with Widow's Pension Documentation
For Philander Turrell

By Nancy Tyrrel Theodore, May 2011

Addendum (27 Sep. 2011): Brian Tyrrell pointed out that I missed Samuel Tyrell, so that has now been added. (I missed the one 'r' variant spelling.)

All highlighted and underlined items are links to referenced websites,
Ancestry websites (membership required), original documents, or DOR newsletter articles.

One of the most difficult periods to document in U.S. genealogy is the period before 1850, which was when the U.S. census started listing all members in a household. So it is important to explore every avenue available when trying to document our ancestors prior to 1850, and one way is through military records, especially pension records from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

War of 1812 pensions were applied for and granted to veterans or their survivors. Following is an index for pension applications for claims for service between 1812 and 1815. Most were filed as a result of acts instated in 1871 (for serving 60 days and honorably discharged, and their widows if married before 17 February 1815), and 1878 (for serving 14 days or in any engagement and honorably discharged, and for surviving widows, no proviso regarding date of marriage). Prior to this, pensions were provided only for service related deaths or disabilities.

The information for this pension application index was taken from the fronts of the envelopes containing the actual pension applications. These envelopes many times contain personal data about the veteran and/or widow. Copies of the actual pension application documents can be obtained from the National Archives (NARA). Information on how to order these records online can be found here.

The application index information below is provided by Ancestry, from The National Archives Microcopy No. 313, "Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files." (Ancestry membership required) Various spellings are as follows:

T-Thi (Roll 91) Terrel, Terrell, Terrill, Therrill - images 803 to 822 and 991
Tin-Turb (Roll 93) Tirrell, Tirrill - images 1031 to 1036
Turc-Vanr (Roll 94) Turrel, Turrell, Tyrrel, Tyrrell - images 198 to 200, and 381 to 387

Abbreviations used with the identification numbers:
S.O. Survivor Original
S.C. Survivor Certificate
W.O. Widow Original
W.C. Widow Certificate
W.T. Bounty Land Warrant

For this article, only the index listing for veterans from Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Vermont are shown below. There was no listing for New Hampshire, New Jersey or Rhode Island. Included in the microfilm but not shown below are veterans from Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina or South Carolina. The data as written on the envelopes:

Names in this section taken from Roll 91 (Ancestry membership required):
TERREL, John (TYREL, TERRELL), images 802 and 806. S.O. #9149, S.C. #12290. Served in Capt. Jeremiah Brown's Co., NY Militia.

TERRELL, Benjamin, Jr., widow Tirsah, image 805. S.O. #29586, S.C. #20952. Served as a Private in Capt.Jonathan Cleverly's Co., MA Militia.

TERRELL, Mathew, widow Eppy, image 811. W.O. #32158, W.C. #18587. Served as a Private in Capt. Benjamin Schooler's Co., OH Militia.

TERRILL, Ezra, widow Roxy, image 818. W.O. #17763, W.C. #9671. Served in Capt. Daniel Buel's Co., NY Militia.

TERRILL, Nathaniel, widow Sarah, image 821. W.O. #4144, W.C. #5301. Served in Capt. Latterly's Co., and Capt. Haynes' Co., NY Militia.

TERRILL, Oliver, widow Patsy, image 822. S.O. #39338, S.C. #30029. Served in Capt. J. Yantes' Company, KY Militia.

THERRILL, John (THURLOW, THURRELL), image 991. W.C. #14680. Served in Capt. Hugh Gatchell's Co., MA Militia.

Names in this section taken from Roll 93 (Ancestry membership required):
TIRRELL, Ezra, widow Hannah, image 1036. W.O. #37153, W.C. #31110. Served in Capt. Ames' Co., MA Militia.

TIRRELL, Isaac, widow Mary, image 1035. W.O. #15204, W.C. #7724. Served in Capt. Z. Smith's Co., MA Militia.

TIRRELL, John, widow Elizabeth, image 1034. W.O. #42915, W.C. 33687. Served in Capt. Ichabod Reynold's Co., ME Militia.

TIRRELL, Orren, image 1033. S.O. #13301, S.C. #21884. Served in Capt. T. Lyman's Co., MA Militia.

