Private, Company C, 45th PA Infantry, AKA 45th USCI
by John C. Carter
27 Mar 2015
The following is an extraction from the Civil War pension records of Hosea Pierc (ca. 1833 1904) of Cumberland County, NJ. Some of the long-time members of this email group may remember that I, Paul Johnson and Joseph Romeo have submitted these in the past, although its been a couple/few years since the last one.
The information extracted from this particular pension file actually pertains in large part to the Dotson (Dodson) family (Hoseas 2nd wife) more so than the Pierces, but I was searching for something and in the course of my research ended up going through so many of the records in Hoseas file that I thought I might as well just go ahead and do a full extraction while I was at it. The affidavits involved portray a fascinating glimpse into the lives of a family of ex-slaves from Virginia. The only family members for whom the information would be genealogically pertinent are those descended from Hosea Pierces two sons from his 2nd wife Maggie Dodson/Dotson Pierce (Nelson C. Pierce, 1892-1958 and Janviet [John Viet] Allen Allen Pierce, 1896-1975), or perhaps from Maggies sister Rosa/Rosetta Dodson/Dotson Clark (wife of Randolph "Randall" Clark) or her half-brother Josiah Si R. Brown, both of whom also settled in Vineland or the surrounding area in Cumberland County. I havent traced down all (if any) of their descendants yet. (Note: Randolph Clarks family was from Powhatan Co, VA, with no known connection to the Sussex Co, DE Clarks).
Brief overview: When Hosea Pierce died in 1904, his two sons with his 2nd wife Maggie were still minors and were thus eligible for pension payments due to their fathers service during the Civil War. Circumstances warranted an investigation to verify that Hosea and Maggie hadnt divorced prior to his death (since hed been living for a year or two with his elder childrenfrom his 1st marriagein Newark) (and with a niece prior to that) and also to verify that Maggie hadnt left a living husbandlegitimate or common-lawdown in Virginia before coming to NJ, since she already had two daughters at the time she married Hosea.
Turns out that Maggie Dotson had never been married previously, but in an effort to hide her shame of having two illegitimate daughters she initially told investigators that her first husband was Beverly Dotson (who was actually her father) as a method of explaining why her daughters held the same Dotson surname as she. When that falsehood failed, she then gave the story that her first husband (common-law, or slave custom) was a man named Jim Johnson. When subsequent investigation revealed that that story was also a falsehood, she finally admitted that her two daughters were the progeny of two different men shed had brief relations with (each of whom turns out had been married at the time).
All of the falsehoods notwithstanding, the investigation concluded that her minor sons with Hosea still qualified for a pension, and later (after the 1916 amendment to the 1908 Widows Act) that Maggie herself qualified for a pension as well.
As mentioned, I began going through this file while searching for something else. Specifically, I was trying to find documentation to support the assumption that James Henry Pierces wife Georgie was the same person as the Georgie/Georgianna Dotson who was Hoseas step-daughter. Well, ironically, I now have doubts as to that. According to one affidavit by Hoseas 2nd wife Maggie in Sep 1917, her daughter Georgie was (at that time, anyway) married to a Thomas Berry. In order for both Georgies/Georgiannas to be the same, then her marriage to Thomas Berry must end (either by divorce or his death) AND she would need to be re-married to James Henry Pierce, with BOTH of these events occurring between 28 Sep 1917 (date of her mother Maggies affidavit where she stated Georgie was married to Thomas Berry) and 12 Sep 1918 (date of James Henrys WWI draft registration card where he listed his wifes name as 'Nearest Relative'). Additionally, she would have also had to have been married a 3rd time to Rev. Levi Allen Freeman, the window for which is also very narrow: James Henry died 30 May 1924 (and since the first name Georgie is on his shared headstone they clearly werent divorced) and there is a 1924 city directory showing Georgianna living with husband Rev. Freeman. (Not sure how far ahead-of-time the data for these city directories was collected before being published, but for James to have died in May and for Georgianna to have been re-married in time for the data to be collected for the 1924 city directory is cutting things very, very close). Finally, for whatever reason, she or her survivors would have had to have chosen for her to be buried (with a single headstone) in Oak Hill Cemetery in Vineland, even though her first name already appeared on a shared headstone with James Henry Pierce at Gouldtown Cemetery. All of these slim possibilities considered together lead me to believe that the two Georgies/Georgiannas are most likely two different people.
Private, Company C, 45th PA Infantry, AKA 45th U.S. Colored Infantry
(Also #WC 834776)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
ITEMS OF INTEREST FROM THE PENSION RECORDS:
Drafted/Enrolled: 23 Jun 1864, Camden, NJ
Enlisted: Millville, NJ
Absent for approved furlough: Jan & Feb 1865
Mustered Out: 04 Nov 1865, Brownsville, TX
Birth Date: ca. Jul 1833 possibly as late as 1838 or 1840
Birth Place: Shiloh, Cumberland Co, NJ
Death Date: 24 Jan 1904 (death certificate, see HERE
Death Place: Newark, Essex Co, NJ
Burial Place: Gouldtown Memorial Park, Gouldtown, Cumberland Co, NJ
Married #1: Sarah Jane Anderson [b. ca. 28 May 1835 (per age given on death certificate); d. 14 Feb 1888]
Marriage Date: not given
Marriage Place: not given
Her Death: 14 Feb 1888 in Newark, Essex Co, NJ (per death certificate included in pension file, see HERE)
Her Burial Place: Gouldtown Memorial Park, Gouldtown, Cumberland Co, NJ (See headstone photo HERE)
1. Ruth H. Pierce born 03 Aug 1859 (married Henry Brown)
2. Hosea S. Pierce born 15 Mar 1861
3. Carrie Pierce born 30 Sep 1866 [doesnt seem to have lived until adulthood]
Married #2: Maggie (aka Peggy) Dotson (aka Dodson) (b. 04 Jan 1854 [headstone reads 1855]; d. 26 Nov 1935)
Marriage Date: 28 Sep 1890
Marriage Place: Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ
Buried: Oak Hill Cemetery, Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ
1. Nelson C. Pierce (also referred to as Nathaniel in one record) born 08 Jul 1892 in Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ
2. Janviet/John-Viet Allen Allen Pierce born 16 Jun 1896 in Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ
Among the affiants/witnesses for Hosea and/or Maggie:
Randolph (aka Randall) Clark (husband of Rosetta (aka Rosa) Dotson Clark)
Rosetta (aka Rose) Dotson Clark (sister of Maggie Dotson Pierce)
Josiah R. Brown (half-brother of Maggie Dotson Pierce)
Ruth Pierce Brown (Hoseas daughter from his first marriage)
Hosea S. Pierce (Jr.) (Hoseas son from his first marriage)
Maria Robinson (mother of Maggies sister-in-law)
Joseph Bond (Civil War veteran, and husband of Ruth Webster Bond)
Georgianna Dotson Berry Freeman (Maggies daughter before marriage to Hosea)
Rev. Levi Allen Freeman (Georgiannas 2nd? husband)
Moses B. Dodson (Maggies brother)
Sally (______) Dodson (Moses wife)
Samuel C. Gould
OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE:
In New Jersey:
(From an affidavit of Maggie Pierce, 19 Apr 1905):
I am 50 years of age [ ] Occupation: washing, ironing and home cleaning [ ] Yes, I am the identical Maggie Pierce who is applicant for pension as the guardian and mother of the two minor children of Hosea Pierce, my late husband, who served during the Civil War in Co. C, 45th Regt, U. S. C. Inf. The names of said two minors are, respectively, Nelson Pierce and Allen Pierce. Those were the only two children living at the date of my said husbands death, as issue of our marriage. I had one other child by him, but it died at birth. Yes, the said Nelson and Allen Pierce are still living; they are both here at home with me. The child, Nelson Pierce was born on July 6th, 1892 and Allen Pierce was born May 16th, 1896. I married the said Hosea Pierce on September 28th, 1890. I married him under the name of Maggie Dotson. My said husband died at Newark, N.J., on January 24th, 1904. Oh, no, he left no property at the time of his death, his mind got mad toward the last and he hadnt done any work for three years preceding his death. No sir, I have no family Bible containing any family record, I have a Bible, but there is no record of any kind in it.
Q: What was the cause of your said husbands death.
A: Well, about that I only know what his oldest son told me after his death; he told me that his father died of dropsy. No sir, he did not have any symptoms of dropsy while he was home with me. Oh, no sir, I dont make any claim that his death was due to his Army service. Up to three years before he died, he was in good health. Oh, yes, my said husband was married before his marriage to me. The name of his first wife was Sarah J. Pierce. I saw her several times but I never knew her very well, her maiden name was Anderson. That first wife died. She died at Newark, New Jersey and was buried at Gouldtown, this county and there is a tombstone to her grave. I dont remember the date now of that first wifes death, but she died about sixteen or seventeen years ago. I have been married twice, only twice. My maiden name was Brown. The name of my first husband was Beverly Dotson. I was born and raised in Powhatan County, Virginia, about four miles from Powhatan Court House. Yes, I was born a slave and the name of my master was Hillary Harris. I really cant tell you the ear that I married my first husband, Beverly Dotson. I was only a child at the time, about twelve years old. I was still living with my old master at the time Beverly Dotson and I were married. The said Beverly Dotson was also a slave of my master, Hillary Harris. We didnt have a marriage ceremony. Our old master first gave his consent and so we went to living together as man and wife from that time till he died. I had two children by the said Beverly Dotson, viz; Julia Ann Dotson and Georgianna Dotson. Julia Ann is living in New York City and Georgianna is living here at home with me. The said Beverly Dotson died in Powhatan Co., Virginia on April 6th, 1886. I have a memorial card here giving the date of his death. (Here the witness points to a rather elaborate and decorated card in a frame about 2 x 1 ½ feet of which card the Special Examiner makes the following copy):
In memory of
Died April 6th, 1886
Aged 88 years
I continued to live in Powhatan Co., Virginia until I came up here. I came here to live about sixteen years ago and have lived here ever since. Before that, though, I had been here on visits, but did not stay long on any of those occasions. This has been my home for about sixteen years last past.
