Tag Archives: Revolutionary War Veterans

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.

A Few Soldiers of the Revolutionary War Who Settled in Nicholas County

William Bartlett, son of Samuel and Mercy (Seeley) Bartlett, was born October 11, 1750 in New Canaan, Connecticut.  He lived for some years in Orange County, New York.  In Volume 1, page 48 of Associators of the 4th Militia Company of Brookham is shown William Bartlett – June 8, 1775 – Data taken from:  Calendar of Historical Manuscripts relating to the Revolutionary War in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany, New York, in two volumes – published in 1868.

He probably first married in Virginia and had the following children: Joseph Bartlett; Polly Bartlett married Ashford Prather; Marcie Bartlett married James Buchanan; Dorcas Bartlett married George Swarts; Samuel Bartlett; Ebenezer Bartlett and William Bartlett.  He came to Kentucky very early and is shown as a tax payer in Nicholas County in 1800.  In 1820 he died in Nicholas County.

Major George Michael Bedinger was born in Shepherdstown, Virginia, December 10, 1756.  He served in the Militia in the siege of Yorktown in 1781.  He was a major at the Battle of Blue Licks.  He lived most of his adult life in Nicholas County near Lower Blue Licks Springs.  He was a Kentucky Legislator 1792-1794 and was a representative in Congress 1803-1807.  The first County Seat of Nicholas County was established at his home (Bedinger’s Mill) on Licking River at Elk Creek in 1800.  He died in 1843 and was buried near his home at Blue Licks Springs.

John Caughey was born in Pennsylvania about 1747.  He enlisted in the Revolutionary War in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1776.  He was under the command of Col. William Irvine in the Sixth Battalion.  They first went to St. John’s, Quebec, to reinforce the tired and ragged troops at St. John’s.  At Crown Point he first heard the Declaration of Independence read to the troops.  They left Crown Point with the American withdrawal to Ft. Ticonderoga.  The Sixth Pennsylvania Battalion spent the winter there, but the lack of food, medicine and bedding tormented the troops, but when the enlistment was up in January, they did not return to their homes but chose to continue to guard the northern gate until replacements came in spring.  He came to Kentucky between 1782 and 1790.  In 1800 he leased 100 acres of land on the Licking River and not only raised food for his family but assisted in surveying and building roads in that section of Nicholas County.  He died in 1826 and lies buried in a grave no longer marked, in that vicinity.

Andrew House was born December 1, 1747/48 in Frederick County, Maryland, but spent his early life in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.  It was here that he married Hannah Snap, daughter of George Snapp, in 1783.  He entered service at Montour’s Bottom on the Ohio River, 11 miles below Pittsburgh about the year 1779, as an Indian Spy under the command of Captain David Ritchie and as private in Captain Nathan Ellis’ company and Colonel Broadhead’s regiment, during which time he marched up the Allegheny River and was in an engagement with the Indians, many of their number being killed.  The summer following, he served one month as a private in Captain David Ritchie’s company between Pittsburgh and Wheeling.

After his marriage, he moved from Pennsylvania to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and was again drafted to go with George Rogers Clark for three months on the Wabash Campaign, but he hired a substitute to take his place, paying him $20.00, saying that he had to raise a crop to support his family and could not get anyone to do his plowing, but could hire a man to fight without difficulty.  He applied for a pension in Bourbon County but later moved to Nicholas County where he died in August 1843.  In 1855 his wife, at the age of 94, made application and received 160 acres of Bounty Land.

David Kennedy was born in Scotland July 22, 1764 and died in Nicholas County September 8, 1824.  When quite young, he came to Virginia and served in the Revolutionary War for about three years.  About 1790 he migrated to that part of Virginia that later became Nicholas County, and bought a ½ interest in 545 acres of land, which today is located between Headquarters and Mt. Carmel.  He married Hannah Kassaneur of Aberdeen, Ohio.  Their children were James, William Elizabeth Cassandra, Thomas, Sarah, Harriet, Polly and Clairborne.  He and his wife and some of his children are buried on the farm that he owned.

History of Nicholas County, Joan Weissinger Conley, 1976.

1790 Will of Valentine King

According to an article on the King family published in Genealogies of Kentucky Families, Valentine King was born in Stafford County, Virginia, about 1747, ‘the son of William King, Clerk of the Court, and Justice of Stafford County, 1742-1760, and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, daughter of John Edwards and his wife, Jane Arrington, of Westmoreland County, Virginia.’

Valentine King, along with his brothers, John, William and Nimrod, fought in the Revolutionary War as members of the Stafford County Militia, 3rd Virginia Regiment.  They were all discharged from the camp at Valley Forge, February 16, 1778, and returned to Stafford County.  They soon moved to Kentucky, receiving land for their military service.

Valentine King received land in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  He died in early April 1790.

