Monday, June 6, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Thomas Dill's Revolutionary War Pension Declaration

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the declaration filed by Thomas Dill (ca 1755 - after 1830) for a Revolutionary War Pension (the image below was captured on 

The transcription of this document is (handwritten text in italics):

United States of America

State of Massachusetts, Suffolk Co. Boston Jun 1818

I, Thomas Dill of Eastham, a Citizen of the United States, now resident at said Eastham, in the County of Barnstable in the State aforesaid, do, on oath, ........... declare, that I served, in the War of the Revolution, the full term of time required by a Law of the United States, made and passed in the month of March, A.D. 1818, entitled "An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States, in the Revolutionary War," as a requisite to entitle me to be placed on the pension list of the said United States, having entered the Land service of the said United States, on the Continental Establishment, and served as a private Soldier against the common enemy, from January 1st A.D. 1776 to January 1st 1777, being twelve months, in the company commanded by Captain Naylor Hatch and Colo. Barns' regiment, Massachusetts Line, and served a considerable part of said term of one year in the Lakes.  My discharge which upon honorable discharge, I have lost. I also served in the United States Brig Sophia Defiance eight months. from the fore part of January 1777 to the latter part of August same year. Said Brig Sophia was under Continental Officers - Her Commander's name was John Salew (I do not know how the name is spelled) and we were employed during said term of eight months in transporting flour from Alexandria ??? Virginia to Boston, for the Continental Service. I am now sixty two years old.

I also declare that, by reason of my reduced circumstances in life, I need the assistance of my Country for support. -- And I hereby relinquish all claim to every pension heretofore allowed me by the laws of the United States, id any may be, or hath been, so allowed.  Thomas Dill

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on this 19th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, pursuant to a law of the United States, entitled "An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War," made and passed on the 18th of March, A.D. 1818, before me, personally appeareth Thomas Dill, abovementioned, and after due examination and caution to testify and declare the whole truth, he maketh oath to the declaration aforesaid, and subscribed the same in my presence.
Jn Daesi [difficult to read!]
Dist Judge
Mass Dist

Except for the signature, the handwritten portions of this document were written by another person, perhaps the District Judge himself or the Judge's clerk.  The signature appears to be in a different hand.

The key piece of evidence in this declaration is the soldier's age and residence.  Thomas Dill states that he was 62 years old, and a resident of Eastham in Barnstable County, Massachusetts.  That places his birth in the 1755-1756 time frame.  The only Thomas Dill born between 1750 and 1770 in Massachusetts (in the records I've checked) is Thomas Dill, the youngest son of Thomas and Mehitable (Brown) Dill of Eastham.  He is listed as a minor son in the administration of his father's (Thomas Dill) estate in 1761.

Thomas Dill (ca 1755-after 1830) married three times - to Hannah Horton (1761-1797) in 1782, to Ruth Linkhornew in 1797, and to Susanna Hatch (1756-1816) in 1813.  Thomas and Hannah (Horton) Dill had nine children - all births are listed in the Eastham town records.  This list includes Elizabeth Dill (1791-????), who may be the Elizabeth Horton Dill (1794-1869) who married Alpheus B. Smith in 1826 in Dedham, Mass.  They are my third great-grandparents. 

There are several more interesting documents in this Revolutionary War Pension File that I will transcribe in the coming weeks.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

May i use this in a personal document folder as an example of a revolutionary pension record?