Q: Now state the names of those now living who have personal knowledge of the death of the said Beverly Dotson.
A: The only ones living here that have personal knowledge of the fact are Randolph Clark and his wife Rosa Clark, they were at the funeral of the said Beverly Dotson. Those other witnesses who have testified in this claim about the death of the said Beverly Dotson only know the fact by hearing in letters written from down there where he died. (These witnesses referred to by the deponent are Josiah R. Brown, March Lamb and Maria Robinson). The following named parties down in Virginia know the fact of the death of the said Beverly Dotson: John Brown, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va., [A---? Brown?], Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va., Sallie Jones, wife of Jas. Jones, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va., Mary Frances Randolph, wife of James, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va., Crittie Johnson, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
Q: Now did you and your late husband live together from the date of your marriage to his death.
A: No, we did not. Just exactly two years to the very day before he died, he left home and went to live with his son Hosea Pierce, Jr., at Newark, N.J. He stayed there with his son Hosea a little more than a year and then he went to live with his oldest daughter, Mrs. Ruth Brown, wife of Henry Brown, at Newark, N.J. He died there at his daughters.
Q: What was the cause of his separation from you.
A: Why, there was no cause for it at all. As I told you his mind got mad and he just took a notion that he wanted to go to Newark to his children and so he just went up there. It wasnt his intention to stay away for good when he went, but he got very [much home?] after he went to Newark and so he died up there. A week after he went to Newark he came home here and spent one day then went back to Newark again and I saw him no more alive. Oh, yes, I was at my said husbands funeral. I did not go to Newark because I did not get the news of his death in time to go, but I went to Gouldtown and met his body there. Oh, no, sir, there was never any divorce between my said husband and me; there was never any trouble between us at all; he just got mad minded and took a notion to go to Newark to visit his children. I dont know where Mrs. Ruth Brown, the said daughter of my said husband now resides; I did hear that she was going to move from Newark, but her brother, Hosea Pierce can tell where she now is. The full name of the said son is Hosea S. Pierce and his address is, No. 127, [Waverly?] Avenue, Newark, N.J. Yes sir, my said husband did write me letters after he went to Newark that time, and he always spoke of coming home. I have looked for those letters but cant find any of them now; they have been mislaid in some way. Oh, yes sir, my said husband and I lived together continuously from the date of our marriage up to the time that he went to his children at Newark. Yes sir, I have lived here, right in this very house, ever since my said husband went to Newark that time. No sir, my said husband never lived outside of this state from the date of our marriage to his death. Yes, you have advised me of my right to be present in person and of being represented by an attorney during the special examination of my claim. I dont care to be present or represented. Quote me understood, and my answers are correctly recorded in this deposition.
(From an affidavit of Maggies half-brother, Josiah R. Brown, 19 Apr 1905):
I am 62 years of age. [ ] Occupation, waiter [ ] Maggie Pierce, this claimant, is my sister [ ] I was born in Cumberland Co., Va., but I was reared in Powhatan Co., Va. Yes, I was a slave. I left Powhatan Co., Va., just at the close of the war and have never lived there since, though I have been back there on visits several times since. I have lived here for the past thirty-nine years. The said claimant has been married twice, only twice. The name of her first husband was Beverly Dotson. Yes, I knew him. He was a slave, too. He belonged to the same master as the said claimant. The said claimant went to living with the said Beverly Dotson when she was a mere child and they continued to live together until he died. I dont know the date of the said Beverly Dotsons death, but he died right about twenty years ago. Oh, no, I was not at his funeral. He died down in Virginia and I was here at the time. Why, I heard of his death at the time. The said claimant wrote me about his death and I also got a letter about the same time from john Brown telling me of his death. Not long after the death of her said husband, Dotson, the said claimant came up here to live and this has been her home ever since. A couple of years, more or less, after she came up here she married her late husband, Hosea Pierce. I was present at her marriage to Hosea Pierce. She had only two children by the said Hosea Pierce, viz. Nelson and Allen Pierce. Yes sir, those children are still living. No sir, the said Hosea Pierce and the said claimant did not live together up to the time he died, but they never separated either; that is, they had no trouble. You see, he got old and sickly and his mind became affected and he got kind of restless and so he took a sudden notion to visit his children up to Newark, N.J. and he died up there. It was just about two years before his death that he left here and went up to Newark. Oh, yes sir, the said claimant and her said husband, Hosea Pierce lived together from the date of their marriage to the time he went to Newark about two years before his death. Oh, no sir, said parties were never divorced from each other; they never had any trouble that I know of. Yes, I testified in this claim before. If I testified in my original affidavit that I had personal knowledge of the death of Beverly Dotson, the claimants first husband, that is more than I meant. I am sure that he is dead and has been for nigh on to twenty years, but all that I know about it is by getting letters at the time telling me of his death. Questions understood and my answers are correctly recorded in this deposition.
Josiah R. Brown
(From an affidavit of Maria Robinson, 19 Apr 1905 [adjusted to enhance readability]):
I dont know my exact age, but I must be about 75 years old [ ] The brother of this claimant married my daughter [ ] I was raised in Powhatan Co, Virginia, near Powhatan Court House, and I lived there till the close of the war (Civil). The first winter after the close of the war we left there and came up here and I have lived here ever since.
Yes, I was a slave, my masters name was Hillary Harris. Oh, I knew the claimant from the time she was born; she was a slave of my master, too. Why, this claimant was not married at all when I left Virginia; she was only a child at that time. The said claimant didnt come up here from Virginia until long after I did. I cant tell you just how long she has been up here; you see, I have no learning and I cant keep such things in mind, but I think she has been up here some where about twenty years more or less. She had two children when she came up here, viz. Julia Ann and Georgianna. The youngest child, Georgianna, was only an infant when her mother came up here from Virginia and the other child was a couple of years older. I dont know who the father of these children was. You see after I came away from Virginia I did not know anything at all about the said claimant until she came up here and if she was married down there, it was after I came up here.
Oh, yes sir, I knew Beverly Dotson, knew him well. He was a slave of my old master, Hillary Harris. Why no, I never heard that the claimant was ever the wife of Beverly Dotson, why Beverly Dotson was the father of this claimant. How do I know that? Why, I know it this way: I was a slave of Hillary Harris before this claimants mother was and so was Beverly Dotson. When Hillary Harris bought this claimants mother, she was then named Brown and at that time she had one child, a boy, a little fellow, his name was Josiah Brown and he is the half-brother of the said claimant and he lives here now. After the mother of the said claimant had belonged to Hillary Harris, she and the said Beverly Dotson went to living together according to slave custom and they continued to so live together on up to the time I left down there and I understand they continued to live together up to the time the said Beverly Dotson died.
Why, this claimants mother had [seven? several?] children by the said Beverly Dotson, two of whom died when they were nursing babies. The names of the children that lived were, Aaron Dotson, Maggie, this claimant, Rosa, now the wife of Randolph Clark, at this time, and Moses Dotson. Those are all I can think of now and it may be that it was three children that she lost as babies instead of two. Why, the said Aaron and Moses Dotson are down there yet in Powhatan Co, Virginia. I guess Powhatan Court House would be the P.O. address of said parties.
No sir, I never knew but one Beverly Dotson, and that was the father of this claimant. No sir, the said claimant did not tell me when she came up here that she had been married at any time before coming here. Oh, she couldnt have been the wife of Beverly Dotson, because that was her father, just like I told you. Why, the said claimant was always called Dotson from her birth and when she came up here from Virginia she was still called Dotson. Yes sir, her two children, Julia Ann and Georgianna, have always been called Dotson. I cant tell you how old the said Beverly Dotson was, but he was a good deal older than I, he was a middle aged man when I was a girl. No sir, I never asked the said claimant who the father of her two children, Julia Ann and Georgianna, was and I never heard, I have no idea who their father was.
Oh, Beverly Dotson is dead. He has been dead quite a while, but I cant tell you how many years, but he died since the said claimant came up here. Yes sir, I am sure of that. The mother of the said claimant died after the said Beverly Dotson, a few years after, as I remember. Yes sir, not having any learning, I cant tell about dates but my memory is good about things that happened, only I cant just tell the time they happened. I know that the said Beverly Dotson died after the said claimant came up here from Virginia, because I know that she went down home again at least once to see her father and mother after she had moved up here.
Yes sir, I did testify in this claim before. March Lamb and I made an affidavit together. Oh sir, I never testified that Beverly Dotson was ever the husband of this claimant and I never intended to convey any such idea. The squire didnt ask us anything about Beverly Dotson being the husband of this claimant, he only asked March Lamb and me if we was certain that Beverly Dotson was dead and we told him yes; that was all. No sir, the squire did not read over that paper, affidavit, to us before we put our mark to it. Why, I heard about the said Beverly Dotsons death through a letter that was written by either his wife or his daughter, Rosa; Rosa Clark. You see, Rosa Clark has only been up here about a year or so. As I recollect it now, that letter was sent up here to this claimant and she told me about Beverlys death and that is all I know about it. The only husband I ever knew or heard of the said claimant having was Hosea Pierce. He died in Newark, N.J.He went up to Newark to visit his children and he died up there. It dont seem to me that he had been away from here more than a year or so before he died. Oh, no sir, I never knew that he and the said claimant were divorced from each other and I am sure I would have heard of it, had they been divorced. She had two children that lived by the said Hosea Pierce, viz. Nelson and Allen. Yes sir, both of these children are still living.
(From an additional affidavit of Maggie Pierce, 19 Apr 1905):
Q: Continuing your deposition of this morning before me in which, among other things, you testified that before your marriage to Hosea Pierce, you were the wife of Beverly Dotson. I will now ask you was that statement true about your having been the wife of the said Beverly Dotson.
