Tag Archives: Peter Huff

1844 Will of Cornelius C. Vanarsdall – Mercer County

The 12 of November 1803.  Sir, Please to grant Cornelius C. Vanarsdall license to marry my daughter, Catherine, as I have no objection from me.  Peter Huff.  To Thomas Allin Clerk of Mercer County.  Abraham Huff, Francis Waldrin.

Cornelius C. Vanarsdall is the son of Cornelius A. Vanarsdall and Janet Baird.  He married Catherine Huff, daughter of Peter Huff and Mary Brokaw, November 12, 1803, in Mercer County.  Both families were originally from New Jersey.  Both fathers were in the Revolutionary War.

Will Book 12, Page 171-172, Mercer County

I, Cornelius C. Vanarsdall, of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky, being at this time weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, calling to mind the mortality of all living do ordain and establish this instrument of writing as my last will and testament.

1st.  I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, trusting alone in my Redeemer for Salvation, and my body to be decently buried by my executors to be hereafter named.

2nd.  It is my will that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be paid out of debts due or sale of stock.

3rd.  It is my will that my wife remains in the use and occupancy of my farm and house during her natural life for the purpose of raising and educating my four youngest children and also retain all my household and kitchen furniture and as much of my farming utensils as she may need to keep in cultivation my farm and as my four youngest sons come of age severally they shall each receive three hundred dollars to be paid by my executors out of the proceeds of my farm If so much

if not out of my estate.

4th.  It is my further will that my executor shall sell all my stock of horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and other stock and personal property which may not be necessary to cultivate the farm and be necessary for food and milk for my family, to be selected at the discretion of my wife and the appraisers of my estate and out of the proceeds to pay my son, Thomas, one thousand dollars when he comes of age.

5th.  My blacks are to remain with my wife to help cultivate my farm or she may hire out any she chooses to help raise money to pay the above legacies.

6th.  In case any of my children should marry during the life of my wife she shall give each a bed and furniture, bureau, two cows and calves and sheep such as my other children who are married have received.

7th.  My three oldest sons, Abraham, Peter and Simon, have each received one thousand dollars which they aided in making which together with the three hundred dollars willed to my four youngest sons has allowed them over and above the equal division provided for in the next clause of this writing.

8th.  After the above legacies are provided for and after the decease of my wife, all my estate both real and personal, including blacks, are to be sold and equally divided between all my children, including grandchildren who are to take per stirpes their parents’ shares.  The land may be sold by my executors or the survivor or survivors of them in one or more tracts or such reasonable credit as they may choose and they or either of them are hereby authorized to convey the same in fee simple to the purchaser or purchasers as soon as paid for.

9th.  It is my wish and intention that my unmarried children shall live on my farm in my house with their mother as they have heretofore done and the household furniture, kitchen furniture and farming utensils, horses, cattle, hogs and sheep which may be necessary to cultivate the farm and furnish food for the family to be set apart by my wife and the appraisers, shall be in her hands to provide for my young unmarried children and aid in her support and help pay the legacies to my four youngest boys.

10th.  It is my wish that out of the proceeds of my farm, my wife and executors shall send my granddaughter, Kiturah, to school and clothe her until she is well educated, and I hereby desire that my son Abraham

shall attend to this business as her guardian.

11th.  I hereby appoint my sons Abraham and Peter my executors of this my last will and testament.  Witness my hand and seal this 7th day of September 1844.

Cornelius C. Vanarsdall

Signed, sealed and acknowledged in the presence of John A. Tomlinson, Thomas Clelland, Robert B. McAfee

Mercer County, October County Court 1844

The last will and testament of C. C. Vanarsdall, deceased, was this day produced into court and proved by the oaths of Thomas Clelland and Robert B. McAfee, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Attest.  Thomas Allin, C.C.

Revolutionary War Veteran Cornelius O. Vanarsdall Pension Papers

Old Mud Meeting House

The Old Mud Meeting House in Mercer County is one of only two log meeting houses to survive in Kentucky.  The Harrodsburg Historical Society has restored it to its former glory.  It is also the first Dutch Reformed Church west of the Alleghenies, built in 1800 from sturdy oak timbers with walls filled with mud mixed with straw and sticks.  It is located on Dry Branch Road off US68 south of Harrodsburg.

In the adjoining cemetery, surrounded by a rock wall, lie the bodies of thirty-one Revolutionary War veterans.  Most graves are graced with bronze markers, a few with regular gravestones, a few with both.  Fifty families came to Mercer County from Pennsylvania in 1791, many originally from New Jersey.

