An email fromTom Spurlin identifies James for us, he says, "James Cheshier was a first cousin to Elizabeth Cheshier who married William Simpson, Sr.. Elizabeth's mother was a Sythia. I did not know last name but knew she was married to John Cheshier. I knew Jane was a member of this family. It seems to fit. The Simpson's ended up in Hamilton Co. Illinois and Cheshier's in Fayette Co. Ill. James Ch. pension# R 110 he lived with Simpson's and later with Cheshier's. I found your info at www. Revised Nov 4 2000 Thank you I have spent years looking at this and knew someday a small connection would be made. James was my 4th great grandfather. Tom Spurlin" 




NO. R. I. 910


On this 25th day of December, 1843, personally appeared before the Probate Justice of the Peace for the county aforesaid James Cheshier, a resident of said County of Fayette, aged ninety-four years and upwards, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832, that he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated (viz.) he resided in the time of the Revolutionary War in Prince William County, State of Virginia, and he served five lawful tours of three months each, the particular dates of which he is unable to state --

          The first tour was shortly after the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first militia that was called into service from that part of Virginia.  The militiamen were classed, and he belonged to Class No. One.  He was called out and served under Captain William FARROW.  They were marched to Leesburg where they were stationed.

          After which he was drafted and served four other tours, one of which was under the said William FARROW - one under Capt. Luke CANNON - one under Capt. John HODGES - and one under Capt. Samuel LOVE.  One of his Lieutenants was named Robert HODGES - another by the name of OVERHALL.

          He served under Col. LEE and under Genl. Harry LEE.  One tour the troops to which he belonged were called the Northern Troops - and they were attached to Genl. GREEN's Army and were marched into South Carolina to a place called Long Island.

          He was in the following battles:  at Brandywine, at the Camping at old Williamsburg - and at Gates' defeat.  He was in service at the time Cornwallis was taken, was on his march to that place ...the time he was marched into South Carolina, he was at the hanging rock but not until the battle was over.  He was kept in service this tour several weeks after his regular tour had expired.  He had got his discharge and was on his way home at the time of the Battle at Guilford Courthouse.  And the fifth day after he got home he was drafted to go to the tour to Little York where Cornwallis was taken.  At the expiration of each tour he got a discharge and a certificate from his officers, which he possessed until about thirty-six years ago.  On Christmas Eve, his house was burnt, at which time they were destroyed.  

          He has no documentary evidence by which to prove his service, nor does he know of any person living where testimony he can procure to prove his service.

         One other short tour he thinks proper to mention -- the British had set fire to and burnt Brunts buildings at the mouth of Quantico.  The militia were called out in mass.  They drew arms at Dumfries and were in service a few days and were discharged (or dismissed without a discharge until further orders).

          He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity, except the present, and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the agency of any state.

          Sworn to and subscribed this day and year aforesaid, before me Asakiel LEE, P-I-P


                                                                                   James  (X)  Cheshier


We, Rutherford SHELTON, Isham LANGFORD, and Harrison D. HAIZLIP, residents of Fayette County, Ill., certify that we are well acquainted with James CHESHIER, who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe him to be 94 years of age, that he is reputed and believed to be a soldier of the Revolution and that we would concur in that opinion.

Sworn and subscribed this 25 day of December 1843 before me, Asakiel LEE;, P. I. P.

Signed by:    Isham LANGFORD                                                                                                                                                       Harrison D. HAIZLIP                                                                                                                                     (Mark of) Rutherford SHELTON

And the said Probate Justice of the Peace does hereby declare his opinion, after investigation of this matter and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department, -- that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states, and i further certify that it appears to me that Rutherford SHELTON, Isham LANSFORD, and Harrison G. HAIZLIP, who have signed the preceding certificate, are credible persons residing in this county and that their statements entitle to credit.  And i certify that on account of the age and infirmity of the said James CHESHIER, I have waited on him at his residence, some 12 miles from my office.

