George M. Lonis
The following information concerning the military service of George M. Lonis during the Revolutionary War is sent to us by his ggg-grandson, Maynard Lonis.
The following depositions by Maynard's son Henry and Henry Sits are copied from Revolutionary War pension application papers of File W20522, received from the National Archives:
Declaration, in order to obtain the benefits of the third section of the Act of Congress of the 4th July, 1836
State of New York
On this fifth day of October in the year 1843 before the Court of Common Pleas of the said county in open court before the judges thereof the same being a court officer personally appeared Henry Lonis, a resident of the town of Stark in the said county of Herkimer, aged 65 years the 10th day of September last past who being first duly sworn according to law does on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain for the children and heirs at law of his mother Christina Lonis widow of George M. Lonis both deceased the benefits of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed July 4, 1836.
That after the Revolutionary War he often heard his father speak of his services as a soldier in the service of the United States in the Revolutionary War. Heard him tell of the hardship he endured and the cold he suffered in Montgomery's expedition to Quebec. Heard him speak of Montreal and other places the American troops then took and several battles they had with the British army and of their defeat at Quebec and the fall of their general the brave Montgomery. That under that enlistment he served about one year. And in the expedition to Canada he froze his feet. That he heard his father the said George M. Lonis speak of his service in the erection of Fort Dayton. Also that he was engaged in the Oriskany battle. That in that year he served under Bighead and also under Capt. Hess. That in the Oriskany battle his father had the ends of three fingers on his left hand shot off by an Indian and that the ball cut his hair above his ear. That as he was in the act of shooting, the ball of the Indian's gun struck him. That after close of the battle he took a British soldier prisoner and the horse of a British officer and took them to Fort Plank. That the horse had a portmanteau on in which was an officers coat and some linen and other things. That at Fort Plank he sold the coat to one John Walradt for six dollars. He also sold the horse. The horse had also a pewter tea pot fastened on him which the family had a few years since. Heard him speak also of serving under Capt. House and Captain Copeman. Heard him speak of Captain Seeber saying that they used to call him Rusty Seeber because he had a rusty sword and of several other officers whose names he cannot now recollect. Heard him say that he was in service at Fort Plain. Fort Plank. At Johnstown. That he was in service at Claverack from which place in a company of twenty four he went into the woods quite a number of miles to find a company of Tories that kept themselves concealed. The orders for them to go came from Albany. That he with the company went and in the wilderness in a gulch found their huts covered with bark and they took 12 men who had their families there but left the families. Heard him say he was engaged in the Battle of Durlack. Also that he was engaged in the battle with Butler and in the pursuit of Butler when he was killed. Heard him say he and one Miller at one time were sent on an excursion to Otsego Lake where they shot an Indian and discovered a large party of the enemy encamped at the side of the lake and the next day he with a detachment of the American troops followed the enemy down the Susquehanna.
That his father and mother the said George M. Lonis and Christina whose maiden name was Young were married the twenty seventh day of May in the year 1777 as appears by the original family record hereto annexed which record is in the handwriting of his father and was by him kept as the family record and which gives as this deponent was often informed by his father and mother the true date of their marriage and also the births of the children of whom this deponent is the oldest.
That his said father died in the month of August in the year 1814 leaving his mother the said Christina his widow who never afterwards intermarried but remained his widow as long as she lived. That his mother the said Christina died on the eleventh day of February 1837 leaving nine children and heirs at law whose names are Henry Lonis, this deponent. Susannah Widrig. Christina Moyer. George Lonis. Elizabeth Warmuth. Anna Spoon. Garret Lonis. Peter Lonis, and Godfrey Lonis who are the only children and heirs his mother left surviving and who are each over twenty one years of age.
(Signed) Henry Lonis
*The following affidavit was given by Henry Sits in regards to the Revolutionary War pension claim of the heirs of George M. Lonis.
State of New York
On this third day of August one thousand eight hundred and forty three before the undernamed justice of the peace in and for said county, personally appeared Henry Sits of the town of Minden in the county of Montgomery aged eighty nine years the twenty ninth day of the present month who being first duly sworn does on his oath say that previous to and during the Revolutionary War he was well acquainted with George Lonas who before the said war resided at Freysbush near Fort Plain and this deponent resided at Col. Waggoners on the north side of the Mohawk river from Fort Plain. That in the early part of the war, and when enlistments were making to fill up the army to go to Quebec under Genl. Montgomery, this deponent was at Fall Hill or what is now called Little Falls. There were several of the militia men there and Peter Yates came to enlist troops to go in the said expedition. That the said George Lonas, Nickolas Sits a cousin of this deponent, John Knouts, John Countryman, and Peter Shefer then there enlisted into the service of the United States under the said Yates to go into the said expedition, the first of the month. That they afterwards proceeded with the company to go to Canada by way of Ticonderoga. That the said enlistment was for one year and the said Lonas remained absent from home in the said service one year. That previous thereto in the year 1775 Genl. Schuyler came to Caughnewaga to the house of David Fonda and ordered all the mlitia regiments to assemble there. That this occupied about two weeks and then they were marched to Johnstown. That the said Lonas was one of the number. That in the year 1777 the first week in April this deponent and the said Lonas with others under Capt. John Bighead, Lieut. Warmuth went from Fort Plain to Fort Stanwix and were there in service until the last of May. That afterwards in the same year about the first of August, the said Lonas was again in the service, under Capt. Hess. This deponent went in the same company. That this expedition was to Fort Stanwix and before reaching the fort a severe engagement took place between the militia and the enemy composed Indians Tories and in which battle Genl. Herkimer was mortally wounded. That in this battle the said Lonas and this deponent were near together in the said battle that Lonas fired at the enemy from behind a tree and as soon as he fired this deponent took his place and in firing burst his gun. That after the battle was over they returned to Fort Plain. This expedition lasted eight or nine days. That this deponent recollects well also that afterwards the said Lonas was in service in Captain House's company and frequently saw him and on expeditions. But he cannot recollect the duration of any expedition in particular but recollects that the said Lonas was always ready when any alarm was made or the enemy in the vicinity, and was a brave man for the country. In the year 1780 in the summer the enemy destroyed the settlement west of Fort Plain and then the said Lonas being burned out and having nothing left removed east below Albany.
