Monday, June 26, 2017

Jemima (Wyman) Burnham applies for a Revolutionary War Widow’s Pension

Colonel Joshua Burnham
Buried in Milford, New Hampshire
North River Road Cemetery
Revolutionary War Veteran

Last week I posted the documents Col. Joshua Burnham, my 5th great grandfather, used to prove his military service, and his need for a pension in his elderly years after the Revolutionary War.  He died in Milford, New Hampshire in 1835 and left his wife a widow.  She was infirm, and upon becoming widowed removed to South Boston to reside with her daughter, Jemima, and son-in-law, Romanus Emerson, (my 4th great grandparents). 

This week, I am posting the documents Jemima needed to provide for her widow’s pension.  There appeared to be some mix up since she applied in New Hampshire but wanted to receive her pension in the state of Massachusetts.  Her lawyer, Hubbard Newton of Amherst, New Hampshire, wrote a lot of correspondence about this situation.

Jemima died on 6 September 1843 in South Boston.  I have never found her burial site.  It was interesting for me to note that Jemima signed her name with a mark.  She must have been illiterate.


State of New Hampshire                            On this twenty first day
Hillsborough County S. S.  }                        of August in the year of
Our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty eight, person-
ally appeared before the Court of Common Pleas holden
at Amherst with and for the County of Hillsborough
aforesaid, Jemima Burnam late of Milford in said
County, now a resident of the city of Boston in the Com-
monwealth of Massachusetts, aged eighty two years,
who being first duly sworn according to law, doth
on her oath make the following declaration, in order
to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act
of Congress, passed July 7th 1838 entitled “An act
granting half pay and pensions to certain widows:”
      That she is the widow of Joshua Burnam late
of Milford in the County of Hillsborough aforesaid, declared
who was a private in the Army of the Revolution, and
a pensioner of the 18th March 1818, and at the time
of his death, inscribed on the pension list, Roll of the
New Hampshire Agency, at the rate of eight dollars
per month.
                She further declares that she was married
to the said Joshua Burnam on the twenty first
day of January   in the year of our Lord seventeen
hundred and seventy nine: that her husband
the aforesaid Joshua Burnam died on the seventh
day of January in the year eighteen hundred
and thirty five, at Milford aforesaid, and that
she has remained a widow ever since that period.
        That she was not married to him prior to his
leaving the service, but the marriage took
place previous to the first of January, seventeen
hundred and ninety four, viz: at the time
above stated.                                    her
Witness H. Newton                Jemima X  Burnam                  
Sworn and subscribed, on the day and
Year above written, before the Justices of the
Court aforesaid, in open Court.
                Leonard Wilcox { Presiding  Justice
                                               Of said Court


N. Hampshire 1,368
Jemima Burnham
Widow of Joshua Burnham, Rev.
who was a pensioner under the Act of June 7, 32
and who died on the 7th January 1835
of Hillsboro in the State of N. H.
who was a Priv. in the Company commanded
by Captain Reed of the Regt. Commanded
by ??? in the N. H.
line for 2 years
Inscribed on the Roll of Congress
at the rate of 90 Dollars – Cents per annum,
to commence on the 4th day of March, 1836
Certificate of Pension issued the 12th day of Oct.
’38 and ??? died Hubbard Newton
                Amherst, N.H.
Arrears to the 4th of Sept.          $225.00
Semi-annual allowanced ending   45.00

                      {Act July 7 }

Recorded by L. A. Elliot   Clerk
Book A, Volume 7, Page 34


Pension Agency
Concord, N.H.  April 19, 1839

J. L. Edwards Esq.
              Jemima Burnham, whose
name has been entered as commencing
her pension March 4, 1836, has never ap-
plied here or been paid at this office.
                I am, respectfully, Sir,
                     Your obedient servant,
                                      ??? Hill


Application for a Transfer  

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Suffolk County, Ss

                On this third day of April 1839 before
me, the subscriber, a Justice of the Peace for the
said County of Suffolk, personally appeared Mrs.
Jemima Burnham who, on her oath, declared
that she is he widow of Joshua Burnham
decd.  Who was a Private and ??? in the
Army of the Revolution.  That her said
husband died on the 7th day of Janry. 1835, that
she was pensioned under the act of 7th July ’38,
at the rate of $90 per annum as his widow,
that her name was inscribed on the
Roll of the Concord Agency (N. H.) that she
has resided in Boston County & State aforesaid,
for the last three years where she
intends to remain and wishes her pension
to be there payable.  She further declares
that a Pension Certificate was issued in her
name on the 12th Decr, 1839 at the rate
above stated but that she has never
recd. Any part of the amt. due from
the Agent in Concord, N. H.

