Sunday, June 29, 2014


It's easy to forget sometimes in our modern world how long some things took for our
ancestors. For example, my 4x great grandfather Moses Coburn  appeared in court to
apply for his Revolutionary War veteran's pension on 4Apr 1818. It was approved on
15July 1819 by the Secretary of War (the famous John C.Calhoun) but he still had to
submit an inventory of his personal belongings in June of 1820. That's over two years.

Well, the paperwork today for veterans' benefits has something in common with that
for veterans of the Revolution, I guess.

There is this document in Moses' file, a standard form. It says that as of 8Apr 1818 Moses
Coburn  was entitled to a pension of $8.00 a month, and that the Certificate of Pension
had been issued on 15Jul 1819.  Since it says he was owed $135.10 in arrears dating back
to 4Mar 1819 I'm guessing he didn't receive any money until 1820, probably after he had
submitted that inventory. Still, that amount of money, if issued as a lump sum, was a
good deal back then so it and the future monthly pension payments would have done a
lot to make life easier for Moses and his family.

Finally, one more document from the Pension File:

This form is dated 4Feb 1824 and it's an Application For Transfer. Sometime between
1820 and 1824 Moses had moved up to Oxford Count, Maine, and he was requesting
his pension be transferred from the Massachusetts rolls to Maine. I don't know if he
had also received a land grant in Maine or if he was simply following his older children
who were also residing in Oxford County, mostly around the town of Newry.Either way,
Moses Coburn lived another 24 years in Newry in 1848.

When he did, he left a will, and I'll discuss that in a new series of posts.

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