Eight children were born to Bertha who testified she was not married to any of the fathers. A couple of the witnesses, Jane Gray and Jennie Brown, testified that Bertha was married, maybe twice, before she married Thomas. Several others testified that Bertha only married Thomas. The investigator could not find a marriage record in Copiah County, MS, with Bertha's name for any of the men who fathered her children. He only found one marriage record and that was for Thomas Taliaferro, 20 Sep 1901 in Copiah County, MS.
I noticed on the marriage record that she was Mrs. Bytha Williams. It was discussed within the pension records that Bytha and Bertha was the same person but it was not mentioned that the title Mrs. was applied to her name.
Would it had matter if Bertha was married before she married Thomas? It would only matter if previous marriages would invalidate her marriage to Thomas. The investigator would gather information confirming that the marriages ended in death, or divorce and a marital relationship no longer existed. If it had been proven that Thomas and Bertha's marriage was not valid, she would not receive a pension as Thomas' widow.
1. Carrie Highgate; Father - John Brandon; Husband - Ed Singleton
2. Leon Beasley; Father - Bush Beasley
3. Mary Williams; Father - Lee Henley; Husband - Jim Boyd
4. Print Henley; Father - Lee Henley; Wife - Blanche Winston Banks
5. Unnamed Child; Father - Lee Henley; Child died young
6. Unnamed Child; Father - Matt Williams; Child died young.
7. Unnamed Child; Father - Tom Greenley; Child died young.
8. Unnamed Child; Father - Calvin Nichols; Child died young.
Bertha said she was born five years after the surrender but census records indicate she was born about five to seven years before surrender between 1858-1865. She was the daughter of Henry and Beckie Welch, slaves of Dempsey Welch in Copiah County, MS.
Calvin Nichols married my 2nd great grandaunt Jennie Copeland.
Blanche Winston Banks Henley was my dad's half second cousin once removed.
Per the 1860 Copiah County Slave Schedule, Dempsey Welch owned 52 slaves.