief.

2nd He has no record of his age

3rd He was living in Albemarle County Virginia each time when called into service–Since the revolutionary war he married and moved to White County Tennessee where he has resided for twenty eight years.

4th He thinks he was drafted each time when called into service but in this he may be mistaken.

5th He has stated the names of his officers who were with the troops where he served together with the general circumstances of this service as well as his memory will permit.

6th He never received a written discharge from the service, but was verbally discharged from each of his tours.

7th He states the name of the following persons to whom he has been long known in his present neighborhood who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution–viz:  Edward E. Hooper, Stephen Cantrell, James Russell, James Townsend, Esqr and Major Isaac Taylor.   There is no minister of the gospel living in his immediate neighborhood.                           David X (his mark) Herron

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 2nd day of October A.D. 1833 William Irwin Justice of the pece

State of Tennessee White County:  I William Irwin an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said county and state do hereby certify that David Herron the foregoing applicant from age and bodily infirmity is unable to attend the court of the county of White held in the town of Sparta in said county a distance of sixteen miles from said applicant’s residence.   In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 2nd day of October A.D. 1833.

                                                                                  William Irwin Justice of the Pece

State of Tennessee White County   We James Townsend Esquire and James Russel both residing in the county of White and state aforesaid do hereby certify that we have long been well acquainted with David Herron who has subscribed and sworn to the foregoing and above declaration for a pension that we believe him to be about one hundred and three years of age, that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a solider of the Revolutionary and that we concur in that opinion. 15th day of January A.D. 1834                                              Jas Townsend

William Irwin Justice of the Peace               James Russell

Additional info with this application said David Herron was “allowed penison on his application”.  In 1836, the soldier was living in McNairy County, TN, to which county he had lately moved to live with his daughter, Mrs. Nancy Jullin or Jullian and her husband, whose name was not designated.  In 1836? one Erbin Jullian and Nancy Jullian testified jointly to the identity of the soldier, David Herron, in McNairy County.

And so ends the pension application of David Herron.  I do not have his death date.   As usual, one question answered leaves another to be researched! 





Revolutionary War Veteran Private David Herron of Albemarle Co Virginia

by deb - September 21st, 2012

The pension application of David Herron continues…

He again went out under Captain Isaac Davis.  He does not recollect certainly but thinks that his lieutenants name was Richard Durret.  He again met at Sharlottsville and as well as he recollects performed something like the rout mentioned in his second tour and was finally discharged at Little York and declarant again returned home to his fathers.  

He again went out under Captain John Miller making his fourth tour.  He belonged to the first Regiment during each term of service as well as he recollects.  He was discharged from his last tour of duty at Fredricksburg.  His colonels name was Richardson, he was under him all the time he served.  His Major’s name was McElhaney, General Washington, and Marcus De Lafayette were with the troops where he served.  Declarant was at Little York when Lord Cornwallis surrendered.

He is aged and very infirm, has entirely lost his sight and is nearly deaf and from his great loss of memory he is unable to state the precise periods of the war when he served, neither can he recollect precisely how long he was out each tour but is confident that in the four tours he served Eight Months, the aggregate amount of his service is more deeply fixed upon his memory.   He asks of his government to give him a pension for the period of eight months, that he may be able to spend his last years in comfort.  He is poor and much needs whatever may be allowed him.  He has no documentary evidence, nor does he recollect of any living witness whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his service.  He hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.  

My next entry will be the “answers to the questions prescribed by the War Department and propounded by the Justice” of David Herron as his pension application is completed. 



David Herron of White County, TN Revolutionary Soldier aged 103

by deb - September 19th, 2012

I found the answer to my 5th great grandfather’s Revolutionary War Service faster than I thought.   I already had a copy of his Revolutionary War pension application buried in my files of family research.

My grandfather was Morgan Jackson Saddler 1917-1986.  His mother was Mai Bell Tomberlain of Rutherford and Davidson Counties, TN, 1892-1972.  Her father was Gale Waymon Tomberlain of White and Rutherford Counties, TN, 1847-1933.  His father was George W. Tomberlain of White County,  born 1824, died during the Civil War as a POW in Camp Chase, Ohio.  His mother was Sarah Herron of NC and White County, TN, born ca 1801 and died Nov 1883.  Her father:  David Herron, born 1730, died in the 1830’s, probably McNairy Co. (west TN) TN.

David Herron, S4337, Service:  VA.   State of Tennessee White County:  On this 2nd day of October in the year 1833 personally appeared before William Irwin an acting Justice of the peace in and for said County and State David Herron a resident of the County of White and state of Tennessee aged one hundred and three years past who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832–

That he entered the service of the United State under the following named officers and served as herein stated–

He entered the service under Captain William Danton in the year 1773 as well as he can now recollect.  He then resided in Albemarle County State of Virginia.  His lieutenants name was Robert Rhodes.   He was drafted this tour for three months.  The company met in Sharlotsville in Albemarle County, from thence he was marched to Richmond from there to Cabbin point on James River,  there crossed the river and marched to Petersburg where he was discharged and returned home to his fathers in Albemarle County having served out his three months. 

