Hands down, my biggest find this week was receiving the 72-page Civil War Veteran's Pension Application for my 4th-great-grandfather, Levi E. McLALLIN. In an earlier post, I spelled his surname "McCLELLAN," but his signature on many of the documents has established for me that this was the way he personally spelled it!
What a treasure trove! First, I was amazed at the speed at which I received it, having ordered it December 26th online from the National Archives and having it arrive in my mailbox on January 19th! I have had experience with four other direct ancestors' pension files, so I knew what to expect for the most part, but also understood that some information I was seeking might not be forthcoming. There was such a nice amount of details given in this file that I was not too disappointed not to find anyone with the surname of CLEVELAND as a witness, hoping to find a quick connection for Levi's first wife--my ancestor--Clarissa Mary CLEVELAND.
Here are the highlights of new information I discovered for this man who is one of my brick walls after visually scanning through the record twice (my first phase of analysis):
1. His full name was Levi Edward McLALLIN; this, from only one document, created after his death by the family physician, Dr. A. THUERIER, who along with another family physician, Dr. Myron BATES, have become some of my genealogical angels due to the obscure yet vital details they left behind in this file!
2. He was born in Montgomery County, New York (unfortunately, no complete birthdate was given, so it still stands at "c. 1823").
3. He married my ancestor, Clarissa Mary CLEVELAND, on 6 August 1848 in Cottrellville Twp., St. Clair Co., Michigan. From a sworn statement by the county clerk in 1885, who testified that the Justice of the Peace whose name appears on Levi and Clarissa's marriage certificate was indeed a serving in that county at the time, I discovered that the marriage record was never entered in the St. Clair County libers. A photocopy of the original marriage certificate is in this pension file!
4. While the majority of Levi and Clarissa's children, including my ancestor Cornelia McCLELLAN (this is how her name is normally spelled in documents), are not mentioned in the file, it does list the youngest child of Levi and Clarissa--Ira--quite frequently, since after Levi's death, financial support was needed to raise this minor child. Ira's full birthdate and place are given: 29 June 1870 in New Haven Twp., Macomb Co., Michigan. This information was given by Dr. BATES, who delivered Ira.
5. Clarissa died 17 September 1877 of consumption, and although the location is not given, there is inference it was in New Haven Township. Again, this information supplied by the wonderful Dr. BATES, who treated her for her consumption for about two years prior to her death.
6. I already knew that Levi had married a widow, Mary C. (FORD) COREY, but I discovered her birthplace: Orange County, New York. Old information: she was born c. 1831 and they married 16 December 1877 in New Haven Township.
7. Throughout the documents there were many different addresses (city and rural) given for Levi which helped me understand why he's been so hard to track. He and his family just moved around a lot. I'm still within the second phase of my analysis of sorting the documents in chronological order to determine the timeline of his residences.
8. While certainly not a highlight for poor Levi, I discovered why he qualified for a pension: he was 75% disabled due to a gunshot wound in his right chest sustained at Spotsylvania, Virginia on 12 May 1864. The ball never exited the body and was believed to be lodged in his lower lung or in his liver. This pension file is large because he requested numerous times for an increase in his pension. He was unable to work at his regular occupations of farmer and carpenter due to his disability, but occasionally worked as a teamster.
9. He was 5' 11" and his weight varied from 160 to 175 pounds, depending upon the documents and timeframe. He had a light complexion, light eyes and dark hair.
9. He died 6 March 1882 in Hamtramck, Wayne Co., Michigan (his death is not listed in the state death records found at FamilySearch Record Search).
10. He was buried 8 March 1882 in Chesterfield and Lennox Union Burying Ground in Macomb Co., Michigan. I believe this is probably now known as Hart Cemetery, also known as Chesterfield Union Cemetery.
11. His widow, Mary C. (FORD) COREY McLALLIN, died 11 February 1894. I've since been able to find her record at FamilySearch Record Search, but while the index information gives me her death location (Mt. Clemens, Macomb County), it does not list her parents' names (they were probably not given). The image given for the record is the first page only.
There are many names of witnesses that I need to research, so this will keep me busy for some time!
Other research reports for this past week include a couple of lookup requests (one for Kent County, Michigan; the other for Newaygo County), finding Sylvester FREDENBURG's grave location at Find A Grave's listing for Powell Cemetery in Romeo, Macomb Co., Michigan (Sylvester was the above Levi's son-in-law); receiving e-mails from a woman related to one of my great-grandaunts by marriage inquiring into the ABBEY family; and a descendant of the CHRISTIAN branch of MIDKIFF family trying to confirm names of children in that family group. I also heard from a HOLST descendant whose grandfather was the brother of my adoptive great-grandfather, Alfred Henry HOLST. Last, but not least, my dad sent me some more photos of his mother as a teen with her adoptive family members, including her dad, the aforementioned Alfred HOLST.