Saturday, November 03, 2007


One of the few complaints I have about the Revolutionary War
Pension Files that I’ve downloaded from is that
while each image is numbered, they aren’t sorted in chronological
order. Such is the case with Asa Barrow’s file. Rather than to
continue to post them numerically, I'll post them chronologically
and give the image number in parentheses at the end of each
image description.

In my last post, Asa Barrows said in his statement he knew of
no living witness that might verify his service record.

On August 21, one stepped forward:

“I, Francis Sturtevant, of Paris in the county of Oxford in the
State of Maine, a pensioner of the United States, on oath declare,
that to my certain knowledge, Asa Barrows, of Hamlin’s Gore in
said county, inlisted into the army of the United States, in the
revolutionary war, on the continental establishment at Plymton,
in the county of Plymouth, State of Massachusetts, for the term
of eight months, in April 1775. The company in which he served
was commanded by Capt. Joshua Benson and the regiment was
commanded by Col. Cotton in the Massachusetts line-and was
stationed at Roxbury near Boston under the command of Gen.
Thomas-and I am satisfied that he faithfully served the term of
eight months.
Francis Sturtevant”

The signature, like Asa Barrows’, is larger, and a bit shaky
looking in contrast to the excellent penmanship of the statement.
Below his signature is the following:

"State of Maine
County of Oxford s.s. August 21,1832. The above named
Francis Sturtevant, to me known as a man of truth, personally
appeared and made oath to the truth of the above affidavit by
him subscribed-Before me-
Thomas Clark, Justice of the Peace."

A seal is affixed to the bottom left hand corner of the image
(Image 13)

The next image is of the same page, but a smaller scrap of paper
lies across the blank area under Thomas Clark’s signature:

Oxford County, ss.
I, Rufus King Goodenow, Clerk of the Judicial Courts

in and for said County of Oxford, here by certify, that
Thomas Clark Esq. whose genuine signature is annexed
to the foregoing Deposition of Francis Sturtevant
is a Justice of the Peace in and for said county of

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
affixed my seal of office, this 28th day of August in the
year A.D. 1832.

R.K. Goodenow Clerk of Oxford
County Courts.

(image 12)
There follows another document. Most of it is preprinted but there
is part of one sentenced crossed over:

“And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion,
after the investigation of the matter, ((start of crossed out
portion))and after putting the interrogatories
prescribed by the War Department, ((end of crossed out
portion)), that the above applicant was a revolutionary
soldier, and served as he states.
said applicant having
adduced the deposition of Francis Sturtevant, under oath,
duly administered, in corraboration of his own declaration.
Stephen Emery, Judge”

At the bottom of the page is another preprinted form.:
I, Joseph G. Cole, Register(written over the crossed out word
“clerk”)of the Court of Probate do hereby certify that
the foregoing contains the original proceedings of
the said Court in the matter of the application of Asa
Barrows for a pension.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand
and seal of office this 28th day of August A.D. 1832.
Joseph G. Cole Register.” (Image 7)

The following spring Asa made another appearance before
Thomas Clark to claim his pension:

“Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, a Justice of the
Peace and Notary Public, in and for the county of Oxford, Asa
Barrows, who being first duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that by
reason of old age, and the consequent loss of memory, he cannot
swear positively as to the precise length of his service, but
according to the best of his recollection he served not less than
the period mentioned below and all as a private soldier: viz: For
ten months: and for such service I claim a pension.
Asa Barrows

(Under Asa’s still shaky signature the document continues):

State of Maine, Oxford, ss, April 27, 1833. Then the above
named Asa Barrows made oath to the truth of the above affidavit
and subscribed the same in my presence, and I hereby certify
that he is a man of truth and veracity. In testimony where of I
have here unto subscribed my name and affixed my notarial
seal the day and year afore said.

Thomas Clark, Justice of the Peace and Notary Public
in and for the County of Oxford in the State of Maine.”

Justice Clark’s seal is to the right hand bottom corner of the
(Image 8)

Next is a view of two pages. The left hand side is mostly blank
except for the small handwritten notation running along the
right hand edge next to the spine:

“Sept-18-1923- Hist to Jessie H. Tuttle awf."

