Sarah Bond Burley Widow's Pension - War of 1812

My thanks to Nancy Desper for her on finding this information and transcribing it.

Sarah Bond was born in Virginia, possibly King William County. The exact date of her birth is not known.

  • The 1850 census of Henrico County Virginia gives her age as 34yrs and her race as mulatto.
  • The 1860 census of Henrico County Virginia lists her age as 39 yrs and her race as Indian (Native American).
  • In the 1870 census she is living with her son James and his family. Her age is 50 yrs and her race is white.
  • In the 1880 census she is listed as 69 yrs and her race as mulatto.

Her parents have not been identified. She married Tilman Burley on January 8, 1829 in King William County, Virginia. It is not known when she died.

The War of 1812 records for Tilman and Sarah Burley were found at

There is a handwritten number on each page in the order that it was downloaded from the website.

(1) Image 301736857

No. 27434  WAR OF 1812, Act of March 9, 1878

WIDOWS’ PENSION – Virginia, Sarah Burley, widow of Tilman Burley, Private, Capt. Erwin’s Va. Militia

Knoxville Agency, Rate per month - Eight dollars commencing March 9, 1878, certificate dated Oct. 24, 1879 and sent to Pension Agent 1 Nov. ’79

(2) Image 301736858

No. 37169 SERVICE PENSION, WAR OF 1812, Act of March 9, 1878 –

Sarah Burley, Richmond, Va., widow of Tilman Burley, Pri, Capt. Erwin’s Va. Mil.

Died Jany. 11, 1863

Received July 10, 1879, E. M. Garnett, Richmond, Va., Attorney

(3) Image 301736859

No. 242.536 ACT OF MARCH 3, 1855, received April 19, 1856

Tilman Burley, Private, Capt. Robt. Irvine Va. Militia, War of 1812

160 acres

1880 Oct. 20 E.M. Garnett see letter book

(4) Image 301736860

242.536 –Tilman Burley served in Capt. Erwin’s ??  Va. mil. from July 27 to

Dec. 7, 1814  160 acres March 19/57

(5) Image 301736862


Sarah Burley, widow of Tilman Burley, Private, Capt. Evin’s Mil. Va.

Post Office: Richmond, County of Henrico, State of Va.

Attorney: E. M. Garnett, P.O. Richmond

Henrico County, State of Va. Agt. Pay no.

Application filed July 10, 1879

Alleged service: As a private in Cpt. Irvin’s Co. Va. Mil. War of 1812 and served over 14 days.

Record evidence of service: Dec. 10, 1856, Auditor reports tilman Burley served I Capt. Erwin’s Co. Va. Mil. From July 27 to Dec. 7, 1814.

Length of service: 134 days

Proof of identity:  By testimony of W. Y. Mordecai and D. E. Gardner who hav known claimant 30 years.

Admitted: October 10, 1879 to a pension of EIGHT DOLLARS per month from

March 9, 1878, the date of the act.

No pension previously applied for.

(s) L. D. Stone, Pension Searcher

Bounty Land Acct. 60300-160-53 (s) J. M. McGowan, Bounty Land Searcher

(s) D. R. Bell, Examiner

Approved Oct. 20, 1874 (s) Redway, Examiner

(6) Image 301736863 (appears to be reverse side previous image)


Marriage Jany. 8, 1828 of Tilman Burley to Sarah Bond alleged by claimant. Cohabitation shown by testimony of W. Y. Mordecai and D. E. Gardiner. Neither previously married alleged by claimant.

Death of soldier Jany. 11, 1863 is shown by testimony of W. M. Kearsey and Wm. Bennett.

Widowhood corroborated by W. M. Kearsey and Wm. Bennett.

INCIDENTAL MATTER – Clerk of Court certifies to no record of marriage.


Claim No. 37169, Act of March 9, 1878

Claimant Sarah Burley           Soldier Tilman Burley

Action: admitted                    Examiner: D. R. Bell      Admitted Oct. 20, 1879  RER

(7) Image 301736864

Envelope addressed to George C. Whiting, Commr of Pensions, Washington City, D. C.

Postmarked July 4, 1857 (Tilman Burley, Va.)

(8) Image 301736867

Letterhead from WISE & HOBSON, Attorneys at Law, Richmond, Va., July 27, 1880 (looks like 1880) to Hon J. A. Bently, Comm. Of Pensions, Washington, D. C.


