Tag Archives: Bennett Greenwell

Bennett Greenwell Revolutionary War Pension Application

Sacred to the memory of Bennett Greenwell, born December 7, 1761, died July 12, 1838, aged 77 years.  ‘May he rest in peace.’  Revolutionary Soldier, Bennett Greenwell, 1777-1781, placed by Lady Washington Chapter, DAR, Houston, Texas.  St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, Scott County, Kentucky.

Bennett Greenwell, a citizen of Scott County, Kentucky, was born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, in 1761, and served his country during the American Revolution years of 1777 to the close of the war in 1781.

During those years, at the age of 16-21, he risked his life guarding a portion of the Maryland coast along the Potomac River – from Poplar Hill Creek to Flood’s Creek (notated in purple in the middle of the photo).  He kept horses at the ready to take expresses of information to those troops nearby.  The British gun vessel Roebuck was very detrimental to American navy ships, so it was important to know its location.  I could not find information on the Foy, but Mr. Greenwell’s spelling of its name may not have been correct.  This was the most interesting revolutionary account by a pensioner that I have read.

State of Kentucky, Franklin County

On this 6th day of February 1833, personally appeared before the Honorable Samuel Todd, sole Judge of the Franklin Circuit Court, now in session in the capital in Frankfort, Bennett Greenwell, a resident of the County of Scott and State of Kentucky, aged seventy-one 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 June the 7th 1832.

That he entered the service of the United States and served as herein stated:

That, on the 8th day of December 1777, he entered the service of the United States as a volunteer, in Captain John Greenwell’s company of volunteer militia, who acted as

minute men in the Maryland Militia, that Captain John Greenwell, with his company, was engaged from December 1777, until the close of the Revolutionary War, in guarding that part of Maryland, which lies between the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers on the Chesapeake Bay; that the said Bennet Greenwell was stationed, by Captain John Greenwell, on that part of the Potomac which lies between Poplar Hill Creek and Flood’s Creek, being about two miles on said river; that the duty assigned to him was to guard that portion of the Potomac, keep a good lookout for the British rebels and give immediate notice to Captain John Greenwell’s company of militia, or to Captain Shelton’s company of light horse, or to any other troops that might be nearest to his station when it should become necessary for him to give the alarm; that he kept two horses constantly in the stable, to be always ready to carry the expresses

during the whole of the time he was in the service, which was from the 8th of December 1777 until the close of the war, in October 1781; that he frequently carried expresses during the period intervened between December 1777 and October 1781; that whilst he as engaged in watching the Potomac and carrying expresses as aforesaid, several British vessels sailed up the Potomac and committed depredations on the inhabitants upon the Maryland shore, that he recollects particularly two British 174 gun vessels, the Roebuck and the Foy, which frequently sailed up the Potomac, that on one occasion they burnt the house of Hubert Blackstone at the mouth of Clement’s Bay (the other purple line), which empties in to the Potomac at Blackstone’s Island (the green island circled) and the crew took a great many beeves and nails from the island; at another time they burnt William Gwider’s house at Piney Point neck (circled bottom right); that on all of these occasions he carried his expresses to the nearest company to his said station; several of these expresses were carried to Captain John Greenwell,

several to Captain Charles Shelton, who commanded the light horse; several to Bennet Raighly, the lieutenant in said troop of horse and several to Bennett Coombs, the lieutenant of Captain John Greenwell’s company of volunteer militia.  During the whole of the period from December 1777 until the close of the war, as aforesaid, he was engaged as one of Captain Greenwell’s company, and by his orders, in watching the two miles on the Potomac and in all necessary occasions carrying expresses.  He further states that he never received any written discharge from the service; but that after the news was received of the capture of Cornwallis, Captain John Greenwell, who was his relative, told him that the war was over and that he was discharged.  He has no documentary evidence and knows of no person by whom he can positively prove the aforesaid services, except William Fenwick of Franklin County, Kentucky, who is about seventy-five years of age; whose testimony he will attach to this statement.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or

annuity, except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency of the United States.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Bennett Greenwell

Questions put to the applicant by the Court:

Where and in what year were you born?  Answer, I was born in the County of St. Mary in the State of Maryland on the 7th day of December 1761.

Have you any record of your age and if so where is it?  Answer, I have none, but my father had which was in the possession of my brother Joseph in 1810 when I was last in Maryland, and I then took a copy from it, which I have examined and know it to be as stated above.

Where were you living when called into the service?  Where have you lived since the revolution?  And where do you now live?  Answer, I lived when called into the service in St. Mary’s County in Maryland, where I resided until 1795, when I moved to Kentucky and settled on the

waters of Elkhorn in Scott County, Kentucky, where I have resided ever since.

How were you called into the service?  Were you drafted?  Or did you volunteer?  Or were you a substitute and, if so, for whom?  Answer, I volunteered.

