Family Stories

Revolutionary War Pension Application of Jacob Seay and a Seay Family Sketch – Washington County

Today I share with you the Revolutionary War Pension Application of Jacob Seay.  Jacob was born in Amelia County, Virginia, and it was from there that his revolutionary war service began.  After the war Jacob brought his wife and family to Washington County, Kentucky.  Following the war pension information is a family sketch by James A. Seay, which was one of the articles in the Springfield newspapers by Orval W. Baylor.

State of Kentucky Washington County

On this 24th day of September 1832 personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the Washington County Court, now sitting, Jacob Seay, aged 74 years in December next, a resident citizen of the said County of Washington and State aforesaid, who being duly sworn according to law makes the following Declaration in order to obtain the provisions of the Act of Congress passed the 7th day of June 1832, that he entered the service of the United States as followeth (to wit).

In the first as a private drafted militia man from the County of Amelia and State of Virginia, under Captain Craddock bound for a place called Williamsburg on the James River if I mistake not, I am not certain who said Craddock’s under officers were.  Our route was starting from Amelia Courthouse, then through the town of Petersburg on the Appomattox River from thence to Monroe Jersey on James River and from thence to the mouth of a stream called Chickahominy on said James River, stopping some time at each of the above-named places and after remaining some time at the last-named place (Chickahominy), there an Express met us and we were all discharged.  I being on this tour from home about six weeks to the best of my recollection.  The above tour was performed in 1777 or 1778 I believe.

Then again in one fifth of the above named year I marched again as above, as a drafted militia soldier under Captain Booker of said State of Virginia and County of Amelia, setting out as above from Amelia Courthouse, thence to Petersburg, and stopping for some time at a place just below, called Blandford Church, from thence moving slowly from place to place, stopping sometimes at each place until at length we arrived at Munns Ferry on James River, where we remained at least three weeks, at which place we were discharged.  If I am not mistaken, I was from home this tour eight weeks.

Then again on my third tour I started again as a drafted militia soldier from the County of Amelia and State of Virginia and left home on the 10th day of January 1781, under Captain Crawley, bound for a place low down in Virginia on James River called Portsmouth which place the traitor Arnold occupied that winter as a British commander.  It was the same winter that Morgan defeated Tarlton at the Cowpens.  Our route in this tour was from the aforesaid County of Amelia to Chesterfield County where we were arrived near which place Captain Crawley left and returned home and we were then put under a Captain Holmes and we were drafted from said Chesterfield Courthouse

by said Captain Homer and two Continental field Officers as I believe to a place called Suffolk, a small town on the Maney Sound River in the vicinity of Portsmouth.  In the neighborhood of which place we spent the winter.  Our further route in this tour was from the before named place Chesterfield Courthouse to the town of Petersburg, from there taking a road down James River on the south side there of passing a place called Cabin Point and another called Smithfield to the aforesaid neighborhood and town of Suffolk.  After getting then some short time the afore said Captain Holmes left us and our company was then dissolved and myself and several men were put under a Captain Allen from Cumberland County, Virginia, and Sergeant Samuel Overton, with several other of our men were put under a Captain Haskins, from Cumberland County and State of Virginia.  Also, I can’t say certainly what became of the Colonel.  Our Brigadier General in the first part of this tour was Robert Lawson, at length he went to the south and joined General Green’s army, and after the General Muhlenberg was our Brigadier Commander and if I am not wrongly informed the Baron Steuben was our commander in chief.  Our two field officers above named who conducted us from Chesterfield Courthouse was a Col. Downman and a Major Edmundson.  From this town I was discharged the eleventh day of April, and ten days to get home in, make this tour three months and ten days.