Sarah Burley widow of Tilman Burley who received Pension certificate No. 27.434 dated Octr. 24, 1879, Act of  9th March 1878, alleges her said husband never received but 40 acres of Bounty Land. Please inform me how much land said Tilman Burley received for his services in the war of 1812.

Very Respectfully,

E. M. Garnett

(9) Image 301736869 and (10) Image 301736869

LaGrange Fayette County Texas, April 27th 1857

Commissioner of Pensions,

Dear Sir

Your favor of Dec. 6th just informing us that you supposed that Land Warrant No. 60 301, 160 acres issued to Charles F. Clarke had been sent to us instead of that of Elijah S. Close for 160 acres.

No such warrant has ever come to us as that inquired of, but a few mails ago, we received Land Warrant No 60.300 for 160 acres issued April 1st 1857 to Tilman Burley, private Capt. Jones Co., Virginia Militia War of 1812. We have no recollection of sending Burley’s application, and though it is possible yet we think it likely it is a mistake. So please examine???? the application and if either Webb & Leadbetter, or William Webb or William H. Leadbetter, are not the attys. then it should not have come to us and upon being so informed we will return immediately.  We cannot remember all the applications sent by us; often they were strayed, and sometimes no record kept, and it is barly probable that we may have sent for Burly, but have not the most distant recollection of the name.

Please send us the Warrant of Elijah S. Close, No. 60302, which you say is issued.

Yours very truly
Webb V. Ledbetter for William Y. Webb

(11) Image 301736871 and (12) Image 301736872

Richmond, Va., July 4, 1857
Geo. C. Whiting, Esq.
Commr. Of Pensions

Dear Sir,

I have waited awhile since receiving your letter informing me that Tilman Burley’s warrant of 160 acres was sent to my address the 1st of April, hoping you might find it in the pension office not mailed, for it has not come to hand and I fear I shall have to go to the expense of advertising, to say nothing of the trouble and delay, the poor fellow’s patience has already been nearly exhausted for he says he is sadly in need and has been looking forward to this for the last six months, with the most intense anxiety.  I do not see how a letter can well be lost between Washington and Richmond, and besides, I have a bookcase????? in this office and my letters are always carefully put in it.  Burley’s warrant may have been sent to some other office or person, for I rcv’d. recently and returned to you a warrant which belonged to someone else and it may be as happened with me on a former occasion. I wrote to know what had become of Mrs. Ann G. Pulliam’s warrant application for bounty land  under act of 1850 and was informed in reply that the warrant had been sent to my address some six or eight months prior to my inquiry. I advertised according to law in order to obtain a duplicate and just as the time was about to expire and I should soon have obtained the duplicate, here comes the warrant from the pension office where it had been lying all the time overlooked, with no explanation, but having date as intimated in the letter referred to. Seeing that such mistakes have occurred at the pension office and none has ever occurred with the post office or mail, that I am aware, will you do me the favor to having the matter investigated tho it may have been accidently overlooked or improperly directed. I am very sure that it has never come to Richmond.

I am very respectfully
Yr obt svt
James T. Sutton, Jr.

(13) Image 301736873


State of Virginia, County of Henrico, 4th day of August, 1855

Tilman Burley, age 65 years, resident of Henrico, declares that he is the identical Tilman Burley who was a Private in the company commanded by Captain Robert Irvine in the Regiment of Virginia Militia commanded by Geo. Porterfield in the war with Great Britain, declared by the United States on the 18th day of June, 1812, that he was drafted from King William on or about the (left blank) day of August 1814 for the term of six months and continued in actual service in said war for the term of six months and was honorably discharged at Camp Holly on the (left blank) day of February 1815. He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the Bounty Land to which he may be entitled under the act approved March 3, 1855. He also declares that he has never received nor applied for bounty land under any law of congress heretofore. Given under my hand this 4h day of August, 1855.


We, W. N. Gardner and A. J. Waldrop, residents of the County of Henrico in the

state of Virginia upon our oaths declare that the foregoing declaration was signed

and acknowledged by Tilman Burley in our presence, and that we believe, from the appearance and statements of the applicant, that he is the identical person he represents himself to be.

