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.

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