Today I would like to share a portion of the pension papers for Cornelius O. Vanarsdall – there are over one hundred total!  In his story Cornelius gives us a vivid picture of what life was like for the soldiers during the war.  At the beginning he was a spy.  Have you watched the series Turn?  Must have been much like that.  Later he had many duties including guarding prisoners, driving wagons and trying to keep the British from taking food and stock from the local citizens.  For a gentleman of seventy-four years his memory seems very good!  I checked dates, places and the men he served under – and everything checked out!

In her statement, which is not in this post, Cornelius’ wife, Elizabeth, swears they were married before the first day of January 1794.

State of Kentucky, Mercer County

On this 17th day of April 1834, personally appeared before me, Isaac Pearson, a Justice of the Peace, and one of the judges of the Mercer County Court, Cornelius O. Vanarsdall, a resident citizen of Mercer County, Kentucky, aged seventy-four 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 7th, 1832.

That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated:

That is the year 1776 he volunteered in Captain VanCleave’s Company and he was employed by Colonel Vroom and Major Baird, who commanded the New Jersey Militia when stationed in Sumerset County near Flagg’s old tavern, to act as a spy and give them all the intelligence he could obtain in relation to the British lines, their movements in which capacity he acted faithfully until the taking of the Hessians at Trenton, which was fully three months, he was always in the fullest confidence with the Jersey officers, in the service at many times he was in great danger and peril of his life, he thinks it was the day after the battle at Princeton, he knows it was about the first of January he thinks, 1777, he was detailed out of his uncle’s company, to wit, Captain Vancleave, to guard the lines on the Millstone River, and to keep back the cattle and prevent the enemy from plundering and foraging on the people.  Major Baird was our principal commander and a great one he was.  The enemy’s main army then lay in Brunswick and our army on the Millstone River, in this service he was actually engaged five months and a half, when he was discharged, again in the fall of the same year.  Captain Vancleave’s wagon was possessed by Major Maury, he thinks, of the 2nd Jersey Regiment, a driver was wanted, he immediately volunteered for the service and joined General Wagner’s army then station on the Raritan River, in this service he was actively engaged in conveying provision to the 2nd Regiment, hauling and procuring wood for the officers and soldiers

Until the spring of the year following, and God knows during this winter he had like to have freezed several times.  The army moved from this encampment in April and he was discharged.  This was a tour of ten months which he served faithfully.  Again he entered Captain Vancleave’s Company as a volunteer and joined the army under the command of Baron Steuban and General Winans, or some such name, at Springfield for a tour of three months.  This was after the battle at this place, he cannot recollect certainly the year, he thinks it was in 1780 during this tour, he was in frequent skirmishes when acting as piquit(?) guard.  He honorably discharged after having served his full tour by Captain VanCleave, again he served another tour, as a drafted soldier in Captain Swems Company from Sumerset County and marched to join General Wayne’s army, then at the North River.  We marched to a place called Pompton, when we received orders to halt.  When we were stationed for some time, we then marched to Morristown when we were delegated to guard the prison then stationed in the Morristown Meeting House.  We were stationed here for some time.  He knows he served his full tour and was honorably discharged, again he served another tour at Millstone when the courthouse was burnt.  This was a tour of one month guarding prisoners at this place.  He again joined Captain Lott’s Company for a full tour of three months and marched from Somerset County to the landing on the Raritan River above Brunswick where we were stationed for some time and discharged.  He served other tours several days at a time which he thinks unnecessary to mention.  He knows he was in actual service upwards of two years.  His general officers were Wayne, Steuband, Winans, Col. Vroom, Major Baird, Captain VanCleave, Swim, Lott and some others not recollected.  He has long since lost his discharges.  He hereby relinquished every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except this present and declared that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Cornelius O. Vanarsdall

The deposition of Cornelius A. Vanarsdall, who was a Lieutenant in the Army of the Revolution, aged eighty-five years, taken at the Clerk’s office in Mercer County, Kentucky, this 17th day of April 1834.  This deponent being first duly sworn states upon oath that he is well acquainted with Cornelius O. Vanarsdall, who has subscribed and sworn to the foregoing declaration that he knows him to be the identical man he represents himself to be, that he knows that he served faithfully in the War of the Revolution, he lived in the same county and state with him and served in the same army, but not all the tours with him, but he is fully satisfied that he served upwards of two years faithfully and further sayeth not.

