Sunday, June 30, 2013

Military Monday - Widow's Pension of Mary Ellen Havens

Alexander Havens, son of Daniel Havens, was born sometime between 1829 and 1832 in Monmouth, New Jersey. He enlisted into Company F, of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry on 3 October 1861. His wife, Mary Ellen Jarvis Havens, filed a widow's pension on his behalf. This is a brief description of the file from the National Archives and Alexander's service in the Civil War.

The pension file states that Alexander was five foot 8 inches, with light complexion, blue eyes and sandy hair. He received a certificate of discharge on 1 October 1862. The discharge papers state that he had "valvular disease of the heart" produced on duty in April 1862. He was admitted to a military hospital on 10 July 1862. He later died on 30 January 1865.

Alexander Havens and Mary Ellen Jarvis were married in Tazewell County, Illinois on 28 March 1854. A marriage certificate was included in Mary Ellen's pension file.
Mary Ellen Havens filed her widow's pension on 14 July 1890, from her home in Petersburg, Illinois. Unlike other pension files that I have viewed, her claim was straightforward and she received the pension without much paperwork. Mary Ellen died about 24 September 1905.

The file was useful as it confirmed Alexander was born in Monmouth, New Jersey. I did not find Daniel & Margaret Havens' marriage record until after finding this fact in the pension file.

In the 1860 US Census, Alexander and Mary Ellen Havens appear in Deer Creek Township, Tazewell County, Illinois. In the census, Alexander and Mary Ellen have the following children:
1. James E. Havens, age 5
2. Martha Havens, age 3
3. Eliza Havens, age 2
4. Elizabeth Havens, age 2 months

I have not yet found a Civil War service record for Alexander's brother, my wife's third-great-grandfather, James Daniel Havens. More to come on this story.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Probate File of Daniel Havens

The probate file from Tazewell County Will Book D on FamilySearch has been a great find, providing a date of death for Daniel Havens and information on his children. As noted in yesterday's post the earlier posts in this series, Daniel was born about 1800 in Monmouth, New Jersey. He moved with his family Tazewell County, Illinois, at some point prior to 1844.

Daniel's will was witnessed on 29 December 1864, this fact comes from the probate file. When he passed on 28 August 1881, his son James Havens and Thomas Crane (currently unknown relation) were executors of the will.

The will reads:
"I Daniel Havens of Tazewell County in the State of Illinois do hereby make and declare this my last will and testament, in manner and form following to wit:

First. It is my will that my funeral expenses and all of my just debts be fully paid. Second. After the payment of such funeral expenses and debts, I give, and devise, and bequeath unto my son James Havens, the farm on which he now lives, situated in said county and known and describes as the East half of the North West quarter in section nine in from twenty five North of Range two third principal meridian containing eighty acres more or less and to his heirs and assigns forever.

Third. I also give devise and bequeath unto my son James Havens the West half of the North West quarter of the north east quarter of section thirty five (35) twenty five (25) range two west of the third principal meridian situated in the county of Tazewell in the State of Illinois.

Fourth. I also give and devise unto my son James Havens one fourth of the lot of the west end of lot no. 1 in block number nine (9) as recorded on plat of said town in the recorders office at Pekin, Tazewell County, Illinois situated in the town of Danforth.

Fifth. I give, devise and bequeath unto my son Alexander B. Havens two hundred dollars to be paid by James Havens within one year after my decease and lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my son James Havens and Thomas A. Crane executors of this my last will and testament, revoking and annulling all former wills by me made and ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I the said Daniel Havens have hereunto set my hand and seal on this twenty-ninth (29) day of December in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four.

Daniel Havens [X]"

A Codicil
In February 1871, Daniel Havens signed a codicil to his will, providing for James Havens to give one dollar to Lumen Havens (commonly known as Lumen Ketcham). This person is currently a mystery.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daniel Havens in the US Census

I am continuing with the look into the Havens family in Deer Creek Township, Tazewell County, Illinois. So far I have not been able to find the family in the 1850 US Census, but in 1860, Daniel Havens (60 years old) is in the household of his son James Havens and wife Hannah. Living next door is Daniel's other son Alexander Havens and his wife Mary.
From this record, I can see Daniel was born approximately 1800, in New Jersey. On Monday's post, I included a copy of Daniel's marriage record to Margaret Ketcham. She died on 4 October 1844.
By 1870, Daniel Havens was still living in his son's household in Deer Creek Township.
In 1880, Daniel continues to live in James' household.
James had remarried in 1872 in Ellenora Roark. I will have more on James in a subsequent post, he was my wife's 3rd-great-grandfather, and Ellenora was her 3rd-great-grandmother.

Daniel Havens passed away on 28 July 1881 in Deer Creek Township, Tazewell County, Illinois. His death date was located in his probate record, found on FamilySearch.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Beginning the Journey to the Midwest

I have not been able to pinpoint when or why the Havens family left Monmouth, New Jersey for Tazewell County, Illinois. I do know that they had arrived by 1845, as Daniel Havens is listed in the 1845 Illinois Census in Tazewell County.