A: No sir, I must admit that that statement was not true and I am sorry I made it. The said Beverly Dotson was my father. My mother was married twice, her first husband was named Brown; he was sold away from her and then she married Beverly Dotson by slave custom and I was one of the children of that last marriage. My mother, now dead, had four children surviving her by the said Beverly Dotson. The names of the said children are, respectively, Aaron Dotson, I am the next, Rosa Dotson, now the wife of Randolph Clark, and Moses Dotson. Aaron and Moses Dotson live in Powhatan Co., Virginia, and their address is Powhatan Court House, Va. They both own their farms down there.
Q: What was the true name of the husband you had before your marriage to Hosea Pierce [adjusted to enhance readability]:
A: The truth is I never had any husband at all before I married the said Hosea Pierce. The father of my two children, Julia Anne and Georgianna, was a man named Jim Johnson. He is dead. The said Jim Johnson, and I just went to living together. Yes, the said Jim Johnson was a slave. He was owned by a man named Tucker, Don Tucker, I think was his name. Don Tuckers plantation was adjoining my masters plantation and that is how I came to meet him. I was only a young girl, about twelve to fourteen years old, when the said Jim Johnson and I went to living together. I had only two children by the said Jim Johnson, Julia Anne and Georgianna, above named.
As well as I can remember, it was between three and four years after my marriage to the said Jim Johnson that my first child was born; rather, after we commenced to going together, yes, as I said we were never regularly married. We never kept house together. Yes sir, he was working on Tuckers plantation and I was working on the plantation of my old master, Hillary Harris, and at night he used to come to my fathers cabin and stay with me and that was all there was to it. That relation with the said Jim Johnson continued until my child Julia Anne was about six years old. The said Julia Anne was 27 years old on the 13th day of this month. Georgianna was 22 years old, the 24th day of last January.
The said Jim Johnson died when my child Georgianna was three years old. He died down there in Powhatan Co, Va.-- At the time he died he was working on a farm for a man whose name I cant recall, down on what we called Red Lane, about five miles east of Powhatan Court House. I dont know just what he did die of; he caught a cold and died that way. I was here in Vineland when the said Jim Johnson died; had lived here for about three years and I got word that he was sick and I went down there and I went to see him. I stayed with my master while I was down there that time and I remained there till the said Jim Johnson died. Oh, yes, I attended his funeral. He was buried in the grave yard of the Red Lane Church, Va. Dr. ___ Turpin was the name of the doctor who attended him in his last sickness. Dr. Turpin died before my mother died, more than six years ago. I dont know whether he left a widow or not. Dr. Turpin belonged to what was known as the James River, about ten miles from our place. The said Jim Johnson was about a year or so older than I.
Oh, no, there is no tombstone to his grave. In those days we didnt know much about tombstones in Virginia. It was just after Emancipation that the said Jim Johnson and I went to living together. Oh, I never knew any of the relatives of the said Jim Johnson; he was a bought boy and he didnt ever know his own parents. Well, I really dont know of anyone now living who can testify to the fact of Jim Johnsons death except my brother, Aaron, and he may be able to tell of all others down there who knew it. No, my sister Rosa did not know Jim Johnson; from the time she was a child, little bit of a thing, she lived in Cumberland Co. [Virginia] with my Aunt Sydney. No, Randolph Clark, husband of my said sister, Rosa, did not know the same Jim Johnson. No sir, my brother Josiah R. Brown, half brother, did not know the said Jim Johnson, you see, Josiah was a great wanderer and he was away from home nearly all the time from the time I was a little child. Indeed sir, I dont know of any way to prove the death of the said Jim Johnson except by my brother Aaron. If I went down there myself, I would have to hunt around to try and find some of the older people that knew him, but I cant think of any now. No sir, I was never called Mrs. Johnson; I always went by my fathers name of Dotson. Yes, my two children, Julia Anne and Georgianna were always called Dotson, from their very birth. No sir, my said two children dont know who their father was; they always called my father Pop.
Q: Now why did you swear that you were formerly the wife of Beverly Dotson.
A: Well sir, Ive told you the truth about that too. You see I had those two children, Julia Anne and Georgianna, they had always been called Dotson and as I was never married to their father, I did not want to tell about Jim Johnson and so I just let it go that Beverly Dotson was their father. That is the truth and I am mighty sorry I did not tell the truth at first.
Q: Does March Lamb have any knowledge as to your relations with Jim Johnson.
A: No sir, March Lamb was a slave on our plantation, but he had left there before Jim Johnson and I got to living together. Now I dont know of anyone living here that had such [continued?] and intimate knowledge of me while I lived in Virginia before coming here that could testify that I was never married before coming here except my said brother Aaron and those whose names I have you this morning as knowing of the death of Beverly Dotson. My brother Josiah and my sister, Rosa, living here now, were away from home too much to know positively that I was not married down in Virginia before coming here.
Q: Was the death of Jim Johnson published in any newspaper.
A: No sir. At that time there was no newspaper in that neighborhood. The way that I fix the time of the said Jim Johnsons death is this: When I first came up here, my daughter Georgianna was just one month old and when I went last to Virginia that time to see him in his last illness, Georgianna was three years old, just three years old, maybe a few days over three but not more than that. Now wait, Im wrong about that: Jim Johnson died in June and my daughter, Georgianna was three years old the January just before, that is right now. I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded in this deposition. The address of my daughter, Julia Ann Dotson is No. 40, West 58th Street, New York City; she is a cook there for a white lady named Mrs. [Firman?]; dont know the first name of Mrs. [Firman?] or her husbands name. No, I dont know what business Mr. [Firman?] is in. My daughter has been living with Mrs. [Firman?] for eight years. Questions understood and my answers are correctly recorded in this deposition. We had no undertake to bury Jim Johnson; those days we just had a box made and put it into a cart and buried the [corpse?] that way. An old man named Chas. [Coy?] made the coffin or box for Jim Johnson but he is dead. Questions understood and answers correctly recorded.
(From an affidavit of Maggies brother-in-law, Randolph [aka Randall] Clark, husband of Maggies sister Rosetta, 20 Apr 1905):
I am about 70 years of age [ ] My wife is the sister of Maggie Pierce, the claimant [ ] I was a slave and I was raised down in Powhatan Co, Va., just about five miles from Powhatan Court House. My master was a man named Charles Seldon. I left down there about two years ago and came up here. I never knew this claimant until after the close of the war (Civil) a couple of years, or so, after the war, I think. She was then living down in Powhatan Co, Va. Yes, she was a single girl when I first met her. Her name was Maggie Dotson. Her father was old Beverly Dotson. Oh, yes, I knew her father. He died down there in Powhatan Co, Va.; I was at his funeral. As near as I can come at it, he died about twenty years ago. The only husband I ever knew the said claimant to have was Hosea Pierce. Years ago I moved up here one season, that was before I came up here to live, and I got acquainted with the said Hosea Pierce then. No sir, I never knew the said claimant to live with any man down in Virginia, but I was not around where she was all the time. Yes, I know she has two daughters named Julia and Georgianna. Those children were always called Dotson, so far as I ever knew. Indeed sir, I dont know who was the father of Julia and Georgianna. Yes, I knew a colored man down in Powhatan Co, Va. named Jim Johnson. When I knew him he lived on the plantation of and worked for a man named Nelson Harris. Nelson Harris place was next to the place of Chas. Seldon, where I worked. It was after the war, about two or three years after, that I got acquainted with the said Jim Johnson and of course, he was not a slave then. I never knew him when he was a slave. No sir, I never knew the said Jim Johnson and the said claimant to live together as man and wife. I know they knew each other and used to run together, but I never knew that they lived together. No I never knew or heard that Jim Johnson was the father of the children, Julia and Georgianna. As near as I can get at it, about four years after the war Jim Johnson moved away from there and went up toward Richmond, Va. somewhere, and that was the last I ever knew or heard of him. I dont know whether he is dead or not. Yes sir, I testified in this claim before. Indeed sir, Im not sure whether my former affidavit in this claim was read over to me or not. This claimants brother, half-brother, Josiah Brown, came here and had be go up to the squires office and made that other affidavit and to tell you the truth, I never did quite understand the matter or just what I did testify to. Now I know the squire asked me if I knew that Beverly Dotson was dead and I told him I did and that I was at his funeral. Then there was some talk about these children, Julia and Georgianna, being the children of Beverly Dotson and that was the part I did not understand and dont understand yet. Oh, no sir, I did not intend to testify in my said former affidavit that Beverly Dotson was ever the husband of this claimant and if that is in my affidavit, it is wrong.
(From an affidavit of Maggies sister, Rosetta Dotson Clark, 20 Apr 1905):
I am 48 years of age [ ] I am the wife of Randolph Clark, who is a laborer. Maggie Pierce, this claimant, is my sister [ ] I was born in Powhatan Co, Va., but when I was a small child my aunt Sydney took me with her to raise in Cumberland Co, Va. My fathers name was Beverly Dotson. He died April 6th, 1886. I came from Virginia to this place two years ago this coming May. The said claimant left Virginia long before I did, years ago, and I heard of her coming up here, but I was not living where she was at the time. In past, I saw but little of my sister from the time I was a little thing until after she left Virginia. Yes, Beverly Dotson was the father of the said claimant; we were both children of the same father. Well, I have heard the said claimant herself say that she was married twice, but the only husband I ever knew her to have was Hosea Pierce and I only saw him one time when I was up here on a visit. I never heard the said claimant say who her first husband was, I know she has two children that were not the children of Hosea Pierce, viz; Julia and Georgianna, and these two children were always called Dotson, but I dont know who their father was. No sir, I never knew the said claimant to live with any man as wife down in Virginia; but yes sir, I left home where she was when I was a little thing and after I left there, of course, I dont know what went on down there. Yes, I have heard of a man named Jim Johnson. I have seen him, but I did not know him personally; yes sir, he didnt live near where I did. I have seen him at church and other public places down in Virginia. I was only a child at the time, before I went to Cumberland Co. with my aunt. No, I never knew Jim Johnson and this claimant to live together. No sir, I dont know what has become of Jim Johnson; I dont know whether he is living or dead.