On my returning home the same year some time in the month of June I believe I engaged with a McFord an undertake of the public buildings at the Point of Fork lying in Virginia between the south and north Forks of James River.  The aforesaid buildings was for an armory, store houses, blacksmith and tailors shops and for accessors of various and ? to work in, at which place I continued to work for at least two years, the quality instrument that took me there was that it was considered a military establishment as all the work men that was engaged there was conscripted from militia duty while there, which includes me to believe it will be considered as military duty and such as will entitle such as did work there at that time to the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed the 7th June 1832.  As further proof of its being a military establishment as soon as the building was made fit to receive munitions of war there was brought there a quantity of arms to the amount of at least 5,000 and vast stores of ammunition of various descriptions and about 20 tailors under a Continental Captain Payton, besides blacksmiths and other artisans to repair, clean and keep the arms in order, likewise Company who was together names of Overton and Hamilton who issued

at least 100 rations per day and I believe the whole of the business carried on these of every description, was carried on under a contract made by and with Col. Davis who was Commissioner of the War Office for the State of Virginia as I was informed.

In answer to the interrogation to be propounded to all applicants I answer this.  I was born in the year 1758.  I have a record of my age and then was kept in my father’s house.  When I was called in to the service I lived in the County of Amelia, State of Virginia, and I now live in Washington County and State of Kentucky.  I was always drafted into service and I never had a written discharge.  I never was a substitute, I have, in this declaration stated several officers, both Continental and militia and I don’t remember the number of army or the Regiments I served in.  I am in hopes there will be some record evident found to set me right should I have made any mistake through lack of memory.  If I have made no mistake in my first tour I served six weeks, in my next served eight weeks and in my last three months and ten days which makes the whole six months and eighteen days and two years sevred at the Point of Fork.  The affidavits herewith transmitted will more fully prove the above statements.

I lastly state that I have no documentary evidence of my services and I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that my name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Jacob Seay

We, Barnabas McHenry, Clergyman, and Samuel Grundy, residing in the State of Kentucky and County of Washington, do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Jacob Seay, who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe he will be 74 years old as entered, that he was 15 or 20 years Mayor and two years high Sheriff in the aforesaid county, all of which services I believe he faithfully performed and that we believe him to be a truthful, honest man and state he is respected and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and we concur in that opinion.

Barnabas McHenry, Samuel Grundy

State of Kentucky, Washington County

On this 24th day of September 1823, personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the Washington County Court, now setting, Samuel Overton, a resident citizen of the said County of Washington and State aforesaid, who being duly sworn according to law,, states and says himself and Jacob Seay, Esquire, was raised children together, near neighbors in the County of Amelia and State of Virginia and from these size said Overton is certain said Seay must be two years older then himself, besides which we, the said Seay and Overton, have had frequent conversations about the ages which induces said Overton to believe that said Seay is 74 years old same time this year.  Respectfully said Seay’s two first tours of duty performed and named in his declaration, firmly remembers such tours being performed and well remembers Captain Booker being at Musus (?) Ferry on James River on a tour of duty as I saw him there myself and if I mistake not the aforesaid Seay with him, said Seay’s three month and ten days tour named in his declaration wherein he set out from home on the 10th of January and was discharged the 11th day of April 1781, also his statement made in said declaration respecting his working at the Point of Fork, I know both of said statements to be true, respecting his time of services in starting and returning in the three months tour and with him at the Point of Fork at least twenty-two months at said place, which lacks only two months of two years, which is agreeable to his war statement.  I also state and know that said Seay acted as a Mayor in the County of Washington and State of Kentucky at least 14 years and two years as High Sheriff and from good information and my own knowledge of him I believe he has faithfully discharged his duties and that he is a truthful, honest man.  I make this statement in reference to his declaration, I having particularly and nicely examined the same.

Samuel Overton

Jacob Seay received $20.88 per year for his revolutionary war service. Today that amount would $664.20.

A Short Sketch of the Seay Family

By James A. Seay

Editorial Note:  The following brief sketch of the Seay Family written by James A. Seay in 1906, has lately come into our hands.  This family, headed by Jacob Seay, a Revolutionary Soldier, a Justice of the Peace and prominent pioneer resident of Washington County, was long identified with the history of the county.  We publish the sketch without revision, as James A. Seay wrote it thirty years ago for his son, Dr. E. V. Seay of Salvisa, Kentucky.

To All Whom It May Concern

The writer James A. Seay desires to leave with his children after he may be dead, a little history of the Seay Family that left the State of Virginia about the year of 1790 and went to the four winds, as it were.