Sworn and subscribed to, before

me, the day and year aforesaid.
Franklin Haven                                Jemima   X Burnham
Just. Peace                                                    Mark
                        Witness   Edward N. Brown
And on the same day personally
Appeared Romanus Emerson, a credible
Witness, and made oath in due ??
Of law that he has been well acquainted
With the above named deponent for
29 years past and knows that she is the
Widow of Joshua Burnham decd. & the
Identical person named in the ??
Affidavit.                       Romanus Emerson
Sworn & subscribed this first day of
April A. D. 1839 before me ( the date
First attend from first to third.)

Mr. Franklin Haven,  Just. Of the Peace
                                      For Suffolk County

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Secretary’s Office Boston April 3, 1839
I hereby certify that the above named Franklin Haven is a
Justice of the Peace for the County of Suffolk in said Common-
wealth, duly constituted and commissioned.
                Witness my hand the Seal of the Commonwealth
                John P. Bigelow
                Secy. Of the Court


                                 Boston 9th April 1839

                 I enclose herewith the application of
Mrs. Jemima Burnham a pensr. under the Act
of 7th July 1838 to be transferred from the Agency
at Concord, N. H. to Massachusetts.  As the
pensr. has not recd. Any of the amt. due
her at the New Hampshire Agency, she
would be happy to receive an early return
as is consistant with the rules of the Dept.
                                I am very resply.
                                Yr. obt. Servt.
                                L. M. Stone

J. L. Edwards Esqr.}
Comr. Of Pensions


Commonwealth of Massachusetts} Ss
Suffolk County      

                                                                Be it known that as this
Eleventh day of July 1843 personally appeared
before me the subscriber, a Justice of the Peace in an for
said County and Commonwealth, Mrs. Jemima Burnham,
a resident of South Boston in the County of Suffolk
aforesaid age about eighty six years, who being first duly
sworn according to Law doth on her oath make the
following declaration in order to obtain the benefits
of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed on
the 3rd day of March 1843, granting pensions to widows
of persons who served during the Revolutionary
                That she is the widow of Joshua Burnham
who was a Private and ?? in the Revolutionary
War and served as she verily believes as stated by her
In her original declaration for a pension under the
Law of the 7th July 1838 to which declaration and the
Papers accompanying the same now on file in the
War Department she would refer for a more particular
Statement of his services for the proof of her marriage
Identity and the time of her husband’s death.
                She further declares that she was pensioned
Under said act at the rate of ninety dollars per annum
Which XXXXXX she received from the 4th of March
1836 to the 4th March 1841 at the Agency in Boston
Massachusetts and at the time of her receiving her last
payment surrendered the Pension Certificate granted to her
under said Act to the Pension Agent at the said city of
Boston agreeably to the rules of the Department.
                And this declarant further alleges that she has
not intermarried since the decease of her said Husband
but is now and ever since has been the Widow of said
Joshua Burnham deceased as will more fully appear
By the proof hereunto annexed.
                And further she saith not.
Witness Romanus Emerson                    Jemima  X Burnham


Sworn to and subscribed on the day and year
first within written, and I certify that the applicant
is personally known to me to be the person within
         Before me,
                Lowell m. Stone
                                Justice of the Peace

I Romanus Emerson of South Boston in the
County of Suffolk of lawful age, an oath testify
And say, that I have been well acquainted with
Jemima Burnham the applicant named in the within
declaration for many years last past.  I know that
she was the wife and is now the Widow of Joshua
Burnham deceased, who was reputed to have
been a soldier in the Revolutionary War and that
she was a pensioner under the law of the 7th July
1838 as stated by her.
                                Romanus Emerson

Commonwealth  of Massachusetts
Suffolk County } ss    July 11th 1843
Then came Romanus Emerson who is known
To me to be a credible witness and made oath that
The foregoing affidavit by him subscribed is
Strictly true -.
                Before me
                                Lowell M. Stone
                                                Justice of the Peace


Amherst, N. H. 17th September, 1838

James L. Edward, Esq.,
                                                Dear Sir, I herewith
enclose to you, the Declaration of Jemima
Burnam, and the widow required to obtain
Rev. claim for a pension, under the act of the
7th July 1834.
                                Should a pension certificate, or due
examination, be awarded, in this case, the applicant
is to be placed on the Roll of the Massachusetts
Agency, as she now resides in the city of Boston
in that state.
                I am, however, her agent, for this purpose,
as the widow is all in New Hampshire, & the
business could be done with the least expense here.  And
you will plan to cause the certificate, should
one be granted, to be enclosed to me at
Amherst, N. H., as also any other communi-
cation on this subject.
                Your’s very Respectfully, etc
                                Hubbard Newton
                                                Counsellar at Law

Click here to read last week's post about Col. Joshua Burnham's application for a Revolutionary War pension:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Jemima (Wyman) Burnham applies for a Revolutionary War Widow’s Pension", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 26, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 

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