Slogging through the 150 or so pages of Joe’s military pension file, a curious exchange appears. In 1913, as Joe struggled to have the government grant him a pension increase, he was tasked with proving his identity to the pension authority. To do this he turned to the Belonger family bible, the same bible, I believe, that’s still in the possession of sister Mary’s descendants.
I have in my possession the old family Bible which belonged to my mother. The front leaves are gone so it is impossible to tell the date of its publication, but I remember seeing it in our home as long ago as I can remember. I can also remember seeing the record of my birth therein as long as I can remember, but I do not know in whose hand the record was written.
Under the head of “Births” appears the following verbatim record, to wit: “Joseph Blonger borne the September 9th A.D. 1847”.
A mistake is shown in the spelling of my surname, it being Blonger instead of Belonger, which latter is correct.
Said record shows no indication of erasures or alterations.
The notary then chimes in to vouch for Joe and his description of the bible, and adds this:
The record of the pensioner’s birth is given verbatim. It is a strange circumstance that his sur-name is misspelled, while all the others, some eight all told are spelled correctly, Belonger, his being Blonger.