I have gone through the pension file and provided my readers with the important key information. If you are a descendant, I encourage you to get the entire pension file for your own records, because I am not covering everything of interest to you in this blog.
There are two other documents of interest in the file I have note yet explored. These documents are letters from a descendant, Charles S. Marden, to the Commissioner of Pensions. This same Charles Marden also has a letter published in the Annis Genealogy so I intend to cover this man and his letters together in a later post.
Before moving on to Edward’s other military documents I want to review where I stand. Besides thinking about what I learned, it can be helpful to review what I was hoping to learn, but didn’t.
What didn’t I learn from the pension documents?
- I did not learn the names of any wives prior to Edward’s last wife, Chloe Barnes.
- I did not learn any marriage dates except for Chloe.
- I did not learn the dates of death for any of Edward’s wives.
- I did not learn anything about a possible Native wife.
- I did not learn the name of Edward’s son or where he lived.
- I did not learn anything about any war service before his enlistment with Whitcomb’s Rangers.
- I did not learn anything about where he lived before his enlistment.
- I did not learn anything about Edward’s heritage.
- I did not find verification for his earlier residence in Concord (Lisbon).
What prior data was verified by the pension documents?
- Edward has stated his age in 2 documents, so I am now confident of his approximate birth year. This birth year is supported by census record ages.
- Edward has stated his residence as Lyman, and several affidavits indicate he has been a resident there for at least a couple of decades. This agrees with the census records.
- Edward was in Lyman in 1820, which helps resolve the missing 1820 census.
- His service during the war is verified by his own description of his service and an affidavit from Maj. Benjamin Whitcomb and by the fact he was granted a pension based on that service.
- The documents confirm that Edward had at least two wives and neither of them were old enough to be the mother of Edward Jr. I can infer from this information that Edward had at least 3 wives (assuming he was married to the mother of his son, which might not be true!).
What other miscellaneous items of interest did I learn?
- Edward Marden was educated enough to sign his name to pension documents.
- Chloe Barnes was not educated or perhaps she was disabled. She does not sign her name, instead she uses a “mark” to sign her pension documents.
What speculations and theories can be made at this time?
- Edward states that his son is not living with him in 1820. This could mean only that the son does not live under the same roof. The 1820 Census in missing for Lyman and we find the Edward Jr. in Vermont by the 1830 Census. So, this statement by his father could suggest that Edward Jr. has already moved away from Lyman.
- Edward’s wife in 1820 was 40 years old, so born about 1780. I will assume that she was at least 15 when she married Edward, which puts a marriage date no earlier than 1795 and it could be as late as 1820. I should look for a marriage record in this time period in Concord (Lisbon) as well as Lyman.
- Edward’s wife of 1820 owned land in Lyman in her own name and Edward did not acquire title to that land when he married her. I need to explore land ownership laws in NH, but this situation suggests to me the wife received the land as a widow or as heir from a family member. Indian land ownership in this time period and location would be unusual, which suggests this wife is not a good candidate for being Edward’s “Indian” wife. Deed research in Grafton County NH should resolve many of the questions I have about this wife. I will place it high on my list of priorities that require travel and/or money.
Can you think of anything I have missed?
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