Tag Archives: Revolutionary War Veteran

Foree Family Buried In New Castle Cemetery – Henry County

Peter Foree, Revolutionary War Soldier, born 1745, died March 20, 1844.  New Castle Cemetery, Henry County, Kentucky.

The Foree family is well established in the early days of Henry County.  Peter Foree, a Revolutionary War veteran, and grandfather of the Thomas Pryor Foree of the biography below, has not only a DAR marker on his grave, but the chapter of the LaGrange D.A.R. is named for him – Peter Foree D.A.R. Chapter.  The Foree’s have the gift of longevity – Peter lived for 99 years, as did his son, Peter, the father of Thomas.

Peter Foree, born Jun 4, 1783, died October 2, 1881.

In the 1850 census of Henry County, Peter Foree is 66, and was born in Virginia.  His wife Nancy is also 66.  They have one daughter, Fannie, 26, living with them.  Thomas P. Foree is 33 in this census, and lives with his wife, Ann, 25, and young daughter, Nancy, 1.  This is the only census in which he is not living with his father.  Thomas Foree married Anna Ball February 8, 1848.  They had three children, Nancy, Peter and Pryor, before her death in 1853.  Son Pryor also died the same year.  Son Peter died in 1884.  Daughter Nancy married in 1880, but quickly divorced.  She lived with her father until his death.

Susan Roberts, wife of Thomas P. Foree, born July 13, 1832, died January 23, 1879.

In 1874 Thomas Foree married Susan Roberts.  She lived only a few years, passing away in 1879.

Peter G. Foree, born April 6, 1851, died January 21, 1884.

During the census years of 1860, 1870 and 1880, three or four generations lived in one household.  Peter Foree, the eldest, with his son Thomas, Thomas’ children Peter and Nancy, and other nieces and grandnieces.  In 1900, two of Thomas’ grandsons, children of his deceased son Peter, lived with him.  Several members of the Foree extended family were married at Thomas Foree’s home.  It must have been a happy, welcoming home with lots of people and lots of love.

Fannie Foree, wife of G. C. Castleman, born March 16, 1824, died March 5, 1891.

Thomas Foree had only one sibling that lived to maturity – Fannie Foree who married G. C. Castleman.  She is listed on the large stone marking the resting places of the Foree family.

Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, Battle & Kniffin, 1887

Henry County

T. P. Foree was born in Henry County, Kentucky, December 1, 1817, a son of Peter and Nancy (Tool) Foree. Peter was born in North Carolina in 1783, married a Miss Sallie Pryor, engaged in agricultural pursuits all his life, and died in 1882, in his ninety-ninth year. He was in the War of 1812.  His father, also named Peter, was a native of France.  Mrs. Nancy Foree was born in Virginia, a daughter of William Tool.  Our subject is one of a family of six children, but one living besides himself, Fannie Castleman.  Mr. Foree married, in 1848, Miss Annie Ball, of Henry County, and three children blessed their union, but one living, Nannie.  Mrs. Foree died in 1852, and in 1874 he married Miss Lou Roberts, of Jessamine County, Kentucky, daughter of Rankin Roberts.  Mr. Foree is considered one of the most extensive and successful farmers in the county, owns over 1,000 acres of land near New Castle, and is also engaged in stock raising.  He is a gentleman of genial disposition, of varied information and fine business ability, and is held in high esteem by all who know him.

William B. Wallace – Revolutionary War Veteran

William B. Wallace, 1st Lieut, Woodford’s 1 VA Brigade, Revolutionary War, July 8, 1765 – Jun 21, 1833.  Salt River Baptist Cemetery, Anderson County, Kentucky.

William B. Wallace was a First Lieutenant in Woodford’s First Virginia Brigade in the Revolutionary War.  In a letter dated October 28, 1938, to Mrs. L. Prentice Bradley of Morganfield, Kentucky, from A. D. Hiller, Executive Assistant to the Administrator of the Kentucky Agency, he states that William B. Wallace was a Lieutenant in the 1st Regiment of Artillery, also in September 1775, in Colonel William Woodford’s Second Virginia Regiment.  He was allowed two hundred acres of bounty land for his service during the Revolutionary War (Warrant #2441 – 200 acres – issued March 27, 1794), and was also allowed a pension at the rate of $400 per year, under the Act of May 15, 1828 (Certificate #153, issued August 3, 1829), at which time he was a resident of Kentucky.

William Brown Wallace died June 21, 1833, during the cholera epidemic; his wife, Barbara Fox Wallace, followed him within a few or hours or days.

Will of William L. Martin – Larue County

William L. Martin was featured in an earlier post – so much information was on his gravestone!  William was the son of Hartwell Martin and Sallie Porter.  The family was from Charles City County in Virginia.  William L. was born there May 26, 1782, on the banks of the James River. 

In 1807 William Martin married Sarah Shofner, daughter of Henry Shofner and Cloe Hart.  Henry was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. 