In the name of God amen.  I, Valentine King of Nelson County and district of Kentucky, being of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God for the same, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  That is to say, first of all, I recommend my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it came, to be buried in a Christian-like manner at the discretion of my executors hereafter named, and as to the worldly estate it hath pleased God to give me I dispose of it in the following manner.

Imprimis.  My will and desire is that all my just debts and funeral charges be first paid and satisfied.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my beloved sister, Elizabeth Owens, during the term of her natural life, one third of the profits arising from the plantation I purchased of Patrick McGee, which said plantation after her decease goes to my brother, John Edwards King.  I also give and bequeath to my said sister, Elizabeth Owens, during her natural life one Negro girl called Cate, which said Negro after my said sister’s decease goes to my brother, John E. King, and I further give to my said sister, Elizabeth Owens, one half the increase of the said Negro

Cate, that shall be raised from her during the life of my said sister, to her and her heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my beloved brother, John Edwards King, the plantation and land I purchased of Patrick McGee, he, paying annually to his sister, Elizabeth Owens, one third part of the profits arising from the said plantation during her life, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.  I also give my said brother, John E. King, after the death of his sister, Elizabeth Owens, one Negro called Cate and one half the increase that shall have been raised from her to him and his heirs and assigns forever.  I further give my said brother, John E. King, two hundred acres of land in Jefferson County, known by the name of the Poplar Level to receive the same and have possession after the death of Elizabeth Crips, to whom I have left the said land during her natural life and I further give to my brother, John E. King, my wearing apparel with my saddles, bridle and saddle bags to him and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Crips, daughter of Nancy Brashear, during her natural life, two hundred acres of land, her choice, out of five hundred acres of my

land in Jefferson County, known by the name of the Poplar Level on Floyd’s Fork, which said land at her death goes to my brother, John E. King.  I also give to the said Elizabeth Crips my mare called Jenix and three thousand weight of tobacco to her and her heirs and assigns forever.

Item.  My will and desire is that all the rest of my estate, real and personal, be equally divided between my beloved mother and my brothers William and Withers King and that my mother’s part at her decease go to my two brothers, William and Withers, to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

And lastly I do hereby appoint my trusty and beloved friends, George and Cuthbert Harrison, Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me heretofore made, declaring this and only to be my last will and testament, in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of February 1790.

Valentine King

Signed, sealed, published and declared by this testator in presence of – Anthony Foster, Paul Kester, Cuthbert Harrison.

At a Court held for Nelson County on Tuesday the 13th day of April 1790.  This last will and testament of Valentine King, deceased, was presented in Court by Cuthbert Harrison, one of the Executors herein named and proved by the oaths of Anthony Foster, Paul Kester and Cuthbert Harrison, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to record.

Teste.  Gen Grayson, Clerk of the Court

Nelson County – Will Book A, Pages 1-4



Revolutionary War Veterans In Hardin County

From Two Centuries in Elizabethtown and Hardin County Kentucky 1776-1976, by Daniel Elmo McClure, Jr., we find mention of many, many Revolutionary War veterans that settled in Hardin County.  The following excerpt names just a few.

Kentucky is said to have been settled by a greater proportion of Revolutionary War veterans than any other state west of the original thirteen colonies, and Hardin County shared in the great influx of those hardy men.  Two centuries of time and the incomplete records of that period render difficult any attempts at this time to list all of the old soldiers who came to what is now Hardin County.

Some names are recorded in military records, land grants and pension lists; however, many of the veterans did not apply for pensions, feeling they had only done their duty as citizens and patriots.  The writer recognizes that the following list of Revolutionary veterans is only a partial record and does not have the names of many who served during the long struggle.  In fact, many settlers came into the territory long before the war’s final battle at Yorktown.

Isaac Van Meter was born February 2, 1759, and died November 4, 1840, in Grayson County.  He enlisted in western Pennsylvania in 1778 as a private under Captain William Harrod and Colonel George Rogers Clark, served six months under Harrod, served six weeks in 1780 under Captain John Swan, was under Colonel Lynn in the fall of 1782, and later under Captain John Vertrees and Colonel John Floyd.  He was at Kaskaskia, Vincennes, Chillicothetown and Piqua in the Campaign in the Northwest.

Edward Rawlings, who married Rebecca Van Meter, served in the Revolutionary Army before coming to Elizabethtown.  He was born in 1745, and died in 1796.

Isaac Vertrees, born April 15, 1755, a son of Jacob Vertrees, who with his brother, John, fled from France to America, was a private and fought in the Battle of Brandywine, Pennsylvania, and at Boundbrook.  He died in Meade County in 1822.  John rose to the rank of captain and later settled in Elizabethtown.  Isaac served in the8th Regiment of Pennsylvania Line.

General John Thomas, who rose to major general in the War of 1812, was a captain in the Revolution.

