Jefferson County, NY Pioneers



Samuel Marsh, Revolutionary War soldier, was born in Douglas, Massachusetts on 13 January 1755. He was the son of Eli Marsh, born 19 Feb. 1731 in Douglas and died on 28 Dec. 1813 in Sturbridge, MA. Samuel's mother was Mary Puffer, who married Eli Marsh on 30 October 1751 in Wrentham, MA and she died on 14 July 1788 in Sturbridge, MA. Samuel was the third of their nine children.

Samuel settled in Lorraine, Jefferson County, before 1810. He is listed in both the census of 1810 and 1820. He married on 18 September 1788 to Lucretia Ward in Leverett, MA, by Mr. Williams, a Presbyterian clergyman. Samuel Marsh died on 13 April 1821 in Lorraine, after he had applied for his Revolutionary War pension. When he filed on 17 April 1818 in Jefferson County, he was 63 years of age and able to sign his own name. A partial abstract of his pension is provided here:

"Enlisted for 8 months in April 1775 in a company commanded by Capt. Adam Martin in Col. E. Larned's regiment of infantry in Massachusetts. His term of enlistment expired the last day of December for that enlistment. He enlisted again on the 1st of January 1776 in Captain Samuel Curtis's Company in Col. Larned's Regiment, until January 1777 when that enlistment expired. He participated in the Battle at Long Point."

Samuel provided additional information:

"I am a farmer and that I am in such feeble strength and health as to be wholly unable to work. I have a wife, aged sixty years, who has been afflicted with a palsey for fifteen years and is unable to do any kind of work. I have no children living nor any other property than what is named in the annexed schedule, which cannot last long."

After Samuel's death, widow Lucretia applied for a widow's pension and received Certificate No. W.20227 for the Continental MA service of Samuel Marsh. Earlier information in the file showed that Samuel Marsh of Lorraine, was a private in the regiment commanded by Col. Larned of the Massachusetts line for one year. He was inscribed on the roll of New York at $8 per month which commenced on 17 April 1818 and his Certificate of Pension was issued on 20 July 1820, and subsequently sent to Pearce and Ely of Watertown, NY.

A deposition in the file, by Caleb Allen of Ellisburgh, stated that he was in the same company as Samuel and that Samuel was well known to him; further, Samuel had served in the eight month service and in the year service. Another deposition in the file, dated 3 January 1839, by Baxter Adams of the town of Adams in Jefferson Co., stated that he was well acquainted with Samuel who was of Lorraine, and had lived in the town for many years. He also stated that Samuel was exceedingly poor and that his widow, Lucretia Marsh was also very poor and depended upon her friends for support and was also quite aged. At that time she was living with the family of David Smith of Adams. (In the 1840 special census she was living with the family of David Steadman.) Baxter also stated that he examined what appeared to be a family bible of Samuel Marsh and it recorded the marriage to Lucretia Ward. Clark Allen of Lorraine provided a deposition that stated he was well acquainted with both Samuel Marsh, whom he first knew about 30 years prior, and his wife, Lucretia. Clark had lived in the same town until Samuel died.

In Lucretia Marsh's deposition before Judge Benjamin Wright on 5 January 1839, she stated that she had married Samuel in Leverett on the above date and had never had any other husband. At the time of the deposition Lucretia was 78 years old, very infirm and memory impaired. She was trying to get a widow's pension under the act of July 7, 1838. Lucretia signed the deposition with her mark.

On 5 January 1839, a statement before Justice of the Peace, George Andrus, by Dolly Clarey of Adams, NY, showed that she was first acquainted with Samuel and Lucretia when they lived in Leverett, MA. Then Samuel and Lucretia moved to Lorraine, NY where Samuel died. It was after his death that Dolly moved to Adams, NY from Leverett.

Betsey Smith of Adams provided a deposition on 17 January 1839, which stated that she met Samuel at Leverett, after he had married Lucretia. At the time of the deposition, Lucretia was living with her, was dependent and almost wholly destitute of property. In another deposition made by her on 25 Feb. 1839, she annexed leaves from the family bible of Samuel Marsh wherein Lucretia had recorded Samuel's death on 13 April 1821.

Lucretia's certificate under the Act of 1838, awarded a Five Years Pension and was issued on 8 June 1839 and sent to the Hon. J. C. Chittenden of Adams, NY. Lucretia received arrears of $120 to March of 1839 and a semi-annual allowance that ended 4 Sept. 1849 of $20. It was then that she received a pension of $40 per annum, which was later increased to $66.66 per annum under the Act of July 7, 1838.

Among the older statements in the file was one dated 4 July 1820 by Thomas Dunston of LeRay; he was acquainted with both Samuel Marsh and Duty Marsh and believed there was no connection or relationship between them. A deposition of 3 Nov. 1818 by Benjamin Felton of Brookfield, Worcester, MA stated that Samuel Marsh was of Sturbridge in Worcester County.

In regard to the Act of 3 March 1843, Lucretia at age 83 years appeared personally on 6 April 1843, before Judge J. C. Chittenden, and stated that she had received earlier pensions.

When Lucretia passed away, the following estate information was filed in Jefferson County:

In the matter of the estate of LUCRETIA MARSH of Lorraine, Jefferson Co. NY:

ABEL W. ADSIT swore that LUCRETIA MARSH was a Revolutionary Pensioner of the United States under the Act of 17 June 1844, at the rate of $66.66 per annum and died in the Town of Lorraine on the 12th day of December 1844. Lucretia did not have any children surviving her and that by an agreement made with the said Lucretia, deceased, the deponent was to maintain her during her lifetime for the annual amount of her pension and that the arrears of said pension by such agreement is coming to him, he having performed the contract on his part and supported her comfortably during life and was at the expense of her burial. Dated: 17 December 1844. /s/ Abel Adsit

Jefferson Co., NY Estate Papers, Box M1/16

NOTE: Based upon the 1840 special census of Revolutionary pensioners, Lucretia Marsh was 84 years of age, which places her date of birth about 1756. No burial locations were found for either Samuel or Lucretia.

Sources: VIR of Massachusetts and NY; census records; pension records of Jefferson Co., NY; History of the Connecticut River Valley and History of Leverett, MA; History of the Marsh Family of Salem, MA. Special thanks to Martha Magill, Assistant State Coordinator for the NYGenweb, for supplying the details of this pensioner.

This information about the Pioneer Samuel Marsh family was contributed by volunteer Marilyn Sapienza.

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