Yesterday I received one of my favorite things in the mail: records from NARA 🙂
These are the Civil War Pension Records for my 3x Great-Grandfather, Judson Almy. He was a private in the 15th New York Volunteers Engineers.
There are 118 different pages in this file. 118!!!
Not only that, but it explained why I haven’t been able to find his marriage certificate:
“I was legally married on the 8th day of May 1876 to Nancy Abby by Reverend O.B. Hale, a Methodist Pastor at Lees Corners, Ingersoll Township in Midland County, State of Michigan, and that said O.B. Hale promised to forward to me a proper marriage Certificate, but that he failed to do so and I verily believe that he failed to have said marriage Certificate properly recorded as I have carefully searched the Township and County Records at the place of marriage and I am unable to locate any official record of the said marriage between myself and Nancy Abby.”
These wonderful records also mention that Judson had a homestead that he co-owned with another person. That gives me a place to look up his land records 🙂
Judson created many records over the years. In his last years, he had very bad health. The description of these are rather humorous, in a dark way, and mostly because these aren’t used anymore. He asked for an increase of $2 in 1901 because of his health issues and was denied. He had disease of the liver and a disease that effected his lungs. In parentheses it was marked as simply old. He continuously applied for an increase because as a farmer, he could no longer do hard labor. He also had several people, including his doctors, write in to say that he was an honorable man; in other words, that his liver disease did not come from too much drinking. His physician also wrote in in 1921 and said that Judson was 80 and “in a state of practiced decrepitude.” Interesting wording.
There is also mention of a family Bible. This is the first I’ve heard of an Almy Bible! Well, I hoped but had yet to see that there was anyway. The family Bible was used to confirm Judson’s birth date. The Bible was in the hands of his sister. Judson had two sisters, as far as I can find anyway. One sister died in 1904 and this affidavit was written in 1913, which means the family Bible was with his sister Carrie Agnes (Almy) Cooley. I am going to see if I can track down her relatives to see if that Bible still exists.
I’ve ordered records through NARA before – including Civil War records – but I have never had this much information come from them. I am very excited and can’t wait to dive into them even further!