Wednesday, May 02, 2012

This Looks Promising...

As mentioned in the post The Evidence at Hand I am attempting to determine if my 4th Great-Grandfather, John Bray, would be eligible for the Territorial Guard Society of Indiana, which requires that he “lived within the boundaries of present-day Indiana on or before December 11, 1816 (the date Indiana was admitted to the United States).

I've been looking through the 78 pages of his pension file. Most of the documents pertain to his widow's attempts to receive his pension after his death in 1832. Long story short, she receives a pension, then she remarried in 1835 to John Bakes and lost the pension, he dies a few years later, and she reapplies for John's pension, which she receives until her death in 1876.

John had applied for a pension on June 20, 1818 through the Circuit Court of Switzerland County, Indiana (National Archives Pension File W 4145). His application was approved on August 9, 1818 and he was allowed a pension of $8 per month retroactive to the date of his application.

Of course, the documents were not in date sequence when they were microfilmed and subsequently digitized so it is like jumping back and forth in time (I'm also creating an index of the documents for future reference).

It doesn't appear to me that all of the documents relating to John's pension are in his file. There is a handwritten note stating “Suspended - See Letters to Claiment & Agent 16 Sept 1823.” Then written below that is “Suspension removed 6th Sept 1824 - See letters to agent & pensioner.” Those letters are not part of the images that were downloaded from what was then Footnote.com in 2007.

It was in the 76th image that I found a document dated February 24, 1824 that looks quite promising. I don't think it would be considered “proof of residence” on it's own merit, but it just might lead me to the document that could provide that proof! I believe it was created to validate the fact that John Bray was not a large landowner and as a result his pension was reinstated. The transcription is below and the images follow.

page 76:
The State of Indiana, Switzerland county SS 
Personally appeared before me William C Keen a justice of the peace in and for the county aforesaid Daniel Bray, of lawful age, who after being duly Sworn deposeth and Saith that Some time in the early part of the year 1816, he went to the land office of Cincinnati to enter the North East quarter of Section No 25, town No 2, range 3 West. that owing to some mistake in the land office he could not effect an entry and he was obliged to return home and that his father John Bray, then went to the office and entered the said quarter, in his own name instead of ours, that he paid the one half of the entrance money, and claimed the one half of the quarter, that the balance of the money was paid for the entering of said quarter by John Cotton and Samuel Bray, and they claimed the other half of said quarter - but on making the final payment, John Cotton, Samuel Bray and myself made an arrangement, so that I was to have and pay for but Sixty acres of the land - John Cotton was to have and pay for forty two acres and a half and Samuel Bray was to have and pay for the balance of the Quarter and was given the balance of the Money due from me on said quarter to John Bray, as it was entered in his name, to make the final payment for us and the land was patented in his name and he has since gave us our deed and further saith not. 
Daniel {his mark} Bray.
Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 23d day of Feby AD 1824. Willima C. Keen Justice of Peace.
It should be noted that Samuel Bray (my 3rd great-grandfather) is also the son of John Bray and John Cotton is his son-in-law, husband of his daughter Elizabeth.

page 77:
The state of Indiana, Switzerland County } SS 
Personally appeared before me William C. Keen, a justice of the peace in and for the county aforesaid, John Cotton, who after being duly Sworn deposeth and Saith that he paid for forty two acres and a half of land off of the within mentioned quarter Section of land as therein Stated and further saith not.
Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 23d day of February AD 1824. William C. Keen
The next paragraph on the same page has lines drawn through it...
The state of Indiana Switzerland county }SS 
Personally appeared before me William C. Keen a justice of the peace in and for the county aforesaid, Samuel Bray, who after being duly sworn deposeth and Saith that he paid for the balance of the within quarter section of land as mentioned in the within affidavit of Daniel Bray and further Saith not.
I have copies of the three deed transactions wherein the land in question (actually Section 25 Township 2 Range 4) was transferred in January 1823 to Daniel Bray, John Cotton, and Samuel Bray.
Switzerland County, Indiana Deed Book B p413. January 1, 1823. John and Elizabeth Bray sold to Daniel Bray 60 acres in S25 T2 R4 West for $120. Recorded November 29, 1823.
Switzerland County, Indiana Deed Book C p78-79. January 1, 1823. John Bray and Elizabeth Bray wife of the said John Bray... for the sum of ninety dollars sold to John Cotton forty two and a half acres in S25 T2 R4 West. No date given for when it was recorded. Deed prior to this one was recorded on September 15, 1825.
Switzerland County, Indiana Deed Book D p490-491. January 29, 1823. John Bray and Elizabeth Bray his wife sold to Samuel Bray for $50 Land off the north west Corner of the north East quarter of Section Twenty five Township two and Range four... The number of acres was not given. Date recorded was not given.

Document dated February 23, 1824 from Revolutionary Pension File of John Bray W4145.


Document dated February 23, 1824 from Revolutionary Pension File of John Bray W4145.

Next step? Records of the Land Office at Cincinnati...

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "This Looks Promising," Kinexxions, posted May 2, 2012 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2012/05/this-looks-promising.html : accessed [access date])

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