Tuesday, April 8, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 Mariah/Maria Williams Bailey Huber (abt 1815 – after 1900), Strength in Tragedy

Map Courtesy of Digital-Topo-Maps.com

This is my latest post for the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. For more information about the challenge and links to the other blogs participating in the challenge, please click on the badge in the right margin.

My first introduction my 3rd great grandmother was through my great grand-mother’s (GGM) family notes. I’ve referred to them in prior posts. They appear to be memories of family, written down at someone’s request. They are about six pages long. Thus far, her notes have proven to be close to but not entirely accurate, but overall, decent clues. In this case, so far, she’s less helpful than usual so far. GGM wrote “Papa’s mother was a straight line descendant from the Roger Williams (who founded Rhode Island). Papa's father was Scotch-Irish. His mother was full blood Welch. Her name was Sarah Williams. Not sure of her first name. May have been Maria. Wonderful woman, Quaker by birth. Later after marriage she attended Methodist Church.”

As I’ve not yet been able to find her parents, or much of anything before her marriage to my 3rd great grandfather (or much of anything about him!), I’ve made no progress on proving or disproving whether she is a descendant of Roger Williams. Hopefully, that will come in the future. If anyone knows, please contact me!

Mariah/Maria Williams was born in about 1815 in Pennsylvania. According to most of the censuses her name is Maria. But, according to her Widowed Mother’s Army Pension claim based on her son’s service in the Civil War, her first name is Mariah. (This could be where the Maria/Sarah confusion in GGM’s notes originated.)

On March 4, 1843, John Bailey and Mariah Williams (both would have been about 28) “were legally joined in matrimony“ by Jacob Pottsgrove, J.P., according to an affidavit by Mr. Pottsgrove, in Mariah's application for Mother’s Army Pension.  I find it interesting that they were married by a Justice of the Peace, and, apparently not in the church. Perhaps because she was Quaker & he was Methodist? (per GGM's notes.) 

Climbing My Family Tree: Affidavit of Jacob Pottsgrove, J.P.
Jacob Pottsgrove, J.P. Affidavit

They had the following children:  John W. (1843-1864), Anna Mary (1845 - ?), Lydia Maria (1847 - ?), Edward Carleton (1849-1926), Eliza Jane (1851-1926), Richard Howard (1853-1935), James A (1955- ?), and Rebecca Ella(1858 -1926). In 1850, the family lived in Union PA, in Mifflin County. Mariah and John were 34, and their family at that time was John W. (7), Anna M. (5), Lydia (3), and Carleton (1,  Edward Carleton, my 2nd great grandfather).  At the time of the 1850 census, the family lived in Mifflin County PA, Mariah and John were both age 34, and John was a blacksmith; besides the four oldest children, they had one other person living with them, John Flory, age 18, who was also a blacksmith.

Mariah only had 15 years with John. He died in 1858, at approximately age 43. This was the same year that their youngest child, Rebecca Ella was born; she would have had no memory of her father.  I don’t know anything about the circumstances of his death. Mariah was now a single mother, grieving the loss of her husband.

In the next census, 1860, Mariah is living in Jackson Township in Huntingdon County, PA (on the above map, that is the portion of Huntingdon county  in the top right corner between Centre and Mifflin Counties). She listed herself as a seamstress. She had real estate with a value of $500 and personal property worth $50. In looking through her neighbors, that is by far not the highest property value, but it is more than some have. The property was likely inherited from John at his death as few women had their own property in those days.  Still at home with her are Lydia Maria (14), Eliza Jane (10), James A (5) and Rebecca E. (2). It looks like Anna may have died. I never found her again after the 1850 census and GGM does not mention her in her notes. I hope not, as Mariah would then be grieving both a child and a husband.

Maria saw both her older sons John and Edward C. go off to war, but only Edward C. came home. John died on July 26, 1864, of wounds incurred in the siege of Petersburg on June 28, 1864. More grief for Mariah. Then some time after the war Edward left to move first to Kansas and then to Ohio. He was married and in Kansas by 1875.

On July 14, 1862, Congress had passed a law granting Army pensions (under certain conditions) to invalids, widows, children under 16, mothers with no living husband, and dependent sisters under 16 years of age. The New York Times ran an article on August 12, 1862 about the Act, explaining who qualified and how to apply; click HERE  to read the article.

