19 March 2013

They've Only Known Wilhelmina a Short Time

Union Civil War Veteran's Pension, George Rothweiler (St. Louis, Missouri), Widow's Claim (Wilhelmina Rothweiler), 17 July 1890; obtained from the National Archives.
This is the witness portion of a widow's claim filed by Wilhelmina Rothweiler of St. Louis, Missouri, on 17 July 1890. The witnesses are only testifying that they know Wilhelmina. A reading of part of this statement indicates that one witness has known Wilhelmina for three years and the other for two. These witnesses are not making any claims about Wilhelmina's qualification for a pension, how long she had been married to her late husband, whether she had remarried, etc. Witnesses making those sorts of statements usually would have had to have known the claimant longer than two or three years.

One problem with this part of the document is that I cannot read the names of the witnesses and I'm having difficulty reading the names of the streets. The witnesses have signed their names in German. Given that Wilhelmina was of German nativity, this is not unusual. What's slightly odd is that they have only known Wilhelmina for a short amount of time. Since she'd lived in St. Louis since approximately 1850, it would have seemed that she would have been able to find witnesses who had known her longer. But again, they are only testifying to her identity, not the specifics of her claim.

A map of St. Louis may help me in reading the addresses of these two witnesses. The first is probably Victor Street. The other I'm not so certain. It is noted that the house numbers are close, which may indicate that these two ladies (their first names are Christina and Rosa) are neighbors.

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