(14) Image 301736874

BOUNRY LAND CLAIM of Mr. Tilman Burley, Act of March, 1855

Filed by JAMES T. SUTTON, JR., Richmond, VA

(15) Image 301736875 and Image (16) 301736876

Richmond, Va. Jul 9, 1879

Hon. J. A. Bently, Comm. Of Pensions


I enclose application of Sarah Burley widow of Tilman Burley for pension Under act 9th March 1878.

Tilman Burley received bounty land warrant act ’55 she thinks through James T. Sutton Jr. atty. There is no public record of her marriage as the records of that date in King Wm. Co. were destroyed & and there is no private record of her marriage. She proves cohabitation by persons who knew her & her husband as man & wife & I refer to the evidence of D. E. Gardner & Wm. Mordecai gentlemen of unquestionable veracity. Said Tilman Burley lived on the farm of D. E. Gardner for years & was his miller??? & his widow also lived there at the same time as man & wife & Mr. Mordecai lives on the adjoining farm & knew them both well.

Sarah Burley is very infirm & cannot recollect her husband’s captain but I presume his service can easily be proven by his declaration on file in your office when he obtained his bounty land.

Very respectfully

(17) Image 301736877

State of Virginia

King William County Clerk

I, O. M. Winston, Clerk of the County court of said county, do certify that I have examined the records of my said office from the year 1800 down to the present time and that I can neither find the marriage bond, or any minister’s return showing any marriage between Tilman Burley and Sarah Bond among said records.

O. M. Winston, Clerk
King William County Court
May 31, `879

(18) Image 301736878 and (19) Image 301736879 (appears to be back of form)


State of Virginia, County of Henrico

In the matter of Sarah Burley for pension under act of March 1878

Personally came before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for aforesaid County and State, W. M. Kearsey and Wm. Bennett, citizens of County of Henrico, State of Virginia, well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit and who, being duly sworn, declare in relation to aforesaid case as follows:

That they well knew Tilman Burley husband of Sarah Burley and had known him for 35  and 10 years previous to his death, was present and assisted in shrouding him, thinks he died about 11th day January 1863. Age of W. M. Kearsey 55 years, age of Wm. Bennett 51 years, and they further certify that Sarah Burley widow of Tilman Burley is still a widow and has never remarried.

They further declare that they have no interest in said case, and we are not concerned in its presentation.

Attest – when any affiant signs by mark (2 persons)

R. C. Harrison                                     signatures:  W. M. Kearsey (X mark)

C. B. Jones, Jr.                                                        William Bennett (X mark)


Sworn to and subscribed before me this day the above-named affiants and I certify that I read said affidavit to said affiants, and acquainted them with its contents before they executed the same. I further certify that I am in nowise interested in said case, nor am I concerned in its prosecution.

Witness my hand and official seal this 8th day of April, 1879

Sign here      R.R. Griffin, J. P.

(20) Image 301736880

This is a typed letter dated January 16, 1934 to Colonel Frank Morgan, Richmond, Va. from A. D. Hiller, Assistant to Administrator in reference to Col. Morgan’s letter requesting the record of Tilman Burley.

Information given in letter was from claims on file under W.C. 27434, based upon service of Tilman Burley in the War of 1812.

Date and place of birth of Tilman Burley not shown in pension claim. He enlisted in King William County, Virginia and served from July 27, 1814 to December 7, 1814, as a private in Capt. Erwin’s Company, of Virginia Militia.  In 1855 he was residing in Henrico County, Virginia and was aged 65 years. He died January 11, 1863 in Henrico County, Va. He married Sarah Bond in King William County on January 8, 1828. Neither had been previously married.

His widow Sarah was allowed pension on her application executed May 24, 1879, while residing in Henrico Co., Va., and age 68 years. There was no reference to children and no further family data.

(21) Image 301736881

This is a typed letter dated October 14, 1933 from E. W. Morgan, Director of Pensions to Mr. Frank Morgan, Richmond, Va. regarding W.C. 27,434 – Tilman Burley

Handwritten note on letter which is hard to read, transcribed as best I can:  The writer’s letter of Aug. 8, ’33 & the reply or acknowledgment of Aug. 22, “33 did not accompany this letter of Sept. 22 & second reply Oct. 14, 1933 when rec. in Rec??? of 1812 War Section Dec. 28, 1933

Dear Sir:

Your letter of September 12, 1933 has been received and you will be fully advised of the matters concerning which you made inquiry at an early date.

