Thursday, November 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #45 Maria Dent, Who Lost a Very Important Paper

Maria Bird, age 82, upon her oath declares that she was granted a pension under the Act of March 9,1878 as the widow of William Bird, who was a Private in Capt. Robert's Co. of Ky Militia, War of 1812. And that in June 1883, she lost her pension certificate in some way, she does not know just how, whether it has been misplaced or lost in some way.  She has made diligent search for the same and has been unable to find the same.  She asks that she be given a new certificate in lieu of the one lost. (War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 11 Sept 1883)

At the time Maria appeared in court, she was living with her son Edward's family, which included eight children. (That might explain how something could be lost.)  I assume she was given a new certificate, since "certificate on file" was scribbled on the statement recorded by the notary public.

Maria Dent, my fourth great-grandmother, was born on November 7, 1801 in Stafford County, Virginia.
According to her obituary, she became an orphan at the age of three.  Her father was lost at sea; her mother died soon after. She came to Kentucky in 1811 with her uncle, James Smith.  The only information I have about her uncle is that he was listed as a bondsman on her marriage license.

Maria married William Bird on November 7, 1822 in Nicholas County, Kentucky on her 21st birthday. The couple soon settled in Decatur County, Indiana, where they raised nine children.  She lived there the rest of her life.  In January of 1888, Maria slipped on some ice and broke her leg.  She never recovered from the accident and died on the 27th of January.  She had outlived her husband and four of her children.

There was none more kind as a neighbor, more devoted as a wife, more loving as a mother, and more dearer as a grandmother than she.  In the days of her widowhood, her every aim and interest was centered in her children and her grandchildren.  Very few visits did she make to any of them that she did not leave some token of remembrance, or some deep kindness done by her dear old hands, to tell them that her presence had been there. (Excerpt from Maria's obituary in the Saturday Review, Greensburg, Indiana, 14 Feb 1888)


  1. Sounds like with that tough life, she's learned to go after what she was entitled to! And I just love those flowery obits from that period. Women were always praised for visiting neighbors and kindnesses.

    1. Maria seems like a nice old lady, but one you wouldn't want to say no to. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad to have a picture of her.

  3. Replies
    1. Nice to meet a Bird relative -- thanks for reading!