Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More government harassment - the widow Sarah Lambertson Perkins

In this blog I highlight Clarence's 3rd wife, my 3rd great grandmother Sarah Lambertson Perkins and her struggle to get her late husband's pension. 
Sarah and son Willis Ray Perkins

10/11/1906 letter from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions sent to Mrs. Sarah Perkins R.F.D. No. 1 Grant MI.  She had apparently sent a request for assistance (half of Clarence’s pension) as Clarence had entered the Soldier’s Home and she had no means of support.  The Bureau of Pensions returned her request for assistance based on:
·        Deficient evidence of her marriage
·        She needs the testimony of two or more credible witnesses showing that she is of good moral character and that she was in necessitious circumstances. 
Sarah sent affidavits signed by Andrew Smith and Charles Reed who knew her prior to her marriage to Clarence and a copy of her marriage license
11/5/1906 letter from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions sent stating that her evidence was “not satisfactory for the reason that the purported copy of the public record is not under the seal and certificate of the custodian of records.”

11/24/1906 letter from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions sent to her stating that it was necessary for her to file her own sworn statement detailing the following:
·         Any property, real or personal, and if so the value thereof
·         Any income, money in bank, stocks, bonds, or other investments
·         That she was entirely dependent upon her daily labor for support, and if so, the kind of labor and compensation received therefor by the day, week or month should be explicitly shown.
·         Show that she’s not an inmate of an institution or home provided for the wives and children of soldiers and sailors
The above information had to be corroborated in full testimony of two or more credible witnesses.

11/26/1906 letter from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions stating that they received the above request 11/22/1906 and that they were suspending ½ of Clarence’s pension pending adjucation of her claim. Gee Uncle Sam, that makes sense - suspend half his pension while you make Sarah jump through hoops. 

12/1/1906 affidavit signed by Sarah stating that her labor consists of doing washing for other parties and her income averages $1.50/week.

10/10/1907  Sarah files a Declaration of Widow’s Pension stating she had married Clarence 12/1/1873 (this is an error) and that his 1st wife died 11/5/1868 (this was his 2nd wife and he listed that she died in 1869 – not that he was accurate about anything!).  She listed that she had 2 minor children (under 16) Guy and Ralph.

11/13/1907 affidavit signed by Sarah that she was married 12/1/1873 (again, in error), that Clarence was married twice before – his first wife Sabrina died 11/29/1857 and his second wife Nancy died 11/5/1868.

11/6/1907 the Michigan Soldiers Home submits a letter stating that Sarah attended Clarence’s funeral and his effects were turned over to her.

12/30/1907 affidavit of Harriet Derby, age 72 stating that she lived next door to Clarence and Sarah and saw Guy and Ralph within hours of their births.

12/30/1907 affidavit of Mary Lancaster, age 37 (Sarah’s sister) stating the same and that she lived near Clarence and Sarah until 1904 when she moved to Sheridan.

Newaygo county records can be quite spotty given that there was a courthouse fire.  I’m not sure when it was but my great grandmother Doris had to prove she existed when she filed for Social Security as she had no record of her birth.  Her birthdate was just a guess, based on the sworn affidavits of individuals that knew her when she was young.  My guess is that the records burned prior to 1907, hence Sarah having to prove the age of her two sons.

1/10/1908 affidavit from Sarah showing the record of death of Clarence’s first wife Sabrina Elizabeth Clark from the family Bible of her father William Clark showing that she died 11/29/1857 at the age of 15 yrs, 9 mos and 11 days.  The Bible is reported in the possession of Juna Turner, a half-sister of Sabrina living at the Village of Newaygo. 

1/23/1908 affidavit signed by James F. Tibbits, age 75 who declares that in 1857 on a date he’s forgotten, he made the coffin for and attended the funeral of Sabrina Perkins and that at the time of her death she and Clarence lived near Bridgeton. 

Seriously? – the Bible record wasn’t enough?  She had to track down the person that made the coffin?

1/27/1908 affidavit of Oscar and Hannah Blood stating they lived as neighbors to Clarence and Nancy and that they saw her after her death on or about 11/5/1868 and attended her funeral.

2/12/1908 letter from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions  stating that Sarah needed to prove the death of Clarence’s wife Nancy, have two witnesses to state she lived with Clarence and had no property and to explain the discrepancy why her marriage license stated Larabette Lambson or Lambertson and she signed her Christian name as Sarah and Sarah E. 

3/4/1908 affidavit of Andrew Reed and Lizzie Sharp stating that Clarence and Sarah did live together and that they had no property.

4/1/1908 Sarah receives her card from the Bureau of Pensions, widow’s pension #941433.  The pension began 10/12/1907 at a rate of $8.00/month plus $2/month for Guy and Ralph until they reached age 16. 

There was no correspondence between 4/1/1908 and 8/6/1926 (perhaps the government wore her out with their nonsense)

8/6/1926 letter from Sarah to the Pension Bureau, return address of 134 ½ Church St, Groton NY, listing her widow certificate #641.072.  She states she wasn’t married to Clarence at the time of his service but married after.  She lived with him a number of years and “raised a large family of children who are all now married and have families but are all dependent on their days wages for support and are unable to help me”.  She continues “my one son was in the Worlds War.  I am past seventy years old and unable to work.  I hope you will do what you can to help me.  Thirty dollars a month is not enough to pay rent, buy food and buy the necessities of life”. 

7/19/1928 letter from Sarah stating that there was no record of her birth at Dryden, Tompkins Co NY 7/4/1853, stating that she lived with her parents in the 1860 Dryden NY census and the 1870 Grant, Newaygo Co MI census.   She states (correctly except surname was Lambertson) that in both censuses she lived with the following siblings:
·         William Henry Lamberson
·         John Fremont Lamberson
·         Mary Lamberson
·         Nettie Lamberson
·         Lucy Lamberson
It should be noted that although Sarah’s signature on this 2nd letter is very shaky compared to the actual handwriting of both letters which leads me to believe she didn’t actually write the letters.
9/17/1928 letter to the Commissioner of Pensions from the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census stating they found Sarahetti Lamberson in the family of Daniel and Delia A Lamberson in 1870 Ashland census, age 15 at last birthday prior to 6/1/1870.  They say in 1860 they find no record of the pensioner (I find Sarah in the 1860 census of Tompkins Co NY but I find Clarence nowhere – unsure if they are referring to him or her). 

9/25/1928 letter from Sarah to the Pension Bureau stating she’d answered their age question over two months ago and got no answer or increase.  Return address for her listed as 214 ½ Syke St, Groton NY.

11/26/1928 letter from the Widow Division of the Pension Bureau stating “your claim for increase under the act of May 23, 1928 is rejected on the ground that the evidence on file does not show that you have attained the age of 75 years”.  Respectfully, Winfield Scott, Commissioner

7/11/1929 letter from Sarah to the Pension Bureau with return address of 114 ½ Sykes St, Groton NY stating that she was now 76 and still had no increase.  “Don’t you think I’m entitled to the extra $10.00 as much as anyone?"

8/15/1929 letter from Sarah with return address of 214 ½ Sykes St, Groton NY – the letter is unreadable but one can only assume it’s another inquiry about her increase. 

1/12/1938 notice from Sarah that her address changed from RR3 Groton NY to R.F.D. #2, Box 252 Ravenna MI

12/30/1938 – letter from Nellie Hosmer (Sarah’s daughter) informing the Bureau of Pensions of Sarah’s death 12/15/1938.

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