Israel Gilpin lived in Boone County, Kentucky, for at least part of his 94 years! He was born in Brandywine, Delaware, near Wilmington. Israel was a Revolutionary War soldier. From information from Washington, D.C. – “From papers in Revolutionary War pension claims, S4297, it appears that Israel Gilpin, a resident of New Castle County, Delaware, entered the service in the spring of 1776 and served 18 months as Captain in Colonel John McKinley’s Delaware Regiment and for 3 or 4 years as purchasing commission, with the grade of Colonel, and was in the Battle of Brandywine, which was fought on the farm on which then belonged to him. He was allowed pension on his application executed October 19, 1832, while a resident of Boone County, Kentucky, aged 92 years. He died July 4, 1834. It is not stated whether he was married.” How amazing that one of the major battles of the Revolutionary War was fought on his farm! Was his family in danger?
Israel married Elizabeth Hannum while still in Delaware, before the war, and long before their move to Kentucky. She died in Bourbon County in 1802. Perhaps on their way to Boone County?
It is interesting that Israel left his entire estate to daughter Nancy. Perhaps he had already made bequests to his other children, or it is possible he lived with Nancy and husband William Perkins, and left the estate for their care of him in his last days. William and Nancy Perkins are buried beside her father, Israel Gilpin. How fitting that Israel should die on July 4th – Independence Day – for which he fought for so many years! Eight years after Thomas Jefferson and John Adams!
Know all men by these presents that I, Israel Gilpin, being sound in mind, do make this my last will and testimony, by which I do declare that my daughter, Nancy, is to have all the property which I now possess, together with all that which I may hereafter own, or which may become my estate, to sell, bargain or dispose of as she may think proper. In testimony whereof I set my hand and seal this 1st day of January 1833.
Attest: William Perkins, Jr., James Perkins
This writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Israel Gilpin was this day produced in Court and proved by the oaths of William Perkins, Jr., and James Perkins, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded, whereupon the same is duly recorded in my office.
Attest, Wallis Graves, Clerk
Pause stranger, ere your wondering feet you turn and from the grave this lesson deign to learn. A soldier’s ashes, sleep beneath your feet, a patriot’s heart, once in his bosom beat. That freedom, which in youth he fought to gain, he leaves to thee to cherish and maintain. Placed October 25, 1964, by Boone County Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
This verse is also on Israel Gilpin’s gravestone. How hard those soldiers fought, how hard we must maintain that freedom and pass on to future generations!