Happy July 4th – Rev. War Veteran

First US flag

Happy Independence Day.

Related to the US Independence, I would like to tell about one of my ancestor’s that served during the Revolutionary War. His story is common among those that served. He never went very far from home and saw little action. His name is Jacob Wilklow and he was born in 1764 in New Paltz, Ulster Co., NY. Most would say that he was too young to have served. His first service was for only one month in 1779. Usually you had to be at least aged 16 to serve in the militia. Jacob acted as a substitute for Cornelius Dubois Jr. in a Company commanded by Capt. John L. Hardenbergh. That Company of men guarded the western part of Ulster County against Indian raids. Jacob didn’t see any action during that month.

In 1780, Jacob volunteered for a militia Regiment under Colonel Wyrenvelt in a Company commanded by a Captain Piercy. That service was from March until just before Christmas when the Company was disbanded. Again the Company was on guard against Indian raids in western Ulster County that never happened.

After the winter, Jacob signed up for the militia again in 1781. This time he was in Col. Albert Pawling’s Regiment but again under Capt. Piercy. The Company went back to the western part of Ulster County and this time some Indians did raid the area and burned down the settlement at Wawarsing. Jacob and his Company fought the Indians and the Indians retreated and the Company pursued them for a few days but never caught up to them. It wasn’t found out until later that the Indians had come all the way from the Niagara region. That term of military service for Jacob only lasted 8 months and the Company was discharged on Dec. 24th.

Peace between the U. S. and Britain was declared in 1783. Jacob married Elizabeth Hood in 1784 or 1785. They had 5 children before Elizabeth died. Jacob then married Margaret Harris and they had 8 children; the last being born when Jacob was aged 51. The last record that I have for Jacob was when he applied for a pension based on his war service. He was to receive $120 per year. Jacob was still living in New Paltz when he had applied for his pension. I don’t have any idea when Jacob died. I haven’t ever found a tombstone for him nor for either of his wives. I don’t think they ever had tombstones.

If you want to research your Revolutionary War ancestor, start out reading this blog post by Dick Eastman from a couple of days ago. The original pension records are at the National Archives in D.C. Fold3 also those records online. That is a commercial website but I believe all the Family History Libraries in the US have free access to that website (write me if I am wrong). You have to be at the FHL to get that access and not from your home computer. But Fold3 is giving free access to Revolutionary War records until July 15th. You do have to create an account to download those records for free. If you have any ancestors in America during the War, do a search and see what turns up.