(From an additional affidavit of Maggie Pierce, 20 Apr 1905):
Q: Continuing your deposition before me of the 19th instant, referring to the death of Jim Johnson, I will ask you, did any minister officiate at his funeral
A: No sir. It was a work day that he was buried; I think it was on a Thursday, there were only a few at his funeral. I dont really remember the names of any of those who were at his funeral, you see that part of the county where he died was about five miles from my old home and I was not acquainted there at all, so that those I did meet at his funeral were strangers to me and I dont remember the names of any of them. Oh, no, I did not attend his funeral as his widow; I wouldnt let any of those people know that there had been anything between him and me. I just went to the funeral being an ordinary acquaintance. Sallie Jones, wife of James Jones, a farmer, mentioned in my first deposition before you, knows of the part of the said Jim Johnsons death. She lived in the neighborhood at the time when Jim Johnson died. Questions understood and my answers are correctly recorded in this deposition.
(From the summary from the Special Examiner to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington DC, 26 Apr 1905):
I have the honor, herewith, to submit the following report, with return of papers, in the above designated claim. The soldier, who was a pensioner, died at Newark, New Jersey, on January 24th, 1904. Maggie Pierce, the widow of said soldier, on April26th, 1904, filed application for pension as guardian of Nelson and Allen Pierce, minors of soldier aforesaid, she not having married the father of said minors until after the date of the passage of the Act of Jun 27th, 1890, to wit; September 28th, 1890. Said claim was referred for special examination to determine the question of the legitimacy of the minors, including the question of the fact and date of death of the widows former husband, to question the widow as to whether soldiers death was due to his military service and to determine whether there was any divorce between soldier and the claimant and all the required formalities were properly observed. Notwithstanding the fact, as appears in evidence, that the said claimant deliberately falsified as to her prior marriage, she distinctively enjoys the reputation of being an honest, hard working woman, truthful and trustworthy. Despite her original falsehood, I believe the statement she now makes as to her relations with Jim Johnson and as to the fact that the said Jim Johnson was the father of her two daughters, Julia Ann and Georgianna. However, this whole matter relating to the said Jim Johnson, including the fact and date of his death must, of course, be made the subject of thorough investigation. I am inclined to believe the claimant that she was never formally married to the said Jim Johnson, still the fact, or otherwise, of formal marriage should be determined, as definitely as possible. I did not secure the testimony of original affiant, March Lamb [ ] for the reason that he was away from here when I called to see him and no one knew just where he was or when he would return. He is a single old colored man, wanders about the county, doing odd jobs here and there and is away from home most of the time. His deposition, at any rate, would not be material, as the case now stands. In view of the fact, that it was evident after I had taken the claimants statement, that she would not file any claim under the general law, on her own behalf, I could not understand what bearing the question of divorce could have on this the minors claim; yet, since the re-review had specifically asked for evidence on said point, I secured a certificate of search of the divorce records, which will be found hereto attached, and marked Exhibit L. The merit of this claim now hinges upon the testimony to be secured in Virginia, leaning upon the marital history of the claimant, particularly as to whether she did sustain such relations with Jim Johnson and only him, whether we was actually married or only run with him and whether the said Johnson is dead and, if so, the date of his death. To this end, I respectfully recommend further examination for the testimony of the following parties:
Aaron Dotson, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
Sallie Jones, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
John Brown, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
Anne Brown, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
Mary Frances Randolph, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
Crittie Johnson, Powhatan C. H., Powhatan Co., Va.
The above named parties are referred to by the said claimant in her statement before me and a careful perusal of said statement by the succeeding special examiner will prove of value in the investigation of the case in the neighborhood of the claimants old home. In this connection, I would suggest that Aaron Dotson, the eldest brother of the claimant, will probably prove of more value in determining the marital status of the said claimant prior to her leaving Virginia, as well as the fact of death [ ] of Jim Johnson than any one else. Next to him, in importance, on these points, I think is Sallie Jones.
L. C. Walsh
(From an affidavit of Fortune Mosby [first cousin of Jim Johnson], 05 Jun 1905):
I am about 51 or 52 years of age. [ ] I was born and raised here, and have lived here all of my life time. Yes, I am acquainted with Aaron and Moses Dodson but I did not know any [of] the rest of the familynever knew any of their sisters. Yes sir, I was acquainted with Jim Johnson, he was my mothers sisters son. I dont know where he was born but during the war we were sold and old man Hilliary Harris bought Jims mother Kittie and her four children Jim was older than I, but how much I dont know he was only a boy when Harris bought him, wasnt grown nor anything like it. After freedom he staid I reckon about three years on the Harris plantation, then he came here to the Court House and he staid around the Court House I reckon about three years then he went off to Richmond. He worked in the Tredegar Iron Works there in Richmond for two or three years then he went off somewhere. I dont remember where. I got several letters from him after he left Richmond, but I am not able to find any of the letters and I dont remember where he was. He had one brother Richard but I dont remember the name of the others. Richard was in Richmond the last I knew of him, I reckon about 15 years agohe used to work in the Tredegar Works, too. Yes, Jim was grown when he left here but he was never married while he was here I know and I never heard of his being married in Richmond. Oh yes, sir, he lived on the Nelson Harris place, that was directly after the war he staid there until his mother died then he came up to the Court House here and staid until he went to Richmond. No sir, I never knew of his marrying Maggie Dodson or living with herif he ever married her it was after he went to Richmond. No sir, he wasnt grown when his mother died and he came here to the C. H. he was just a young fellow then. Yes, I remember Chastine Johnsonhe was Jims brotherhe was in Richmond the last I knew of himthat was 20 years ago or more. No, I dont know of any one who can tell you where Jim is now. He was away off at some city the last we heard from him, that was about 10 or 11 years ago. I fix the time or my wife does by the time of the death of her father. He has been dead 10 years and we got two letters from cousin Jim the year before her father died. No, I never heard of Jim being dead.
Fortune Mosby [his mark]
Alice A. Mosby, witness
(From an affidavit of Maggies brother Moses, 06 Jun 1905):
My fathers name was Beverly Dodson, and mother Jane Dodson. I had two sisters Rosetta Clarknowand Maggie now Pierce. She used to be called Peggie by some. I have one brother Aaron and a half brother Josiah Brown. Rosetta is in Vineland, N.J. All of the children of our family were born and raised here. I am the youngest. My full name is Moses B. Dodson. We used to belong to Mr. Hilliary Harris. After the war we moved to the Simpson place. I dont remember how long we staid there, then we moved to the Robinson placeMat Robinsonand we lived there until after father died. Yes, Maggie lived there with the family on the Robinson place. I was at home until I was about 12 or 13 years old, after that I was not home very muchwould just go there sometimes. Maggie was at home on up to the time that I left there. One time when I was about 15 or 16 years old I went home and my folks told me that Maggie had gone to Richmond. I cant tell you how long she was in Richmond, but a number of years. She worked for Judge Fitzhughcorner of 5 and Leigh Sts. So far as I know she worked for the judge all the time she was in Richmond. By some books I have at home I can give you the year when she left Richmond and went to New Jersey, where she has lived since so far as I know. No, she was never married here to my knowledgeI know she wasnt in this county. Yes, I saw her many a time at Judge Fitzhughs, and I never heard of her being married there. When she went to New Jersey she had one child and only one that I know of. Julia was her name. Julia lived here with my mother and brother until she was about grown, then she went north with my wife to New York and I heard later that she went to New Jersey. Yes, I was in New Jersey about 3 yearswent there about 1880. No, Maggie was not there then. She didnt go there until after I left. Yes, I have heard that Maggie had another childGeorgiaI think is her name but she didnt have that child here, if she did I dont know anything about it. Georgia was here once on a visit and her mother (claimant) was here onceI think it was some 7 or 8 years ago that Maggie was here. I heard that she was then married to Hosea PierceI think his name was HoseaI knew him very well when I was up there in N.J. He was then living with his first wife. No, I dont know who was the father of Maggies children. Julia always went by the name of Dodson. I dont really know anything about the other girlGeorgiadont know what name she went by. I cant tell you how old she is for when I saw her she was about grown. Yes, I used to know Jim Johnson but I havent seen him since I was a boy. No, I never heard of Maggie being married to him. Yes, I am satisfied that if she had been married before she went north I would have heard of it. No sir, I never heard her (Maggie) state nor did I ever hear from a source that Jim Johnson was the father of her children. Yes, if Maggie and Johnson had been living together as husband and wife, or if they had ever been married, I certainly would have heard or known of it.
(Also from an affidavit of Maggies brother Moses, 06 Jun 1905):
I now show you the record of births of the children of our family. This record was copied by Nelson Harris from the records of his father Hilliary Harris. (Record referred to shows as follows: Josiah born in the year 1842, Aaron was born Dec. 9, 1850, Peggy was born Jan. 4, 1854, Rosetta was born Feb 9, 1856 and Moses was born June 16, 1857. N.W.B.*) No, I have no record of the date of birth of my sister Maggies childrenMaggie is the one shows as Peggy in the record, but I know that her child Julia was born at my mothers house on the Robinson place, in the month of April 1878. I know it was in 1878 because it was the following December that I was married. I was living at home when Julia was born. My mother raised hershe staid with me until she got to be a young woman. My father and mother lived with me until they diedfather died April 6, 1886 and mother died March 24, 1897, as shown by my family record. No sir, there is no way that I can fix the date of birth of sister Maggies second child for I never saw her until she was grown. No sir, I never heard of the death of Jim Johnsonbut I havent heard from him for about 20 years. Fortune Mosby is the only one I know that has heard from Jim. They are cousins and Jim used to think the world and all of Fortune.