Captain John Vertrees (family name was originally Van Tress) fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain, October 7, 1780.  Prior to that he was one of the 175 Virginia volunteers of George Rogers Clark called by the Indians ‘the Long Knives’ in the campaign of the Northwest.  He took up 1,300 acres of land in Severn’s Valley under Virginia land warrants in 1781.  He died in Elizabethtown in 1803.

Captain John Swan, whose wife was Elizabeth Van Meter, was killed by Indians on the Ohio River enroute to Kentucky.

Colonel Francis Slaughter, who died in Elizabethtown in 1805, was a native of Essex County, Virginia.  Another record shows his birth as 1730 in Culpeper County, Virginia.

Captain Thomas Helm, one of the settlers who built the three forts at the site of Elizabethtown in the fall of 1780, was a lieutenant in the Colonial Army, and was a native of Virginia.

Samuel Haycraft, Sr., another of the builders of forts at Elizabethtown, was likewise a veteran of the Revolution.

Colonel Andrew Hynes, the third builder of a fort in Severn’s Valley, saw Revolutionary service.


Six Revolutionary War Veterans Buried In Pisgah Presbyterian Cemetery

Since Ritchey and I visited Pisgah Presbyterian Cemetery in April of 2014, in Woodford County, I believe it to be one of my favorite small cemeteries.  It could have something to do with the beautiful little stone church – founded in 1784, erected in 1812, and remodeled in 1868.  It could have something to do with the cemetery strewn with tiny purple and white flowers on that beautiful spring day.  But most likely it is the fact that there are many older graves, including Revolutionary War veterans that lie sleeping in the church yard.  I want to share photos of six with you today.

img_1390William Kinkead, 1736-1821

img_1389William Kinkead was a Captain in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War.  He married Eleanor Guy.  She and three of her children were captured by Indians and held during the year 1764, during which son Andrew was born.

img_1393Alexander Black, 1752-1827

img_1392How fitting to put these small reminders at the foot of the gravestones for the veterans.

img_1397_1Joseph Bartholomew, 1756-1812

img_1396_1Surrounded by lovely green violet leaves and tiny purple blossoms.

img_1405_1William Garrett, a Revolutionary War Soldier.

I could find no dates on this stone.

img_1423_1Alexander Smith, 1745-1814

img_1425_1A hero for the ages.

img_1447Samuel Stevenson, born March 11, 1741, died December 17, 1825.

img_1445Never forget the sacrifices these men made for the freedoms we hold dear now.  They are just as important, or more so, now, as during those early days of our country.


Memorial Acre at Fort Harrod


Isn’t it amazing when you find something in your own back yard that you never knew existed?  I had been to the Pioneer Cemetery at Fort Harrod in my hometown of Harrodsburg several times, but didn’t realize there was an addition at the back!

It’s known as Memorial Acre, dedicated on June 16, 1930, by The Kentucky Society Daughter’s of the American Revolution.  The plaque reads ‘A sacred spot of ground adjoining the first cemetery of Kentucky, for pioneers whose graves are being destroyed by the effects of time.  Immortals of the wilderness whose moccasin feet have impressed themselves on the destiny of America.  The Love of Liberty, With Life Is Given.’

Let me share with you the stones that were erected here:


Garrett Terhune, New Jersey, Sergeant, Seely’s Regiment, New Jersey Militia, Revolutionary War.  July 25, 1756 – February 8, 1821.


George Buchanan, born 1744 in Augusta County, Virginia, died May 5, 1813, Mercer County, Kentucky.

George Buchanan was a son of James Buchanan and his second wife, Mary Reside.  He married Margaret McAfee, daughter of James and Jane McMichael McAfee, about 1765 in Washington County, Virginia.  George moved his family to Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1780.  He was an elder at New Providence Church and was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.


James Ray, Captain, Virginia Militia, Revolutionary War, 1758-1810


Three members of the McGohon family – the stones have not weathered well.


Mark McGohon, Jr.  Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky pioneer, Christian patriot.  Born in Ireland in 1750, died in Kentucky, 1848.  first to be buried in Memorial Acre in 1930.  When a lad he emigrated to America and fought in the Battles of Paoli, Boundbrook, Brandywine and Germantown.  Served under General George Rogers Clark and General Josiah Harmer; also in other campaigns against the Indians.  A defender of Fort Harrod in the westward seep of advancing civilization.


Elizabeth Dunn McGohon.  Sacred to the memory of the wife of Mark McGohon, Jr.  born in Pennsylvania, emigrated to Kentucky with her husband following the Revolutionary War.  Pioneer woman who heroically met the toil and danger of the frontier, and nobly did her part in maintaining domestic life within For Harrod, when surrounded by peril and attacks from Indians.  Her efforts aided in establishing the Presbyterian Church at Harrodsburg.


