Richard L. Green (1800-abt 1883) Rutherford County, North Carolina, Cass [now Bartow] and Dawson Counties, Georgia – Discoveries in War of 1812 Pension Files

Richard L. Green was born about 1800, probably in South Carolina, based on U.S. census records for Cass and Dawson Counties, Georgia, beginning in 1850.1 I think he belongs to my family but have not yet found a defining document. One of my favorite sources is the War of 1812 Pension Files, available free of charge at The project funding is complete, but the digitizing is not. The files available at as of 20 November 2016 appear to end with the surname Moore. There is an index to the pension files at, but any files not yet digitized are only available from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., for a fee.

If your ancestor was alive during the conflict (1812-1815) and still living when laws granting pensions were enacted (1871 and 1878), you may find him mentioned even though he was too young to serve, or didn’t serve for some other reason. That is because pension applicants often called on neighbors to support a claim of service. A widow similarly called on them to support her claim of marriage to the veteran, which had to be proved for her to receive her late husband’s pension. Similar information may occur in bounty land applications. The laws allowing these land grants were enacted as early as 1812 and as late as 1855. Check the WiKi for more information on them.

I performed a general search for the name “Richard L. Green” on and received only one result, but it was exactly what I needed to show that my research subject was very likely the same man selling land in Rutherford County in 18312 as the man found in 1850 in Cass [now Bartow] County, Georgia, with a probable brother who is my documented ancestor (Edwin Harmon Green). Richard’s 1872 affidavit,3 made on behalf of Elizabeth Cantrell, widow of Jacob Cantrell, is transcribed below with minor spelling and punctuation edits. Richard’s wife, Rebecca, also made an affidavit, confirming that this is the couple I’m researching. Additionally, the second deponent in the 1872 affidavit was Thomas L. Green who resided in Dawson County, near Richard. I believe the two men were brothers.

There are discrepancies between Richard’s testimony and census records for Richard’s family: 1) Richard L. Green and his family were definitely in Cass/Bartow County in 1850 as opposed to Dawson (formed 1857 from Lumpkin and Gilmer) His location is not known for the 1840 U.S. census. 2) Census records for 1850 through 1880 consistently show his birth place as South Carolina, not North Carolina. 3) The birth place of two of Richard’s children (born 1837 and 1839) is indicated in 1850 as South Carolina, but in later census records varied between North Carolina and Georgia.

State of Georgia

County of Dawson}         On this the 12th day of June AD 1872 Personally appeared before me Daniel Fowler, Judge and ex officio Clerk of the Court of Ordinary in and for said County — Richard L. Green aged 72 years & Thomas L. Green aged sixty-three years both residents of the County of Dawson, State of Georgia, to me well known to be respectable and entitled to credit who being duly sworn according to Law state that they have been personally acquainted with Elizabeth Cantrell widow of Jacob Cantrell from the time of Deponent’s earliest recollection and was also well acquainted with Jacob Cantrell her late  husband — a soldier of the War of 1812 also from his earliest recollection. That deponents and the said Elizabeth and Jacob Cantrell all resided in the same neighborhood in Rutherford County — State of North Carolina where the deponents were born and raised until the year of 1840 when they removed to Lumpkin now Dawson County, Georgia. And soon after the year of 1840 said Jacob and Elizabeth Cantrell also removed to Georgia in the same County — that deponents have & now resided ever since. Deponents having known them all the time and deponents know that said Jacob Cantrell and Elizabeth Cantrell of Pickens County, Georgia, who is an applicant for pension — always lived together as man and wife — or, as husband and wife — Richard L. Green, one of the deponents, knew them to live together as husband and wife from the year of 1812 and Thomas L. Green the other deponent knows that they were living together as man and wife as far back as deponent can recollect which he thinks was in the year of 1818 and has said Jacob Cantrell and Elizabeth Cantrell was always thereafter living together as husband and wife and that they were so reputed and believed to be such by all their acquaintances and the fact of their marriage was never doubted or called in question by any of their acquaintances. That deponents are no relation to the claimant and has no interest in her claim. [Several illegible words] is Dawsonville, Georgia.


Ausborn ?I/J? Taylor                                                       Richard L. Green [by his mark]

?John C? Jones                                                                 Thomas L. Green [by his mark]


  1. 1850 U.S. census, Cass [now Bartow] County, Georgia, population schedule, 12th Division, p. 188 (stamped), dwelling 1246, Richard L. Green; digital image, ( : accessed 22 March 2015); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432.
          1860 U.S. census, Dawson County, Georgia, population schedule, Gilmer District, Dawsonville Post Office, p. 34 (penned), dwelling 264, Richard L. Green; digital image, ( : accessed 15 April 2015); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653.
       1870 U.S. census, Dawson County, Georgia, population schedule, Purdy’s District, Dawsonville Post Office, p. 47 (penned), dwelling 337, Richard Green; digital image, ( : accessed 15 April 2015); citing NARA microfilm M593.
       1880 U.S. census, Dawson County, Georgia, population schedule, Yellow Creek District, GMD 989, enumeration district (ED) 42, p. 28 (penned), dwelling 242, R. L. Green; digital image, ( : accessed 15 April 2015); citing NARA microform publication T9.
  1. Rutherford County, North Carolina, Deed Book, 41, p. 116-117, Richard L. Green to Wm. Cutler & Wm. A Graham, 27 April 1831; Rutherford County Register’s Office, Rutherfordton.
  2. Jacob Cantrell widow’s pension file no. 5450, 1872; War of 1812, Department of Veterans Affairs, RG 15, 1773-1985; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; digital images accessed 19 November 2016 at of 1812/War of 1812 Pension Files/North Carolina/C/Cantrell, Jacob


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