* [Initials of the Special Examiner].
(From the summary from the Special Examiner to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington DC, 10 Jun 1905 [adjusted to enhance readability]):
I have the honor to return all papers in above described claim, and to submit my report thereon. Claim was referred for special examination to determine the question of the legitimacy of the minors and came to this district for further examination bearing upon the marital history of claimant. [ ] All the other witnesses named were seen, and in addition to them I secured the evidence of W. B. Boatwright, Moses Dodson, Mrs. Sally Dodson and Fortune Mosby.
In nosing around I discovered that claimant had written to Powhatan that if anyone came there to see about her claim to testify that she had been previously married to a man by the name of Dodson, but her brother Aaron and Mrs. J. W. Randolph plainly stated that they would not tell a story for her. It will be seen by all of the evidence herewith that claimant was never married while here so far as they knew, and in addition to their evidence I will certify that I made a careful search in the marriage records of Powhatan County, of Henrico County, and of the Hustings Court of the City of Richmond covering the period from 1865 to 1889, and found no record of the marriage of Maggie or Peggy Dodson or Dotson to Jim Johnson or to any other person.
From the best information I could get the moral character of claimant is no better than it ought to beabout on a par with her word while generally considered truthful, yet, when in her opinion occasion demands it as in her claim for pensionshe wholly disregards the truthso with her morals. I could get no positive proof of it, but I am informed that Georgianna is her fourth child* (see note below). Julia, the eldest, was born in Powhatan Co. and raised by the grandmother and Aaron Dodson. I could not learn positively of the birth of any others here, but Georgianna was undoubtedly born in Vineland shortly after claimant went there. From the evidence of Mrs. Randolph supported by that of Sally Dodson, it was by reason of her condition that claimant went to her brothers in Vineland.
It will be noticed that claimant fails to state anything about having been in Richmond, though she was here for a number of years. The Fitzhugh family for whom claimant worked are now all dead, but as Ann Brown, M. B. Dodson and Sally Dodson knew claimant here in Richmond they would have known it had she lived with any man as his wife. M. B. & Sally Dodson would have been glad to tell anything that would have injured her case as there is not the most friendly feeling between them.
Claimants story as to the death and burial of Jim Johnson contains about as much truth as the story of her marriage to Beverly Dodson, her father. The statement of Fortune Mosby is the best I succeeded in finding as to the whereabouts of said Johnson. There are many here in Richmond by the name of Richard and William Johnson, but as the city directory does not show that any of them are connected with the Tredegar Iron Works, I did not think there was truth enough in her statements as to the father of her children to warrant any extended search here in Richmond for Richard and William Johnsonbrothers of Jim, with the view of trying to locate Jim. Chastine Johnson, another brother, is not named in city directory. My inference from what I gathered is that Johnson was the father of neither of claimants children.
In conversation alone Sally Dodson told me that the father of one was a Washington and of the other a Brooks I believe is the namebut before I could finish her deposition her husband M. B. Dodson came in and in his presence though under oath she claimed to know nothing about the father of the children. But there is another point to which I would call attention. In the statement of Mrs. Randolph it will appear that claimant and soldier parted; that when she went to Vineland in 1903 she found that soldier had been gone two years, and the story she gave me briefly stated is that from what she heard there in Vineland claimant got tired of supporting him while he was as disagreeable as could be, and she turned him out. He wrote to her a number of times wanting to come back and she (claimant) wouldnt answer the letters and he staid away until he died. I dont know as they were divorced but they were separated through the actions of claimantso it would appearand there is a moral if not a legal question as to the right of a wife turning a husband out in his helplessness to be cared for by others and then after his death claim the accrued pension. I think before final action is taken on claim for accrual pension further examination should be made as to the cause of separation of soldier and claimant and recommend that claim be sent for evidence of
Hosea S. Pierce #127 Waverly Ave, Newark, N.J.
Ruth Brown address to be obtained from brother Hosea S. Pierce
Also for cross examination of witnesses at Vineland if necessary.
W. B. Boatwright is a white man of good repute, his farm where he used to live is right close to the Red Lane Church where claimant states Jim Johnson was buried. All of the witnesses seen bear a good reputation. This is especially true of Ann Brown and Aaron Dodson. Sally Dodson holds considerable personal feeling against claimant and I would not put it by her to stretch the truth a little to injure claimant if she knew just when and how to do it, but her statements as to most things are strongly supported by other evidence. I find the old family name to be spelled D-o-d-s-o-n and the marriage records show that Aaron, Rosa and Moses were married under the name D-o-d-s-o-n and not as Dotson.
N. W. Bridges
* [NOTE: I dont think he meant to say Georgianna was the fourth-born child per se, but rather that she was one of four, or the fourth one they knew of, having already known of Julia and the two minor sons -- JCCarter].
In New Jersey:
(From an additional affidavit of Maggie Pierce, 20 Jul 1905):
Yes, I am the identical Maggie Pierce who is applicant for pension as the guardian of the minors of Hosea Pierce and who testified before you on April 19th, 1905 in my claim for pension.
Q: State now as definitive as possible when you first came to this town.
A: I cant state the year, but I came here twenty two years ago last Thanksgiving; came here just a [week?] before Thanksgiving twenty two years ago last Thanksgiving day. Yes sir, it is a fact that when I first came here I had only one child, viz. Julia Anne. Yes, when I came from Virginia to New Jersey, I came right to Vineland here and went to the home of my half-brother, Josiah R. Brown. I was in the family way when I came here; I stayed with my said brother Josiah R. Brown and then went to live with Martha Little, since deceased, and made my home with her until after Christmas of that year and I then went to Camden, this state, when my second child, Georgianna, was born, on Jany. 24th of that year. In April following the birth of my said daughter, Georgianna, I returned to Vineland and this has been my home ever since.
Q: Now, who was the father of Georgianna.
A: Now, I ought to have told you the truth about this whole matter in the first place, but I was ashamed to and I told the first story. I tried to cover it up; but I will tell you the truth now. Robert Taylor, colored, was the father of Georgianna. I got acquainted with Robert Taylor in Richmond, Va.-- You see, before coming here I had lived out in service in Richmond, Va., with Judge Henry Fitzhugh, Cor. 5th & Lee [Leigh] Sts. The aunt of the said Robert Taylor was the cook at Judge Fitzhughs and he used to come there to see his said aunt and in that way I became acquainted with the said Robert Taylor. The name of the said aunt of the said Robert Taylor was Charlotte Gaines; her husband Jno. Gaines has since died. Judge Fitzhugh is dead; his widow, Mariah Fitzhugh, was living the last I heard of her. I last heard of her about ten or eleven years ago. I went down to Richmond at that time and called on her; as far as I know, Mrs. Fitzhugh is still living there at 5th and Lee [Leigh] Streets; the Fitzhughs own that corner. The Fitzhughs never had but one child and that child died before I ever knew the Fitzhughs. Judge Fitzhugh had a sister living with him at the time I lived with them; her name is Miss Ellen C. Fitzhugh and she is still living, so far as I know. Yes, if living she lives at 5th and Lee [Leigh] Sts., Richmond, Va. The last I knew of Aunt Charlotte Gaines, above mentioned, she was living with Mrs. Judge Fitzhugh; that was ten or eleven years ago.
Q: Did you come to Vineland, N.J. direct from Richmond, Va.
A: Yes sir, came right from Judge Fitzhughs to this very town. Mrs. Fitzhugh was like a mother to me. I was her house girl and did the marketing too. Oh, yes sir, I lived right in the house there with Mrs. Fitzhugh. I lived with Mrs. Fitzhugh nine years. Yes, nine years continuously. I was about fifteen or sixteen years old when I went to Mrs. Fitzhughs to live and I lived there nine years and from there came right here. Once a year, every August, while I lived with Mrs. Fitzhugh, I went to my old home in Powhatan Co, Va., but only for a week each visit. Yes sir, in Richmond, as well as in my old home I was commonly called Peggy. When I went to Richmond I joined the Baptist Church of Preacher James Holmes, which was on 11th and Broad Streets and I belonged to that church all the time I was in Richmond. Preacher Holmes is dead, but his widow may be living; dont know her first name; if she is living, she is living on Navy Hill, Richmond, Va.; they owned a place up there. I can think of the names of the following members of my church society down there in Richmond: Sister Jackson, Sister Jane Hall, Sister Randolph, Sister Kate Anderson. They were all married but the names of their husbands I dont know; we were in the habit of calling each other Sister so and so, and in that way the names of most of them, their first names, I have forgotten. All of the above, if living, live down in the neighborhood of the Rev. Jno. Jaspers church, the 6th Mt. Zion Colored Church, which is on Jackson Street. I think said parties can be located by inquiring of the present pastor of the 6th Mt. Zion Church, as they all belong to that church. Edgar Hall and Wallace Hall knew me well all the time I lived in Richmond and they are sons of Sister Jane Hall and they used to live on Jackson Street, near the 6th Mt. Zion Church. Edgar Hall was a Kalsominer and Wallace Hall just worked job work about the different stores. Then Miss Lelia Robinson, colored, knew me intimately all the time I was in Richmond. The last I knew of her, about a year ago, she was living at No. 1308, East Leigh Street; she was up here for a while and went back to Richmond about a year ago. Then Miss Rosa Robinson, colored and unmarried, knew me intimately all the time I lived in Richmond, Va. and she lived the last I heard of her, about two years ago, on Navy Hill, Richmond, Va.-- I dont know the name of the street she lived on, but it was on Navy Hill, right back of the Good Samaritan Hall. James Payne, a local preacher living near the 6th Mt. Zion Church, Richmond, knew me well all the time I lived in Richmond and he can tell just where all these parties above named live.
Q: Did Robert Taylor, the father of Georgianna have any brothers or sisters.