E. W. Morgan, Director of Pensions

(22) Image 301736882

Colonel Frank Morgan

1136-27 Mutual Building

Richmond, VA

Sept. 12  /33

Mr. E. W. Morgan

Director of Pensions

Washington DC

Dear Sir:

See re: 1.W.C.27,434 Tilman Burley, MBAB

I am in receipt of your letter of August 22 with reference to the above caption.

I will greatly appreciate you kindly letting me have the information asked for in mail of August the 8th.

The inquiry for which the information is required now only awaits the above requested information.  I therefore trust that I may have the pleasure of receiving same at an early date.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Cordially yours
Frank Morgan

(23) Image 301736883


State of Virginia, County of Henrico on this 24th day of May, 1875, personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and state aforesaid, Sarah Burley, aged 68 years, a resident of Henrico Co., in the State of Virginia, who being duly sworn according to law declares that she is the widow of Tilman Burley, deceased, who was the identical Tilman Burley who served under the name of Tilman Burley as a Private in the Company commanded by Captain Irving she thinks, but the name of the Capt. under whom her husband served is not positively known to her and she refers to her husband’s declarative under which he obtained bounty land for his correct??? service??? in the 87 regiment of ??? ???, in the War of 1812, that her said husband enlisted at King William Co. on about 1814 and continued in active service in said war for over 14 days and whose services terminated by reason of honorable discharge at Camp Holly 1815.

She further states that the following is a full description of her said husband at the time of his enlistment: six feet high, dark complexion, weight 175 to 180 lbs.

She further states that she was married to the said Tilman Burley in the county of King William in the State of Virginia on the 8th day of January 1828 by Dudley Atkinson who was a minister of the Gospel and that her name before her marriage was Sarah Bond and that she has not remarried since the death of said Tilman Burley and she further states that she nor her said husband were never married but once.

Tilman Burley died at Henrico Co. in the State of Virginia on the 11th day of January, 1863. The following have been the places of residence of herself and her said husband since the date of his discharge from the Army: King William & Henrico County and that she is too infirm from old age to get to the Court House to execute these papers before the clerk.

She makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the Pension to which she may be entitled under Sections 4736 to 4740 inclusive, Revised Statues, and the Act of March 9, 1878, and hereby appoints with full powers of substitution and revocation, E. M. Garnett (looks like) of Richmond, Va. her true and lawful attorney to prosecute her claim.

And she further declares that she has heretofore made no application for bounty land or pension, but her said husband applied for & received bounty land and that her residence is Henrico Co., County of Henrico, state of Virginia and that her post office address is Richmond, Virginia, care of E. M. Garnett.

Sarah Burley (her mark)

Two attesting witnesses who can write their names:

(s) M. Y. Mordecai
(s) D. E. Gardner

Also personally appeared W. Y. Mordecai, aged 42 years residing at Henrico Co. in Virginia and D. E. Gardner, aged 54 years residing at Henrico Co.

(24) Image 301736884

Samuel P. Waddill, Clerk of the County Court, certifies that R. R. Griffin is a Justice of the Peace for the State of Virginia and that the signature is genuine.

(25) Image 301736885


Sarah Burley, widow of Tilman Burley of Capt. Irving’s company she thinks

Co. 87 Regiment of Va. Militia

Particular reference is made to the service proved by Tilman Burley when he obtained bounty land.


E. M. Garret, Atty., Richmond Va.

It appears that two or three pages were scanned together. Part of one page (left side) did not show on the image

Persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn, say they have known the said Sarah Burley for 30 years and for 30 years respectively; that they were present and saw her sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of  said claimant and their appearance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be. And they further say that they are able to identify her as the person who was the wife of the identical Tilman Burley, who rendered the service alleged in the above application-----------------in the War of 1812 by the following named facts and circumstances: That they knew the parties well as man and wife and that said Tilman Burley died in 1863 as alleged by applicant.

They know that she has not remarried since the death of said Tilman Burley, her husband and they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

M. Y. Mordecai
D. E. Gardner

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24th day of May (1879, last number is 9), and I hereby certify that the contents of the above declaration were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing------------------and that I have no interest, direct or indirect in prosecution of this claim. I certify that the applicant is too infirm from age to get to the Court House.

Official character (s) R. R. Griffin, J.P.

Resources for War of 1812