He remained at his fathers some months but how long he does not remember, tho a period less than one year, when he again was drafted for how long he does not remember under Captain John Miller.  His lieutenant’s name was Henry Austin.  His company met again at Sharlottsville.  From thence he marched to Richmond–from thence to Jamestown   at this place our troops had an engagement with the Brittish but this declarant was not in the battle–from thence he marched to Little York from thence to Fredricksburg and was here discharged and again returned home.

And so begins the service of David Herron, who would serve 4 tours of duty in the Revolutionary War.   I will continue his detailed service in my next blog of this elderly ancestor.



Civil War and Revolutionary War Ancestors

by deb - September 17th, 2012

I have spent the last couple of years researching my Civil War ancestors and applying for membership in the Civil War Families of Tennessee through the East Tennessee Historical Society.    I am almost finished with the applications and supporting papers for Lewis Bradshaw Pilkerton and his father Aaron Pilkerton of Rutherford Co, who both served in the 18th Tennessee Infantry and were of Rutherford County, Tennessee.

Next, I plan to learn a little more about my Revolutionary War ancestors and their families and search for both service records and any pension applications.   

At this point, I feel sure I have at least three Revolutionary War ancestors:  one on my dad’s side of the family–Tobias Williams of Smith Co TN and two on my mom’s side of the family– David Herron of White Co TN  and Leonard Brown of Sumner Co TN, each one a great-great-great-great-great grandfather.

While I’m daydreaming, I would love to find and prove an ancestor for First Families of Tennessee.  To qualify for eligibility in this organization an applicant has to prove descent from an ancestor who settled in Tennessee prior to Dec 31, 1796.    And, finally, for now, I would love to find out if I am a Mayflower descendant!   





Lewis B. Pilkerton, Confederate War Soldier, Private, Co. H, 18 Tennessee Infantry

by deb - March 12th, 2012

L.B. Pilkerton, enlisted 15 Nov 1861, in Bowling Green, KY, in Co H, 18th Regiment of Tennessee Infantry, for a period of 6 1/3 months.    This was listed on the first card of his service record, along with “absent” and “detached to Capt. Porter’s Artillery”.    

L.B. Pilkerton had only one card for his service in Capt Morton’s Company Tennessee Light Artillery:  appears on company muster roll of Capt Thomas K. Porter’s Co. Light Artillery under the heading “list of names detailed to this company from Brown’s and Palmer’s Regiments”  for 30 Sept to 31 Dec 1861.  Under remarks on this same card:  “deserted 30 Dec 1861”.

The next card for L.B. Pilkerton was for Co H, 18 Reg’t Tenn Inf for Jan and Feb 1863.    This card read that L.B. Pilkerton had enlisted 23 May 186–(left blank) in Murfreesboro by J.B. Palmer for 12 months.  He was listed as “present.”

L.B. Pilkerton was again listed as “present’ in March and April 1863; July and August 1863 and Sept and Oct 1863 in Co H 18 Reg’t Tenn Inf.  Another card read that S.B. Pilkerton, Pvt Co H 18 Reg’t Tennessee appears on a register of St Mary’s Hospital, Dalton, Georgia.  Complaint was listed as Diarrhea Chronic.  He was admitted on 28 May 1863 and returned to duty 30 May 1863.    On the roll dated 20 Jan 1864, Dalton, GA, L.B. Pilkerton, age 18, enrolled 23 May 1861, Murfreesboro, was present.

The roll dated August 1864, listed L.B. Pilkerton as absent with the remarks:  “captured at Atlanta 30 July 1864.”

Lewis B. Pilkerton’s next card listed him as Prisoner of War at Nashville, Tenn, captured by forces under Maj Gen Sherman and that L.B. was “captured near Atlanta Ga 30 July 1864”.   On his next card, L.B. Pilkerton was on a prisoner of war roll at Military Prison, Louisville, KY, received 5 Aug 1864, discharged 5 Aug 1864, “sent Camp Chase”.

On another service record card it read “received at Camp Chase, Ohio, 6 Aug 1864”.   His date of departure from Camp Chase was 13 May 1865, “released order…8 May 1865.

An “oath of allegiance” card for L.B. Pilkerton, “to the United States, subscribed and sworn to at Camp Chase, Ohio, 13 May 1865”, gave L.B. Pilkerton’s place of residence as Rutherford Co., Tenn; complexion fair; hair dk(dark); eyes blue; height 5 ft 8 in.

9 May 1905 L.B. Pilkerton applied for and his application was “accepted” for a pension given by the state of Tennessee for his service in the Civil War.   In his application he was a citizen of Readyville in Rutherford Co., TN.    He claimed both wounded in battle and disability:  rupture and rhumatism.   He gave his birthplace as “near Strawberry Plains, Jefferson Co., TN, borned 1843”.

