Friday, November 1, 2013

Beeks line: John Simpson Aldridge (Senior) Revolutionary War hero

John Simpson Aldridge entered the service in 1776 as a private and was discharged in 1780 as a private.  So what makes him a hero, in my eyes?  From my reading and research, it wasn't common for someone to re-enlist, as he did in 1777, and to stay for the entire three year term.  John stuck it out, and I commend him for it. 

The blog today isn't mine. I am copying, with gratitude, a document I found in the Rushville, Indiana library, that was sent to them on September 6, 1981 by Geo. M. Stiers.  Mr. Stiers acknowledges the help of Larry Stout in putting this document together, so I would like to acknowledge both of them as the researchers and authors of this blog. 

"John Seimpson Aldridge was born 9 Feb 1761 in Prince Georges County, Maryland.l  It is believed that he was the son of Jacob and ______ Aldridge.

On August 8, 1776, at the age of fifteen, was was enlisted in the Maryland "Flying Camp" by 1st Lr. Clement Hollyday, for duty until December 1, 1776.  This took place in Frederick County, Maryland--Upper District (Washington County).  Washington County was separaged from Frederick County in 1776, and while not yet organized, was to consist of what is now Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties, Maryland.

The "Flying Camp" was a militia organization which, when combined with the Pennsylvania and Delaware "Flying Camps" was to consist of 10,000 men and was to serve in the three Colony area.  However, This organization was moved immediately to New York and fought in battles at White Plains, New York on 22 August 1976 and near Fort Washington on 16 November, 1776.  The Maryland brigade was disbanded on December 1, 1776 and he was discharged at Philadelphia, Pa.

John Aldridge's pension record states that he was living in Washington County, Penn (no Greene Co., Pa) when he again enlisted as a Private or Drummer on 28 December 1776 in a Company which was recruited and later commanded by Cap't James Hook.  This Company was made a part of the 13th Virginia Regiment of Light Infantry, commanded by Col. William Ressell.  His pay was to be 9 and 2/3rds dollars per month. 

Washington County, Penn. was at that time in an area that was claimed by both Virginia and Penn.  Both States were recruiting in the area.

The 13th Virginia fought in the battle of Brandywine at Chadd's Ford, Penn on 11 Sept. 1777, and then spent the winter of 1777-1778 in camp at Valley Forge, Penn. In March of 1778, the 13th Virginia was consolidated into the 9th Virginia Regment and re-assigned to Fort Pitt in Western Penn.  John Aldridge was there and also spent some time on detached duty at Fort Armstrong. Cap't. Uriah Springer was Company Commander and Col. John Gibson was in charge of the Regiment.  John Aldridge was discharged in 1780, while still stationed at Fort Pitt.

After this, he returned to Frederick County, Maryland and married Mary Lakin on the 14th of Nov. 1783, in the Evangelical Reformed Church at Frederick.  Mary Lakin was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Fee) Lakin.

A few years after the marriage John and wife, and her parents moved to Franklin Township, Greene Co, Penn.  The Fee family had preceded them there.  They are listed on the 1788 tax roll and in the 1798 census.  All three families moved on to Kentucky about 1793 and then on to Clermont County, Ohio about 1795.

The early records for Clermont County lists John Aldridge:

1801: Army Lands Virginia Military District
1806: Clermont County, Ohio Tax List.
1807 Served on Grand Jury.
1809: Road Supervisor, Washington Township
1810: On Tax List

John Aldridge had been awarded a Land Grant, Warrant No. 4274, for 100 acres of land, in the Virginia Military District by the State of Virginia, for his services in the Revolutionary War.  The date of entry for the Survey (no. 3878) in the V.M.D. Entry book was made on the 7th May, 1807 and recorded May 30, 1808.  However, it was not until March 1822, that a patent was obtained for this tract of land.  This was obtained by a Polly Nash.  The 100 acres tract is located four miles west and one mile south of Batavia on Shaylor Clermont County, Ohio. 

On 4th Oct. 1819, John Aldridge applied for his Revolutionary War pension. He was living in Clermont County at that time. 

The 1820 Federal census for Clermont County shows John Aldridge and family as (probably) 1 male 16-18, Nathan, 2 males 16-26,  John Simpson Jr and Erasmus, 1 male over 45, John Simpson Sr., 1 Female under 10, (Delilah Ann, Granddaughter), 3 females 16-26, Mary, Sarah, and Delilah, and 1 female over 45, Mary Lakin Aldridge.

He appeared in Circuit Court on 7th of July 1821 in Fayette Co., Indiana and made an affidavit pertaining to his Pension Claim No. 15674, which had been approved on 4th Nov. 1819.  It is thought that he was living in or moving to Rush Co., Indiana at this time as the Circuit Court in Rush County was not yet organized. 

On May 30, 1826, he and hiw wife willed all of their household furniture and bedding to their daughter Sarah, who was living with them and had not married. At that time He owned the southeast quarter of Section 9, Township 12 N., Range 8E., in Rush County.

On March 23, 1827, he and Mary entered into an agreement with their sons, Nathan and John Aldridge and wives, whereby John and Mary would give to the two sons the southeast quarter of Section 9, and, in exchange the two sons would provide them a decent and confortable support, substinence, maintenance in furnishing them and care of them during their lives---meat, drink, and lodging suitable to their age and situation in life, when ever the needs require----------.

The 1840 Federal census, which was also the Register of Pensioners for Revolutionary War Military Service, shows John Aldridge, age 79, and his wife Mary, living with their son Nathan in Orange Township, Rush County.

John Simpson Alddridge died on 17 Nov. 18423 and is buried in the Aldridge Cemetery on the Orange-Anderson Township line in Rush County, with grave marker appropriate for his service in the Revolutionary War.  Mary lived until 27 Nov. 1843, and was granted his War pension, but did not live to receive it. The pension was divided between surviving children.  She is also buried in the Aldridge Cemetery.

During their lifetime, it is reported that they had the following children:

Joseph Lakin b. 27 Sept. 1784
Rachel Plummer b. 21 Mar. 1786
Ramzy or Rauzy b. 20 Sept.. 1789
Elizabeth b. 10 March 1791
Mary b. Feb. 15, 1793
Sarah b. 10 May 1795
John Simpson Jr.l b. 27 Feb. 1798
Delilah b. 23 Dec. 1799
Erasmus b. 1801-1803
Nathan B. b. 3 Aug. 1803

However, there is one line of thought that suggests that there were only nine children in the family, and that Ramzy or Rauzy and Erasmus were one and the same person. In none of the old records, ie: John Simpson's prayer book; Mary Lakin Aldridge's estate papers, the War Dep't correspondence and, the Aldridge Bible frecord, which is included in the Southern Bible Records are the names of Ramzy-Ruazy and Erasmus stated together. It was not until later generations that both names begin to occur in the lists of children.  It is thought that Ramzy or Rauzy was a nickname used by John Aldridge for Erasmus.  Erasmus is shon in the Federal Census for 1830-1840-1850 and 1860 as living in Rush County close to other Aldridge's and married to Sarah _______?. The census'indicate that he was born in 1789-1790 instead of 1801-1803 as later reported."

I have tried to copy this with the same typos that were in the original.  For any additional typos, I apologize.  I'm absolutely amazed at how much research went into this report, which was done way before the internet. There was information in this that I did not have, but much of it is supported by my own research, and I have faith that this information is correct. Because of the length of this post, I will wait until Tuesday to make my additional comments to this document. 

Again, thanks to George Stiers and to Larry Stout for this information, and for telling us about a family hero!