Casefile Clues

04 March 2014

Much Younger Brides, Famous Relatives and Revolutionary War Pensions

Pension records are full of them: letters from descendants of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans. 
Randall F. Fugate (widow Eleanor) , Revolutionary War Pension,
NARA publication M804.
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land
Warrant Application Files;
digital image obtained on Fold3.com.

Some letters are inquiries about unclaimed bounty land and other benefits of military service. Many letters are like these and are simple inquiries about the military service of a Revolutionary or War of 1812 soldier.

This letter appears in the Revolutionary War pension records of Randall F. Fugate and his widow Eleanor. Written in 1917 by Mrs. Irene Broadhurst of Louisville, Kentucky, the letter asks for "reliable information" about Eleanor Fugate.

Mrs. Broadhurst does not mention her relationship to the Fugates, but does indicate that Mrs. Fugate was twice married and that she "died in the 80s and was ninety three or four years old" and died in "Owen Co. Ky." Mrs. Broadhurst does not indicate how old she is in the letter, but given that the letter was written in 1917, she could easily have had first hand knowledge of Eleanor Fugate's death. Further research will be necessary to determine the relationship between the two women and the likelihood Broadhurst knew some of Fugate's details first hand.

Randall F. Fugate (widow Eleanor) , Revolutionary War Pension,
NARA publication M804.
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land
Warrant Application Files;
digital image obtained on Fold3.com.
Broadhurst also indicates that Eleanor Fugate was related to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. That comment was particularly interesting as Eleanor Fugate is a sister to my ancestor, Augusta Newman.

I will wait on detailed research into Commodore Perry's family. A superficial search indicated that Perry had extensive Rhode Island family connections. Eleanor's family was from Maryland. This does not indicate that there is no connection. but work should logically focus on Eleanor and Augusta's known family instead of researching Perry and hoping to eventually stumble upon Augusta or Eleanor.

As a final item of interest, Eleanor was significantly younger than her Revolutionary War husband, probably as much as twenty years younger. I had not really thought to look for her in a Revolutionary War pension, but it was not out of realm of possibility that a woman born in the late 1780s married a Revolutionary War veteran born in the early 1760s.

Going forward, I will be researching Broadhurst to determine what relationship she had to Fugate and seeing if the entire Revolutionary War pension file contains any other unknown information. Her relationship to Fugate and when she was born will impact how much credence I give to the information contained in her letter (although the relationship to Commodore Perry is suspect from the getgo).