Thursday, March 19, 2015

Did Widow Riggin Remarry?

Sarah "Sally" Piper was my three times great grandmother. She married my space alien, Alfred Riggin, in 1833. He was dropped to Earth when he married Sally, bought forty acres of land, and was enumerated in the 1840 and 1850 census. Then he disappeared into thin air again. I am not amused.

Sally was a mere mortal, however. She pulled one disappearing act in 1860 but the rest of her life is well documented. She and Alfred had six children:
  1. John W. Riggin: born about 1835, died before 1897, married 1) Mary Ramsey and 2) Clementine Wells
  2. Nathaniel D. Riggin: born about 1837, died 1864, married Sarah A. Matlock
  3. James Carroll Riggin: born 1838, died 1907, married 1) Sarah A. Hulme and 2) Rebecca Heady
  4. Theodore Augustus Riggin: born 1840, died 1910, married 1) Mirey M. Raselle and 2) Caroline Vangundy
  5. William H. Riggin: born 1844, died 1877
  6. Mary Jane Riggin: born about 1848, married Charles H. Norton
Nathaniel served as a Private in Company I, 7th Illinois Infantry. He died in Cahaba, Alabama, which was the location of a Confederate prisoner of war camp on 16 November 1864. On 26 September 1885 his mother received a pension for her son's Civil War service. Interestingly, her name is not listed on the image of the card on

Civil War Pension Index Card for Nathaniel D. Riggin from

However, his card from provides his mother's name.

Civil War Pension Index Card for Nathaniel D. Riggin from

Had she remarried?

According to the Illinois Marriage Index, 1763-1900, a searchable database available on the Illinois State Archives website, she did. A Mrs. Sarah Riggin and James M. Robinson were issued a marriage license on 6 May 1856 in Madison County. Maybe this is why Sarah and younger children disappeared in 1860?

I now have more things to add to my research to-do list:
  1. Obtain a copy of Nathaniel's pension file from the National Archives
  2. Order the Robinson-Riggin marriage record from the Illinois Regional Archives Despository
  3. Search for Sarah Robinson in the 1860 census

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