Cornelius A. Vanarsdall

Also the deposition of Peter Huff and Lawrence Vanarsdall, both Revolutionary pensioners, taken at the same time and place and for the same purpose, both being duly sworn according to law, do upon oath, state that they are well acquainted with the said Cornelius Vanarsdall, who has subscribed and sworn to the foregoing deposition that they lived at the time of the Revolution in the State of New Jersey and near the county of Somerset and served in the same army with the said Cornelius O. Vanarsdall and know that he served as he states in his declaration.  They have long been intimately and well acquainted with the said Vanarsdall and know his to be a man of truth and further sayeth not.

Peter Huff

Lawrence Vanarsdall

Cornelius O. Vanarsdall further states that owing to his age and feebleness he is unable to attend the County Court for the purpose of swearing to his aforesaid declaration without difficulty and bodily pain and further sayeth not.

Cornelius O. Vanarsdall

Cornelius O. Vanarsdall, Continental Line, Revolutionary War, November 14, 1760 – February 24, 1843.  Old Mud Meeting House Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Cornelius O. Vanarsdall, Pvt. Col. Vroom’s NJ Regt, Revolutionary War, November 14, 1760 – February 24, 1843.  Spy.

Thomas Kyle – Minister and Revolutionary War Veteran

A few days ago I published some Mercer County marriage returns by a Rev. Thomas Kyle.  I have found that he was also a Revolutionary War soldier, and is buried in the Old Mud Cemetery, along with many other veterans.  Thomas Kyle was a son of James Kyle and Mary McArthur, of Pennsylvania.  At the young age of seventeen he joined the Revolutionary army and fought in many battles.  He came to Kentucky about 1800.  The following is his request for pension for his military service.

State of Kentucky – Mercer County Court

On this 6th day of May 1833 personally appeared in open court Thomas Kyle, Sr., a resident citizen and clergyman in Mercer County and State of Kentucky, aged seventy-five years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declarations in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832.

That he left home in July 1775, then in his seventeenth year, and entered the army at Bunker Hill and in a very short time thereafter we fought the battle, this was his own voluntary act, he belongs to no particular detachment in this battle, he then remained with the main army until the Battle of Long Island when I became detached to General Putnam and rode as an express for him until the Battle of White Springs, after which we were driven out of the York State and through the Jersey State across the Delaware into Pennsylvania, when we received reinforcements and re-crossed the Delaware and came up with the Hessians at Trenton and defeated them with dreadful loss, and in a few days after we defeated the British at Princeton from which place we marched to Kingston and tore up the bridge and got to Somerset that night and the next morning we drew rations the first that we had got for three days.  General Washington then went into winter quarters with the main army at Morristown and Putnam with his detachment at Princeton.  Then I returned home to rest and get some clothing.  And in the winter of 1777, I volunteered for a militia tour under my friend and acquaintance Captain James Gibson of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and marched to Philadelphia and got our arms repaired and from thence we marched to Princeton and I saw General Putnam whose headquarters was in a Stockton brick house, and remained with him upwards of

four months when we were honorably discharged by General Putnam from his brigade, and we returned home.  The British having come around and landed at the head of Elkton and marched in the direction of Brandywine.  I without delay joined the detachment of General Armstrong and marched and we met the enemy at Brandywine when we were defeated.  I remained with the army until after the Battle of Germantown, both which battles were fought in 1777, after which I returned home, and in the year aforesaid, I cannot recollect the month, I joined Captain Crouch’s Company of volunteers and served a militia tour of three months during this tour we were marched to a place called White March Mills above Germantown, from this place we marched under General Irvine and attacked the British at Chestnut Hill and were defeated with the loss of General Irvine taken prisoner and 15 or 20 killed and wounded and we retreated into this country and our tour of three months having expired we were discharged at Lancaster in Pennsylvania and returned home.  And in the year 1778 or 9, I cannot recollect which, I volunteered with Captains Brady and Campleton and marched up the western branch of the Susquehanna, when the Indians had broke out and were committing murders and depredations upon the inhabitants and succeeded in rescuing the inhabitants.  During this time we suffered very much being exposed to all kinds of weather.  Again in the year 1779 I volunteered and under Captain Campleton a tour of three months our principal station was at Wallace Mills.  We marched up the eastern branch of the Susquehanna and acted as security and spies against the Indians and built stockades and block houses and gathered in the inhabitants.  He states that he would have had sufficient evidence of his service during the War of the Revolution, but he met with the

loss of having his house burned up together with money and papers he will recollect of having his discharges filed away in his desk, and that he has no documentary evidence of his service.  He hereby relinquishes every other claim whatever to a pension except this present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Thomas Kyle