A: He had no brothers that I know of; he had one sister living in [Hanover?] Co, Va., but what part of [Hanover?] Co. she lived I dont know. She came down there to Richmond to see her aunt, Charlotte Gaines, one time and that is the only time I saw her. The said Robert Taylor was a laborer on the railroad when I knew him; the name of the railroad I dont know. It was a railroad that was then being built up the James River. He was still living there in Richmond and was working on the railroad when I came away from there. No, he has never written to me and I have never written to him since I left Richmond, but when I visited Richmond about ten or eleven years ago his aunt, Charlotte Gaines, above named, told me that he was still living there in Richmond and was working on the railroad. No, I did not see the said Robert Taylor that time. His said aunt told me he was living down in the lower part of the town, in a part of the town called the Rockets [Rocketts], down by the old market. Oh, no sir, the said Robert Taylor and I were not married. No, we never lived together. The whole thing was just a slip. He used to come there to the Fitzhughs to see his aunt, he and I got together then and that is how it happened. We never lived together a day. I had no doctor treat me at the birth of Georgianna; was attended by an old colored midwife whose name, I think was [Gumboy?] or some such name as that. Yes sir, the birth of Georgianna was reported to the Health Office, at Camden, N.J. I gave the said Robert Taylors name as the father of the child.
Q: Where was Julia Anne, your oldest child born.
A: At my mothers house in Powhatan Co, Va. and my mother acted as my midwife at that birth. The father of the said Julia Anne was Harry Brooks; he is dead. He died before I left Richmond. He worked at Haxall and Crenshaws flour mill there in Richmond. He died about two, possibly three years, before I left Richmond. He had no relatives that I ever knew. I just met him on the street, sweeping off the side walk, he got to coming into the house, Judge Fitzhughs, and in that way I got into trouble with him. No, he and I were never married; I never lived with him a single night. The only way that I know about the death of the said Harry Brooks is this: Aunt Charlotte Gaines, herein before named, told me that he died. I dont know how to prove the death of said Harry Brooks unless some of the old hands about Haxall & Crenshaws flour mill can testify to his death. I never knew any of his companions as I never went out with him but once. He was a middle aged man when I knew him.
Q: How many children did you have altogether before your marriage to Hosea Pierce.
[A:] Only those two, Julia Anne and Georgianna.
Q: Then the entire statement that you previously made about Jim Johnson being the father of those two children was false, was it.
A: Yes sir, it was false; but I was engaged to be married to Jim Johnson. Have understood your questions and my answers are correctly worded in this deposition. I solemnly swear that I was never married to any man but Hosea Pierce. Questions understood and my answers are correctly worded.
(From the report of the Special Examiner to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington DC, 24 Jul 1905 [adjusted to enhance readability]):
I have the honor, herewith, to submit the following report, with return of papers, in the above designated claim. This claim was originally referred for special examination to determine the cause of the soldiers death and the question of the legitimacy of the minors, the latter question involving, of course, the legality of the marriage between the claimant and the said soldier. In accordance with the recommendation contained in my original report in the pension, sir herewith, the papers were referred to Powhatan Co., Va. for further examination to determine whether the said claimant, the mother of these minors, had been married prior to her marriage to the soldier aforesaid and, if so, how and where, if at all, said prior marriage had dissolved.
It having developed during the examination in Powhatan Co, Va. that the said claimant had not given a full and truthful history of her life prior to the time she came to New Jersey from Virginia, the claim was returned to this district for another statement from the claimant, etc. That the said claimant is amply possessed of the capacity for falsification is patent. And yet she enjoys an excellent reputation in Vineland for truth, honesty and reliability; this not only among the better class of colored people of the town, but also among the better class of the white people, by whom she is generally employed. Without extenuating her falsehoods, I am convinced that her blundering attempts in this direction originated in her desire to conceal what she now regards as the shameful conduct of her youth. I did not make any effort to secure an additional statement from Josiah R. Brown or to secure any further testimony in this vicinity for the reason, that the only point in issue is that relating to the prior prior [sic] marriage, or otherwise, of the said claimant before she came to New Jersey and there is no one here, including the said Josiah R. Brown, competent to testify on said point, besides, the said Josiah R. Brown is wholly unreliable and it would simply have been a waste of time to have taken an additional deposition from him. Of course, if it should develop, which is highly improbable, that the claimant had a living legal husband at the time she married the soldier, it might become important to take another deposition from the said Brown with the view to his prosecution for perjury. But in the absence of a prior subsisting legal marriage on the part of the said claimant, the false testimony of the said Brown does not constitute perjury, as it would then have the essential element of materiality. With the ethics of the matrimonial relations of the soldier and claimant aforesaid, a suggestion offered by Special Examiner Bridges, we, of course, have no concern. The points indubitably established therefore are, that the claimant had only one formal marriage after coming to New Jersey, that the soldier was competent to contract marriage at the date he married said claimant, that the two minors on whose behalf this claim was filed are the said soldiers children and that there was no divorce between the soldier and claimant aforesaid. Hence, the only point left to be determined is, whether the claimant had a living legal husband at the time she married the soldier, i.e., September 28th, 1890. It has been fairly shown that she contracted no marriage in Powhatan Co, Va. and hence, it only remains to trace up her history in this particular during the period she resided at Richmond, Va., immediately preceding her coming to New Jersey. Ample data will be found in the claimants statement, herewith, for further examination at Richmond. It will be noted that she said claimant now says that one Harry Brooks was the father of her eldest daughter, Julia Anne, and that one Robert Taylor was the father of the other daughter, Georgianna. She further states, that at the birth of Georgianna she was attended by an old colored midwife named Mrs. [Gumboy?], or something like that, of Camden, N.J. and that said midwife reported said birth to the Camden Health Office. While I did not consider the point essential, I searched the birth records of Camden both under the name of Taylor and Dotson, or Dodson, but failed to find any record of the birth in question. Prior to 1888 it was not compulsory to [make?] returns of birth in New Jersey. During the whole period of the said claimants residence in Richmond, Va., it appears that she lived in the family of Judge Fitzhugh as a servant; this being so, it should not be difficult to definitely settle the question as to whether the claimant aforesaid did or did not contract a marriage while in said city. Of course, Harry Brooks and Robert Taylor, above referred to, should be properly accounted for while the papers are at Richmond. To determine the question of prior marriage, or otherwise, on the part of claimant, I respectfully recommend further examination at Richmond, Henrico Co, Va., as follows:
Mrs. Mariah Fitzhugh, Cor. 5th and Leigh Streets Miss Ellen C. Fitzhugh, Cor. 5th and Leigh Streets
Charlotte Gaines (colored), Cor. 5th and Leigh Streets,
and further as per claimants statement should it be found necessary to settle the point.
L. C. Walsh,
(From an affidavit of Charlotte Gaines Cooley/Coolie, 15 Sep 1905):
I think I am in my 48th year [ ] I have lived here in Richmond ever since I can remember. I worked at Judge Fitzhughs corner of 5th and E. Leigh Sts, between 17 and 18 years. Yes sir I remember Peggie Dodsonshe was chambermaid at Judge Fitzhughs, and I was cook. She was there about nine years. She was from Powhatan Co. She has a brother named Aaron Dodson and a brother named Moses Dodsondont know whether her father and mother are living or not. She was a full grown but a young woman when I first knew her. Yes sir we lived right there together in the Judges house and a part of the time we slept in the same bed. I was known at that time as Charlotte Gaines. No sir she was not married when she came to the Judges and she didnt marry while she staid there for if she had I was bound to know it. No she did not have any children while at the Judgesto my knowing. No she never told me about having a little girl. After Judge Fitzhugh died she was back here on a visitand she told me then that her name was Maggie Piercethat she was married and her name was Maggie Pierce and she brought a girl with hermay be 10 or 12 years oldshe told me how old this girl was bur I dont remember. She called the girls name but I cant think now. Yes I remember when she left hereshe said she was going to her brothers or rather to her half brothers Josiah Crump I think was his name. Yes that was when she left Judge Fitzhughs, but I cant tell to save my life how many years ago that was. No sir she was not in a delicate condition when she left here to my knowing. No I cant remember any young man that waited on her. Yes I used to know a man by the name of Harry Brookshe worked at the mills. They called it the Galgo [Gallego] Millsmy brother in law Daniel Hall worked there at the same time that is how I know Brooks. Daniel Hall is dead now and I do not know whatever became of Brooksdont think I have seen him in 20 years. Brooks was a married manhe used to come by the Judges with my brother in law in coming from workbut I never knew him to keep company with Peggy or anything of that kind. Yes sir I knew Robert Taylorhe is my nephew. I am bound to know him. Yes he is living here in the city now. I dont know his number but he is living on 17th St I think it is. Yes he ought to be acquainted with Peggy for I was his aunt and he was always coming to see me. I think he is older than Peggy though. I dont know his age. No they never kept company together to my knowledge and I know they were never married or lived together as man and wifefor if they had I was bound to know it as we were both in the same house. I have not heard direct from Peggy since she was here after the Judges death and I wrote to her brothers in Powhatan for her address so I could write to her. I wrote but never got any reply to my letter. At the time we were at the Judges, there was the Judge, his wifeMariah, and two sisters Ellen and Sue Fitzhugh and Lucy Gordon, Mrs. Fitzhughs sister, but they are all dead now.
