My 3rd great-granfather, John Henry Becker, served for the Union during the Civil War – out of Missouri.  Here is an affidavit for his pension.  He was receiving it because of deafness, caused during a battle.


.John H. Becker, aged 61 years…
… I am the claimant above described and state that I incurred partial Deafness on or about the 7th day of October 1864 at Jefferson City, Missouri and that it came upon me under the following circumstances to wit:
That on said date when Occured my deafness I was a member of Co. I 43 regt En? Missouri Militia and was then and … commanding said company as Lt and was … near… Jefferson City Mo and my company was sustaining a Battery of Artillery and in battle with the enemy and the cannonading affected my ears and caused my deafness, that for a few weeks after that battle it was difficult for me to hear and my deafness has continued from that date continually.

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Silas Moorman was my first cousin, 7 times removed.

I found his will while visiting Bedford County, Virginia 3 1/2 years ago. It was written in 1776, 200 years before I was born {I was a bicentennial baby}.  I guess it just struck me that this was a LONG TIME AGO.  :)


In the Name of God Amen the second day of November in the year of Our Lord Christ 1776. I, Silas Moorman in the County of Bedford being Sick and Weak in body but of Perfect mind and Memory thanks begiven until God therefore calling unto mind the Mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all Men once to die do make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament, That is to say Principally and first of all, I give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of god that gave it and for my Body I recommend it to the Earth to be Burried in a Christian Like and decent Manner at the discresion of my Executors nothing Doubting but at the general Resurection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of god and as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased god to bless me with in this life my Lawfull Debts being first paid, I give desire and Dispose of the same in the following Manner and form Imprimis I lend and Bequeath unto my well beloved Wife Sally Moorman my Land and Plantation where on I now live Containing of One Hundred acres, and four Negroes, Cuff, James, Jenney + Joe and Stock of all kinds, Three Beds and all other Household furniture, her widowhood or till my Children comes of age and if she Marries Then the whole above Mentioned articles to be Divided amongst my wife and Three Children Martha Moorman Jacob Moorman + Pleasant Moorman Land Excepted. I Bequeath unto my son Jacob Moorman One Hundred acres of Land with the Plantation whereon I now live, which if my wife do not Marry while my Three Children comes of age then the whole Estate be Equal Divided Except the Land I do Constitute and appoint my Brother Charles Moorman Jacob Moon Junior and my Brother Andrew Moorman Executors of this my last Will and Testament, and I do revoke all former Wills by me heretofore made Ratifying and confirming, This my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hear unto set my hand + Seal this Second day of November One Thousand seven hundred and Seventy Six.

Signed Sealed Published and delivered

in Presents of}

Archer Moon, Salem Bocock, Lodwick Cook

{seal} Silas Moorman

At a Court held for Bedford County the 24th day of February 1777 This Last Will and Testament of Silas Moorman Deceased was proved by the oath of Archer Moon a Witness thereto Subscribed and at a Court held for said County the 24th day of March 1777.  The said Will was further Proved by the affirmation of Salem Bocock another Witness  thereto Subscribed and Ordered to be recorded And on the motion of Charles Moorman Jacob Moon Junr and Andrew Moorman The Executors therein named who made Oath thereto Certificate is Granted then for Obtaining Probate thereof in due form giving Security whereupon they Together with a Nicholas Mead and William Moon their Securities entered unto and acknowledged their Bond in the Penalty of Three Thousand Pounds for the said Executors due and faithfull administration of the said Decendents  Estate and performance of this will.

Test Ja Stepto Cl.

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John Henry Becker was my 3rd great-grandfather.  He fought for the Union out of Missouri during the Civil War.  This is an affidavit written by his neighbors for his Civil War pension.2013-10-20_026..O.P. Williams, aged 63 years, Fredrick Lutz 57 years citizen of the Town of Tipton, County of Moniteau, State of Missouri…
…we are close and intimate neighbors of the above named claimant John H Becker and known that he Suffers from Rheumatism and complains of disease of kidneys and Liver disease and indigestion and has weak eyesight and because of the above disabilities he is unable to Earn a Support by manual Labor and we believe the disibilities are permanent their is not the Result of his … bad habits he’s a man of …

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Walden Bergman was my great-uncle. He died in 1978, less than a year after this newspaper article was written.
2013-10-21_010The Anchorage Times, Saturday, June 25, 1977, pg. 18
Red’ Bergman Retires From Communications

Walden ‘Red’ Bergman has retired for the third time.  After 42 years in electronic communication he says it’s really the end of his full-time work.

In 1935, Bergman was a bicycle messenger for the Postal Telegraph Service in Seattle, Wash.  He had Army communication jobs in Alaska till his 1963 discharge.  And when he retired May 31 he held the post of senior marketing specialist for RCA Alaska Communications Inc.

Born in Seattle, Bergman acquired his nickname because of his bright red hair.

In 1942, during World War II, he enlisted in the Army, which operated the Alaska Communications System.  He was communications liaison officer for Alaska, sometimes traveling to remote areas of the state, and sometimes working at the public service counter in Anchorage.  “People used to line up to make a long distance call.  There were only two circuits to Seattle and sometimes people had to wait five or six hours to get a call through,” he recalls.

Bergman was married at Elmendorf in 1946.  His wife, June, had come to Alaska in response to an advertisement for women to work on the communication system.

The Bergmans are the parents of Mrs. Dan McMahon and Mrs. Jay Bieber of Anchorage and Robert Bergman of Seattle.  They also have two grandsons.

Bergman retired from the Army in 1963, but soon assumed his old job with the communications system.

When RCA Alaska Communications bought the system from the government in 1971, Bergman retired again, but then was able to transfer to the new company in the same capacity he had held.

His responsibilities as a marketing representative included private line services, radio and television broadcasting.  He helped initiate telex services – for two-way written conversations conducted on machines.  There are now more than 700 telex customers in the state, including newspapers, which use the technology to receive stories from, and send messages to, their distant bureaus.

He has also been involved with radio for the Bush, to give villagers land and ship-to-store communication.

He handled facilities for broadcast and press coverage of the visit of former President Richard Nixon and Emperor Hirohito of Japan to Alaska in 1971.

“When the president comes to town, everyone devotes everything to his visit.  You don’t say there are no facilities, you find them somewhere,” says Red.

He has also been involved in development of television here.

After recovering from all his retirement parties, Bergman plans to visit friends and relatives in the Lower 48.  Then, he admits, he may take a part-time job.

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