Telling my family's stories
Samuel Church (b. 1745, d. 1838) was my 6th-great-grandfather; he lived in Connecticut and later Vermont. During the Revolutionary War, he served in the Army of Connecticut. When pensions were allowed in the 1830s, Samuel Church applied for one, and as part of the process he had to describe his war service as well as his current living situation, which gives us a picture of his life.
Here is his statement on his service, taken, I believe, in 1818:
Statement of Samuel Church of Dorset in the County of Bennington and State of Vermont:
That I listed in 1774 or 5 under Capt. Jacob Brown in Col. E Allen Regiment I think for 9 months; that Gen’l Schuyler was commanding officer; next listed under Capt. Brown of Powfut [?] (do not recollect his first name) for one year under Gen’l Putnam. Do not recollect the Col. name. Next enlisted under Capt. John Hammond under Col. John Dungin Regiment in the Standing Army of the Connecticut Line. I belonged to the state of Connecticut while in the Army. I was at Cambridge while the ??? was in Boston. Then went into Boston. from thence to New York. I was ordered to mud fort thence monmouth [??]. I was Battle of Germantown, Monmouth & Trenton and White Plains – I belonged to the 9 mos men and ? years men and then for during the war in the Standing Army of the Connecicut line. I served between 4 & 5 years – I resided in Dorsett in the County of Bennington where I made application for my pension and the H’l Judge Birton of Rupert in the County was the officer to whom I stated the fact in my application. My pension is 96 doll’s p Annum and I drew my pay to the 4th Sept. As 1834. The above is as near as I can now recollect. Samuel (X his mark) Church.
Attest: Seneca Smith„ Elijah Avery & 1 other (illegible)
The inventory of all of his possessions (down to silverware), taken June 19, 1820:
The following is a schedule of all real and personal estate [of Samuel Church], age 64, of Dorset Vermont], to wit:
one old chest of drawers, old table, old meal chest, 4 old chairs, one wheel, one cupboard, 5 earthen plates, 4 tea cups and saucers, 1 sugar bowl, 1 teapot, 3 jugs, 7 knives & forks, 5 old spoons, one old pail, 1 old wash tub, one iron pot, 1 small kettle, ??, ??, one large kettle, tea kettle, flat iron, fire shovel, 1 chopping knife, 1 pr shears, lantern?, ?? & hooks, 1 hatchet, 2 augers, 2 old axes, 2 hoes, 2 old scythes, turning tools, one swine.
Samuel also had to give a statement about life, presumably to justify that he was dependent on the pension for income:
My occupation is that of a farmer. I am infirm and unable to perform much labour. my family consists of myself, my wife who is and has been for several years afflicted with sickness and bodily infirmity – one grandson lives in my family who is 17 years of age but is not bound to serve me. I have one poor daughter who is deserted by her husband & lives with me & has three small children.
The daughter he mentions is Sarah Church, who first married a Lee (by whom she had the three children mentioned), and then a Nathan Crandall. Samuel Church also had at least two sons: Cyrenus Church (b. 1793, d. 1879 in Tuscola County, MI) and Samuel Church. Cyrenus Church was married by the time of the pension application; I do not know Samuel Jr’s whereabouts.