Jefferson County, NY Pioneers



1. PRESERVED REDWAY, son of James and Mehitable (Bliss) Redway, was born 14 July 1764 in Rehoboth, Mass. He moved with his parents to Killingly, Conn., in 1772. He was not yet 16 when, at Killingly on 1 July 1780, he enlisted in the Continental Army. Until his discharge the following 4 December, he served as a private in Capt. Robert Warner's Company, Col. Samuel Wyllys's Third Regiment, First Connecticut Brigade. On 19 February 1781, after spending most of the winter at home, he re-enlisted in the same company (the Third and Fourth regiments had by then been consolidated and redesignated the First Regiment, under Col. John Durkee.) He was discharged a corporal on 31 December 1783 and returned to Killingly, where he remained until at least 1785.

Sometime during the next three and a half years, Preserved migrated to New York; his mid-1789 marriage record describes him as "of Albany." (Although the marriage occurred at Somers, Conn., there is no evidence that he ever lived there.) The 1790 and 1800 U.S. censuses place him, at Ballston, Albany Co. (Saratoga Co., 1791), and Galway (set off from Ballston, 1792), respectively. The only local evidence that Preserved and his family lived in this vicinity is found at North Galway Cemetery, where stand the gravestones of his daughter Polly and son Abel (see below). On 20 February 1804, Preserved ("of Galway") paid $666 for most (316+ acres) of lot 140, in the northeast corner of Ellisburgh, Oneida Co. (Jefferson Co., 1805), abutting the townships of Adams (north) and Lorraine (east). There, about a mile from Adams village and theretofore part of the surrounding wilderness, Preserved spent the rest of his days. He died on 25 April 1837, aged 73, and is buried in Rural Cemetery, Adams.

Preserved married at Somers, Tolland Co., Conn., on 29 June 1789, AZUBAH JONES, who was born there on 1 November 1770 and died at Ellisburgh on 1 January 1853, aged 82 yrs., 2 mos., daughter of Daniel and Jemima (Webb) Jones; like her husband, Azuba is buried in Rural Cemetery, Adams.

Children: i born Somers; ii–vii, born Galway; viii–x born Ellisburgh:

2 i CHAUNCEY HAMILTON REDWAY, b. 5 Nov. 1789, d. Ellisburgh, 22 Nov. 1854; m. LODEM(I)A COOPER.

3 ii POLLY REDWAY, b. 4 April 1791, d. Galway, 8 June 1803.

4 iii AZUBA REDWAY, b. 25 Aug. 1792, d. Henderson, Jefferson Co., 6 April 1871, aged 78 y, 7 m, 11 d; m. Dr. PELETIAH DWIGHT.

5 iv ABEL REDWAY, b. 3 Dec. 1794, d. Galway, 23 May 1803.

6 v DANIEL JONES REDWAY, b. 10 Sept. 1796, d. on Ohio River ca. 1837 (steamboat explosion); m. ABIGAIL VAN, dau. Absalom and Abigail (_____) Van Gilder (later Van).

7 vi ALBERT GALLATIN REDWAY, b. 1 Feb. 1799, d. Ellisburgh, 15 Feb. 1870, aged 71 y, 15 d; m. ANN MARIA SESSIONS.

8 vii DAVID JONES REDWAY, b. 30 April 1802, d. Lorraine, Jefferson Co., 31 July 1876; m. HANNAH DOANE.

9 viii ABEL REDWAY, b. 8 Feb. 1805, d. Sandy Creek, Oswego Co., N.Y., 25 May 1882; m. SALLY CHARLOTTE GRINNELL.

10 ix HARVEY NATHAN REDWAY, b. 25 Feb. 1808, d. Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., N.Y., 9 Nov. 1885, in his 78th yr.; m. ELMINA PRUDENCE PARTRIDGE.

11 x MARY MARIA REDWAY, b. 10 April 1812, d. Ellisburgh, 6 Jan. 1857, aged 45; unm.

I assume you will also want to add, to the Updates to Rev Vets page, appropriate corrections to the Preserved Redway entry on the FONDA LIST OF REVOLUTIONARY WAR VETERANS IN JEFFERSON COUNTY: Preserved died at Ellisburgh (not Adams); Azubah's birth year is 1770 (not 1771), and she died at Ellisburgh (not Adams); though they were living at Ballston/Galway at the time, their first child was born at Somers (it was not uncommon for a young wife to return to her parents' home to deliver her first child); and the last three children were born at Ellisburgh (not Adams, as implied).

As to the claim that Preserved served in Gen. Washington's bodyguard (mentioned in the Fonda List entry): Every known secondary source of biographical information about Preserved (the earliest dated in 1873) includes that assertion. Always with Washington in time of action, the Commander-in-Chief's Guard was (according to his order of 30 April 1777) to be comprised of "sober, young, active, and well made . . . men of some property." Having inherited 20 acres from his father's estate, Preserved met the property requirement. And despite his tender age, he was not too young to be considered for this elite corps: more than a few Guardsmen were in their teens, some as young as fifteen. Given the Guard's great prestige, however, Preserved's failure to mention it in his pension applications suggests that he had not been a member. Carlos Godfrey's definitive history of the Commander-in-Chief's Guard includes a roster and service records of all those identified as members between its reorganization on 30 April 1777 and its dissolution on 20 December 1783, for which period virtually all the original rolls are extant. Preserved's name does not appear among those listed. Godfrey indicates that, of the many instances of Guard membership attributed to Revolutionary soldiers, the vast majority are unsupported or disconfirmed by the records.

Since neither of Preserved's two pension applications mentions battles, skirmishes or the like, he probably did not accompany Gen. Washington's army to Virginia in the fall of 1781 but remained on the Hudson (as did the majority of the Connecticut Line) to defend, uneventfully, the Highlands. The British surrender at Yorktown effectively ended the war, and Washington's troops returned to the Hudson that December. In early November 1782 the entire Continental Army marched to Washington's headquarters at Newburgh, N.Y. (by West Point), where it spent the last winter of the war. Although the army was largely disbanded in early June 1783, Preserved remained at West Point, probably with Col. Heman Swift's Regiment (the last formation of the Connecticut Line), until his discharge the following 31 December. So, while Preserved spent the last year or two of his enlistment "with Washington," in the loosest sense of that phrase, there is no evidence that he was a member of the general's bodyguard.

Eugene Cole Zubrinsky, FASG
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For more information contact Eugene Cole Zubrinsky, FASG

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