(From an affidavit of Susan Carter Taylor, 16 Sep 1905):
I dont know how old I am, but I was just a little girl when the war broke out. [ ] I am the wife of Robert Taylor. My maiden name was Susan Carter. I cant tell you how long we have been married but we were married here in Richmond and have always lived here. Yes sir I used to be acquainted with Peggie Dodson. I was married when I first got acquainted with her. She worked at Judge Fitzhughs on the Cor. of 5th and Leigh Sts. She was house girl and Aunt Charlotte was cook. Aunt Charlotte was there a long time. I cant tell how many yearswas there until the Judge died and they broke up housekeeping. She was there at the Judges when Peggie went there to workhad been there a long time then. So Peggie and Aunt Charlotte were together all the time Peggie was there. Peggie had a room over the laundry and Aunt Charlotte had a room over the kitchen. They roomed in the same house and after John GainesCharlottes husbandwent away, Peggie and Aunt Charlotte roomed together. My husband and I used to go by there often to church and I used to go up to see Aunt Charlotte most any time. She is my husbands aunt not mine but I call her Auntand in going up there to see Aunt Charlotte I got well acquainted with Peggie and I used to work there sometimes. I think Peggie was from up in Powhatan. I have seen her father and motherthey have been to the judges to see Peggieand I saw one of her brothers but I dont remember what his name was. Peggie was woman grown as settled as she is now when I first knew her. I dont know exactly how long she was at the Judges, but as well as I recollect some nine or ten years. No sir Peggie was not married when she came here to Richmond and wasnt married while she was here that ever I heard of. She didnt have any beaux that ever I knew of. I always through she was an old maid. No sir she never told me about having any children. I always thought she was an old maid. Yes I have seen Harry Brooks and I have seen him come in to the kitchen there and swap a word or two and then go on again. I think he was married but to tell you the truth I dont know. I was never acquainted with him much. I think he is dead now. No I never heard of his waiting on Peggie. I never heard of her having any beaux. Yes sir I think if she had been married while at the Judges or if she had lived with any man as his wife I would have known it. When she left here she said she was going up north to where her brother was. I didnt know she was going until she was gone. Aunt Charlotte told me Peggie was going to her brothers. No sir I did not know what Peggie was with child when she left here and I dont think Mrs. Fitzhugh knew it either. I never heard a breath of that before. Mrs. Fitzhugh thought a great deal of Peggie and she thought a lot of Aunt Charlotte, too. We all got along well together. I havent seen Peggie since she left Judge Fitzhughs.
(From an affidavit of Robert Taylor, 18 Sep 1905):
I am about 56 years of age. [ ] Have been here in Richmond about 25 yearswas born in Caroline Co. I was never married but once that was to Susan Carterdont remember when I was married but in Oct. about 28 or 29 years ago. Yes sir I used to know Peggie DodsonI never knew her by any other name than Peggie. As well as I can recollect I knew her about five years. I got acquainted with her up at Judge Fitzhughs on the corner of 5th and Leigh Sts. I used to go there to see my Aunt Charlotte Gainesin that way I got acquainted with Peggie. Yes sir I was married before ever I knew Peggie. She appeared to be about 25 years old when I first knew her. No she was not married when I knew herthe reason I think so is that she always claimed to be Miss Peggie Dodsonand I never saw anyone there as her husband. I used to go up to see my aunt about every weekshe was the only aunt I hadand I never saw Peggie on the street [strut?] with any manand never saw any man around with her at all. She had no children while she was there that I know of. I didnt see any. No I cant remember of any one by the name of Harry Brooks. Yes as well as I recollect Peggie and Aunt Charlotte roomed there at Judge Fitzhughs. Peggie came from somewhere up the Southern R.R. but I dont know whether from Amelia or Powhatan Co. I dont know where she went to. If I am not mistaken she had some brothers out North somewhere and she went out there for higher wages. I heard her talk about going North but I dont know when I saw her last whether just before she left here or not but if she was ever married while she was here I never heard anything about it. I have heard you state what Peggie claims as to my being the father of her childbut she is mistaken about that for I know nothing about her in that respect. I never was in her room but once and I am not sure now whether it was in her room or my aunts, but I went to move a bureau or something they could not move. No sir I did not know Peggie was in a delicate condition when she left here.
(From the report of the Special Examiner to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington DC, 18 Sep 1905):
I have the honor to return all papers in above described claim, and to submit the following report:--
This claim was referred for special examination to determine cause of death of soldier, legitimacy of minors claimed for; and came back to this district for further examination as to prior marriage of Maggie Pierce Gdn., she having worked for Judge Henry Fitzhugh, of Richmond, for about nine years before going to New Jersey. The evidence of Mrs. Mariah Fitzhugh, Ellen C. Fitzhugh, and Charlotte Gaines was desired. Mariahthe widow, and Ellen C. Fitzhughsister of the late Judgeare both dead and so are Sue another maiden sister of the Judge and Lucy Gordon, a sister of Mrs. Fitzhugh, both of whom lived with the Judge during all or a part of the time that Maggie Pierce nee Dodson was working there. Charlotte Gaines now the widow of Henry Coolie was located after considerable effort, and her deposition taken, which appears herewith. I also secured the deposition of Susan Taylor and of Robert Taylor, who is said by claimant to be the father of one of her children. It will be seen that the three tell about the same story. There is no evidence that Peggie Dodson was ever married or lived with any man as his wife. I could find nothing positive as to Harry Brooks, alleged father of claimants eldest childbut he is believed to be dead. Charlotte Coolie testifies that heBrookswas a married manthough I could find no record of his marriage in the records of the Hustings Court of this city and the marriage record of Henrico Co. are now in the bindery. I find in the records of the Hustings Court that Robert Taylor and Susan Carter were married by James H. Holmes Oct. 28, 1874both singlehis age given as 22 and hers as 23. The time of this marriage was before said Robert Taylor made the acquaintance of Peggie Dodson. Jani Hall, named by claimant was a sister of Charlotte Gainesshe is dead. Edgar and Wallace Hall are dead and so is Kate Anderson. The others named by claimant I was unable to locate. Charlotte Coolie appears to be an honest truthful old colored woman. Of one thing she is very ignorantthat is her age, but the fact of her having been employed by the Judge for so many years would tend to show that she is reliable. Robert Taylor lives down in a pretty tough part of town, yet all their stories hang together pretty well. I would rate him and his wife only fair. These witnesses are believed to have been in the best position of any one now living to know of claimants marital relations while at Judge Fitzhughs. Special Examiner L. C. Walsh seems to think that as claimant and soldier were not divorced their relations at time of his death is an ethical question with which the Pension Bureau has nothing to do. Attention is invited to summary in my former report as to accrued pension. Further examination is recommended at Newark, N.J. for the cause of soldiers death. See Hosea S. Pierce, 127 Waverly Ave., Newark, N.J. for address of Ruth Brown, daughter of soldier at whose house soldier is said to have died. Frederick Friess19 Elm St., Newark, N.J. and further if necessary.
N. W. Bridges
In New Jersey:
(From an affidavit of Ruth Pierce Brown, 11 Oct 1905):
I am 47 years of age. I am the wife of Henry Brown. [ ] I am the eldest child of Hosea Pierce, by Sarah Anderson, his first wife. My father was married but twice, first to my mother, Sarah Anderson, I dont remember the year of such marriage and after she died he married this claimant, who was known as Peggy Dotson before her marriage to my father. My mother died in Newark, N.J. about 16 or 17 years ago, and is buried in Gouldtown, N.J. I dont recollect the exact date she died, and he did not remarry after she died until his marriage to this claimant. He was a widower 3 years, or about that. I cant say how long they lived together as man & wife, as I have lived in Newark, N.J. since they married, but my father made his home with me and my brother in Newark, N.J. for a year before he died. He died at my house 48 W. Kinney St., Newark, N.J. in Jany 1904, the date I dont recall. He died of some disease of the liver, I cant tell you the nature of same. He was confined to the house from sometime in Oct until he died, and his liver and body were affected by dropsy and he kept on getting weaker until he died. He had trouble with his heart, he was very short of breath. He was first attended by a physician a Dr. Friess, in August before he died. I cant say what caused his death. He had been in good health up to a short time before he came to Newark, then his health failed. He was about 72 years of age. His death was not due to his army service, as he had good health until he was taken with Brights Disease which caused his later troubles. This kidney trouble came on shortly after he married her, according to what he said. He was never divorced from this claimant, according to what he said she had no further use for him, and put him out. As to his children by this claimant, he acknowledged to me that Nelson was his child by her, but he asserted the youngest was not, never said who was the father, nor why the youngest was not his, only that he believed the youngest was not his.
Q: Were they living together, and sustaining the relation of man & wife when the youngest was born?
A: They were so far as I know. He never left her but once that was a year before he came to my house, he had been away from her a year before coming to Newark, N.J., and he then stopped with his niece Lizzie Combs [Coombs], wife of Joseph Combs [Coombs] now of Piercetown, N.J. near Gouldtown, N.J.
Q: As I understood you, your father only expressed his doubt that the youngest child was not his, had no other ground than his suspicion?
A: He said he was told it he said by a gypsy fortune teller, but he also said he didnt believe it was his. He told me she run around a great deal and staid out at night, and if he talked about it she got cross with him.
Q: Was this claimant married before she married your father?
A: I do not know, I understood she had two children before she married my father, but I have learned from report that these children were born out of wedlock; so far as I know she was not married before her marriage to my father.
(From an affidavit of Hosea S. Pierce [Jr.], 14 Oct 1905):
I am 46 years of age. [ ] I am a son of Hosea Pierce and Sarah J. Pierce. My father was married but twice, first to my mother who died in 1888, and to this claimant. I dont remember when he married claimant. I have lived in Newark, N.J. for past 18 years, my home was in Bridgeton, N.J. previous. My father died of some liver disease. He died in Jany 1904, the date I cant recall. I judge he must have been ill of that 4 or 5 years. I cant say what caused it, he was a pretty hearty eater and brought it from indigestion I think. He had two children by this claimant, two boys, one named Nelson, the other I forget his name. My father came to live with me 3 years ago this coming January, he came from Rosenhein [Rosenhayn], near Vineland, where he was making his home with my cousin, Lizzie Combs [Coombs]. He was with her about 18 months, having been separated from claimant between 4 and 5 years before he died. no, they were never divorced.
Q: Why did he leave her?