William and Sarah had only one child – Henry Martin – born March 22, 1808.  He married Mary Dearen on December 24, 1828, and had many children, including seven listed in their grandfather’s will – William D., Harriet A., Henry P., James W.,  Paschal W., Sally A. and Corrintha C. Martin.  William D. must have been the oldest.  He lived with his grandparents in 1850, where the census of Larue County lists him as 20, and as a student.

William L.’s wife, Sarah, was the recipient of his entire estate.  She died in 1886 at the age of 94 years.  After her death her son and grandchildren received their inheritance.

Will of William L. Martin

Larue County Will Book 1, Pages 83-84

In the name of God, amen.  I, William L. Martin, being feeble in body but sound in mind and memory feel it to be my duty to dispose of my worldly effects that the good Lord hath seen cause to bless me with, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament in the following words and forms.

It is my will and desire that all of my just debts be paid and that my body be decently interred after my death and that the residue of my estate be disposed of in the following manner.

First.  I will and bequeath all that I am possessed of consisting of all my lands, Negroes and perishable property and cash rates of money to my beloved wife Sarah Martin for and during her natural lifetime and in the event she should marry again she is only to have one third of my estate for her natural lifetime and further more she is to have the right to sell any of the property and convey the same at anytime she may think proper.

Second.  It is further my will and desire that my beloved grandson, William D. Martin, have, and I do hereby give to him my farm, the one on which I now live in the County of Larue in the State of Kentucky, he to have possession of the same at the death of my wife, and I also give to him my black woman Malvina, my girl, Martha Jane, the boy John, the boy Tam and the boy Davy, and my said grandson named aforesaid is to have possession of the Negroes named above at the death of my wife.

Thirdly, it is my will and desire that my beloved son, Henry Martin, have and I do hereby give and bequeath to him the farm and tract of land on which he now lives, situated on the Little South Fork of Nolin, Larue County, Kentucky, and also four hundred dollars in money to have the possession of property and money at the death of my wife.

Fourth.  It is my will and desire that my three granddaughters, Harriett A., Sarah A, and Corrintha C. Martin, have at the death of my wife and I hereby give to each of them one hundred dollars.

Fifthly.  It is further my will and desire that at the death of my wife that all of the residue of my property not disposed of above be sold and the proceeds after same and the residue of my money

or evidence of the same not disposed of above be equally divided between and I hereby give the same to my three grandsons, Henry P, James W. and Paschal W. Martin.

Sixth.  Lastly, I hereby appoint my beloved grandson, William D. Martin, and my beloved wife, Sarah Martin, my Executrix and Executor to carry this, my last will and testament into effect, and if the court will permit them it is my desire that they qualify as such without giving security.

Given under my hand this the 30th day of August 1855.

William L. Martin

Signed in the presence of W. B. Reade, J. H. Rodman, E. R. Burba

At a County Court began and held at the courthouse in Hodgensville, on the 26th day of October 1857, the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of William L. Martin, deceased, was produced in Court by William D. Martin, one of the executors therein named and offered for probate, the same was duly provided by the oaths of W. B. Reade and E. R. Burba, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto, whereupon the same was established and ordered to be recorded and I have on this 2nd day of December 1857 thus accorded the same.

E. R. Burba, Clerk

1791 Will of Daniel Brewer – Mercer County

Daniel Brewer, Pvt, Molyan’s Dragoons PA Line, Revolutionary War, July 5, 1719 – January 15, 1791.  Old Mud Meeting House Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Daniel Brewer, a Revolutionary  Soldier, was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, also known as the Old Mud Meeting House.  He is buried in that cemetery, and has a beautiful bronze grave site, along with the other 30 other veterans buried there.

In his will Daniel names eight children, giving their names, as well as his daughters’ husband’s names.  Such a treasure!

Will of Daniel Brewer

Mercer County Will Book 1, Pages 49-50

In the name of God, amen.  I, Daniel Brewer, of the County of Mercer and District of Kentucky, being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, calling to mind that it is ordered for all men once to die, do make this my last will and testament as follows.  Viz.  I give and bequeath to my eldest son, Abraham Brewer, my Bible and a cow, to him and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my son, Daniel Brewer, my long gun, to him and his heirs forever.

It is further my will that the remainder of my estate, both real and personal as well as my lands in Pennsylvania, as my personal estate in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, be sold to the best and highest bidder by my executor, hereafter to be named, and the money arising there from

to be divided as followeth (viz.) To my daughter, Leah Stagg, wife of James Stagg, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my daughter, Susannah Demaree, wife of Samuel Demaree, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my son, Abraham Brewer, one eighth part to him and his heirs forever.

To my daughter, Rachel Commingo, wife of Henry Commingo, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my daughter, Mary Demaree, wife of Samuel Demaree, Jr., one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my son, John Brewer, one eighth part to him and his heirs forever.

To my daughter, Phoebe Demaree, wife of Cornelius Demaree, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my son, Daniel Brewer, one eighth part to him and his heirs forever.

It is also my will that my wearing clothes be considered as excepted above and that my executor divide them equally between my sons, Abraham Brewer, John Brewer and Daniel Brewer, to them and their heirs forever.  It is also my will that my two sons, Abraham Brewer and John Brewer, and Samuel Demaree, Sr., do execute this my last will and testament.  In testimony where of I do here unto set my hand and affix my seal this fifteenth day of January one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one.

