Monday, June 13, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Thomas Dill's Revolutionary War Pension Property Statement

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 property statement provided under oath by Thomas Dill (ca 1755- after 1830) on 9 August 1820.  The image of the document is shown below:

The transcription of this document reads (handwritten portions in italics):



County of Barnstable SS Thomas Dill of Eastham in the County of Barnstable

On this Ninth day of August 182 0, before the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Southern Circuit, proceeding according to the course of the common law with a jurisdiction unlimited in point of amount, having a power also of fine and imprisonment, and keeping a record of their proceedings, personally appeared in open Court, being a Court of record for the said county Barnstable aged sixty four years, resident in Eastham in said County, who being first sworn, according to law, doth, on his oath, declare that he served in
the Revolutionary was as follows, viz: Entered the service of the United States January the first 1776 and was discharged about the twentieth of December following.  I served in the Company commanded by Capt. Naler Hatch & Regiment commanded by Colonel Bond.

And I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States, on the 28th day of March, 1818; and that I have not, since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner, disposed of my property, or any part thereof, with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress, entitled "An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States, in the Revolutionary war," passed on the 18th day of March, 1818; and that I have not, nor has any person in trust for me, any property, or securities, contracts, or debts, due to me; nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed, and by me subscribed.

No Real estate or personal estate; nor any family.  I am old and unable to Labour.
Thomas Dill

Sworn to, and declared, on the ninth day of August, 1820,
before said court.  Attest Abner Davis. Clerk

I, Abner Davis clerk of Barnstable County do hereby certify, that the foregoing oath --- and the schedule thereto annexed, are truly copied from the record of the said court; and I do further certify, that it is the opinion of the said court that the total amount in value of the property exhibited in the aforesaid schedule is nothing -- dollars and cents.  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of the said court, on this sixteenth day of October 182 0.

Abner Davis, Clerk of the Court for the County of Barnstable.

The image of the schedule of property is shown below:

What this document tells us is that Thomas Dill is unable to work, has no income, and has no family (presumably a wife and children that live with him) in August 1820.  He had a number of children, but only one seems to be residing in Barnstable County in 1820 - his eldest son, Ezekiel.  Sons Jabez Dill and James H. Dill are probably residing in Boston in 1820.  Daughter Elizabeth Dill may be the one who is a schoolteacher in Dedham in 1822 (she's my ancestor).

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.

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