Return to 33rd USCT
Widow's Claim for Pension
Minerva Bythwood wife of William Morris
33rd USCT
June 17, 1867

Pension Records
Transcription:
Widow's Claim for Pension
State of South Carolina
District of Beaufort

On this seventeenth day of June, 1867, personally appeared before me, a Pension Notary in and for the State aforesaid Minerva Bythwood a resident of
Beaufort in the County of Beaufort and State of South Carolina aged 30 years, who being duly sworn, makes the following declaration, in order to obtain the
Pension provided by the Act of Congress approved July 14, 1862. That she is the widow of William Morris who was a private in Company "G" commanded by
Capt. S. W. Metcalf in the 33 Regiment of U. S. Colored Troops in the War of 1861; that her maiden name was Minirva Mapson and that she was married to
said William Morris on or about ____ day of May 1857, at
Palatka in the County of Putnam and State of Florida by Rev. M. Johnson and that the same is
recorded in her family Bible

She further declares that said William Morris her husband, died in the service of the United States as aforesaid at Beaufort in the State of South Carolina on
or about the ______ day of February 1864, of brain fever, That she was again married to Jas. Bythwood her present husband in Janry 1865. She also
declares that she has remained a widow eleven months and that she has not in any manner engaged in, or aided or abetted, the rebellion in the United
States; and she hereby appoints James D. Bell of Beaufort as her lawful Attorney, with power of substitution, and authorizes her to present and prosecute this
claim, and to receive her pension certificates. The following are the name ___ date____of birth and place___ of residence of all the children of her deceased
husband who are under sixteen years of age at the time of death from Morris born June 30th 1857 and Sarah Morris born April 8th 1861 and they both reside
at Beaufort with their mother

My Post office is Beaufort State of South Carolina

If mark is made, two witnesses who write sign here.
? S. Harper
Adm A?

Minerva (her mark) Bythwood

Also personally appeared before me, Frank Higgins and Albert Sammis residents of Jacksonville Putnam County, and State of Florida to me well known as
credible persons who being

(cut off)
duly sworn, declare, that they were present and saw said Minerva Bythwood sign her name to the foregoing declaration, and that she is the identical person
she represents herself to be, and know that said deceased recognized said applicant as his lawful wife, and that she was so recognized by the community in
which they resided; and that they have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim

Frank Higgins
Albert Sammis

Notes:
1. Why is she trying for a Widow's Pension? She is remarried. She would be entitled to a widow's pension for the 11 months between the death of William
Morris and her marriage to Bythwood. Her children would also be eligible for a pension till they were sixteen.

2. She must first prove that she is married to William Morris. This was a marriage before the war so that there is no paper documentation (even though
William Morris was a free man.) Note the use of a Bible record. Would she have had a Bible when she was a slave? Would she have been able to read the
Bible at that time? This not only shows the difficulty of proving a marriage and the children of that marriage before the war, it illustrates the difficulty of using
the documentation produced.
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