Family Stories

Thomas Allin Revolutionary War Pension – Mercer County

I have written many posts about Thomas Allin, early settler of Kentucky and first County Clerk for Mercer County.  He is rather like a good friend.  I knew he was a participant in the Revolutionary War, but was unaware of the significant role he played during the war and after his move to Kentucky.  The following is his statement for a pension for his service during the war.  Thomas was born in Hanover County, Virginia, and moved with his parents, at an early age, to Granville County, North Carolina.  It was at this place he joined the Revolutionary troops and played his part in the drama that was to unfold.

State of Kentucky

Mercer County

On this 11th day of October 1832, personally appeared in open court before the Judge of the Circuit Court for the county of Mercer, now sitting Thomas Allin, a resident citizen of said county and state aged 75 years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed the 7th day of June 1832.  I, Thomas Allin, do hereby solemnly declare that my present age is 75 years and that I was born in the county of Hanover in the state of Virginia, from which place at an early age my father removed to the county of Granville in the state of North Carolina where I resided.  When the war of the revolution commenced and I was called into the service of my country, which was as follows, viz., about the 27th day of February 1776, I volunteered in Capt. Jesse Saunders company of North Carolina Militia in the regiment commanded by Col. Joseph Taylor, for the purpose of suppressing the Tories who had embodied themselves under a Col. McDonald (his troops were Highland Scotch as I was informed).  We joined Gen. Martin at Cross Creek (now Fayetteville) and Governor Caldwell who commanded another division of the militia, having met with the Tories at Moon Bridge below us and having defeated them and their commander having fallen, we aided in guarding prisoners and having performed a time of six weeks in two months I was honorably discharged.

Again, early in the fall of 1779, I was attached to Col Robert Benton’s regiment, who had the command of the Revolution department under a law of North Carolina, and I was appointed Issuing Commissary and Forge Master at Harrisburg in Granville County where I performed the aforesaid duty for nine months at least, and again in the fall of 1780, Col. Harrisons regiment, having assembled at Hillsborough for the purpose of stopping the progress

Of Lord Cornwallis in his march through North Carolina.  I was attached to General Morrison’s regiment as issuing commissary and marched with said regiment until we joined General Davidson by whom I was appointed Bridge Forage Master – between Salisbury and Catawba River, and we continued the march to Catawba River where we met the army of Lord Cornwallis, here General Davidson was killed and Col. Harrison succeeded to General Davidson.  We were pursued by Cornwallis across the Dan River into Virginia.  This was in the fall of 1780, after the Battle of Camden and General Green had the command of the Southern army and in our retreat fell in with General Green at Guilford Court House.  This was late in October or November 1780, and continued our retreat into the State of Virginia and I continued to act as Brigade Forage Master until February 1781, when my time being about to expire, which was six months, I then volunteered in a troop of horses commanded by Capt. William Thomas and we were attached to a regiment by mounted men commanded by Col. Malmedy, a French officer, when I was sent into Capt. Globash’s company and again united with Green in pursuit of Lord Cornwallis and my company was sent in detachment south of Guilford Court House in order to intercept the Tories in their intercourse with Lord Cornwallis’ army at the time the Battle of Guilford was fought and we were within hearing of the battle, and after the Battle of Guilford, General Green sent my regiment to harass Cornwallis in his retreat.  We overtook his troops at Barney’s Mill on Deep River where we took several prisoners and we continued to harass Cornwallis’ army until he reached Wilmington in North Carolina and I was then discharged, having performed two months tour in Capt. Globach’s company of troops, but I had scarcely got home when an alarm prevailed that Lord Cornwallis was again advancing

