Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Arthur J. Plante

Arthur Joseph Plante, son of Jean-Hormisdas Plante and Melvina Chevalier, was born Jan. 7, 1883, probably in St. Ursule, Maskinonge, Quebec.  At the age of eight he entered the United States with his family in Oconto, Wisconsin, where his father found work as a lumberman.  Sadly, Arthur's father died in 1893, just two years after arriving in Wisconsin.  His mother remarried three years later, only to lose her second husband after just two years of marriage.  Twice, a widow, Melvina made her way to Palmer, Massachusetts, where her father, and her brother Zepherine had settled.  Arthur met Lillian Brow, and they were married in Palmer on Sept. 23, 1904. 
Arthur became a Naturalized Citizen Oct. 4, 1905
in District Court of Eastern Hampden, Palmer, MA
   Arthur and Lillian had a family of fourteen children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood.  Arthur worked for the railroad,  as a brakeman and belonged to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.   In 1929, Arthur and Lillian purchased a three-story home in West Brookfield, MA at the corner of Central and Front Streets.  The 1930 census shows Arthur, Lillian, nine of their children, and a daughter-in-law, living in the home.  By 1940, only three children were still at home, but Lillian's 81 year old father, George Brow, had become part of the household.  Arthur and Lillian sold the home to one their sons in 1949, and returned to Palmer.  Various family members continued to occupy the home until 1967, when it was sold to a realty company.  The dwelling was demolished sometime after the sale.
   Arthur died April 29, 1952 at a hospital in Westfield, and was buried in St. Anne's Cemetery in the Three Rivers section of Palmer.  His obituary on page 29 of the April 30th edition of the Springfield Union, named his widow, Lillian, and eleven surviving children.  It went on to mention that he had thirty-six grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.  My husband was one of the latter.
   Today, many descendants continue to live in central Massachusetts.  Some have cherished memories of Memere and Pepere, and most are in possession of a copy of a family photo taken outside the West Brookfield home in 1939.  I have asked about a photo of the house, but family and local historians claim never to have seen one.

[Sources and further information are available upon request.]

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sylvanus T. Barlow - Invalid's Army Pension

   Sylvanus Thomas Barlow was born 23 Jan 1834 in Brookfield, Massachusetts to Joel and Mary (Berry) Barlow.  He married Ellen E. Clapp, daughter of Elijah and Eliza (Kent) Clapp of West Brookfield, in Stafford, Connecticut on December 1, 1858.  The couple settled near family in West Brookfield, where he worked as a farm laborer and later, a carpenter.  Two sons born to this union were Eugene Thomas Barlow, born 17 Aug. 1860, and Elmer Clapp Barlow, born 14 Aug. 1863[Source  MA Vital Records, but Widow's Pension entries state Elmer's year of birth as 1862].  Sylvanus enlisted in the Army in early 1864 leaving Ellen at home to care for her two boys. When Sylvanus returned from the war, in the spring of the following year, he was disabled and unwell.  His pension file is now located on http://www.fold3.com  Below is a transcription of the first page of his invalid's pension application.

                                                Invalid's Army Pension

State of Massachusetts
County of Hampden
On this 28th day of June, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty five personally appeared before me Clerk of the Superior Court, of the _____ Court, within and for the County and State aforesaid, Sylvanus Barlow, aged twenty nine years, a resident of West Brookfield, in the State of Massachusetts, who being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Sylvanus T. Barlow who enlisted in the service of the United States at West Brookfield Mass., on the second day of January in the year 1864, as a private in Company I, commanded by Captain A. C. Soley, in the Thirty Fourth Regiment of the Mass. Vol. Inf., commanded by Co. Geo. D. Wells, of Massachusetts, in the war of 1861, and was honorably discharged on the twenty fifth day of May, in the year 1865; that while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty, he received the following

*Gun shot wound breaking the bone of the right arm above the elbow. The wound was received in action at Cedar Creek, Va on the 13th day of October AD 1864  Has had no use of said right arm since he was wounded
He has resided at West Brookfield, County of Worcester, State of Massachusetts, since leaving the service, and is by occupation _____

He hereby appoints C. D. Ettinger, & Co of Washington City, D.C. his Attorneys, with power of substitution, to prosecute his claim and receive the certificate when issued.
Signature of claimant  Sylvanus T. Barlow [signature]

Sadly, the injury to Sylvanus was serious, and permanent.  He never regained the use of his arm.  He died of consumption on June 16, 1867 in West Brookfield, leaving no real estate or personal property of value for his wife and sons.  He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in West Brookfield.

Ellen applied for, and was granted a widow's pension, and her minor sons received funds, as well.  Ellen remarried and lost her pension, but renewed it after the death of her second husband, Remembrance Keyser.