Nancy McGohon, daughter of Mark McGohon, Jr., and Elizabeth Dunn McGohon.  Born in Fort Harrod.  Buried in Memorial Acre in 1930.


These three stones for the Rose family are much easier to read.


Captain Lewis Rose, born October 11, 1749, in Bingen, Germany, died February 20, 1829, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  Buried on Old Rose Farm, three miles east of Harrodsburg,  Came to America in 1764.  Christian patriot, devout elder of the Presbyterian Church, donated five hundred dollars to Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.  War Record – Soldier in Revolutionary War, 4th Virginia, 1777.  In Indian Wars, famous Battle of Blue Lick, taken prisoner, August 9, 1782.  Run gauntlets, exchanged and returned July, 1783.  Fought Shawnees, 1786.  Wea Indians on Wabash. Erected July 16, 1937, by Leslie M. Rose, Yakima, Washington, sponsored by Jane McAfee Chapter, D.A.R.


Mary McMurtry Rose, wife of lewis Rose, born February 4, 1779, in Mercer County, Kentucky; died November 24, 1865, in Mercer County, Kentucky.  A true pioneer mother.  Lived where Shakertown, Kentucky, now is, defending self and children against Indians while her husband held war captive.  Erected by Leslie M. Rose.


Charlie S. Rose, son of Lewis Rose, born October 6, 1778, died February 28, 1845.  Was prominent in civic work, an elder in the Presbyterian Church.


To Honor and Commemorate the Men Who Fought in the American Revolution and Sleep in Mercer County, Kentucky.

  • General James Ray
  • General John P. Van Nuyce
  • Colonel John Bowman
  • Colonel Thomas P. Moore
  • Lt. Colonel James Robinson
  • Major Thomas Allin
  • Major William Ver Bryck
  • Captain William Alexander
  • Captain John Armstrong
  • Captain Abram Chapline
  • Captain Michael Humble
  • Captain John Lillard
  • Captain Lewis Rose
  • Captain John Smock
  • Captain James Stagg
  • Lt. James McAfee
  • J. P. Board
  • John Bohon
  • William Bowles
  • Daniel Brewer
  • Nathaniel Burrus
  • James Cardwell
  • Robert Coleman
  • General Coovert
  • Henry Comingore, Sr.
  • John Comingore
  • Joseph Debaun
  • Lawrence Demott
  • Peter Demott
  • William Deshazer
  • Thomas Graham
  • Peyton Graham
  • Thomas Green
  • Edward Houchins
  • Peter Huff
  • Dominic Thomas Kyle
  • Peter Leyster
  • George McAfee
  • Samuel McAfee
  • James McCowan, Sr.
  • James McCowan, Jr.
  • John McGee
  • Mark McGohon
  • John Meaux
  • William Nourse
  • Augustine Passmore
  • James Sandifer
  • Abraham Sharp
  • John Sharp
  • Abraham Tharp
  • Cornelius Vannice
  • Cornelius A. Van Arsdale
  • Cornelius O. Van Arsdale
  • Peter Van Arsdall
  • Tobias Wilhoite

How fortunate to live in a county that appreciates and applauds the actions of our forebears.  And to live in one that has such a long history!


To the wilderness dead, those without graves, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.  This cenotaph here placed by a not forgetful commonwealth.

First Members of New Providence Presbyterian Church – Born Before 1800 – Volume 2

IMG_8250This is the second installment about the early pioneers to Mercer County that came to the McAfee area and are buried at Providence Presbyterian Church – you may also want to see Volume 1.


To the Memory of Samuel McAfee Who was born October 17, 1748 and died June 7, 1801.

Samuel was one of the original McAfee brothers – and a Revolutionary War veteran.


Samuel McAfee, Captain Col. Logan’s Illinois Regiment, Revolutionary War, October 17, 1748 – June 7, 1801.


Nancy Buchanan, consort of A. Buchanan, deceased, departed this life October 1st, 1810, aged 32 years.  (Born in 1778).  Alexander’s stone was beside Nancy’s, but is no longer there.  He was born in 1749 and died December 5, 1806.


In memory of Francis McMordie who was born December 18, 1756 and died December 18, 1833, aged 77 years.


Isaac Coovert, Fifer, New Jersey Line, Revolutionary War, March 1, 1755 – September 14, 1825.


To the memory of Barrent Reynerson who departed this life March 15th, 1819 aged 62 years.  Born in 1757.


James Cardwell, born October 9, 1761, died October 29, 1806.  Sarah, his wife, born December 16, 1760, died February 11, 185?


In memory of Eve Voorhies, consort of Isaac Voorhies, departed this life November 24, 1828, in the 67th year of her age.  (Born 1761)

We are only up to a birth year of 1761 after two volumes!  Lots more old gravestones to share with you at a later date!