That the said Lonas was married in the early part of the war to Christina Young and they had one child when he was in the service at Fort Plain. That the said Lonas has been dead many years. That he left the said Christina his widow who died a few years since.
That the said Lonas was sometimes called George M. Lonas.
Subscribed & sworn before me Henry Sits
August 3, 1843. I. A. Rasbach
in presence of David Snyder
*The following year, 1844, another affidavit was given by Henry Murphy of Stark.
State of New York
On the twenty day of August 1844 Henry Murphy of the town of Stark aged eighty two years appeared before me and being duly sworn deposed and says that in the years 1779, 1780, 1781, & 1782 he was personally acquainted with George M. Lonis the husband of Christina Lonis. That the said Lonis resided near Fort Plank. That the said Lonis was in the service of the United States in the Revolutionary War in those years under Capt. House. That he was the only man in the company by the name George Lonis. That there was a Hannes or John Lonis but no other George Lonis either in the said company or in that section of country at that time or since except his sons born since the War - that this deponent was well acquainted with the company and in that section of country. This deponent says the said George M. Lonis was in the service of the United States in the early part of the Revolutionary War under Capt. Christopher P. Yeats. Enlisted for one year and went to Canada at the same time when J. Montgomery was killed at Quebec.
Subscribed and sworn before me this 20 August 1844
Thomas Suits Justice of Peace
I certify that I am personally acquainted with Henry Murphy the above deponent and that he is a man of good character and that his statements are entitled to full credit and belief.
Thomas Suits Justice of Peace
*The children of George M. and Christina Youngs Lonis received a retroactive pension. The certificate awarding this states:
I certify that, in conformity with the law of the United States, of the 4th of July, 1836
Christina Lones, deceased, who was the widow of George M. Lones, a private in the Revolutionary War, was entitled to a pension at the rate of $33.77 per annum, commencing on the 4th of March 1831 and ending on the 11th of February, 1837, the day of her death, which will be paid upon the production of the proper voucher to Henry, George, Garret, Peter and Godfrey Lones, Susannah Widrig, Christina Moyer, Elizabeth Warmuth and Anna Spoon, only children of Christina Lones, deceased.
Given at the War Office of the United States this 2nd day of November 1844.
Sec. of War
Maynard Lonis also sent us this short profile of his ggg-grandfather, George M. Lonis:
George Michael Lonis served in the Revolutionary War. He accompanied Montgomery's Expedition to Quebec. He was wounded in the battle of Oriskany. He took part in other engagements and expeditions. (1)
Before the war he resided at Freysbush, near Fort Plain. He was married on May 27, 1777, to Christina Young, the daughter of Hans Christian Young (1728 - 1813), he who came from Germany. (2) They had eleven children. The family made its home in Canajoharie township until Aug. 2, 1780, the date of Brant's raid on the settlements in the nieighborhood of Fort Plain. At this time they were burned out, and having nothing left removed east below Albany. By 1790 they had returned to Canajoharie, to the area that became Minden, Montgomery County in 1798. Shortly after 1817 this region was set off from Minden, named Danube, and in 1828 became Stark township, Herkimer County, as it now exists.
George M. Lonis is listed in the 1790 census in Canajoharie Town, 1800 and 1810 in Minden Town. By 1810, two sons, Henry and George, are listed in Minden as having their own families. Two children of George M., and two children of his son George, are listed in the Geisenberg Church records, during the period from 1794 to 1813. Records of the church prior to 1793 were lost. It is believed this Lonis family lived between Hallsville and Starkville for many years, at least until 1847, when Henry died. Other sons had moved by 1825 to other parts of Herkimer County, thence to Oneida County, and to Oswego County.
George M. Lonis was baptised February 5, 1744, in the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, near Rhinebeck, Red Hook area, east of the Hudson River, N.Y. His parents were J. Nicolas Lonis (Launes) and Anna Margaretha Hentgen. George M. Lonis died in August, 1814. His widow died on Feb. 11, 1837. Nine of their eleven children were still living in 1843: Henry, Susanna, Christina, George, Elizabeth, Anna, Garret, Peter and Godfrey.
1: Pension application on file, W20522, National Archives, Washington, D.C. Placed in file under the name of Louis (Loues) for index purposes.
2. Young's wife believed to be Anna Maria Miller. His will, dated May 28, 1807, is filed in Fonda, New York.
Many thanks to Maynard Lonis, who is the direct descendant of George M.'s fourth child, George (1784 - 1860). Maynard also contributed other material about George M. Lonis' family, including profiles of his children, references to his military service from other sources, a transcript of the original Bible page mentioned above, including a copy of the original in German in George M.'s own hand, census and will information. Maynard has written the book "The Lonis Family of New York State" (1960, revised 1993), which can be read at the State Library in Albany, the D.A.R. Library in Washington, D.C., the Herkimer County Historical Society, the Montgomery County Dept. of History and Archives, the Mormon Family History Department in Salt Lake City, and 6 other local libraries in New York and other states.
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