Given under my hand and private seal, no official seal being provided as yet for this office, this 25th December 1843.

                                                        Askiel LEE, P. I. P.

QUESTION: Where and in what year were you born?

ANSWER:     In Prince William County, VA., in 1749.

QUESTION: Have you any record of your age?

ANSWER:    Not any, from information of my parents I was born ...

QUESTION: Where were you living when called into service, where have you  lived since the Reovlutionary War, and                              where do you live now? 

ANSWER:    In Prince William County, Virginia.  Since then in Halifax and Henry Counties, VA., and now in Fayette                              Co., Ill.

QUESTION: How were you called into service:  Where were you drafted, did you volunteer or were you a substitute?

ANSWER:    I was drafted.

QUESTION: State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the troops where you served, such                                     Continental and Militia Regiments as you can recollect.

 ANSWER:    I recollect Genl. LEE, Genl. GREEN, Genl. LAFAYETTE and Genl. WASHINGTON, Col. LEE, Col.                             MORGAN.

QUESTION: Did you receive a discharge and by whom was it given?

ANSWER:    I received discharges for every tour, signed by my Captains, which were destroyed by fire 30 years ago                              when my house was burnt.

QUESTION: State the names of persons in your present neighborhood to whom you are known, who can testify as to                               your character for veracity and their belief of your service as a soldier of the Revolution.

ANSWER:    Messrs. Rutherford SHELTON, Isham LANSFORD and Harison HAIZLIP.

QUESTION: This law allowing pensions was passed eleven years ago.  What are your reasons for not making                                         application sooner?

ANSWER:    Two or three reasons.  I had removed from the place where I was known, had got all my papers burnt,                               and I did not know how to prove my service.  I thought i could live without it as long as i was able to                                 work.  A man by the name of Williams once offered to get me a pension for half, but I thought his                                     proposal not a fair one.



I, James W. BERRY, Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of Fayette County do hereby certify that Asakel LEE, whose name is subscribed to the foregoing certificate, is and was at the time of signing the same, Probate Justice of the Peace within and for the County of Fayette, aforesaid, duly commissioned and qualified; and that full faith and credit are due to all his official acts as such.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed by name and affixed the seal of said court at Vandalia this 26th day of December AD, 1843.

                                                              signed  Jas. W. BERRY, Clerk

(Letter dated 9th January, 1844)  (Town illegible, could be Cowart, Illinois)

Addressed to:  James L. EDWARDS, Esq., Washington City.


I send you herewith the declaration of James CHESHIER, who claims under the act of the 7 June 1832, being uneducated, he cannot recollect dates as required b;y the regulations.  i can only say for him that he is a member of the Baptist Church - seems to be conscientious - and I cannot doubt but he served in the Revolutionary War sufficient to entitle him to a pension.

When you can give his case your attention, let me hear from you.

                                                                 Respectfully,                                                                                                                                                                   Your Servant,                                                                                                                                                                  Daniel HAY (or Fley)


Letter dated August 19th, 1844


The unsupported declaration of James CHESHIRE has been examined and filed.  This appears to be the first option of his claim which has been delayed during a rapid diminution of the means of proof -- without showing the circumstances, which have prevented from setting it forth when the survivors in and about Prince William Co., VA., could have fortified it.

The period, length and grade - names of officers stating of no one tour have been set forth as the rules require.  And there must be some mistake in the statment that on the 5 days after he returned from one of his tours (having heard of the Battle of Guildord on his way home), he was drafted to go to Yorktown -- the draft for Yorktown were made in Aug. and Sept., and the battle of Guilford was in March 1781.  This is mostly noted to show that his own statement cannot be relied upon as the recollections of an unimpaired memory - and must therefore not only conform to the regulations in specifying the particulars of each toru but shold be supported by the best attainable evidence.

                                                                               H. H. SYLVESTER, Esq.                                                                                                                                                Charlestown, NH


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