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Deposition of Thomas Williams for Case of Hester Lancaster
Abram Lancaster 33rd USCT and Thomas Williams 21st USCT
November 20, 1908
Pension Records

Case of Hester Lancaster, No. 848.540

On this twentieth day of November , 1908, at St. Augustine, county of St. Johns State of Florida, before me, J. A. Davis, a Special Examiner of the
Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Thomas Williams who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him
during this special examination of aforsaid clam for presion, deposes and says:

I am 70 years of age. I am blind and have no occupation. My post office address is No. 66 Dumas St., St. Augustine, Fla. I knew Abram Lancaster from
playmates ? I was a slave, but he was free and we plaved together as boys. When we muster in the Army we muster from here together. and I muster the
21th Regt and he muster in the 33rd Regt U.S.C.T. I know he was married a long time before he must in the Army and his wife went to him at Beaufort. I
could not tell you exactly when they married, but they had two children when she came to Beaufort. One boy was named John, but I Have forgotten. Oh!
Jake was the other one. Abram lived here a good many years, this was his home after the war, but Jane was not with him. They had some squabble at
Hilton Head and I am pretty certain they did not live together after the war. I am sure they married, though I was not exactly present, but I passed by the
house the night they married. I know they got married, they were by the Catholic priest. II do not know the priest name, it was Father Aubacy I think. The
never had a divorce that I know of, I don't think they did. I don't know anything about his marriage to the woman in Jacksonville. I saw the woman and
talked with her and she was living with Abram, then he was sick her and she came here and stayed with him a short time. Abram died at the Hospital
here, but I have forgotten the month and year. I know when Jane died all right, I was in Jacksonville it has been quite a number of years. Jane was living
when Abram was first living with the woman in Jacksonville. This Jacksonville woman was not living with Abram for many years and when he got sick she
would not take care of him. I am not related. I have no interest at all in this claim. I have heard you read this disposition. I have fully understood your
questions. My answers have been set down correctly.

Thomas Williams

Attest -
Phillip Crosley
Wm H. Bolton

It is very difficult to read J A Davis' writing. If you see a better transcription of a word, please email me.

In the post war era slave marriages were not valid unless there was cohabitation. See
Marriage rules for more information.  This problem is compounded
because I have no information on the status of free black marriages before the War of Rebellion and the status of Jane Nattiell (slave or free before the
War of Rebellion.) From what we have seen the pension officers treated free and slave marriages the same before the war and they needed to be
ratified by cohabitation after a.
Emancipation proclamation, b. the war. c. a particular date set by the State.
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