Monday, September 8, 2014

Amanuensis Monday #1: Pension Deposition

One of the blog prompts from Geneabloggers is Amanuensis Monday. Just in case you are wondering what amanuensis means, according to The American Heritage High School Dictionary, it means "one who is employed to take dictation or copy manuscripts." Although I'm not employed to do so (my many hours of personal research are volunteer hours), in future posts, I will share and transcribe the various documents I've come across in my research.

In my last blog, I shared the 1850 Census of my 3rd great-grandfather, Abram Lamb. I mentioned that he had two sons, one of whom, William, died before having any children. Thanks to a friend, I have in my possession a copy of William's widow's Civil War pension application. In that file were several depositions; I've chosen one of them to transcribe.

Deposition of Hester Hamilton and Catharine Lamb, 18 Nov 1865, filed with Jane L. Lamb's widow's pension application no. 122,590 (abandoned); service of William B. Lamb (Pvt, Company E, 168th New York Infantry Volunteers, Civil War); digital images provided by Carmen Cross, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], 23 Aug 2014, without citation of file, series or record group; typically such files appear in record group 15, National Archives, Washington D.C.


State of New York
County of Westchester} ss: On this 18 day of Nov. 1865 personally came
before me a notary Public in afor said county & State Hester Hamilton
and Catharine Lamb whom I certify to be respectable & entitled to 
credit who being duly sworn depose & say; that the Rev. Samuel
N. St. John whose name is signed to the within certificate of mar
riage has left the State of New York with his family & has gone
to some place unknown to deponents, that they believe there is no
church or other public record of said Marriage, that there is no
                                                           of whom said St. John was pastor
one in charge of the Reformed Dutch Church or ^ its records, & that 
efforts have been made to procure the affidavit of said St. 
John as to such marriage, which have failed. that the only 
eye witne[ss] of such marriage, was the wife of said St. John
who has left the state with him, that said Jane L Lamb 
& William Lamb deceased, never had any child or children
& that these deponents have known said Lamb & wife ever
since the date of said marriage as contained in said certif
icate & that they so lived together & cohabited together as man
& wife from that time until the time of his death, except 
while he was absent in the service; that they were generally
known & reputed to be man & wife & were so treated & regarded,
that these facts are personally known to these deponents
and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.
                                              [signed] Hester Hamilton
                                              [signed] Catharine Lamb

Sworn & subscribed to before me the day & year aforesaid & I certify
that I have no interest in said claim & that the foregoing affidavit
was read & fully explained [to the] affiants before they signed the same.
                                               [signed] J.J. Clapp Notary Public

Before receiving this pension file, I didn't know anything about William except his approximate age. So how do I know this is the correct William Lamb? One of the names of the deponents, Catharine Lamb, happens to be the name of William's mother. Jane L. Hamilton appears on the 1850 census with her parents, Robert and Hester Hamilton, just a few households from the Lamb family. Then there is a deed of land transfer (which I will discuss in a later blog) which names Catharine Lamb as the widow of Abraham Lamb, and William Lamb, one of his sons and heirs at law, and wife Jane L. Lamb. I'll be sharing their marriage certificate as well as the land records in later blog posts.

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