Friday, September 22, 2017

The Soldier's Wife

I previously wrote about Michael Awalt, my fifth great-grandfather, a Revolutionary War soldier. 
Five years after her husband’s death in 1835, his wife, my fifth great-grandmother Eva Speck Awalt, started her bureaucratic journey to collect her widow’s pension. In the record below, FC stands for Franklin County, Eva is sometimes referred to as Evy and Eve. The misspellings and other obvious errors have been left intact.    
  • 20 Dec. 1840, Franklin Co. Mrs. Evy AWALT aged 78 states that her husband Michael AWALT died 6 April 1835, that they were married in Mecklenburg County, N.C., 17 April 1778 but she has no record of their marriage or the births of their children, having lost or mislaid it.
  • Nathaniel BORUM testifies to the identity of Evy AWALT.
  • William RIAL aged 73 states he was married to Molly SPECK, a sister of Evy AWALT. Molly RIAL aged 79 also appeared before the justice. Each deponent originally came from Mecklenburg (Rockingham crossed out) Co., N.C. They state that Michael and Evy AWALT from the time of their marriage until his death in FC lived together in utmost peace and harmony.
  • 17 May 1841, FC. Sophia HISE, widow of Coonrad HISE deceased, originally a resident of Mecklenburg Co., N.C., and now of FC, aged 86, states that her husband went in company with Michael AWALT and her sister Evy SPECK and saw them married by Parson WIRTMAN (STARK crossed out) in Mecklenburg Co., N.C., in April 1778. She recalls the month and year because she herself gave birth to a son the following February 1779.
  • William RIAL states he was not at the wedding but lived with the couple for six months after their marriage. He also lived with Coonrod HISE and his wife Sophia SPECK in N.C. and frequently heard HISE say he was present at the marriage.
  • 15 Dec. 1845, FC. Evy AWALT states that Michael AWALT received a discharge from his commander but sold it to another gentleman. States she was married April, 1781, in Rowan Co., N.C. She is unable to appear in court and gives her deposition before John ROLMAN, J.P.
  • Solomon LIMBAUGH aged 45 states he was present on 6 Apr. 1835 and saw Michael AWALT die, and that Evy AWALT has not remarried.
  • 16 Dec. 1845, FC. Sophia HISE aged 89 states that her husband Coonrod HISE, Sr., has been dead more than 25 years.
  • William RYAL aged 75 states he was present more than three years ago to hear Magdalane RYAL state she helped to prepare the wedding dinner when Eve and Michael AWALT were married. Said Magdalane RYAL has been dead more than two years
  • 22 Dec. 1845, Murfreesboro, Tenn. Cover letter sent by John BRUCE to accompany deposition of Evy AWALT and supporting documents. To the Commissioner of Pensions. “Sir, It cannot be expected that the widow can recollect all the facts and circumstances which were related to her by her husband in his lifetime, after a lapse of fifteen or twenty years. Statements are frequently made by the husband to his wife by the fireside and go in at one year and out at the other. Or if the wife actualee by motives of curiosity or otherwise sets down those statements well in her own mind, yet in the course of ten or fifteen years the recollection of those statements will fade and die upon the memory. Dear sir, at this time I bring before you the case of an old lady eighty-two years old, late in the afternoon of life, who in her husband’s lifetime was entirely independant and had plenty of the good things of life, but since his death has been reduced to a state of indigence, and thrown upon a cold hearted and uncharited world for a support. Dear friend, I rely upon the good judgement of the Department and hope for a decision in her favor. “I am, my dear sir, with sentiments of great respect, your friend and obedient servant, John BRUCE.”
  • 15 March 1846, FC. Hon. Stephen ADAMS of Mississippi states he was acquainted with Michael AWALT for many years and AWALT’S oldest son is between 55 and 60, and his grandchildren near 40 years of age
Eva dies on August 2, 1848.  Apparently, in order to settle her estate, efforts to collect the pension were continued by her son Jacob Awalt as can be seen below.
  • 25 Apr. 1851, Cabarrus Co., N.C. Clerk states he can find no record of the marriage of Evy SPECK and Michael AWALT.
  • 24 May 1851, FC. William RIAL aged past 80 years states that he knew Michael and Evy AWALT from his boyhood to their deaths.
  • Jacob AWALT of FC, son of Michael AWALT, states his mother and father were married in Cabarrus Co., N.C., about 1786. His mother Eva AWALT died 2 Aug. 1848, leaving the following named children and heirs at law: Catherine WEBER (or WEVER?), John AWALT, Barbary TIPS, Sophia WEBB, Nancy (or Naomi) LIMBO.
  • John TRAVIS, J.P of FC, testifies that Jacob AWALT is about 62 years old, having been considered an old man for some years past. John ROLMAN, J.P., testifies he has known Jacob AWALT for 30 years and that he himself is 49 years old and supposes AWALT is 62. He was acquainted with Michael and Eva AWALT. He is also acquainted with Mrs. Catherine WEVER, sister of Jacob AWALT, whom he has always understood was older than Jacob AWAL
  • 2 Dec. 1851, Knoxville, Tenn. Taze W. NEWMAN, attorney, is unable to provide physician’s or undertaker’s certificate that Eva AWALT is dead, because one is dead and the other has moved to Texas. This is in the case of Jacob AWALT who lives on Hurricane Creek in FC.
  • 25 June 1852, Marshall, IL. W. MANLY inquires as to the status of Eva AWALT’S claim for pensions.
I could find no record as to whether or not the Awalt family was ever successful in collecting the pension due Eva.

Source: Sherrill, Charles. “Revolutionary War Pension Applications from Franklin County, Tennessee.” Franklin County TNGenWeb, http://www.tngenweb./org.franklin.revolutionary-war-pensions-from-franklin-county. Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

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