Gertrude Janeway

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Gertrude Janeway
Born Gertrude Grubb
(1909-07-03)July 3, 1909
Blaine, Tennessee
Died January 17, 2003(2003-01-17) (aged 93)
Blaine, Tennessee
Resting place New Corinth Cemetery
Blaine, Tennessee
Nationality American
Known for Last living widow of a Union soldier.
Spouse(s) John Janeway

Gertrude Janeway (July 3, 1909 – January 17, 2003) was one of the last surviving widows of a Union Civil War veteran.


Gertrude Grubb was born in Blaine, Tennessee, and was courted by John Janeway beginning when she was 16. Her mother, widowed when Gertrude was only 13, would not allow her to marry until she was 18. She married John Janeway, an officer in the 14th Illinois Cavalry, in 1927 when she was 18 and he 81. The marriage ceremony took place in the middle of a dirt road with family and friends in attendance.[1] They lived together in a log cabin in Blaine, Tennessee, until John Janeway's death in 1937.[2] She was a member of the Green Acres Missionary Baptist Church. Gertrude continued to live in the cabin for nearly 70 years after her husband's death. She received a $70 pension check for veterans' benefits from the government every two months until her death in 2003.

Pension Legacy[edit]

On April 9, 2011, The Economist commented on her as an example of the length of pension obligations:
"When Gertrude Janeway died in 2003, she was still getting a monthly check for $70 from the Veterans Administration—for a military pension earned by her late husband, John, on the Union side of the American Civil War that ended in 1865. The pair had married in 1927, when he was 81 and she was 18. The amount may have been modest but the entitlement spanned three centuries, illustrating just how long pension commitments can last."[3]

See also[edit]

  • Maudie Hopkins – last known Confederate war widow, died August 2008
  • Alberta Martin – one of the last known Confederate war widows, died 2004


  1. ^ a b "Gertrude Grubb Janeway (1909 - 2003) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  2. ^ "BBC NEWS | Americas | Last Yankee war widow dies". BBC News. January 20, 2003. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  3. ^ "Falling short | The Economist". April 7, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 

External links[edit]