Toward Virginia and was about to cross the Roanoke.  I again volunteered and rendezvoused under Col. Burton at Williamsborough in Granville County to intercept Lord Cornwallis’ march, but when we rendezvoused, we were told that Cornwallis had already crossed the Roanoke and I was discharged.  And I was immediately sent by the Governor of North Carolina at the instance of Col. Burton as an express to Gen. Green’s army, who I overtook the same day.  He laid siege to ninety-six which was on or about the 22nd day of May 1781.  Soon after this I removed to Kentucky which was early in the fall 1781 and after Gen. Washington had laid siege to Cornwallis at York.  I came to the county where I now reside (then Lincoln County) and again in August 1782 I volunteered under Col. Benjamin Logan in Capt. John Irvine’s company and was appointed commissary by Col. Logan in order to relieve Bryant’s Station, but we only arrived in time to bury the dead after the Battle of Blue Licks.  Col. Logan soon after marched with Gen. Clark on an expedition against the Indians on the Miami and I was appointed Quarter Master to his regiment and performed this duty the whole campaign, having destroyed several Indian towns in the big Miami.  In this service we were engaged in a tour of about three months of fastfull? And orders serving – having thus performed about fifteen months of service of Commissary and Forage Master and about three months as Quarter Master with Col. Logan and upward of three months in Capt. Saunders’sbury’s company and in the mounted troops of Capt. Globch’s, besides one month as Express, having acted as a staff officer aforesaid as I have stated.  I further state that I have no documentary evidence of my age or services, having long time lost or mislaid my discharges and commissions, and I do not know of any person alive by whom I can prove my services in North Carolina and Virginia except Garret Allin of Tennessee and my services in this county by Gen. James Ray.

I further relinquish all claim which I have to any other pension or annuity except the present and I am not now a pensioner of the United States or of any state, witness my hand this 11 day of October 1832.

Thomas Allin

Mercer County

We the undersigned, Jesse Head, a clergyman residing in the said county and Beriah Magoffin and Samuel Daviess, residing in the same county, do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Mr. Thomas Allin, the said subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe he is of the age he has stated, and that he is reputed and beloved in the neighborhood in which he resides, to have been a soldier of the Revolution and we concur in this opinion or further state that said Allin is a respectable citizen and a man of veracity in whom we have full confidence.  Witness our hands this 11th day of October 1832.

Jesse Head, Beriah Magoffin, Sr., Samuel Daviess   

State of Kentucky, Mercer County                     September Term 1832

This day Thomas Allin, the subscriber to the foregoing declaration and also Jesse Head, Beriah Magoffin, Sr., and Samuel Daviess, the subscribers to the foregoing certificate came into open court and personally made oath to the truth of the statement in written by them severally subscribed.  And thereupon the said Mercer County Court hereby declares it took their opinion after the investigation of the matter, and after pulling the interrogation presented by the War department that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary Soldier and served as he states.  And the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Jesse Head, who has signed the presiding certificate, is a clergyman, resident in the County of Mercer and that Beriah Magoffin, Sr., and Samuel Daviess, who have also signed the same are residents of Mercer County, town of Harrodsburg, and are credible persons and that their statements are entitled to proof.  And I, Philip T. Allin, clerk of Mercer Court, Clerk of Mercer County, do hereby certify that the foregoing contain the original recordings of the Court.  As in the matter of the application of Thomas Allin for a pension.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office this 11th day of October 1832 and in the 41st year of the Commonwealth.

Phil T. Allin



Thomas Allin of Mercer in the State of Kentucky who was a Private Quarter Master in the company commanded by Captain Sanders of the Regiment commanded by Col. Taylor in the North Carolina Line for 1 month private, 2 months in Cavalry, 13.5 months Forage Master, 3 months Quarter Master.

Inscribed on the Roll of Kentucky at the rate of 186 Dollars 66 Cents per annum, to commence on the 4th day of March, 1831.

Certificate of Pension issued 15 day of January 1833 and sent to Hon. R. M. Johnson, House of Representatives.

Arrears to 4th of Sept 1832                              $297.99

Semi-annual allowance ending 4 Mar 1833     93.33


Revolutionary Claim, Act June 7, 1832

Recorded by Nathan Rice, Clerk, pk D, vol. 9, page 29

$186.66 in 1832 would be worth $5,796.31 today.

Thomas did not live long to enjoy his pension. 

He died of cholera June 26, 1833. 

His wife, Mary Mourning Jouett Allin, died two days later on the 28th.  They are buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg. I took this photo of their gravestones in 2019.  After almost 200 years part of the engraving is unreadable. 

Other posts about Thomas Allin –

6 replies »

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am from Missouri and was in KY searching for my McCarty clan. I found all kinds of records that Thomas Allen signed and witnessed. It is really cool to know more about him. Sure wish I could find something like this for my William James McCarty. I ended up being able to follow him to about a death date, but could not find any exact record of his death of when and where. Thanks again. I love your blog!

  2. This is my 4th great grandfather! My middle name is Allin. So interesting to read about him. Thanks.

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