While I do not currently know the path that Daniel and Margaret took from New Jersey, it is likely that they following a path through Pennsylvania, Ohio, across Indiana to Illinois, like the map below:
Daniel Havens appears in the 1873 Land Ownership map in Deer Creek Township, Tazewell County.
I will have more in a subsequent post, featuring the Havens family in the US Census, and interestingly, Daniel's will from the Tazewell County Probate Files on FamilySearch.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mappy Monday - Monmouth, New Jersey

The map below shows Monmouth County, New Jersey in 1879 (from the David Rumsey Map Collection). Monmouth was the home my wife's Havens line before they left New Jersey for Tazewell County, Illinois.
Source: David Rumsey Map Collection
I found the marriage record for her 4th-great-grandparents, Daniel Havens and Margaret Ketcham in the New Jersey marriage records on FamilySearch under Monmouth County. Their marriage was witnessed by William Anderson, Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas & Minister of the Methodist E. Church, on 1 March 1827. A copy of their marriage record is below, and this is where I'll begin with the Havens line.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Links

In between events on this beautiful Saturday here in Northern Virginia, I'm posting an assortment of links. Some of these I meant to do earlier in the week, others were nice surprises worth saving for later.

My post Discharge Papers made it into Jana Last's Follow Friday. That was a nice honor, thanks for including this one, Jana. I have it on my "to do" list to finally complete my review of Company G, and submit the article to the Tennessee Genealogical Society, which I joined earlier this year.

If you haven't run across National Geographic's Found series of photos on Tumblr, I highly recommend it. In celebration of its 125th anniversary, National Geographic is posting never released photos on this Tumblr page. It's already been a great addition this week to my Flipboard feed.

A nice surprise appeared in the latest Wabash Magazine, featuring an interview I did with Steve Charles on campus last October. The article appears online,

Lastly, today is the Del Ray Music Festival here in Alexandria. Music and good times ahead.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Photo - Painting Words with Water

The photos below are from my last day in Beijing, China, taken from the Temple of Heaven park on 12 April 2013. As I was walking out of the park to the Metro, I passed by a man using water to write a set of characters. I don't know what these mean, but it was interesting to watch him write these temporary words. Now at least partially preserved in photos.
Photo by Patrick Jones, Beijing, April 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - Beijing, April 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Discharge Papers

I meant to post this yesterday for Military Monday. Last Friday I was able to stop by the National Archives and view a few more Mexican War pension files from Company G of the 5th Infantry Tennessee Volunteers (see my posts from last year on Company G Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). The pension file of Merrill Breeden contained the actual discharge papers signed at Memphis, Tennessee on 20 July 1848. This is the same type of discharge paper that my 4th-great-grandfather Robert Thomas Jones would have received on that day in 1848.
From the Mexican War pension file of Merrill Breeden, National Archives
These papers were folded in half, then folded into thirds and were probably placed in Breeden's pocket for the journey back to Jefferson County, Tennessee.

In April last year the Archives staff was not able to find Breeden's pension file, but on last week's visit they were able to locate it. I'm glad I looked for this one again, as I had not seen an example of the actual discharge papers in any other file. Breeden received his pension from the government for service in the Mexican War.

I am close to completing the review of the pension files for the survivors from Company G, and have some stats to run. This will be featured in an upcoming post. For background, my original post on Company G's service and pension comparison is located here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Photo

The photos below are of my Dad & Silas from our visit to Indiana last October. Happy Father's Day.
Photo by Patrick Jones - Indiana, Oct 2012

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Photo - Dodgers Game

Last Thursday I attended my first game at Dodger Stadium in LA, a game between the last place Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. The game was great, it was a close 1-0 until rookie Yasiel Puig knocked his first grand slam for a 5-0 game winner. And I'm not even a big baseball fan.
Photo by Patrick Jones - Dodger Stadium, 6 Jun 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - 6 Jun 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Slowdown

Blogging has been tough do this month, from primary obligations and travel, but also because I have not felt the pull of the keyboard to bring family stories to the digital page. I intend to put more energy into this for the remainder of June, but I will have to fight against the tropical temperatures here in DC, the end of elementary school and the gap before summer camp begins.

Last week I was in Los Angeles and historic Pasadena for meetings. I'm not planning any travel between now and our mid-year international meeting in Durban, South Africa.

In an effort to spur more writing, I have turned my attention to my wife's surname line, the Havens family. The research has so far led to Tazewell County, Illinois, but census records from Tazewell point to an earlier beginning in New Jersey. My task is to connect the line from Illinois to their earlier home in New Jersey. I suspect one source of an answer to this task is located at the National Archives, in the Civil War pension file of Alexander B. Havens, my wife's 3rd-great-grand uncle. I'm hoping to see a copy of that file in the next week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Historic Santa Monica

I am continuing to prep for upcoming meetings in Los Angeles. The image below is from the bottom left corner of a map of Los Angeles by E.F. Hill from 1928 (see full image from the David Rumsey Map Collection). It's nice to see our street in Santa Monica on the map.
Source: David Rumsey Map Collection
I looked back at an earlier map from 1906 available on the Santa Monica Public Library's digital collection. Our street was still very residential as early as 1906.
Palisades Park, Santa Monica, SMPL Digital Collection
The Santa Monica Public Library has a great digital collection. Here is a sampling from the architectural sketchings for the restoration of the Santa Monica Pier:
Source: SMPL Digital Collection
Source: SMPL Digital Collection