We, Jesse Head, a clergyman residing in Mercer County, and Peter Huff, residing in the same county and state, do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Thomas Kyle, a faithful and pious clergyman, who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe him to be the age he states himself to be in his declaration, and we do know that he is respected and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a brave and faithful soldier of the Revolution.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Jesse Head, Peter Huff

Mercer County May County Court 1833

And the said Court do hereby declare this a pension after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogation prescribed by the War Department that the above named application was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states and that the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Jesse Head, who has signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman resident in Mercer County and that Peter Huff, who has also signed the same is a resident citizen in said county and is a credible person and that their statement is entitled to credit, and we do further certify that Thomas Kyle, the applicant for a pension herein, and Jesse Head, a clergyman, and Peter Huff, severally came into Court and swore to the statements by them respectively subscribed.

I, Thomas Allin Jr., Clerk of the Mercer County Court, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the said Court in the matter of the application of Thomas Kyle for a pension.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office this 6th day of May 1833.  Thomas Allin, Jr., Clerk Mercer County Court


Statement shewing the service of Thomas Kyle, Mercer County Kentucky

Entered July 1775, private, given one year of service.  Fought during the battles of bunker Hill, Long Island, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine and Germantown.

Thomas Kyle, Private, General Putnam’s Brigade, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War.  1757-1846.  Bunker Hill, Trenton, Germantown.  Old Mud Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Pensioners for Military Service – Mercer County, Kentucky


What a great list of Revolutionary War veterans – in Mercer County, Kentucky!  This must have been the area that many veterans moved to after the war.  About 25 veterans are buried at the Old Mud Cemetery, 8 are buried in New Providence Church Cemetery, and I’m sure there are many others throughout the county!  That would be a good project – to make a complete list of Revolutionary War veterans for Mercer County!  We are blessed with such a rich history!

This is a list of Mercer County Pensioners for Revolution and Military Services as returned under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census in 1840.

Name of Pensioner . . . . . . . . . Age in 1840

  • Samuel Hackney – 79
  • Mary Pipes – 81
  • Henry Sparrow – 79
  • William Kelly – 84
  • Timothy Corn – 84
  • James Rains – 82
  • Leonard Taylor – 83
  • Matthew Colter – 81
  • George Gabbard Sr. – 79
  • Henry Hamner – 81
  • Lewis Webb – 83
  • Henry Deshazer – 81
  • John Sneed – 86
  • Christian Snail – 89
  • Rebecca Verbyck – 83


  • Cornelius O. Vanarsdale – 80
  • Edward Willis – 78
  • Ebenezer Cary Sr. – 83
  • Charles Brown – 88
  • Robert Jones – 78


  • John Comingore – 90
  • Elias Fisher – 87


  • Peter Huff – 85
  • John Grant – 85
  • Jane Shelton – 82
  • Claiborne Bradshaw – 83
  • John Rice – 78
  • Susanna Jordan – 79
  • Mary Wilson – 76
  • Elizabeth Moore – 75
  • Martha Sandefer – 83 (living with Jackson Roberts)
  • Thomas Grahm – 78


  • Thomas Kyle – 83
  • Edward Houchins – 80
  • Philip Board – 80
  • James Galloway – 84
  • Sarah Bohon – 76
  • Isaac Follis – 77
  • Reuben Smithy – 85
  • John Polter Sr. – 79 (living with John Polter)
  • Charles Hart – 81

Note:  Women pensioners were widows of veterans.


Revolutionary War Heroes – July 4th Celebration!

Before we begin our fireworks display for this Fourth of July – let’s think back to our country’s beginnings and the many men who fought for our independence.  Many of us can trace our roots back to a Revolutionary War veteran – and those that can’t most likely have one in your line – you just haven’t found him yet!  As a tribute to all these men I have pictures of the plaques from the Old Mud Meeting House cemetery in Mercer County, Kentucky, dedicated to the Revolutionary War veterans buried there.

Abraham Banta, Pvt 2 BN York County, General Mercer’s PA Militia, Revolutionary War, 1745-1793.

Peter Luyster, Private, Somerset County, New Jersey Militia, Colonel Van Dyck’s Regiment, Revolutionary War, May 31, 1761 – January 5, 1830.