State the names of some of the regular officers, who were with the troops where you served; such continental and militia regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your service.  Answer, there were no regular officers with the troops where I served and no regiments wither of continental troops or militia.  The only troops where I served were the light horse cavalry, and volunteers or militia, to act as light troops, to fly from point to point, as occasion might require, to repel the predatory invasions from the British shipping along the Maryland shore of the Chesapeake Bay, between the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers, and also along the Maryland shore of both those rivers.

Did you ever receive a discharge for the service, and if so, by whom was it given and what has become of it?  Answer, I never received any other discharge than a verbal one from Captain John Greenwell

at the close of the war.

State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood, and who can testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of your services as a soldier of the revolution.  Answer, I am well acquainted with Col. Richard M. Johnson, who is now in congress; I am acquainted with Mr. William Fenwick, who can testify as to my service as a soldier in the revolution, and with Mr. Samuel P. Weisiger, Major J. J. Belt, Stephen Fenwick and many others who can testify as to my character for veracity.

We, William Fenwick, Joseph J. Belt, Stephen Fenwick and Joseph Smith, citizens residing in the county of Franklin and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Bennett Greenwell, who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration; that we believe him to be seventy-one years of age; that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution, and that we

concur in that opinion.

Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

William Fenwick, J. Smith, Joseph J. Belt, Stephen Fenwick

And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion after the investigation of the matter and putting the interrogations prescribed by the War Department; that the above named applicant, was a revolutionary soldier and served as he stated, and the Court further certifies that it appears to them that William Fenwick, Joseph Smith, Joseph Belt and Stephen Fenwick, who have signed the preceding certificate are residents of the County of Franklin and state aforesaid, and as credible persons and that their statement is entitled to credit.

State of Kentucky, Franklin County

I, Philip Sargent, clerk of the Franklin Circuit Court, in the State of Kentucky, do certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the said Court in the matter of the application of Bennet Greenwell for a pension.

In testimony whereof, I have hereto set my hand as clerk and affixed the seal of said Court this 6th day of February 1833.

Philip Sargent.

Bennett Greenwell received a pension of $40 per year for his military service during the Revolutionary War.

2017 Maryland to Kentucky and Beyond Genealogy Conference

How many of you have ancestors that moved to Kentucky from Maryland during the 1785-1810 immigration of families to the counties of Washington, Marion and Nelson – and, also, Scott County and Breckinridge County, as I have recently discovered?  Are you attending the 2017 Maryland to Kentucky and Beyond, Genealogy Conference in Owensboro, Kentucky, next weekend?  Ritchey and I will be there!  We will be in the vendor section, talking about genealogy and selling my CDs to those who are interested.

Holy Cross Catholic Church

In 1785 sixty families gathered in the Pottinger’s Creek area of Washington County (later to become Marion County).  Basil Hayden, Clement Johnson, Joseph Clark, James Dant, Philip Miles, among others, were those early settlers.  Holy Cross Church is the oldest Catholic church west of the Allegheny Mountains, built in 1792.

St. Charles Catholic Church

Some of these groups of families settled along Hardin’s Creek in 1786, worshiped in the home of Henry Hagan, until the first church was built in 1806 – my home parish of St. Charles Church located in St. Mary’s in Marion County, originally Washington County.  John Lancaster, James Elder, William and Andrew Mudd, Thomas and Ignatius Medley, Bennett Rhodes, and others made this area their home – and many of their descendants still live there today.

St. Francis Catholic Church

Also in 1786, a group of Maryland settlers intended to share the Pottinger’s Creek settlement.  They took flatboats down the Ohio River and landed at Maysville, known as Limestone at that time.  They found such beautiful land east of the river, in what was Woodford Count, later Scott, they decided to travel no further.  The first church was built in 1794, St. Francis.  It is the second oldest parish in the state.  The present church was built in 1820 at a cost of $3,600.  Names of those early settlers were Jenkins, Gough, Leak, Combs, Tarleton, Worland, Greenwell, and James.

St. Rose Catholic Church

In 1787 Philip Miles, Thomas Hill, Henry Cambron, Joseph and James Carrico, Thomas Hamilton, Basil Montgomery, many members of the Smith family, and others came to Cartwright’s Creek.  In 1798, they built a church known as St. Ann’s – and this is where many of the older members are buried.  The church was abandoned once St. Rose Church was built in 1806.  There is nothing in the field where St. Ann’s Church and Cemetery used to be.  This is the area most of my ancestors settled in – Montgomery, Carrico, Dillehay, Smith, Cambron and others – lived from those very early days until my grandmother died in 1986.  Such a rich heritage concentrated in one county – since my father’s ancestors also lived in Washington County from 1860.

