Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I have found approximately forty images at
in the Revolutionary War Pension Files of correspondence
between Mrs. Jessie Hale Tuttle and Pension Department.
The earliest request is in 1915 and the latest so far is from
1928, but there is still 21 percent of the pension Files yet to be
scanned and no doubt there are more letters I haven't seen.

Over that period Jessie’s address changed several times, and for
a short period it seems she either owned a typewriter or had
access to one but the majority of her correspondence was
handwritten. I will be blogging more in the future about Jessie
and her dealings with the Pension Department, but there are
two items I discovered that I’ll mention now.

Sometime in the mid 1920’s Jessie must have decided to put her
expertise in family research to good use and a printed letterhead

“Mrs. Jessie Hale Tuttle
Genealogist and Researcher”

appears at the top of the handwritten first page of a letter about
Benjamin Fuller. The original address under her name is scratched
out and her new address handwritten next to it. In another letter
concerning her request for information on Bela Graves she
states that the information was “needed for a D.A.R. paper”. (The
original request had not been answered as yet.)

So, perhaps Jessie’s original research into Moses Barrows was for
proof of descent from a Revolutionary War Veteran in order for
her to join the Daughters of the American Revolution and that
eventually led to her becoming a professional genealogist?

Whether that was actually the case or not, I do think the letters
show Jessie to be a bright, literate woman with a no nonsense
approach. She is indicative of the way American women and
society were changing at the start of the Twentieth Century.
And I found the glimpse into how research into the Pension
Files was done a century ago fascinating.

As I said, I’ll be blogging more about Jessie’s correspondence
but for the moment I’m going to turn my attention back to my
own ancestors.

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