The Revolutionary War as Told by Articles From the NYG&B Record

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 6:30am
Author: 
Carlos A. Santiago

Our ancestors have lived through some of the most pivotal events in American history. Even the most ordinary of people played their part in contributing to them. New York State was at the center of many of these national and worldly events. Its citizens are well documented, especially in a moment as groundbreaking as the American Revolution. In this page, researchers will find valuable resources for finding ancestors that lived during the Revolutionary War period. Sources such as wills, pension files, and discharge documents. Researchers will be pleased to know that there are articles below that trace the genealogy of people that experienced the war in some way. These stories can help with asking questions and give perspective on what other kinds of documents you could search for.  

Click on volume numbers below to view the article. 

Revolutionary War Father - Civil War Son: John and Van Rensselaer of Chautauqua County  

By Anthony Hoskins 

Vol. 132, No. 1

It seems unlikely that a son's military service would occur over eighty years after his father's, but that's exactly what this article explores - a father and son who served in the American Revolution and the Civil War respectively. This article focuses on the "generational anomaly" of the Darling family from Chautauqua County. 

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Revolutionary War Service Records Hidden in the Pension Files 

By William J. Parry, Ph.D. 

Vol. 136, No. 1

“What is not so widely known is that the pension files also include substantial information on the military service records of men who did not apply for pensions.”

- William J. Parry, Ph.D.

Most researchers are not aware that pension files contain valuable genealogical information for those that did not file for a pension. Thanks to Dr. Parry’s impeccable research, he provides readers with the pension files of Revolutionary War soldiers from Coxsackie, Greene County, New York. Parry takes readers through the information that the pension files contain and how to read them against the grain. 

This article is especially useful for those with research interests in this area but serves as an excellent example for anyone with Revolutionary War ancestors - by following Parry's work closely, you may be able to uncover unexpected information in pension files from this era.

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Dinah Dick Conkey, Revolutionary War Patriot and Matriarch of Salem, N.Y. 

By Joseph H. Schaefer 

Volume 86, No. 2

Joseph H. Shaefer, the author of this article, grew up in Salem, New York hearing stories of a woman named Molly Pitcher who played a key role in the Siege of Fort Clinton and Battle of Monmouth. Her work saw her rise to the rank of a sergeant. This begged the question about other women during the Revolutionary War. Schaefer was familiar with another woman who participated in the War. 

“While not as glamorous or exciting, her service was obviously a contribution of greater net effective value in the overall war effort.”

- Joseph H. Schafer on Dinah Dick Conkey

As he would find out, her headstone is at the abandoned “Old Salem Burial Ground of the Revolutionary War. “ Her name was Dinah Dick Conkey and her headstone at this burial ground is slowly fading away in its exposure to the element. That image does not speak to her importance. Thanks to Shaefer, genealogical and historical research led him to explore the records of Salem, Washington County, New York that helped track down Conkey’s descendants and helps restore her agency during such a pivotal time in our country's history.  

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Helps for New York Genealogists: Memoirs of Revolutionary Soldiers Deceased 

By Henry R. Stiles, M.D 

Vol. 2, No. 4

This article has important information from soldiers in the Revolutionary Army through their wills. Henry R. Stiles, M.D., extracted these wills with the goal of providing researchers with these probate memoranda. Included are names, regimental connection, and relationships mentioned in the will from deceased soldiers mostly from Ulster County, Albany County, New York City, Long Island and parts of Connecticut. 

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Another Revolutionary War Father with Civil War Son: Samuel and Martin L. Ingham of Dutchess and Broome Counties  

By Norman W. Ingham 

Vol. 132, No. 4

This article focuses on the lives of a family that had a father who served in the Revolutionary War and a son that served in the Civil War. The Inghram family lived in Dutchess and Broome Counties during these eras. 

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Revolutionary Discharges 

Vol. 30, No. 4

The State of New York created a system to pay its soldiers in 1782. This article focuses on the discharge information on the claims soldiers of the Military Tract in Central New York made. Researchers will find the names, ranks, and time of service of soldiers from Onondaga County in this article. 

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Sarah (Kip) Crane Scudder and Her Revolutionary-War-Officer Husbands 

By Diane Crane Benelli 

Vol. 138, No. 4

This article explores the story of Sarah (Kip) Crane Scudder and tracks the multiple directions her life went in. Her life’s instability led her to live in New York City, Clarks Town, Jamaica, New Windsor, and Baltimore. Author Diane Crane Benelli shows that Sarah’s life took many twists and turns due to the American Revolution and land speculation.  

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The Fourth New York Regiment in the American Revolution 

By Albert Gedney Barratt 

Vol. 59, No. 4

This is a comprehensive list of the Fourth New York Regiment of Orange and Ulster counties in the Revolutionary War. Included are lists of servicemen and their respective ranks from the Newburgh Village Militia Company, North Newburgh Company, Western Newburgh Company, and Northeast Marlboro Company. In these pages, researchers will also find details about the experiences of this regiment such as where it traveled and where their services were needed.  

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Three Unsuccessful Eiklor Revolutionary War Pension Applications 

By Eugene Eiklor 

Vol. 140, No. 3 

Serving in the American Revolution did not automatically entitle the person who served to a pension. Through the lens of Greene County’s Frederick Eaghler, John Eaghler, and Jesse Allen, author Eugene Eiklor “examines the varied treatment of the pension applications of the soldiers and/or their widows.” This analysis shows that pension laws were both “political and practical.” 

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Capt. Israel Thomas, A Revolutionary Soldier, and Some of His Descendants 

By Zeno Thomas Griffen 

Vol. 36, No. 4

This article tracks down the descendants of Israel Thomas, who was a Captain of a Militia in Albany. 

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Captain Benjamin Merrill: A Pre-Revolutionary Revolutionist 

By Samuel Merrill 

Volume 30, No. 4

This article briefly discusses a captain from a militia regiment in Rowan, North Carolina named Benjamin Merrill. The author, Samuel Merrill, is related to Benjamin. He found two letters written in 1888 as well as other documents that gave him valuable information about Captain Benjamin Merrill. This article speaks to how important events like the Revolutionary War are to families and how they pass down stories of their ancestors that participated in them. 

    New Jersey’s Revolutionary Flotilla-Men in New York’s Waters 

    By Phillip Randall Voorhees 

    Vol. 22, No. 2

    This piece, as author Philip Randall Voorhees notes, drops genealogy. Instead, the paper traces lines of ancestors from Holland that immigrated to New York in 1660 and settled in Long Island. Genealogy here is used as a tool to create a narrative to “recall brave deeds performed by brave men in littoral warfare.” With the author’s skills as a lawyer, he uses “mass evidential facts” to create a compelling story that could help researchers add details to the life that their ancestors lived in. Using documents from New York and New Jersey, Voorhees tells the story of the Revolutionary Flotilla-Men. 

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    Major Azariah Egleston of the Revolutionary Army 

    By Thomas Egleston, LL.D. 

    Vol. 23, No. 3

    Researchers that want a comprehensive look at how documents can add details and color to the life and times of ancestors would be interested to read this article. The life of Major Azariah Egleston of Massachusetts is highlighted in this piece, which was written by Thomas Egleston.