Lawrence DeMott, Private, Somerset County Militia, Colonel Quick’s 2nd New Jersey Regiment, Revolutionary War, October 14, 1719 – May 14, 1800

Daniel Coovert, Private, Captain Baird’s Company, Monmouth, New Jersey Militia, Revolutionary War, June 1758 – December 1848

James Westervelt, Corporal, Colonel John Freer’s 4th and 5th Regiments, Duchess County, New York, Militia, Revolutionary War, August 15, 1755 – June 1, 1826, Brooklyn Heights

Cornelius O. Vanarsdall, Private, Colonel Vroom’s New Jersey Regiment, Revolutionary War, November 14, 1760 – February 24, 1843, Spy

Cornelius A. Vanarsdall, 1st Lieutenant, Colonel Vroom’s New Jersey Regiment, Revolutionary War, July 5, 1748 – January 5, 1840, Millstone, Monmouth, Springfield

Abraham Banta, Private, 2 Bn York County, General Mercer’s Pennsylvania Militia, Revolutionary War, 1745-1793

Thomas Kyle, Private, General Putnam’s Brigade, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War, 1757-1846, Bunker Hill, Trenton, Germantown

Peter Huff, Private, Colonel Taylor’s Regiment, New Jersey Lint, Revolutionary War, March 10, 1756 – November 11, 1840, Monmouth, Springfield

Peter DeMott, Private, Colonel Quick’s New Jersey Line, Revolutionary War, April 14, 1758 – October 15, 1832

John Comingore, Private, Colonel Vanarsdall’s Regiment, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War, September 16, 1749 – October 6, 1845

Henry Comingore, Private, Colonel Vanarsdall’s Regiment, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War, September 16, 1749 – January 29, 1836, Yorktown

Samuel Brewer, Private, Colonel Vance’s Regiment, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War, 1757 – January 31, 1835, Spy and Scout

Daniel Brewer, Private, Molyan’s Dragoons, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War, July 5, 1719 – January 15, 1791

Gerardus Ryker, Ensign, Colonel Dey’s Regiment, New Jersey State Troops, Revolutionary War, November 16, 1740 – September 15, 1781

Francis Adams, Trumpeter, Colonel Washington’s Regiment, Virginia Line, Revolutionary War, 1751 – January 11, 1837, Yorktown

In memory of John Demaree, Private, Jefferson County Militia, Revolutionary War, 1762 – May 14, 1839

Thomas Gaunt, Sargent, Captain Kincaid’s Company, Illinois Regiment, Revolutionary War, December 17, 1842 – August 19, 1782

James Stagg, Captain, New Jersey Militia, Revolutionary War, September 18, 1738 – May 3, 1826

John Moore, Private, Captain Harrod’s Company, Illinois Regiment, Revolutionary War, 1757 – June 26, 1836, Kaskaskia, Vincennes

Barney Smock, Private, Pennsylvania Militia, Revolutionary War, October 5, 1738 – September 1812

Samuel Moore, Private, Captain Prather’s Company, Kentucky Militia, Revolutionary War, 1759 – August 8, 1780

In memory of John Banta, Sr., Drummer, Captain Campbell’s Company, 2 BN, York County, Regiment, Revolutionary War, March 15, 1757 – October 7, 1815

Thomas Moore, Captain, General Clark’s Virginia Regiment, Revolutionary War, 1754 – February 25, 1835, Kaskaskia, Vincennes

Simon Wan Arsdale, Major, 4 BN York County, Pennsylvania Militia, Revolutionary War, December 6, 1746 – 1802

Can you imagine the stories these men could tell?  There was a drummer, a trumpeter.  Some of these men were at Yorktown at the end of the war, some at Bunker Hill, Germantown, Trenton,Vincennes, Kaskaskia.   Samuel Brewer was a spy and scout!

Daniel Brewer, 1718-1791, Private, Pennsylvania Militia

In memory of Peter Vanderveer, 1760 New Jersey – March 12, 1823 Kentucky, Private, New Jersey Militia, Revolutionary War

In memory of Jacob Sortore, 1730 New Jersey – 1824 Kentucky, Private, Alarm at Raritan, Revolutionary War

John Smock, 1739 New Jersey – 1812 Kentucky, Private, York County Militia, Revolutionary War, A leader at Old Mud Meetinghouse

In memory of Simeon Moore, 1734 Maryland – 1814 Kentucky, Battle of Kaskaskia, Revolutionary War

In memory of Francis Montfort, 1746 New Jersey – 1825 Kentucky, Private, York County Militia, Revolutionary War

In memory of Samuel Britton, 1754 New Jersey – 1834 Kentucky, Private, New Jersey Artillery, Revolutionary War, 1776

In memory of Samuel Banta, 1753 New Jersey – 1833 Kentucky, Private, Scout, Revolutionary War, 1776

Let us ever remember why the revolution was fought – for our rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  Let Freedom ring!