A: He got sick, and said she didnt treat him right. He did not say she put him out. No, he never claimed to me he was not the father of the two children he had by her but he did claim she wasnt doing what a wife should, said he had caught some man coming there. Yes, when both children were born they were living together as man & wife, he didnt leave her until the youngest was 3 or 4 years of age. I had always known the claimant to be unmarried before she married my father. I knew her a few years before they married, and while I knew she had two children before she married father I have always understood they were born out of wedlock.
(From the report of the Special Examiner to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington DC, 19 Oct 1905):
I have the honor to herewith return the papers, and to submit my report in the above described claim for pension, which was referred for special examination to determine the cause of death of soldier, legal widowhood and legitimacy of minors claimed for, and came to me, notice waived, for further examination as to cause of death of soldier, evidence on that point being herewith submitted. Dr. Friess, who was the attending physician at death of soldier, is of doubtful reputation, and without professional standing. The daughter and son of soldier appear to be of average standing of their class. The daughter is prejudiced against claimant, and the son biased in her favor, through family differences. With the papers, I file record evidence of death of soldier, death of his first wife, and birth of minors claimed for. I respectfully submit papers for consideration of the Chief of the Board of Review.
Mark J. Maloney,
Hosea & Maggies two young sons were granted a pension in 1905 until their adulthood (i.e., age 16). From the Act of April 19, 1908, amended by the Act of September 8, 1916, Maggies herself became eligible for a pension by being a soldiers widow. Upon her applying in January 1917, however, the Bureau of Pensions Board of Review determined there was cause for another Special Examination based on her prior circumstances.
In Washington, DC:
(From the Board of Review, 08 Jun 1917):
The colored claimant was less than fifty years old when soldier died. She had given birth to two illegitimate children before she married him and soldier had thought that he was not the father of one of the children born to her while she was his wife. In view of this, and the period which has elapsed since soldiers death, a special examination is desired to determine whether she has since remarried or her conduct has been such as would otherwise work a forfeiture of title to pension as his widow.
In New Jersey:
(From an affidavit of Maggie Pierce, 28 Sep 1917):
I was married to Hosea Pierce in Vineland, on September 28, 1891*, by Rev. W. W. Johnson, a colored minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church. I had two children to Hosea Pierce, two boys named Nelson and Allen Pierce. Nelson is now living in Pittsburg[h], Pa. and working in a garage there, and Allen is employed at the Soldiers Home in this city. Hosea Pierce died at Newark, N.J. on January 24, 1904. He was living with his daughter, Ruth Brown, wife of Henry Brown, at the time of his death. Brown yet lives at Newark, N.J., but I do not know their street number. I was here in Vineland when he died and his body was brought to Gouldtown, near here, where he was buried. After his death I made application for pension and was granted pension for my two sons, but not for myself. [ ] I have two daughters by my former husband, Jim Johnson, who died in Virginia years ago. My daughters are Julia Brooks, wife of Josiah Brooks, and they live in Philadelphia, but I do not know the street anymore. Georgianna Berry, wife of Thomas Berry, lives with me and has always been with me. My son Allen Pierce also lives with me here. [ ] My son, Nelson Pierce, always made his home with me up to a year ago when he went to Pittsburg[h] to work.
* [The marriage certificate shows the correct year was 1890].
As can be seen, Maggie had reverted to her old story of having had a first husband named Jim Johnson who was the father of her two elder daughters. This did not seem to be a concern, however, as all the Pension Bureau seemed to be concerned with was whether she had remarried since the death of Hosea Pierce in 1904. Affidavits were obtained stating she had not, but those have not been transcribed here as they do not contain any pertinent genealogical information. The Special Examiner who conducted interviews in the Vineland area to assess Maggies unmarried status and reputation gave an overall favorable assessment of her character.
(From the report of the Special Examiner to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington DC, 17 Nov 1917):
I have the honor to return herewith the papers in claim No. 1.081.652, Maggie Pierce, widow of Hosea Pierce, Co. C., 45th U.S.C. Inf. and report as follows:
[ ] I not only took the testimony of the two former affiants, Cornell [grocer] and Tripp [store clerk], but interviewed several other citizens, among them the postmaster of Vineland, and the letter carrier who has delivered mail to claimant for the past ten years, or more, and has known her more than twenty years. Everybody interviewed gave the claimant a good reputation and that she had not remarried or had she had or lived with any man in such relations. She is a leader in the A.M.E. Church and greatly interested in war work for the soldiers and Red Cross.
I respectfully recommend reference of the claim to consideration of the Chief of Board of Review.
George D. Sidman,
In December 1917 Maggies request for pension was approved.
After Maggies death (26 Nov 1935) her daughter Georgianna (by then, named Freeman) applied for compensation for Maggies funeral/burial expenses. One of the accompanying documents was signed by a Rev. Levi Allen Freeman, stating that he had known Maggie for 17 years, by way of having lived in the same house, being a son-in-law of pensioner. It is unclear whether this indicates he had been married to Georgianna for all of those 17 years or whether he merely was acquainted with Maggie for 17 years and his subsequent marriage to Georgianna occurred sometime within that period. (If he had been married to Georgianna for all of those 17 years, that would place their marriage in approx. 1918. Note that Maggies affidavit of 28 Sep 1917 above states Georgianna was at that time married to Thomas Berry).
Partial payment for Georgiannas expenses was approved in March 1936.
Hosea is described at various times as:
(Age 29) (time of service) 5 3 ¼ tall, yellow complexion, black eyes, black hair, occupation: farmer.
(Age 51) (Mar 1886) 5 3 tall, dark complexion, black eyes, black hair.
(Age 55) (Jul 1890) 5 3 tall, brown complexion, black eyes, dark hair.
("Age 57") (Feb 1891) 5' 6" tall, 148 lbs.
("Age 59") (May 1895) 5' 6" tall, 137 ½ lbs.("Age 62") (May 1897) 5' 6" tall, 140 lbs.
("Age 66") (Mar 1902) 5' 6" tall, 138 lbs, black complexion, brown eyes, grey hair, occupation: farmer.
OTHER ITEMS PERTAINING TO HOSEA AND/OR MAGGIE, NOT FROM THE PENSION RECORDS:
In her 28 Sep 1917 affidavit from the pension file Maggie had stated her daughter Julia had married a Josiah Brooks and lived in Philadelphia. I found Julia in Philadelphia but she only lived another year after that, dying at the age of 39 of influenza on 13 Oct 1918. (Death certificate attached). In the box for her fathers name it lists Jim Johnson (although something else had started to be written there and was corrected), so the potential exists for Maggies claim of parentage for at least her eldest daughter to be true, or it could just be a case of Maggie either having convinced her daughter and those around her of the claim, or perhaps persuading her to carry on with the ruse.
Hoseas first wife, Sarah Jane (Anderson) Pierce, is buried at Gouldtown Memorial Park, Gouldtown, Cumberland Co, NJ, next to Hosea. (Photo of her headstone HERE).
Hoseas second wife, Maggie (Dotson) Pierce, is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ. (Photo of her headstone can be seen HERE):
Hosea & Maggies son, Janviet/John-Viet Allen Allen Pierce, died in 1975 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ. (Photo of his headstone can be seen HERE):
Maggies daughter, Georgianna (Dotson) Berry Freeman, died in 1972 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Vineland, Cumberland Co, NJ. (Photo of her headstone can be seen HERE):
1). Does anyone have any photographs of Hosea or either of his wives?
2). Does anyone know of any descendants of Maggies sister Rosa/Rosetta Dodson/Dotson Clark and her husband Randolph "Randall" Clark?
3). Does anyone know of any descendants of Maggies half-brother Josiah Si R. Brown?
4). Does anyone know where Maggies eldest daughter Julia (Dotson) Brooks is buried? (Place of burial on her death certificate reads Vineland, NJ) (Its possible she was buried in the same cemetery as her mother, sister & one of her brothersOak Hill Cemetery in Vinelandbut if so it appears she has no headstone there).
5). Does anyone know if Julia (Dotson) Brooks had any children?
6). Does anyone know if Georgianna (Dotson) Berry Freeman had any children, with either of her husbandsThomas Berry or Rev. Levi Allen Freeman?
7). There is a very slim possibility that Georgianna had another husbandJames Henry Piercein between her husbands Thomas Berry and Rev. Levi Allen Freeman. James Henry DID have a wife named Georgianna but its unclear if the two Georgiannas are one-and-the-same. If she is the same, there is only a very small window in between the other two marriages for this to have occurred. She would had to have been either divorced or widowed from Thomas Berry AFTER 28 Sep 1917 (date of her mother Maggies affidavit where she stated Georgianna was married to Thomas Berry) and re-married to James Henry Pierce BEFORE 12 Sep 1918 (date of James Henrys WWI draft registration card where he listed his wife Georgiannas name as Nearest Relative) AND she would had to have been married to Rev. Levi Allen Freeman AFTER 30 May 1924 (date of James Henry Pierces death) and BEFORE whatever date the 1924 Bridgeton City Directory was compiled/published (which listed Georgianna as married to Rev. Freeman). Can anyone confirm whether this in fact did occur, and whether the two Georgiannas are one-and-the-same? Or, does anyone know the maiden name of James Henry Pierces wife Georgianna?
8). Does anyone know if Ruth H. (Pierce) Brown had any children?
9). Does anyone know if Hosea S. Pierce (Jr.) was married and/or had any children?
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
For those who may be new to the list, I have posted a few of these Civil War pension extractions previously, as has Paul Johnson and Joseph Romeo. To view some of the others, as well as an explanatory note, please see the following page of the Mitsawokett site:
(Once on the page, scroll down below the Index to see the Overview).
Please let me know if anyone has any questions or corrections.
"The History and Genealogy of the
Native American Isolate Communities
of Kent County, Delaware, and
Surrounding Areas on the Delmarva Peninsula
and Southern New Jersey"
All rights reserved.
Not to be used for commercial purposes.