I was able to spend a couple of hours yesterday at the library and I was able to look at a book called Record of abstracts, pension records; soldiers of the revolutionary war and 1812 war, who settled in Mercer County, Kentucky, Harrodsburg (the county seat) by Annie Walker Burns. In that book, there was a list of widows who had applied for pensions, which war and the date the pension was allowed. Nancy Smith, widow, War of 1812 was granted her pension in the 1860′s.

I think this may rule out the 1812 John M. Smith as I believe my John’s wife passed away before John did. John left no will, but in the various records records created after his death, a wife  is never mentioned.

But perhaps I’m being too closed minded. If Nancy Smith lived in Mercer County when the pension was granted (which is an assumed requirement for being in the book), does that mean that she moved BACK to Mercer County – perhaps to be with family – after John’s death? Would that be preferable to a widow at this point of history over living with her children? I feel like that would be unusual.  On the other hand, all of John’s children had passed away by the mid 1850′s except for one – my ancestor, the oldest son, George A. Smith, who didn’t pass away until 1890. And maybe the book wasn’t compiled based on LIVING in Mercer County at the time of the pension application, but maybe living in Mercer County DURING the war was the requirement.

Either way, I did a search for Nancy Smith in the 1850 and 1860 census for Mercer County and for Russell County (and for Wayne County since their land was right on the county line) and I didn’t find anyone of the right age. I supposed she could have remarried….

I’ve order 5 FHL films for Mercer County.  Maybe those will shed some light one way or the other.

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