Died on the 4th of July

My third great grandmother shares something in common with the second and third presidents of the United States. They all died on July 4th.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson actually died on the same day – the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence – in 1826. Nancy (Bridgeman) Abrams Canter died in 1870 in Jackson County, Ohio, well before the days of mandatory death certificates.

In my genealogy research I have found an interesting document attesting to her death date. This was a sworn affidavit by her daughter and son-in-law, Minerva and Philander Bennett, on behalf of Minerva’s younger siblings’ pursuit of their father’s pension for his service in the Civil War. Here is an image of the affidavit with the transcription beside it.

Affidavit of Philander and Minerva Bennett in Pension file #370556 of Samuel Abrams.

Affidavit of Philander and Minerva Bennett in Pension file #370556 of Samuel Abrams.



“We were neighbors at the time and were present at the funeral and are able from personal knowledge to testify that Nancy, the wife of Samuel Abrams, above named, died in Jackson Co. Ohio, on the 4th of July 1870. We remember the date by a good memory and that it was on the “Fourth” of July and the year by the circumstance that we have a child born the previous year, 1869.”[i]



Have a Happy “Fourth.”


[i] General Affidavit, 5 Nov 1891, Philander Bennett and Minerva Bennett, minors pension application no. 270031, certificate no. 370556; service of Samuel Abrams (Pvt., Co. H, 191st Ohio Vol. Inf., Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of  Veteran Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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1 Response to Died on the 4th of July

  1. Pingback: Minerva’s Last Years | ancestors2013

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