There were six brothers who agreed among themselves that they would all leave Virginia and settle in different States never to meet again.  This they did about the year 1790.  My great-grandfather, Jacob Seay, one of the six brothers, came to the state of Kentucky and settled in Washington County, two miles west of Springfield on the Bardstown Road.  He bought lands, built good houses, owned slaves (one lived to be one hundred and thirty years old) reared a family consisting of six boys and two girls.  Their names are as follows:  John, Barnett, Booker, William, Austin, Nancy and Betsy.

Betsy married Reuben Mock, a gunsmith by trade.  Nancy married a man by the name of Dean, and she and husband and brother Barnett moved to Graves County, Kentucky, in an early day before there were any steam boats or railroads in Kentucky.  They went down the Ohio River on a flat bottom boats.  John moved to the State of Indiana and reared a family.  Booker, William, Austin and Richard all died in Washington County, Kentucky.

My grandfather Jacob Seay, was a very healthy man, he lived to ninety-two years old.  He served in the Revolutionary War with Great Britain and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis [which we know is not true].  He never belonged to any church but was an honest, truthful and upright man in all his dealings.  The land he owned and reared his family on, lies between the Bardstown Road and Cartwright Creek and is now owned by the sisters of Charity or nuns.  The maiden name of my grandmother, wife of Jacob Seay, is not known to the writer.  She lived to a good old age and was baptized three days before her death by a Christian preacher.  They were both buried in the old burying ground near their old home, but the tombstones that marked their sleeping place have long since been broken down and now nothing marks the place.

My grandfather on my grandmother’s side was Phillip Mattingly.  He lived in Washington County, Kentucky, and built the first flour mill at Beechland, then known as Poortown.  He also dug a race one and a half miles long to furnish water to run his mill which cost him a large sum of money.  His mill has passed through the hands of several men since his day (to wit) Jimmie Ryan, Samuel Reding, Evan Rogers, Samuel Vanarsdall and others.  Parts of the old mill and the race still remain and furnishes bread for the people of the place.

My grandmother’s name, wife of Phillip Mattingly, was Yeager, daughter of Cornelius Yeager.  My father Austin Seay and Rosa Mattingly were married in the year of 1841.  To this marriage was born nine children, five girls and four boys.  Their names are as follow:  James A., William, Mary, Ann, Hettie, Booker, Steven, Mattie and Sudia.  William was killed by the fall of an old dead tree when four years old.

My father, Austin Seay, never belonged to any church, but loved to read the Bible, loved truth and was honest to the letter.  My mother Rosa Seay, belonged to the Catholic Church and reared eight children out of nine in that faith, the writer of this sketch being the exception who joined the Christian Church in a grove near the noted Tatum Springs on Chaplin River in the year 1860 and was baptized in Glens Creek by one Preacher Price, about three hundred yards from its mouth.  My mother’s people all left Washington County in the year 1848 and settled in Lincoln County, Missouri.  My father died August 29, 1872.  My mother died in the year 1879.  He was buried at Willisburg, Kentucky, and she at St. Rose in the Catholic Cemetery.

James A. Seay, son of Austin and Rosa Seay, was born near Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky, March 2, 1842, was reared on a farm near Willisburg, Kentucky.  Served in the War between the States.  Married December 10, 1863, to Sarah Mayes, daughter of James and Elizabeth Mayes.  To this marriage was born seven children (to wit) William M., James B., Stephen M., Ezra V., John H., the other two died in infancy.  Sarah J. Seay, the mother of these children died September 5, 1880, and is buried at Willisburg, Kentucky.  On October 16, 1881, J. A. Seay was married to Nancy A. Mayes, sister of the first wife.  To this marriage was born five children (to wit) Asa F., Effie M., Herbert P., Ollie and Hettie.  Nancy A. Seay, the mother of these children, died March 23, 1894.  On December 10, 1894, J. A. Seay was married to Paralee Mayes, sister of the two former wives.  To this marriage was born four children, one dying in infancy, the others are as follows, Austin L., Harold Thomas and Maurice.

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