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Re: Nine Irish Convicts

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Posted by JDP on September 13, 2003 at 11:49:52:

In Reply to: Re: Nine Irish Convicts posted by Jean on September 12, 2003 at 22:49:03:

Fascinating that all these men rose to such prominence in various parts of the world.
On a more personal level I was fascinated to learn recently from details of my own family history that a gggranduncle, David Gilligan(1824-1887)enlisted at New York in the US 8th infantry for five years (1845-1850) at the start of the Mexican American war. He received an honorable discharge in Fort Gate Texas in 1850 and returned to Ireland and married the following year.
A few months before his death in 1887 a Mexican War Pension was introduced in the US. Papers in the US National Archives indicate that in May of that year David submitted an affidavit requesting the pension which was supported by James O`Mara, High Sheriff of Limerick and a friend from boyhood. In his affidavit David stated " I served with the regiment(8th infantry) on the whole campaign until the fall of the City of Mexico, was promoted to sergeant, sent from there on recruiting service to the states. Col Belknap commanded the regiment and I was in Captain Scriven`s Company"
The following year finds his widow Jane applying for a Mexican War widows pension. Her application states " I am dependant on my friends and children, their generosity from time to time with money and in their supporting, clothing, maintaining and keeping me at their own sole expense"
Whether these circumstances were exaggerated for pension assessment purposes is not clear but she got the pension. On her death in 1902 her son notified the US authorites who state on their "pensioner dropped" form that she had been last paid at the rate of 8$.

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