At the time he filed his application he had living with him his wife, age 55 and two girls (daughters):  one age 25 and one age 7.     He was farming “very little”, had no real estate and a personal estate worth about $300.   His sons were assisting him up to 1905.     L.B. Pilkerton was 62 years old at the time of his pension application.

And so, another ancestor’s service in the Civil War is proven and documented.     It’s time to look for another one…




Aaron Pilkerton and son Lewis B. Pilkerton, Privates, Co H 18th Tennessee Infantry

by deb - March 9th, 2012

For almost 2 years now I have been researching my own family lines for Civil War soldiers.   So far, I have found one Union soldier, three Confederate soldiers who fought and lived, one Confederate soldier who died a prisoner of war in Ohio, one Confederate soldier who fought, was imprisoned, then re-enlisted as a Union solider, and now, a father and son, Aaron and Lewis B. Pilkerton, who both enlisted in Co H, 18th Tennessee Infantry, CSA, in Rutherford Co. Tennessee!

I have a copy of a family history on the Pilkerton family, by Mary Duggin Jernigan, 1982, that stated both Aaron and Lewis B. Pilkerton, father and son, had enlisted in the same company and infantry in the Civil War.    

I found the service records of both men at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.    Aaron Pilkerton was a, Private, Co H. 18 Tennessee Inf, Capt B.G. Wood’s Company.   Aaron’s age was listed as 55 years.   He appeared on the company muster-in roll:  Camp Trousdale, Tennessee 7 Aug 1861,  enlisted for a period of 9 months, 16 days.    

 According to his service records, Aaron Pilkerton was discharged 1 Nov 1861.     There is a copy of a certificate of disability for discharge from Army of the Confederate States of America stating that:  Aaron Pilkerton of Captain B.G. Woods Company of the Eighteenth regiment of the state of Tennessee Volunteers was enlisted by J.B. Palmer of the Eighteenth regiment of Tennessee at Murfreesboro on the twenty third day of May to serve one year; He was born in North Hampton in the state of North Carolina, is fifty five years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, fair complexion, blue eyes, sandy hair, and by occupation, when enlisted, shoemaker.   During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty 60 days.

Another document signed by a surgeon stated that he (the surgeon) had examined Aaron Pilkerton of Captain Woods Company and “find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of disability from old age and chronic rhumatism in hip…unfitting him for all drill and marching duties…recommended to be discharged”.   Below the surgeon’s name was “camp near B Green KY “.   

I mention the Bowling Green reference because Mrs. Jernigan, in her family history of the Pilkerton family, stated that “Aaron joined General Zollicoffer and served with him until the General was killed in the Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky”.    General Zollicoffer did die in the Battle of Mill Springs, KY,  in January 1862.     Although Aaron was discharged in Nov. 1861, he may have served and fought in other battles with General Zollicoffer.

Also included in Aaron Pilkerton’s service records was a “certificate to be given a soldier at the time of his discharge from the Army of the State of Tennessse”.    It included the same information as the certificate of disability for discharge.   It was dated 15 Nov 1861, Bowling Green, KY.

Mrs. Jernigan also stated in her history that Aaron Pilkerton died in Sonora, KY, at “an age believed to be 107”.     That will be research for another day as the last census I found Aaron to be listed in was in 1880, 18th district of Rutherford Co., TN, age 73, a cobbler, with wife Mary age 68.     The birthplace of both was given as NC.

Next time:   the Civil War service record and the accepted pension application in 1905 of Lewis B. Pilkerton, son and my direct line, of Aaron Pilkerton.




Civil War Pension Application for Emma Lankford Widow of Silas James Lankford, Smith and Dickson Counties, TN

by deb - October 13th, 2011

The depositions continue concerning the widow application of Emma Langford, wife of Union and Confederate Soldier, Silas James Lankford…

8 Feb 1906   Tabitha Lankford:  I am 63 years of age.   My post office is Defeated, Tenn.  I have no occupation.  

James Lankford was my brother.  His name was Silas James Lankford.   He lived at home with his parents till he married.  I lived at home too.

His first marriage was to Nancy Susan McKinnis.  They married in this county, Smith County, Tenn about six or seven years before the Civil War.  I was not at their wedding.  It is my recollection that my said brother showed me his license to marry the said woman, and that it was the first marriage license that I ever saw.

I do not remember who performed the marriage ceremony.

Jim and Susan lived together as husband and wife from the time they married till he joined the army.  He served under Burk Hart (Capt) and that is the only service he rendered so far as I know.

He lived about here only a few months after the war–less than a year, then left Susan and never came back to her anymore.

So far as I have ever heard, Jim and Susan were never divorced.  I think that they were not divorced.   The next wife he had that I ever heard of was Zilph Dunn.  I never saw her and only heard of her.  I do not know where Jim got her.

The next wife he had was Emma Brown whose maiden was Hunt or Hunter and whose first husband–a man named Brown, had been drowned. 

So far as I know Susan lived only in Smith Co. Tenn and near Franklin, KY from the time brother Jim left her till she died.