TIRRELL, Harvey (TERRILL, TIRRILL), image 1032. S.O. #13303. Served in Capt. T. Lyman's Co., MA Militia.

TIRRILL, Thomas, image 1031. S.O. #13302. Served in Capt. T. Lyman's Co., MA Militia.

Names in this section taken from Roll 94 (Ancestry membership required):
TURREL, Philander*, widow Lora, image 198. W.O.#39728, W.C. #30276. Served as Private in Capt. Hoadley's Co., OH Militia.

TURRELL, Peter, widow Rosanna, image 199. W.O. #6159, W.C. #7571. Served in Capt. John Campbell's Co., OH Militia.

TURRELL, William J., image 200. S.O. #29760, S.C. 22498. Served in Capt. Arnold Foot's Co., CT Militia.

TYRREL, Elijah, widow Permelia, image 381. S.O. #7178, S.C. #8530. W.O. #22522, W.C. #16138. W.T. #23823-40-50, W.T. #8466-120-55. Private in Capt. Thomas Colmore's Co., NY Militia.

TYRREL, Rila, image 382. File #18612. "Old War" Invalid and Widow Rejected. Sgt. in Capt. Sanford's Co., 7th Regiment, NY Militia.

TYRELL, Samuel, widow Mary, image 378. W.O. #13928, W.C. #11667. Served as Private in Capt. Hugh McCall's Co., NY Militia.

TYRREL, William, widow Love, image 383. W.O.#10962. Private in Capt. R. Hotchkiss', VT Militia.

TYRRELL, Stillman, widow Rosamond, image 384. W.O.#19231, W.C. #11158. Served in Capt. A. Cleveland's Co., NY Militia.

TYRRELL, Thomas (TERRILL), widow Eveline, image 385. S.O. #18554, S.C. #16359, W.O. #12069, W.C. #10009. Served in Capt. Jehiel Hopping's Co., NY Militia.

TYRRELL, Thomas M., widow Susanna, image 386. W.O. #5807, W.C. #2178. Served as Private in Capt. E. Walker's Co., VT Militia.

TYRRILL, Roswell (TERREL), image 387. S.O. #7981, S.C.#5739. Served as Private in Capt. C. A. Trimble's Co., 19th U.S. Infantry.

* * * * * *

*Philander6 (Ichabod5, Oliver4, Josiah3, John2, Roger1) Turrell is the writer's ancestor; his widow's documents are an example of the information one may obtain from these pension application records.

On 11 May, 1880, widow Lora completed a "War of 1812. Declaration of a Widow for Pension" form that contained her age (84), maiden name (Beebe), residence (Mantua township., Monroe county, IA), and name of Philander's militia company (Capt. "Hadley's" Ohio Volunteers... later corrected to "Hoadley"). It recounts the fact that Philander had received bounty land by warrant No. 20788 for forty acres, issued 1 October 1851 with the description of the land (SW1/4 of SE1/4 Sec. 27, T72, R16W in Monroe county, IA). It states that Lora and Philander were married 25 December 1811, by "she don't remember name" in New York, and that Philander died at Mantua township the 24th day of March 1874, and Lora had not remarried. That is a lot of information. But there is more.

Among those attesting to the marriage by affidavits are children Philander L. Turrel and Oliver H. Turrel. They present as proof a family Bible with a record of births and other family data, which includes the birthdate for Philander L., the affiant. The recording Justice of the Peace made a certified copy of this record and it is included with the application documents. Philander's brother Horace I. Terril in his affidavit states that Philander was born in Waterbury, New Haven county, CT, and gives further information about the place of the marriage which was "then called 'No. Nine,' now called Cheshire, about five miles from Canandagua [sic] in the State of New York." Also, that the newlyweds "came back home to fathers house in Ohio and lived together and raised a big family of children." There are other affidavits, including one from grandson Sidney F. Turrel.

On Philander's application for bounty land, he describes his militia company as "scouters." For a story on one of Philander's War of 1812 scouting adventures, see the DOR Newsletter on this site, Vol. II, No. 2, page 10.

Of course, not every pension application file will contain this much information as there are many variables, starting with the thoroughness of the application approval process. However, it can be an important part of your family history documentation if you are lucky enough to find that your ancestor applied for and received a pension for the War of 1812.