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church

The Rolling Fork settlement – today in Calvary, Marion County – was established in 1798.  Leonard Hamilton, Robert Abell, Clement and Ignatius Buckman, John Raley and others left their marks here.  Ignatius Buckman was killed by Indians and was the first buried where Holy Name of Mary Cemetery is now.  The older portion of the cemetery is on a small knoll, at the back of the church.  The newer portion is across the small road that leads back to the cemetery, a nice, flat area with many gravestones.

Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral

Captain James Rapier, with his sons Charles and William, settled on southeast of what is now Bardstown, on Beach Fork of Salt River (Poplar Neck).  A few years later Thomas Gwynn, Anthony Sanders and Nehemiah Webb (originally a Quaker) settled close by.  The home of Thomas Gwynn, now the site of the Nazareth Community of the Sisters of Charity, was used for church services until St. Joseph Church was built in 1798 in what is now St. Joseph Cemetery.  The cathedral was built in 1816.  McManus, Reynolds, Howard, Lancaster, members of the Hayden family and William McQuown were early settlers.  Thomas Howard lived in the vicinity where St. Thomas Church is now located.  His home was used for church, and in 1810 he willed the farm to the church.    In 1812 St. Thomas Church was established.  Many old settlers are buried in this cemetery.

St. Thomas Catholic Church

The Cox’s Creek settlement in Nelson County was begun about 1792.  Some of my ancestors came to this area – Gardiner, Elder, Montgomery – along with Thomas Higdon, Richard Jarboe, Valentine Thompson, Hezekiah Luckett and Charles Wathen.  This is the oldest parish in Nelson County, located in Fairfield.  Unfortunately we have not visited this church and cemetery.

The County of Breckinridge was formed in 1799, but eight years previously, when a portion of Hardin County, it was settled by Leonard Wheatley, and soon followed by Richard Mattingly, Elias Rhodes, Barton Mattingly, Ignatius Coomes, William McGary and others.  Richard Mattingly’s house was used as a church until 1811, when St. Anthony was built.  Just found out about the Breckinridge settlement during my research – another to add to our list to visit!

There are many more settlers who came from Maryland to Kentucky in those early years.  It would be impossible to name them all.  This conference first began in 1990 when it was held at Nazareth, Kentucky.  In 1992, it was held in St. Mary’s at St. Charles Church; in 1994 in Cape Girardeau, Perry County, Missouri; and back in 1996 at St. Charles – the first time Ritchey and I attended.  In 1998, Owensboro, Kentucky, was the location, and we attended again.  In 2000 the gathering was held at Leonardtown, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  2002 found the conference at St. Catharine Motherhouse in Washington County, which we attended; 2004 in Hannibal, Missouri.  2008 at the St. Thomas Farm in Bardstown; back in Leonardtown in 2010.  The last reunion was held at St. Catharine College in Washington County in 2014 – which was my first time to attend as a vendor.  This has been such a wonderful group of people!  I’ve made so many friends and found much information for my families!  If you have any family members that originated from Maryland, especially the counties of Charles, St. Mary and Prince Edward, you may want to come.  Perhaps I will see you there?

A Visit to St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery in Scott County

Saturday Ritchey and I visited the beautiful St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery in Scott County, Kentucky.  It was an absolutely beautiful day, as you can see from the photos – deep blue skies, white fluffy clouds and lots of sunshine, but a moderate temperature of about 80 degrees.

The present church was built in 1820 at a cost of $3,600.  Doesn’t that sound amazing in today’s world?  This is the oldest parish in the Covington Diocese, and was a pioneer mission for East Kentucky.  The parish, second oldest in the state, was formed by Maryland settlers who arrived in 1786; the first church was built about 1794.

The cemetery is across the road from the church – small, but very beautiful.  Trees and several benches give visitors the chance to sit and enjoy the cool breeze while contemplating all those who have gone before.

I was amazed at how old the stones are – there are several Revolutionary War soldiers buried here.  I share with you today seven gravestones representing some of the oldest people buried in this cemetery.

Sacred to the memory of Bennett Greenwell, born December 7, 1761, died July 12, 1838, aged 77 years.  Revolutionary War soldier.

Sacred to the memory of Allouisa Gough Greenwell, consort of Bennett Greenwell, born November 28, 1784, died May 8, 1842, aged 58 years.

In memory of Mrs. Matilda Combs, consort of James Combs, born 28th January 1788, and departed this life 8th February 1839, aged 51 years and 11 days.

James Combs, born August 7, 1772, died April 13, 1852.

Sacred to the memory of John B. Gough, who was born February 29th, 1767, and departed this life February 19th, 1839, aged 72 years.

Sacred in memory of James Twyman, born June 17, 1761, died February 22, 1834, aged 73 years.  Revolutionary War soldier, orderly, sergeant, guard and Indian spy, Virginia.

Elizabeth Jenkins, born June 25, 1785, died November 9, 1862, aged 77 years.