Daniel Brewer

Signed, sealed and acknowledged in the presence of us – Peter Demaree, Francis Monfort, John Demaree

At a Court held for Mercer County at the Courthouse on Tuesday, the 22nd day of February 1791

This last will and testament of Daniel Brewer, deceased, was exhibited into Court and proved by the oaths of Peter Demaree and Francis Monfort, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. Thomas Allin, CC

Bartholomew Wood – Town Founder, Frontiersman, Farmer, Tavern Keeper – Christian County

Bartholomew Wood, Town Founder, Frontiersman, Farmer, Tavern Keeper.  First Settler 1796.  Founder of Christian Court House 1797.  Later Town of Elizabeth 1799.  Later Town of Hopkinsville 1804.  Died at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, November 26, 1827.  Pioneer Cemetery, Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky.

Bartholomew Wood, the first settler at Hopkinsville in Christian County, was a traveling man.  He was originally from North Carolina, fought in the Revolutionary War with Col. Robertson’s Regiment from South Carolina.  He and his wife, Martha, were married in what became the state of Tennessee, and towards the end of his life moved to Kentucky – then back to Tennessee and back to Kentucky.  He was buried in what became Pioneer Cemetery in the city of Hopkinsville.  His will, written and proved in Warren County, Tennessee, will be posted at a later date.

County of Christian, Kentucky.  Historical and Biographical, edited by William Henry Perrin, 1884

Bartholomew Wood

The first settler upon the site of Hopkinsville was Bartholomew Wood, more familiarly known among his friends and acquaintances as ‘Bat Wood’.  Just when he came to Christian County no one knows; why he came, perhaps he did not know himself, with no definite point in view, he was so favorably impressed with the abundance of game in this locality, that he stopped and built himself a cabin.  He figured conspicuously in the early history of Hopkinsville and of Christian County, and at one time owned a vast amount of land around the embryo city.  He was a man of strong, practical common sense, but rather deficient in book learning; a rough diamond and marvelously adapted to the period in which he lived.  In his buckskin hunting shirt and leather breeches, he hunted and trapped a great deal, and enjoyed himself as only a hunter could.  He belonged to that sturdy class of pioneers whose iron frames had been hardened by exposure, whose muscles were toughened by exercise and toil, and whose bodies seemed invulnerable to disease and pain.  The wilderness, with its wild beasts and savages, was their element.  They sported with danger, and if need be met death with fortitude and composure.   To such men, Kentucky in a measure owes her present glory and greatness.  Bartholomew Wood was originally from North Carolina and emigrated to Tennessee soon after the Revolutionary War.  Some years later and prior to the close of the last century he came to Kentucky, but in what year is not known.  He was here when the county was organized and donated five acres of land for public buildings.  He entered a great deal of land in his own name and in the names of his children.  The following is told of his land speculations:  He had entered a body of land in the name of one of his daughters, who afterward married Levi Cornelius.  After he marriage Mr. Wood went to her to transfer the land back to him, but her husband would not allow her to do it.  In spite of all arguments and importunities, Cornelius held to the land, and finally sold it to Young Ewing.

Children of Bartholomew and Martha An Wood – Elizabeth Wood Douglas, Mary (Polly) Wood Gist, Sarah (Sally) Wood Cornelius, Temperance (Tempy) Wood Roberts, Patsy Wood Millholland, Bartholomew T. Wood, Carter T. Wood, Curtis Davenport Wood, William J. Wood, Letitia Charlotte Wood, Hardin J. Wood.

Mr. Wood had a family of several sons and daughters.  The names of his sons were Bartholomew, Hardin, Carter, William and Curtis, the latter the only one now living.  He is a man over eighty years of age and is a resident of the county.  One of his daughters married Levi Cornelius, as already stated; another married William Roberts, and one or two were still single when the old man moved back to Tennessee, which he did some years before his death.  Most of his children went with him, except Bartholomew, but after the death of their father they came back here, and many descendants are living in the county today, among whom is the son already mentioned (Curtis), and Dr. Wood of Hopkinsville, a son of Bartholomew, Jr., and a grandson of the old pioneer.

Martha Ann, relict of Bartholomew Wood, born in Virginia, June 27, 1763, married Jonesborough, North Carolina, now Tennessee, July 20, 1780, died at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, November 9, 1846.

The original cabin of Mr. Wood stood near the corner of the present Nashville and Virginia Streets.  Where the latter street now is was then a marsh or lagoon for quite a distance back from the river.  This lagoon was covered with innumerable ducks and wild geese and is said to have been one of the strong arguments which induced Bartholomew Wood to settle here, that he might enjoy the shooting of them, as well as other game to be seen everywhere in the most plentiful profusion.

James Masterson – Revolutionary War Veteran

James Masterson, Ensign, NC Troops, Revolutionary War, April 7, 1752 – December 15, 1838.  Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, Kentucky.

Short, sweet and simple – my children and grandchildren are here for the weekend!

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.