Burk Hart was Capt in the the Southern Army, and after Jim had served under him he served in the Northern Army and I don’t know what company or regiment he belonged to.    Signed by Tabitha X Lankford and attested to by Rome Dillard and Willie Lankford.

The next deposition was by Julia Ann Chaffin on 8 Feb 1906:  I am 60 years of age.   My post office address is Carthage, Tenn.  I am the wife of Harvey C. Chaffin.   My cousin Susan McKinnis married Jim Lankford.  I was present at the wedding.  Susan had not been married prior to her marriage to Jim Lankford.   I know that to be a fact because we lived in the same neighborhood.  This was signed by Julia Ann X Chaffin and attest to by C.C. Chaffin and Rome Dillard.

The next paper in the file was a letter by the Special Examiner, W.L. Sullivan, to the Clerk and Master of the Chancery Court of Dickson Co., Tenn.   Sullivan asked the Clerk and Master if the records of Dickson Co. Chancery Court showed divorce proceedings between 1864 and 1882 between Silas James Langford and Susan Langford.       The Clerk and Master, W.G. McMillan, answered at the bottom of this page certifying that he could find no record of the case. Feb 12, 1906.

W.L. Sullivan sent a similar letter to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Dickson Co., Tenn and received a reply from the Clerk, J.J. Taylor, that he could find no reocrd of divorce in his court between Silas James Langford and Susan Langford.

On 19 Feb 1906 W.L. Sullivan , Special Examiner, wrote this report to the Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D.C.: 

Sir,   I have the honor to return herewith the papers in the above cited claim and to report as follows: 

The claim was referred for special examination on the question of claimant’s legal widowhood.   It came to me for initial examination.

Claimant was given the usual notice of special examination.   She waived her right to be present or represented by an attorney in the examination of her claim.  She waives further notice.   Claimant had been married but once prior to her marriage to the soldier.  Her first husband was Thomas Brown who was drowned April 20, 1877.

The claimant mentions the soldier’s former wife Zilpha Dunn, and offers evidence proving her death prior to the marriage of the soldier to this claimant.  But, she swore falsely in her initial statement, in that she stated hat so far as she had heard her husband, the soldier, had not been married prior to his marriage to Zilpha Dunn.  When as, she later told me, the soldier told her, before they married, that he had married the mother of Marion and that he had deserted the said first wife.

I searched the marriage records of Smith Co., Tenn, but found no record of marriage for the soldier.  There is one of the marriage books missing covering 1854 to 56 inclusion.

Julia Ann Chaffin a cousin of the first wife, Susan McKinnis, testifies that she was present at the marriage of the soldier to said first wife.

It appears that soldier was never divorced from his first wife, Susan.  I searched the divorce records of Smith Co. Ten, and Simpson Co., KY from the early fifties to 1890, and found no record of any divorce proceedings between the soldier and his first wife, Susan.

The statements of the Clerk and Master of the Chancery Court and the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Dickson Co., Tenn show that soldier never instituted any proceedings for divorce from Susan, in the said county of Dickson, state of Tennessee.

I respectfully submit the claim for consideration of the Chief of Board of Review, signed by W.L. Sullivan, Special Examiner.

The reply of the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Board of Review, Law Division:  The facts are substantially as follows:

The claimant and the soldier were married Dec 15, 1881, as shown by the evidence.   At that time the claimant was free to marry–her only other previous husband, one Brown, having died April 20, 1877.

The soldier had been twice previously married:  His first marriage was to one Nancy Susan McKinnis–sometime between 1853 and 1857.    By her he had four children–three of whom are yet living.  He deserted his first wife about the beginning of the Civil War–going first into the Confederate Army and afterwards into the U.S. service.   He never returned to his first wife.  Shortly after, or just before the close of the war he married one Zilpha Dunn and lived with her until she died January 25, 1881.   His next marriage was to this claimant as before stated.  His first wife did not die until about the latter part of 1887 (Oct or Dec)–six years after his marriage to this claimant.  He lived with the claimant from the date of his marriage to her, in Dec 1881, up to the date of his death–May 17, 1905, a period of more than 23 years–and about 18 years after the death of Susan, his first wife.

The question is did a valid marriage between the claimant and the soldier arise after the death of his first wife, Susan, in Dec 1887? 

In the case of Mary F. Barker, the Dept. appears to have held that the soldier “on account of whose death the appellant claims pension, having had ample opportunity to know, or to ascertain upon slight inquiry that his first wife was living when he married appellant is presumed to have known such fact; and his said marriage to appellant was not valid under Sec 3293 of the code of Tennessee”.

In this case it appears that both the soldier and the claimant probably knew his first wife was living when there were married in Dec 1881.  It is a least shown to be reasonably certain that, if they did not have actual knowledge of the continuance of life of the 1st wife–they could have easily have ascertained the fact upon slight inquiry or investigation.   It does not appear that they, or eitherof them, made any investigation along that line, or that they ever heard of the first wife’s death.   In view of these facts and presumptions could a valid marriage between the claimant and the soldier have arisen after the 1st wife’s death?