John W. had been sending money home from his Army pay to help support his mother. It looks like her fortunes had gotten decidedly worse than they were in 1860 (or was played that way for the pension application).  On October 15, 1864, Mariah filed a petition for a Mother’s pension based on John W.’s service death  and the fact that he had been contributing to her support prior to and during his service in the war, certifying that he died without wife or child. She and the neighbors who filed supporting testimony and affidavits on her behalf stated that: “She is poor, owning no property but a small house and lot valued at $200 which was given her by her neighbors and son.” “She is extremely poor and [?]. Her only property consists of a small house & small lot of ground, which was paid for and donated to her by the charity subscribed by the citizens of neighboring families. She has no other means whatsoever of support.” “John W. Bailey, the dec. soldier, paid 100 dollars of his own money in payment for the house and lot …and …100 dollars was paid by subscription .…the house and lot is worth two hundred dollars on the account of the dilapidated state of the fences and buildings and her want of means to keep it in repair is not worth more than the above sum.” I would guess that the $100 paid by John W. came out of the $300 bonus he received for re-enlisting in January 1864, since a private’s pay was about $13 a month. On January 4, 1865, Mariah was granted a pension of $8 per month, retroactive to July 26, 1864.

Climbing My Family Tree: Maria Bailey pension granted
Click to make bigger

On March 9, 1870, Mariah married Samuel Huber in Pinegrove Mills, Centre County, PA [now part of State College PA]. When she married her receipt of the pension ended.  After their marriage  the couple resided in Jackson Twp, Huntingdon County PA, and when the census taker arrived in Jackson Township,  on July 6, 1870, he recorded that both Samuel and Mariah Huber were 55 years old, Samuel was a tailor and owned $400 worth of real estate and had $200 worth of personal property, and Mariah was recorded as having $400 worth of real estate (and as keeping house). Perhaps the property was that which John W. and her neighbors had previously bought her, in better repair?  Samuel’s son William, 16, lived with them and is listed as a laborer. Mariah’s children, James (14- laborer) and Ellie (12-at home) also lived with them. Three year old George Stiffey or Steffey is also listed as living there. I don't know who he is.

Mariah only had, at most, 11 years with Samuel. I haven’t found Mariah or Samuel on the 1880 census.  Samuel Huber died on June 16, 1881 at McAlevys Fort, Huntingdon County, PA. Mariah did not marry again. The 1900 census shows Mariah (85) living with her daughter Eliza Jane (48) and her husband Mordecai M. (50) Tate, a wagon maker; Mariah is listed as a boarder. Also in the household are two of Eliza’s daughters, Maud (25) and Alabama (22), and Mariah’s son James Bailey, also listed as a boarder – he was an oil well digger.

Climbing My Family Tree: 1900 Census Tate Huber Bailey
Click to Make Bigger

On Jun 25, 1901, Mariah filed a petition for Restoration of Mother’s Pension, certifying that she was again a widow. Her signature was witnessed by MM Tate and Eleanor Tate, who certified that they had no interest in prosecution of the claim. (This seems a bit disingenuous considering she was living in their home as a boarder and boarders usually pay for their room and board.)  The claim was rejected on September 30, 1901. The decision said that the claimant had no title under the Act of March 3, 1901. The Act of March 3, 1901 provided that a widow who had lost her pension by reason of remarriage may be restored to the pension roll when she again becomes a widow. It probably meant widow of the deceased soldier, not the widowed mother of the deceased soldier.

I’ve not found Mariah again after that. I don’t know when she died or where she’s buried.

I need to find out about Mariah’s family of origin and where she lived, who her parents were and whether she had any siblings. Also, is she a descendant of the Roger Williams?
She married James Bailey when they were both 28. Was she or he married before that?
I would like to find out where she and Samuel were in 1880.
I would also like to find out when she died and where she is buried. And where John Bailey is buried.
I wonder if she ever saw my 2nd-great grandfather, Edward Carleton, again after her left Pennsylvania after the War. It would be sad if she hadn’t.
I would also like to find information on her daughter Lydia. My GGM's notes say that she was a nurse and that she dressed well, lending the impression that my GGM may have met her, but I've not found her after the 1870 census when she was at her sister Eliza's house.
And I haven't found anything about Anna Mary since 1850 - I'd like to know what happened to her.


[Federal Censuses of 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1900; Fold3.com, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War With Spain, compiled 1861 – 1934, record group 15, John W. Bailey; for sources on information  relating to John W. Bailey see the post on him HERE.]


  1. It is amazing that a pension of $8 would make a difference in someone's life.

    1. I'm sorry I just realized your comment was here. In fact, I realized I've missed several. I have to check my settings to make sure this doesn't happen again. Eight dollars per month doesn't sound like much when we look at it in today's dollars but it was about a week's wages in post-Civil War economy. Still not great for a month's income, but far better than nothing.


Hello! Thanks for stopping by and choosing to leave a message. I read every message and I usually reply via the comment thread.