9 August 1838 — Hardy County, Virgina (now West Virginia)
The case of Sarah Redman, wife of veteran John Redman, reflects one of the challenges faced by elderly widows when applying for pension benefits and exemplifies a process by which some of these widows succeeded in obtaining pensions.
Sarah could not recall the exact date of her marriage and did not possess any written proof of the marriage. She did not possess a family Bible, a church record or other document that she could present to Hardy County court officials to support her testimony.
She could not recall important facts and dates from her youth, information that was crucial to the approval of her application for pension benefits. Her initial testimony reveals at the age of eighty plus years she could only provide two pieces of information: that she’d married more than fifty years previous to the year 1838, and that the marriage occurred prior to January 1, 1794.
Subsequent documents within the file, affidavits of Richard and Rachel Redman, reflected that both were present at John and Sarah's marriage. Their testimonies provided acceptable evidence for pension officials to approve Sarah’s pension application.