One of the collections on Footnote are the Southern Claims Commission records; these are records of people who had items taken by the U.S. government during the civil war and more than 20,000 claims were filed nationwide. As of today, there were only three claims from individuals in Martin County:
- Henry Churchill Hardison
- Alfred Jordan
- Nancy C. Padgyett
Henry Churchill Hardison of Williamston
Living in Williamston, at the time of his claim in 1872, Henry was 40 years old and had been residing in Martin County for 20 years. Among the items taken from him included fodder, over two thousand pounds of pork, and “one good horse”
From his testimony, I learned that Henry had a brother in the Confederate army. His witnesses for his claim were
- his neighbor L.A. Ray, age 32, who lived 175 yards away from him
- James H. Ellison, age 39
- Miss Mary E. Layman, his sister
- John Watts, age 58
- John S. Harrell, age 38
- John R. Lanier, age 47
- William Wyatt, age 65
- W.F. Crawford, age 40
Nancy J. Padgyett of Jamesville
Her taken property included pork, chicken, sweet potatoes and cooking utensils. It was taken by Col. Franklin of Plymouth. She was 43 at the time of the claim.
From her claim, it states that her husband died in August of 1863 and they had 4 children whose ages were between 7 and 15.
Her witnesses were
Alfred Jordan of Williamston
Alfred was 53 at the time of his claim. He was from Williamston, but right around the time of the war lived in Bertie County for 4 years and in Washington County for 2 years. He was born in Chowan County, NC. The names of Alfred’s witnesses is difficult for me to read, but names mentioned in his claim include Simon Swain, Stephen Jordan (no relation), F.C. Miller, John G. Mitchell, William S. Ward, Alfred’s wife, Fanny Jordon, and Alfred’s son Joseph C. Jordan. His property taken included turkeys, chickens, sweet potatoes, corn, a young horse, and a hog.
These claims commissions are interesting records to check out!