The right hand side is a preprinted page with blank areas
filled in hand.
“P 16038
File No. 16.0.38
Asa Barrows
Pri. Rev. War
Act: June 7’’ 32
Index:- Vol. 1, Page 432
[Arrangement of 1870]
(Image 10)

The next two images are ones I’ve printed here before,
correspondence between Jessie H. Tuttle and the Commissioner
of Pensions. First her inquiry:

"3730 Grand Ave, Minneapolis, Minn. Aug.1,1923
Commissioner of Pensions,
Dear Sir: -

Will you please send me record
of pension claim of Asa Barrows.
born July 28 (1750?) in Plymouth Co, Mass.
married Feb 12, 1781 Content Benson,
died Oxford Co. Maine about May 1834
placed on pension roll (Maine) July 23
1833 aged 83. Pension began May 4, 1831.
Served in Massachusetts.
Thanking you in advance
I am yours very truly
Mrs Jessie H. Tuttle”
(Image 11)

A round stamp to the bottom left of Jessie’s signature
shows that her request was received at the Pension
Office on Aug 3 1923.

The reply is the next and final image:
“Rev. War Section
September 18, 1923.
Jessie H. Tuttle,
3730 Grand Ave.
Minneapolis, Minn.
I have to advise you that from the papers in
the Revolutionary War pension claim, S. 16038,it
appears that Asa Barrows, while living in Plymton,
Plymouth County, Massachusetts, enlisted April 1775,
and served as a private eight months in Captain
Joshua Benson’s company, Colonel Cotton’s regiment,
Massachusetts troops.
He enlisted December 1776 and served six weeks
under Lieutenant Joshua Perkins. The last of July
1780, he enlisted and serve two weeks under Captain
Perez Churchill He was allowed pension on his application exe-
cuted August 28, 1832, while a resident of Hamlin’s
Grove, Oxford County, Maine, aged eighty one years.
There is no data on file as to his family.


There is a space above the word Commissioner for a signature
but there is none.

Some notes on inconsistencies:
There seems to be a few variances in the reply. “Peleg Churchill”
becomes “Perez Churchill” although having seen the original
statement I can see how that might occur given the writing.
“Hamlin’s Grove” might have been a result of the handwriting
plus perhaps some editing by a War Dept. clerk seeing “Gorge”
and feeling it was a mistake and correcting it to "Grove".

It’s possible Asa ’s memory had it wrong as well. I found a
Captain Stephen Churchill in Col. Cotton’s regiment. There was
a Peleg Churchill residing in Plympton at the time and Asa may
have confused them.

Plymton has become Plympton. The “ajoining town” of
“Middlebury” is Middleborough.

Asa Barrows was my 4x great grandfather.


Apple said...

I just signed up for a three day pass at Footnote and downloaded the 40+ page file of Lydia Pierce Carlisle, widow of Daniel. It is not in order and I think, like you, I will post it in chronological order. I was hoping that with so large a file I would find the answer to questions I've had for a long time but it was not to be.

Becky said...

Bill - Footnote is really not to be blamed for the images not being in chronological order. Can you imagine how much longer it would have taken to get the images online if they had to sort each file before digitizing it? The Pension Files that are available on microfilm from NARA are the same way - they simply digitized or filmed the pages as they were in the files. If you order copies of Civil War Pension Files, same thing, you get the copies of the pages in the same sequence as they are in the paper file.

I've got two Civil War Pension Files that are over 100 pages each. What I did when I got the copies was to number each page on the back, in pencil. Then I sorted the pages chronologically and put a second number on them. That way I had the original sequence as well as my own sequence that could be referenced. Of course, if someone else ordered the same files there is no way of knowing whether or not the pages were still in the same sequence.

At least with Footnote you have the Image Number to reference so someone else can find the exact page again if they want to. For the files I've downloaded from them I originally save them with the image number. Then as I go through them I insert my "code" of date and page which sorts them sequentially in their folder.

GreenmanTim said...

I believe you may be right about Captain Stephen Churchill, whose service history is here:

The march to Rhode Island that Captain Churchill made was in 1781...

Bill West said...

Keep looking. Did Daniel have
any brothers? You might check and see if he testified before he died for another veteran to help get them their pension. You never know!

I was hoping to find some information about my brickwall John Cutter West but found nothing at all on him. It's frustrating, but isn't the searching fun?

Bill West said...

Oh, I'm not blaming Footnote or
NARA. I realized how huge a job
it is. And the only place it has
been an issue for me is posting the files to my blog. Besides the
numerical vs. chronological issue, I keep wondering if I should post them in their entirety, skip over images that are mainly of envelopes or notes scribbled at the top of pages, or should I just give a summary of the information in the file?

So far I've gone with complete transcriptions here becasue I'm transcribing it all for my own
files anyway.

I like your system for keeping track of them. Think I'll make use of it!

Bill West said...

After reading that, I think my
theory that Asa confused his
Churchills is right.

Thanks for the link!