Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A to Z April Challenge: D

This is day 4 of the A to Z April Challenge.

is for Davis, in particular Leonard Davis, my 4G grandfather.  Another way of saying that is my great-grandfather’s great-grandfather.  I found Leonard’s Revolutionary War pension application online.  Under the Revolutionary War Pension Act of 1832, every man who had served at least two years could apply for a pension, whether he needed it or not. Leonard applied in 1833, but apparently he was initially denied.  Supposedly two of the witnesses vouching for his character were deemed not credible. Hrmph.

Here are some of the documents (D is for documents!):

Click on the image to enlarge
Click on the image to enlarge
Click on the image to enlarge

I could transcribe Leonard’s statement that he dictated to the Justice of the Peace as well as all the letters, but I’ll give you the Cliff Notes:
  • Leonard didn’t know when he was born, but he thought he was 19 in 1781. His father had moved to North Carolina and taken all important papers with him.
  • Leonard grew up in Albemarle County, Virginia but moved to Rockingham County (which is where I first find him in a census).
  • He was drafted in Albemarle and served under Captain John Hunton and Isaac Davis. He marched to York, Hampton, and Williamsburg accompanying prisoners.
  • He fought at Hot Water and in Jamestown.
  • Leonard marched again as part of the militia under Isaac Davis.  They joined up with Lafayette.  Now how cool is that?  I wonder if Leonard actually MET Lafayette.  Did they chat over a dry biscuit and rum? Or was he merely one of a thousand young boys carrying a musket?
  • Somewhere between Richmond and Fredericksburg he was transferred to another company.
  • Soon after he was discharged but given no papers as proof.

Eventually it all worked out for Leonard after he supplied more letters from reputable people vouching for the previously non-credible witnesses.  Had there been a preacher in the neighborhood to vouch for him, Leonard would probably have received his benefits sooner. That seemed to be a sticking point with the government.

Do take a minute to see other Delightful posts at the A to Z Challenge.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. great post! anything with genealogy and history is fascinating.

    My mom did ours once, and it turns out we had relatives on the Mayflower! (and also 2 on the Titanic-- so boats are either really good for my family or really bad)

    Will be back to


  2. Great post Miss Wendy. Where did his father reside in NC?

    DAR R us- ha!

  3. It is always extraordinary to me that any man survived the rigours of war. I'm glad your great-grandfather's great-grandfather eventually received his rightful pension.

  4. How fortunate you are to look back at your ancestors. And think how lucky that grandfather was to have survived 2 years in the war. A true patriot.

  5. How interesting! I would love to more about my family's history. Thanks for sharing! I'm glad he ended up finally getting the pension.

  6. Wow, very interesting post! Thanks. I too just love digging into all my ancestors comings and goings....!

  7. I am amazed once again at the history you have on your family. I love the old documents...and the credibility story. We have no idea when we complain how lucky we actually are.

    Happy A-Z Wednesday!

  8. Davis & Documents; Double Ds. Delightfully delicious. [Sorry, got carried away. :)] Colleen