Monday, September 19, 2016


I just received my 2nd Civil War Pension file.  This one is for Edith Eliza Thorp Surdam, daughter of Monson Thorp, Sr. and Lany Cooper.  Edith was born Jan 1843 in Skaneateles, Onondaga, New York.
Edith is my 2nd great grandaunt.

NOTE:  As with so many of the names of our ancestors the spelling can vary.  Sometimes there is an “e” at the end of Thorp and sometimes not.

In my research I had learned that Edith was married to Walter B. Thorp (yes, same last name) sometime in the early 1860’s.  Were the two cousins?  If so, how close was that cousin relationship?

I did not have an exact marriage date, however, I had located two Civil War Pension index cards several years ago.
One index was dated 6 Apr 1864 and was a widow claim for Edith E. Thorpe.
 THORP_Walter B. widow Edith E. CivilWarPension app 1864_annotated

Another index from 7 Feb 1869 was for a minor (probably her child, Marian).  By then she had remarried and her name was E. E. Surdam.

THORP_Walter B widow Edith applying as Edith SURDAM_pension_annotated

Now that I’ve received this Civil War Pension file I find that on page 5 of 110 pages in the file, there is a Claim for Bounty and Pay for Edith E. Thorpe, aged twenty years and a resident of Oswego, New York.

THORP_Edith  Civl War pay request page 5-annotated
Page 5 of the pension file
THORP_Edith Civl War pay request page 6
Page 6 of the pension file which shows signatures and the cover page

Here are other important items on this one page:
  • Edith is the widow of Walter B. Thorpe
  • Walter was a 1st Sergeant in Company A, commanded by Captain McKinlock (sp?) in the 147th Regiment of New York volunteers, commanded by Colonel Warner in the Rebellion of 1861.
  • Walter B. Thorpe enlisted in the service of the United States at Oswego in the County of Oswego, August 18, 1862 and was killed July 1, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysberg.
  • Edith states she was married to her said husband January 19, 1862 by Rev. Mr. Plaink (sp?) at Oswego Centre
  • And that said Walter B. Thorpe left only one child home surviving, her name is Marrion E. W. Thorpe who was born October 29th 1862 & lives with applicant & her Post Office address is Minetto Oswego Co. NY.
  • Deponent makes application to obtain the pension under Act of July 14, 1862, the arrears of pay and allowances for clothing due according to the foregoing declaration.
We see a signature, not a mark, by Edith E. Thorp. 
THORP_Edith E_signature from CW pension bounty pay request_1864
Also noted are the two sworn witnesses, Walter Thorpe and Jane Thorp, residents of Oswego.  Who are Walter & Jane Thorp?  Could this Walter Thorp be the father of our Walter B. who died?  I have Walter B's father as Walter Thorp born about 1800 and died in 1867, so he would have still be living at the time of the deposition.  I don't have a Jane in that family though.

From this one page I have certainly gained a lot of information about Walter B. & Edith Thorp.  They were very young and only married a short time.  Walter is the only known ancestor that I have to die at the Battle of Gettysberg.
I have 104 more pages to read in this Civil War Pension file.  Most of the rest of the file concerns Edith’s second husband, George B. Surdam, who also served in the Civil War.  Can’t wait to find out what else I will learn.

TUESDAY'S TIP - How to Determine Which War Your Ancestor May Have Participated In

MYSTERY MONDAY - Where Is the Wreck of this Civil War Era Paddle Steamer?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall

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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.