Claimant has acted in bad faith from the beginning and has practially admitted that she knew the 1st wife was living when she married the soldier and that she studiously and purposely concealed that fact in presenting the claim.  

Memo:   It has developed in Special Examination that the soldier had a prior Confederated service, but as that fact was not disclosed during his lifetime, and his title to pension was never questioned, and as he did not die until after the passage of “the J….? Resolution”, the widow’s title to the accrued pension if she be the legal widow and to pension in her own right is not affected by the fact of said prior Confederate service.   Feby 27, 1906

The Law Division sent a further memo on March 3, 1906, repeating much of the same info as above with the addition:    The evidence tends strongly and circumstantially to show that claimant and soldier knew that his first wife was living at date of their intermarriage in December 1881.  Moreover, it would appear that fact of the whereabouts and existence of said first wife could readily have been ascertained by the soldier by the exercise of ordinary diligence.   He was guilty of desertion, and no presumption of innocence or good faith on his part can be indulged, it is believed, so as to bring the marriage at bar within the provisions …of the Code of Tennessee.

After due consideration of all the facts presented by the record, I am of the opinion that the marriage between the claimant and soldier in 1881 was, under the circumstances stated and under the laws of the State of Tennessee, illegal and void at date of its consummation for want of capacity on his part to marry, and was not subsequently validated after the legal impediment was removed in the death of Nancy, his first wife, in 1887.   It is accordingly held that claimant can not be considered the legal widow of the soldier.

Thus ends the widow’s application for Emma Lankford/Langford.     She was not granted a pension for Silas James Lankford/Langford’s service in the U.S. during the Civil War.    What happened to her?    Did she live to her death in Dickson Co?   How did she support herself?    All questions for another day’s research.

Civil War Widow’s Pension Application and Papers Emma Langford/Lankford wife of Silas James Langford/Lankford Civil War Soldier

by deb - September 7th, 2011

In my last post Emma Langford admitted in a deposition on 19 Jan 1906 that, “yes I had heard that Silas James Langford had had a wife before the one, Zilpha Dunn, who died here”.    Emma continued:   “When Zilpha died there was a young man, Marion Langford, here.  I have heard that he was Silas J. Langford’s child by a wife that he had had before he married Zilpha Dunn.  Marion told me that he was Silas J. Langford’s brother.   I spoke to Silas about having had another wife, the mother of Marion and he told me that he married a girl before the war and that they had but the one child; that she was so jealous of him that he left her and joined the army and never saw her after that.   I do not know the girl’s name, nor whether she was dead or living when Silas J Langford and I married.  I have never heard that they were ever divorced.   I suppose that they married in Smith Co. Tenn”.

The next depositionin the case of Emma Langford, also dated 19 Jan 1906, was by Beddie Hunter of Daniel, Dickson Co., TN.    Beddie Hunter said:   “I am 48 years of age.  My post office address is Daniel, Tenn.   I am the wife of Burrell Hunter.  Emma Langford is my sister-in-law.   I knew Silas James Langford’s first wife Zilpha.  She died in this neighborhood.  I was at her burial.  I came to this neighborhood twenty-six years ago and Silas J. Langford’s wife died about a year after I came here.   She died before Silas J. Langford married to Emma.    I have heard that Silas J. Langford had been married before he married to the woman Zilpha.   One of the former wife’s sons was here when Zilpha died.    I have heard Emma Langford speak several times of that son that Silas had by the woman he had before the war.   I do not know what ever became of the first wife.   I understood that Silas Langford had her before the Civil War and that he left her.   I have not heard whether or not they were ever divorced.  I do not remember positively the name of that son but think that it was Marion”.

Next to give deposition on 19 Jan 1906 was Wesley Speight, who said:  “I am 68 years of age.   My post office address is Pardue, Tenn (Dickson Co).  I have lived in this vicinity all my life.   I have known Emma Langford all her life.   She was born here and has lived her all her life.  Her first husband was Thomas Brown.  I was personally acquainted with him.  The said Thomas Brown was drowned in the Harpeth River in the Spring of 1877.  He was lving on my farm that year.   There was a coroner’s inquest over the body and I was one of the coroner’s jury.   The next husband that the said Emma had was Jim Langford.   THe above named men are the only husbands that this claimant has ever had.   I never knw Langford as Silas.  I always called him Jim.   I saw Jim Langford’s first wife buried.   She died about 25 years ago.  Her death occurred before he marrie to the widow Emma Brown.  Those two wives are the only ones that Jim Langford ever hd that I had heard of. ”  Wesley Speight signed by X.

