This article about Jonathan Averill's Revolutionary War pension records was written by Chris DeVoe, who personally studied his records. If you have information to share about Jonathan and his children, please send it directly to Chris.
The Revolutionary career of Jonathan Averill found in his pension application to the War Department, is fascinating. On May 11, 1818, at age 62 and living in Warren, NY, he made a deposition including most of the following. He enlisted as a musician in Captain Waterman Cliffs (Infantry) Co., Col. Holden Person's Regt. of the Connecticut Line, about April (he later said April 1st), 1775, serving 8-9 months stationed in Roxbury CT. He then enlisted in 1776 in Capt. Oliver Coit's Co., Col. John Eley's Regt., as musician, also serving 8-9 months, and was "in the Battle of white Plains in the year 1776." He received an appointment of 2nd Surgeon (Surgeon's Mate) on board the Brig Resistance, commanded by Capt. Samuel Chaw (Chase?) in June 1777, and received an appointment as Full Surgeon on that vessel on 1/27/78. He continued about a year on that ship during which, he averred, he was "in three score" actions, including one in which his Captain was killed. Sometime that December, he received appointment as 2nd Surgeon aboard the Frigate Providence, commanded by Abraham Whipple, and was there another 8-9 months.
In May 1779, Averill received another 2nd Surgeon appointment, this time on board the Frigate Alliance, but he never did any duty on it, he said. By 1781, he was 1st Surgeon aboard another Brig, the Wexford, commanded by John Peck Rathbon. He served for two months before it was captured by the British and taken to Ireland "at which time he lost all his papers." He remained (in Cork, he later added) three months, then escaped to Portugal (again, later amended to Vigo, Spain), then returned "to his native Country where he at first enlisted" (on board the packet Gloucester, serving, of course, as Surgeon). In 1818, being in "reduced circumstances, stands in need of the afsistance of his Country." His statement was signed "Jonathan Averell, #2 Surgeon." Judge John Herkimer took his testimony.
A later statement was necessary, apparently, for he gave an account of his circumstances on July 4 (!), 1820, that he was "in the Music & Surgeon's Department in the Connecticut Line" in 1776, was discharged under General Washington at White Plains in October, 1776, and also served as Surgeon's Mate and Surgeon between 1777 and July 22, 1782. He gave a schedule of his assets in 1820:
possess 3 3/4 acres Land worth $150..00
1 mare 30..00
1 yearling colt 30..00
1 Sucking colt 15..00
1 Horse Waggon 25, 1 Horse 25 --- old Waggon 10 60..00
1 cow $15, 1 plough $1 16..00
1 Pot & Kettle $1..50. 2 Spiders 50 ct 2..00
1 p Shovel and tongs old 0..75
1 Lad (?) Irons 0..38
1 bake pan 0..75
6 Knives & 6 forks 75 cts, 3 Spoons pewter 18 cts 0..93
2 Pails 0..25
1/2 Doz poor Chairs 2..25
4 Do. very old & worn out nearly 0..25
1 Old Watch 4..00
6 Cups & Saucers 0..73
4 Plates 0..24
1 pair Iron Dogs 0..30__
2 Looking Glafs small worth 2..00
1 Saddle and bridle $3, 10 Sheep & 10 lambs 15 -- 2 pigs $4 37..00
2 Tables and 1 Stand old harnifs 1..25
My family consist of Myself & wife aged 61 yrs & child aged 14 years and My wife is consumptive and very infirm Cannot do but Little. Sworn debt which I owe amounts to $737..50.
Opinion of the Court is the value of property is 355..68
This was signed by Judges David Holt, George Rosecrants & John J. Prendergast.
Four more documents were in the pension file. First, a War Office letter dated 8/3/43 stating that "Jonathan Averill deceased.. [is] entitled to a pension at the rate of $480 per annum, and having died August 16, 1835, the amount due from March 4, 1831 to then [less what he received] is payable to Stetina Mack, Harty Maria Averill & Loretta Averil, Children of said Jonathan Averill, deceased." The second is a certificate filed in Little Falls, NY, Surrogate's Court on June 7, 1843 stating that Jonathan Averill died 8/16/35, living in Little Falls, his widow survived, and their children were Stetina Mack, wife of Warren Mack of Warren NY, Harty Maria Averill of Warren and Loretta Averill of Warren. The last is a Power of Attorney by Frances L. Paine on March 23, 1853, attesting that she was a daughter of Jonathan Averill, Revolutionary Surgeon, and that he died 8/16/35, her mother Ann had died on October 13, 1833; her parents had been married on 12/4/83 and lived 50 years in Connecticut (Wattuck or Woodstock -- hard to read). She lives in Warren. She appointed a F. E. Hassler of Washington, DC, as her attorney to try to recover pension benefits for her father from the Federal Government. (A final letter to a Mrs. J. T. Lee of Tacoma, WA, dated February 29, 1940, gave a few more details of Jonathan's service; I noted the details above.)
Frances Loretta Averill married (date unknown) Seth Jedediah Payne (b. 8/15/05 Warren) at date unknown. Seth was the son of Jededian Payn of Lebanon CT and Jane Filer.
Our thanks again to Chris DeVoe for contributing another Town of Warren pension record! Chris said "it's the most amazing piece I've found so far from Pension applications. He moved to and then died in Herkimer County -- otherwise no connection. A Devoe married a Paine in 1853."
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