Archive:Mexican War Pension File, Roland R. Whitney
From the Mexican War Pension File of Roland R. (Rollino Ruva) Whitney
Invalid's Application #10677, Application Rejected
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
On 19 Mar 1887 from New Orleans Co., LA, Roland Rudolph Whitney signed a Claim of a Survivor of the Mexican War for Pension. He is sixty-nine years old and a resident of Madisonville, St. Tammany Parish, LA. He had served sixty days in the Naval Service in the war with Mexico. He had enlisted under the name Roland Rudolph Whitney as a carpenter on the steamer Alabama in the Louisiana Volunteer Service. He was afterwards transferred to the headquarters of General Taylor, where he served as a courier. He was wounded at the Battle of Buena Vista, and was discharged as a courier at New Orleans when General Taylor returned to that city. The only engagement in which he served was at the Battle of Buena Vista. After his discharge he resided for six years in the City of New Orleans, and since 1854 he has resided at Madisonville, LA. His discharge certificate was lost. He was married at Madisonville in 1854 to Eliza Nagle, who is now still living. He had received a land warrant. He was born at Dolmac, on the western islands in the Kingdom of Portugal. He is sixty-nine years old; 5 feet 10 inches in height; with a dark complexion, black eyes, gray hair, and is by occupation a carpenter. The claim was signed with his mark. This application may have been rejected for lack of evidence of his service, because he applied once again in 1888.
On 27 Aug 1888 Rollino Ruva Whitney signed a Declaration of Survivor for Pension, Mexican War. He had served as a carpenter in the mast department commanded by Captain Baker on the transport steamer Alabama. He enlisted at New Orleans on 12 Jul 1845 for the term of 12 months. He went from New Orleans to the Rio Grande, where he was detailed to land, where he worked on bridges. He acted as a courier in the Battle of Buena Vista, and was wounded in said battle. He is seventy-one years old, and was born at Portugal on 23 Nov 1817. He is disabled by a wound he received at the Battle of Buena Vista on 1 Aug 1845 while he was a courier bearing dispatches. His wife's maiden name is Mary Eliza Nagle, whom he married near Madisonville, LA, on 18 Oct 1855. She is presently living in Madisonville (Rollino provided her age as 48 years, which he crossed through because it was not needed.)
John Smith submitted a Survivor's Affidavit of Witness in support of Rollino's declaration from St. Tammany Parrish, LA. He has known Rollino Whitney for forty years. He testifies that Rollino Ruva Whitney served as previously described and received a wound to the right thigh at the Battle of Buena Vista. Rollino has told him this for many years in the past. He sees Rollino confined to his bed suffering from the effects of his thigh wound. Rollino is 70 to 71 years old, having been born in Portugal. Rollino has always told him since he has known him that he was born in Portugal.
Rollino Ruva (Roland R.) Whitney's application was rejected due to the fact that his service cannot be documented. Frequent calls for further data have been made and are unanswered. They can find no land warrant issued to him.
If one can believe what he says, Rollie was born to a Whitney family that goes back at least to the late 18th century in Portugal. I've never heard of a Whitney family branch in Portugal, but we seem to be in a lot of places, so why not Portugal? I would be interested in thoughts from anyone who cares to comment. It occurs to me that he may be the son of a seaman who fathered him in the Azores while on a voyage. For this one, the imagination can really take over.
1860 Census of Madisonville, St. Tammany Par., LA:
- R. Whitney, 37, male, carpenter, born Florida
- Mary Whitney, 20, female, born Florida
- Caroline Whitney, 3, female, born Louisiana
- May Whitney, 2, female, born Louisiana
1870 Census of Madisonville, St. Tammany Par., LA:
- Whitney, Rolly, 49, male, carpenter, born in Portugal, both parents foreign born, cannot read or write.
- Whitney, Eliza, 30, female, born Louisiana, both parents foreign born
- Whitney, Caroline, 14, female, born Louisiana
- Whitney, Eda, 11, female, born Louisiana
- Whitney, Coriphas, 4, female, born Louisiana
- Whitney, Rolly R., 9/12, male, born in Louisiana in Sept. of the preceding year.
- Billa, Joseph, 52, male, carpenter, born in Spain
- Fernanus, Joseph, 26, male, laborer, born in Spain
1880 Census of Madisonville, St. Tammany Par., LA:
- Whitney, Rollino, 62, male, Calker, b. in Portugal, parents both b. in Portugal
- Whitney, Eliza, 40, female, b. in Louisiana, both parents b. in Germany
- Whitney, Corifas, 15, daughter, servant, b. in Louisiana
- Whitney, Rodolphe, 11, son, b. in Louisiana