The next deposition in the file was given 7 Feb 1906 by Martha M. Hackett, who was my great-great-great grandmother.   She said:  “I am 43 years of age.  My post office and address is Monoville, TN (Smith Co).  I am the wife of Marshall Hackett, farmer.  My father was Jim Lankford; mother was Nancy Susan Lankford.  Her maiden name was McKinnis.  Father and mother married in this neighborhood before the Civil War.  I don’t know the year of their marriage.   I am the youngest child.  Amelia, the wife of Will Chambers now living in Franklin, KY, was two years older than I.   She is 44 this month.  Marion Jefferson is the next older than Amelia.  He is two years older than Amelia.  The oldest child Malissa died at the age of three months.   I do not know the difference in age of Malissa and Marion.  Father and mother had been married nearly two years before Malissa was born.  Mother died the first week in December, eighteen years ago, last December, at the house of my brother Marion.  He is somewhere in Texas now.   Mother and father were never divorced.  She had not been married before”.  Martha M. Hackett signed by X and Myrtle Hackett attested to her deposition.

Amelia F. Chambers gave the next deposition on 9 Feb 1906 and said:  I am 44 years of age.  My post office address is Franklin, KY.  I am the wife of Wm Chambers–a shoemaker.  My mother was Nancy Susan Lankford.  My father was Jim Lankford.   Mother died eighteen years ago last fall.   I am quite sure that she died in October.   If my sister says she died in December, she must be mistaken.   My child Jennie Sue, the wife of Geo. Link of Nashville, TN is twenty years old and mother was living when Jennie Sue was born.   Mother was married but once.  She was in her twentieth year when she married.   Mother and father were never divorced.  I was with mother nearly all the time from the time fathr left her till she died and I know taht is there ever had been any divorce I would have heard of it.  She lived in Simpson Co., KY and Smith Co., Tenn from the time father left her till she died”.   Amelia F. Chambers signed with an X and Clyde Chambers attested to her deposition.

Oby S. Lankford gave the next deposition on 8 Feb 1906.  He said:  “I am 58 years of age.  My post office address is Defeated, Tenn (Smith Co).  I am a farmer.   Silas James Langford was my brother.   Our father was Henry Lankford; our mother was Peggy.  Both are dead.   Both Jim and I stayed with our parents until we grew up. Silas James Lankford’s first wife was Susan McKinnis.  They married in Smith Co., Tenn.  I was not at the wedding.  I do not remember who performed the marriage ceremony.  They had four children born before the Civil War.  I reckon that they married about 1856.  I can’t state the date positively.  While Jim was in the army he came to see Susan occasionally but he never lived with her after he came out of the army.  I do not know why he deserted her.  He stayed about here only a few months, then disappeared and we heard nothing of him for many years.   Finally I overheard some men talking about him at a mill and learned that he had married a sister of one of the men, named Dunn, and were living in Dickson Co., Tenn.   Yes, I understood that he married the Dunn woman.  It was not in the county that they married.  I don’t know what county they married in, but I think that it was somewhere up Cumberland River.  I understood that she died in Dickson Co., Tenn.  After the Dunn woman’s death he married the woman Emma with whom he lived till his death.  I visited Jim and Emma in Dec. 1904.   They were then living together as husband and wife.   The three wives above named are the only wives that my said brother Silas James Lankford ever had, so far as I have heard.   I do not think that my said brother Jim ever got divorced from Susan, nor she from him.    If they were ever divorced I have never heard of  it.   Susan never married again.  Susan lived in this county and near Franklin, KY from the time brother Jim left her till she died.  She had not been married before.   From flying rumors that I heard it appears that brother Jim got entangled with the Dunn woman about the close of the Civil War and they left here together.  I can not state that as a fact but only as a rumon that I heard.  It seems that they met at Carthage and left together from there.   The only nick name that my said brother had was “Babe”.  The youngest of Susan’s children is named Martha.  She is the wife of Marshall Hackett.  It is supposed that Marion is in Texas.  The daughter Amelia, wife of Bill Chambers, lives near Franklin, KY.  I do not know whether or not the wife Emma knew of Jim’s first wife Susan.    She never talked with me about it”.   O.S. Lankford signed by X and Rome Hillard attested his deposition.

And so the depositions continue, now for the family of Silas James Lankford/Langford.    Even though the death dates vary of Silas James’ first wife, Susan, from 18 years ago (puttin it about 1888) to 20 years ago (1886), the fact remains that Silas James Langford and Emma Brown married in 1881 while Susan was still living.

Emma Langford/Lankford Civil War Widow’s Pension for Soldier Silas James Langford/Lankford of Dickson Co. TN

by deb - August 22nd, 2011

In the continuation of the Widow’s Pension by Emma Langford for Civil War soldier Silas James Langford, the affadavits tell the story of first and second marriages and more….

11 Aug 1905, J.M. Mitchel age 52 of Daniel, Dickson Co., TN and 56 year old P.A. Michel of same appear before a notary public of Dickson and say that …”soliders former wife died to the best of my recollection in January 1881.    I ( J.M. Mitchel) went to the saw mill and got lumber to make her coffin.   I also helped to burry her.  I am very certain that she is dead.” P.A. Mitchel (“Puss”) stated the same and added:  “I was with her during her sickness and sat up with her corpse and helped to make the shroud was also at the burrying.”

