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/