Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Discovering Elizabeth Poole

Patron's Perspective

Discovering Elizabeth Poole at the David Library

One of our patrons, Kimberly Hess, sent me the fascinating story of Elizabeth Poole, which she unearthed doing research at the David Library. The Pension Records she used hold countless stories of long forgotten patriots - and in this case, the story of one remarkable woman.

--Patrick Spero 

I was fortunate to make a discovery at the David Library about 24 years ago when I began doing genealogical research. With the help of a librarian, I located the widow's pension application for my fifth great-grandmother, Elizabeth Stillwagon, which she made when she was 84 years old. This document suddenly brought to life Elizabeth and her husband, Peter, in ways that other documents could not. Because of the events in their lives during and after the Revolution, Elizabeth did not have documents to prove her marriage and did not know anyone alive who could prove her husband's service during the war. To apply for a pension, she told her story in great detail under oath.