Sources: NEHGS website http://www.Americanancestors.org  Massachusetts Vital records to 1850 and Massachusetts Vital records 1841-1910
 http://www.fold3.com - Civil War Pension file of Sylvanus T. Barlow
More Barlow family information found on http://www.westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/genealogy

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eli Chamberlain - War of 1812 Soldier

   Recently I came across a file including Eli Chamberlain's Bounty Land Warrant information, and the Widow's Pension Claim of his widow, Achsah (Forbes) Chamberlain.  Part of the War of 1812 Pension File collection at Fold3, the files are from the NARA publication, War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files.  The information contained in the file confirms Eli's War of 1812 service, as claimed in other sources, and adds details I had not found previously.  Below is a short biography.
   Eli Chamberlain was born in Westborough, Massachusetts on Oct. 4, 1789 to Daniel and Lydia (Harrington) Chamberlain.  He was drafted in Westboro on Nov. 8, 1814, and served in Capt. Pierpont Brigham's Co. in the Massachusetts Militia from Sept. 10 through Nov. 1, 1814, when he was discharged at South Boston.  The length of this service in the regiment of infantry commanded by Col. Salem Town, was about seven weeks.
   Eli married Achsah Forbes, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (Brigham) Forbes on Nov. 30, 1815 in Westboro,. (The ratification of the peace treaty had occurred about eight and one half months earlier, on Feb. 17.) Two children, Sarah Brigham and Lucius, were born in Westboro.  The family moved to the west parish of Brookfield in 1819 where eight additional children were born.  They were Harriet Amelia, Ephraim Forbes, Lyman Harrington, Joshua Metcalf, Achsah Juliet, Lucius Phelps, Daniel Henry, and Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain.  Mr. Chamberlain farmed and took an active role in community affairs, and in 1848, when the town of West Brookfield became separated from Brookfield, he was elected one of its first five selectmen.
   Eli was not eligible for a War of 1812 Pension due to the length of service requirements during his lifetime.  He was; however, eligible for Bounty Land granted to War of 1812 veterans, and did receive warrants for Bounty Land under the acts of 1850, and 1855.  He first received a warrant for 40 acres which he sold.  The second warrant was for 120 acres.  The locations of his land were not mentioned in the file, but may be available from the National Archives. Some likely locations would have been in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, or Iowa.
  Eli died of lung fever on the family farm in West Brookfield on March 10, 1858 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery there.  There is no evidence of a will or probate file.
  Eli's sons were well educated and achieved prominence in their fields.  Two of his daughters, Sarah and Harriet, married West Brookfield farmers, and settled in town. Daughter Achsah Juliet, married Jared Clark and lived first in Ohio and later in Illinois.
Further information may be found at http://www.westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/genealogy

More information about War of 1812 pension files may be found at http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/03/30/chasing-that-pension-file/

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

John Dillon - Civil War Soldier

   John Dillon was born in County Galway, Ireland to James and Honora (Liddy) Dillon.  The actual date of his birth may be December 31, 1845 as calculated from his age of 46 years 7 months 18 days on the day of his death Aug. 18, 1892. A Church Baptism Record from www.rootsireland.ie gives the date of Baptism/Birth as 11- Jan - 1846.
   The Dillon family including John, his parents, James and Honora, a sister Sarah, and brothers Patrick and James, came to the United States in 1848. They were living in West Brookfield, Worcester County, when John's sister Honora was born July 28, 1849.
   John enlisted in the Army on Dec. 11, 1863 and served in Company I, of the Massachusetts, 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment.  He mustered out at Wilmington, North Carolina at the end of his term of service, on Sept. 3, 1865 and probably returned to West Brookfield for a time. 
   John eventually left home, and the next known record of him is a record showing that he was admitted to the U.S. National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1887.  The records from that facility indicate that his residence previous to his admittance was in Fremont, Nebraska and that he was a carpenter by trade, suffering from spinal concussion. John was released from the soldiers' home in January of 1891 and returned to West Brookfield.  His death record indicates that he died Aug. 18, 1892, in West Brookfield, of paralysis of the brain, and was buried in the neighboring town of Ware.

More information about the Dillon family may be found at http://www.westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/genealogy

Courtesy of Nancy Horner

                                         Commonwealth of Massachusetts

                                         To John Dillon Co I 2d H. Art'y
             The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, honoring the faithful service of her Sons who formed part of the land and sea forces of the United States employed in suppressing Rebellion and maintaining the integrity of the Nation has by a resolve of the General Court of 1869 directed the undersigned to present you this Testimonial of the people's gratitude for your patriotism.
                                       Given at Boston, this nineteenth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred seventy.
By the Governor
Jas A Cunningham [signature]                        William Claflin [signature]
Adj. General                                                        Governor