25 Sept 1905 Emma Langford, said in an affidavit:  “In relation to the claimant Emma Langford former husband Thomas Brown, he was never in the US Army or the Confederate Army either; was only a boy when the war commenced”.

27 Oct 1905 Emma Langford, appeared before a notary of Dickson and said:  “I will say in regard to this case that I never had any other husband but Thos Brown and Silas J. Langford.   If he (Silas James) had any other marriage other than the two that has been reported  I have no knowledge of it.”

Bureau of Pensions, Washington, D.C. 20 Nov 1905:   Special examination is recommended in this case to determine question of claimant’s legal widowhood.  It is admitted that claimant and solider had each been once previously marrried and testimony has been filed to show the death of soldier’s first wife and claimant’s firt husband.   The testimony offered to show death of claimant’s first husband Thomas Brown consists of two joint affidavits in the same handwriting–signed by W.R. Jones and J.B. Hunter, and Wesley Spight and G.A. Scott respectively.   In both of those affidavits the date has been changed–there being four alterations in all.   In two instances the date appears to have been changed from 1887 to 1877. and as the claimant married the soldier in 1881 these changes become significant and important.  It is said that Brown was drowned in the Harpeth River that  an inquest was held on his body.  A certified copy of the verdict of the coroner’s jury is the best evidence of Brown’s death the claimant could have furnished, but, for some reason best known to herself and the advisors she has not furnished it.  Let it be ascertained, too….whether the soldier was ever married more than once before he married the claimant and whether she was ever married more than once (to Brown) before she married him (the soldier).

18 Jan 1906 began depositions in the case of Emma Langford:

Bellsburg, Dickson Co. TN, before W.L. Sullivan a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, appeared Geo A. Scott, who…was duly sworn to answer truly…says:  I am 50 years of age.   My address is Pardue, TN.   I am a farmer.  I have known Emma Langford all my life.   We were both born and raised in this neighborhood.   She is not kin to me.  Her maiden name was Hunter.  Her first husband was Thomas Brown.   He lived in this neighborhood.   The said Thomas Brown was drowned in Harpeth River in the spring of 1877.  I was first married in 1881 and he was drowned some few years before I married.   Of this, I am absolutely positive.  I saw his dead body.   I was present at the coroner’s inquest held on his dead body.   After Thomas Brown’s death his widow did not remarry till she married to Silas J. Lankford.   My father was the magistrate who married them.   The two husbands herein above named are the only husbands that she has ever had…She does not own any property either real or personal.  I got acquainted with Silas J. Langford directly after the close of the Civil War when he came to this neighborhood to live.  He claimed to be a single man when he came here.   He first married a girl whose maiden name was Dunn.  I do not know her Christian name.   The said first wife died about a mile from here.   Her death was caused by consumption.  She died about one year before Silas J. Lankford married to his second wife Emily Brown.   Those two wives are the only ones he had after he came to this neighborhood.  I have never heard that he had any other wife”.

19 Jan 1906 deposition of Emma Langford before W.L. Sullivan, Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions:   “I am 57 years of age; my address is Pardue TN.   I am the identical Emma Langford who claims pension as the widow of Silas J. Langford.   My full and correct name is Emma Taylor Langford.   My maiden name was Hunter.   My parents were James and Sally Hunter:   both are dead.  I have one living brother and one sister:  Burrell Hunter and Elizabeth Sheffield, wife of Nick Sheffield.  Both live at Danielsville, TN.   I was born in this neighborhood and have lived here all my life.  I was first married to Thomas Brown, 19 Nov 1874.  He was drowned in Harpeth River 20 April 1877.  His body was recovered and we buried him 22 April 1877.   G.A. Scott and Wesley Speight saw his dead body.  My next marriage was to Silas J. Langford.  We married 15 Dec 1881 Squire G.W. Scott performed the marriage ceremony.   We married in this county.  Silas J. Langford and I lived together as husband and wife from the date of his marriage to me till his death.   Were were never divorced nor otherwise legally separated.  He died 17 May 1905.  I have not remarried since his death.   Thomas Brown and Silas J. Langford are the only husbands I have ever had.   I got acquainted with Silas J. Langford after the Civil War.  He had a wife when I made his acquaintance.  Her maiden name was Dunn.   I do not know where they married.  This wife died in this neighborhood on 25 Jan 1881 of some lingering illness.   I visited her often in her last sicknes and I saw her dead body buried.   That is the only wife he had ever had before he married me, so far as I have ever heard.  The soldier left no child under sixteen years of age at his, the soliders, death.   I have never filed any claim for pension except that as widow of Silas J. Langford.   Silas J. Langford lived in Smith Co. TN before he came here.  He has the following brothers:

Obie Langford  Difficult, Smith Co. TN;Adkisson Langford  Difficult, Smith Co. TN; Miles Langford Difficult, Smith Co. TN; Larkins Langford  Difficult, Smith Co. TN; Jesse Langford  probably in Texas; Murphy Langford, probably in Texas.

