Notes from the past…

Surname Saturday: Appling

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Appling English: patronymic from Abel, which was a popular Middle English personal name. Compare Aplin.

“Appling.” Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2006. Answers.com 02 Aug. 2009. http://www.answers.com/topic/appling-1

While the Applings are one of my more minor surnames (married into my major Stanley line), one Appling has been pretty interesting to me:

Dr Francis B Appling lived in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama during the Civil War and was loyal to the United States. Quite a dangerous position to take in Alabama at the time, I would think. I have several physician-ancestors from that time period, and all have served either as military surgeons or as civilian doctors contracted to treat sick or wounded soldiers. All except one: Francis B Appling. I have been able to find no evidence whatsoever of his involvement in the Civil War as a physician.

What is so interesting about Dr Appling is his legal fight with the Southern Claims Commission. His initial claim for the use of his mule by the United States Army, was for $150 and was disallowed in 1873. Dr Appling was apparently not impressed and in 1889 filed suit against the United States of America:

FraBAppling vsUSA4aFraBAppling vsUSA4b

29 years after his original claim was filed (and almost 2 years after he died!), on 27 May 1902, Under the General Claims Appropriation Act (the Bowman and Tucker Acts), authorized by the Court of Claims, Francis B Appling was allowed $130.

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