Obie is the only one of my late husband’s folks that I have ever seen.  I did not question him as to whether Silas had been married before he married the Dunn woman.    I do not own any property.  I have no income except what I earn by my daily labor.   No person or persons are legally bound for my support.   Mary Smith, Puss Mitchell and Jesse Mitchell saw the dead body of the soldier’s first wife”.

Later that same day, 19 Jan. 1906, another deposition of Emma Langford began:  “Yes I had heard that Silas James Langford had had a wife before the one Zilpha Dunn, who died here….”  

The plot thickens.   In the same day Emma says she knew of no other wives for Silas other than the woman named “Dunn” and herself (Emma) and then she says, “yes, I had heard he had a wife before Zilpha Dunn….” Next up:   the rest of Emma Langford’s deposition of 19 Jan 1906, to be followed by the depsitions of those that knew Emma in Dickson Co. and those that knew Silas James in Smith Co. TN

Emma Lankford, wife of Silas James Lankford of Smith and Dickson Co, TN files for a Civil War Widow’s Pension

by deb - July 24th, 2011

Silas James Langford of Smith and Dickson Co., TN died in May 1905.    His widow, Emma Langford, then applied for a widow’s pension for Silas James’ service to the U.S. during the Civil War.     Following are the affidavits that were filed concerning her application.

W.R. Jones, of Daniel, Dickson Co. TN, age 45, declared 23 June 1905  that Emma Langford “has no means of support other than her daily labor since 16 June 1905 the date of filing this claim; also the claimant Emma Langford has not remarried since the soldiers death.   I also state that the claimant Emma Langford lived continuously with soldier from date of marriage to his death.”

J.B. Hunter, age 49, also of Daniel, Dickson Co., TN also signed that he agreed to the statment (made above) concerning Emma Langford.

W.R. Jones also stated the “both the claimant and solider had a former marriage; claimants… first husband died 20 April 1877; soldiers first wife (died) 25 Jan 1881.   I was at the burring (burying) of both.”   Again, J.B. Hunter also signed that he agree with this statement concerning Emma and Silas James Langford.

Next, W.R. Jones stated that the “knowledge I have of the marriage of Mrs. Emma Langford to soldier is personal.   I was present and witnessed the marriage ceremony and know that she is the identical person that married soldier.   Soldier and claimant was married on the 15th day of December 1881.”   Again J.B. Hunter signed his agreement.

On the 27th day of June 1905 Emma Langford, age 57 years, of Bellsburg, Dickson Co., TN, gave this affidavit:  ” I will say in regard to the character and value of all my property consist of my little household effects with about $75 and 5 head of hogs worth $15 and my fowls worth about $15.  I have had no income of any description since 16 June 1905 and there is no one legally bound for my support.   I will say further that soldier did not leave any will or life insurance either at this deah.   Soldier died sudden and did not have any Doctor.   The magistrate that performed the ceremony (I guess she means marriage ceremony?) is dead.

On 17 July 1905, J.A. Travis, age 48, resident of Daniel, Dickson Co. TN signed an affidavit saying: ” In the matter of claimant (Emma) marriage to soldier I will state that I have known the claimant for a number of years but do not remember the date of her marriage to soldier but I know that they lived together continuously from time of marriage untill the soliders death and was never divorced.”  

L.V. Smith, age 35, of Daniel, Dickson Co., TN, also signed an affidavit on 17 July 1905 saying he had known the claimant and soldier all his life and…”to best of my knowledge claimant was married in December 1881…and were never divorced or separated.”

28 July 1905 Wesly Speight, age 67, of Bellsburg, Dickson Co., TN signed an affidavit that:  “that her (Emma) former husband Thomas Brown is dead.   He was drowned in harpeth River in the spring of 1877 I think.  I am not positive but think that is the date of his death.   I was one of the jurors that helped hold the inquest over his boddy and I am positive that he is dead.”   G.A. Scott, age 50 years, of Bellsburg, Dickson Co., TN signed an affidavit agreeing to the above statment and also said…”I was present at the cororners inquest and at the burring (burying) of his boddy…”

1 Aug 1905 Emma Langford’s affidavit:   “I will say in regard to the death of soldier and why we did not have a physician…soldier died of heart trouble.  He went to bed, well as usual, and about 12 o’clock he woke me up.  He made one loud groan and died before I could get a physician or my nearest neighbor there. (who lived only about two hundred yards from me) and the Justice of Peace told me it was not necessary to hold an inquest over him…He had been under treatment from a physician about 5 years before he died and they told him they could do him no good and he only taken some little stimulant and no regular physician.”

And so continues the widow, Emma Langford’s, application, as she and her neighbors state their knowledge of soldier, Silas James Langford’s death, and the marriage and life together of Emma and Silas James.     The affidavits seem to show that Emma and Silas were both previously married, yet spouses of both had died before Silas and Emma married in Dec 1881, and Silas and Emma lived together as husband and wife till Silas’ death in May 1905.    Yet, there is more to come as both neighbors and family members come forward with their affidavits…