Transcriptions of many pension applications of Germanna descendants may be found here.
An important unit to the story of Germanna is the Culpeper Minute Men, organized by recruits from modern-day Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, and Orange counties.
The Culpeper Minute Men Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, is compiling a list of the men who served in this unit and is posting the results of their latest research on their website.
A helpful brochure on the Culpeper Minute Men and the Revolution in Culpeper County is available from the Culpeper Department of Tourism.
Be sure to read about Salubria, Little Fork Church, and the Germanna families of Fishback and Spilman, and don’t miss the handy guide for additional reading and resouces.
The Yorktown Victory Center’s exhibition entitled “The Legacy of Yorktown: Virginia Beckons” will prove to be of great interest to those researching Germanna families.
On display are portraits of Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood and Knight of the Golden Horseshoe John Fontaine, the Germanna Foundation’s sketch of Fort Germanna based on Fontaine’s description, Woodford Hackley’s map from Germanna Record No. 2, and an iron ingot from one of the Spotswood ironworks.
Make your plans to visit while the exhibition runs, and remember the services rendered at Yorktown by Jesse Rector, Christopher Tanner, and John Wilhite. See their website for more information.
Thanks to the work of volunteer researchers, this page will grow as more Germanna patriots are recognized for their service to American independence and liberty.
Over time, each patriot listed will have active links to more source material to facilitate evaluation by researchers.
It is our hope that sharing this research will encourage many Americans to meet the documentary requirements for joining patriotic organizations like the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Revolution, and the Society of the Cincinnati.
Below is a muster roll for the month of May 1778 of the company formerly commanded by Capt. George Slaughter in the 8th Virginia Regiment of Foot.
Note the Germanna names of Philip Huffman, Christopher Moyer and Capt. Slaughter. Click on below image to enlarge it.
To assist in understanding the source records, refer to the following explanations:
Document and Source Abbreviations
Pension file code explanations
*S1234 – Soldier only pensioned
*S – Soldier only pensioned, no number assigned
*W1234 – Widow only pensioned
*W – Widow only pensioned, no number assigned
S*W1234 – Soldier and widow both pensioned
R1234 – Pension rejected. This does not mean this soldier did not serve. It may indicate he did not serve long enough to qualify for a pension or it may indicate that the last action in the file was a rejected pension, although there may be earlier pensions that were approved in that same file.
R1234v – Pension rejected but service proved from another source
*S R1234 – Soldier pensioned, but pension rejected at a later date
*W R1234 – Widow pensioned, but heirs rejected
*H1234 – Heirs only pensioned
*IP – Soldier had an invalid pension
*NP – Soldier pensioned, but had no papers
Other source abbreviations
Abercrombie and Slatten – Abercrombie, Janice L. and Slatten, Richard, comp. Virginia Revolutionary “Publick” Claims. 3vols. Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co, 1992. Transcriptions of court booklets from 69 of the 75 counties then in existence including most of the “burnt counties” in existence at the time. Also references Abercrombie, Janice L. and Slatten, Richard, comp. Index to the Virginia Revolutionary “Publick” Claims County Booklets. Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co., 1992.
Aud. Accts – Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts (1776-1928), certificates 1780-1783, state pensions, records, 1777-1787.
Blankenbaker – Blankenbaker, John. The Culpeper Classes: A List of the Classes in Culpeper County for January 1781 for Recruiting this State’s Quota of Troops to serve in the Continental Army. Chadds Ford, PA, 1999.
BLW – Bounty Land Warrant, NARA
CSR – Compiled Service Record or Compiled Military Service Record, NARA.
Eckenrode – Eckenrode, Hamilton J. Virginia Soldiers in the American Revolution. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library and Archives, 1989, 2 volumes.
Exec. Dept. – Executive Department Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia, RG #3, titled Land Bounty Warrants.
Gwathmey – Gwathmey, John H. Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775-1783. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, 1938.
Harding – Harding, Margery Heberlin. George Rogers Clark and His Men: Military Records, 1778-1784. Frankfort: Kentucky Historical Society, 1981.
NSDAR – National Society Daughters of the American Revolution database. Sources need independent verification.
NSSAR – National Society, Sons of the American Revolution database. Sources need independent verification.
RWR – Revolutionary War Rolls, NARA.
Important details can be extracted from Revolutionary War pension records
To get more out of such records, refer to the helpful timeline below.
Timeline and Brief Explanation of Pension Legislation By Continental Congress and the United States:
26 August 1776 – The first pension legislation for the American colonies acting as a group was enacted and provided half pay for officers and enlisted men who were disabled in the service of the United States and who were incapable of earning a living.
15 May 1778 – A resolution provided half pay for 7 years after the conclusion of the war to all military officers who remained in the Continental service through the end of the war. Enlisted men were to receive an $80 gratuity after the war.
24 August 1780 – A Continental Congress resolution offered half pay for 7 years to widows and orphans of officers who met the requirements of 15 May 1778.
Note: Widows and orphans had until 1794 to file for a pension under the resolution of 24 August 1780. After that date, a widow would need a private act of Congress introduced on her behalf to receive a pension. See the Act of 4 July 1836 for further information.
21 October 1780 – The 15 May 1778 resolution was amended to provide half pay for life to officers after the war.
22 March 1783 – The 21 October 1780 resolution was changed from half pay for life to 5 years’ full pay.
29 September 1789 – The First Congress of the United States passed an act that provided for the invalid pensions, previously paid by the individual states, should be continued and paid by the Federal Government for 1 year. In subsequent years, legislation extended the time limit.
23 March 1792 – This act permitted veterans who were not already receiving invalid pensions to apply to the Federal Government directly.
10 April 1806 – The invalid pension laws were extended to include veterans of State troops and militia service eligible for Federal pensions. This act superseded all previous Revolutionary War invalid pension legislation.
Note: Prior to 1818 national pension laws concerning veterans of the Revolutionary War (exception 15 May 1778 resolution) specified disability or death of the soldier or sailor as the basis for a pension.
18 March 1818 – The U. S. Congress granted pensions to Revolutionary War veterans for service rendered without injury. The officers and enlisted men were eligible under this Act if they had served in a Continental unit or in the U. S. naval service for 9 months or until the end of the war. These pensions were granted for life.
Note: The above pension act resulted in huge numbers of applications being filed and approved with the resulting financial strain on the U. S. government.
1 May 1820 – A new law required everyone receiving a pension under the 1818 Act, as well as new applicants, to submit a certified schedule of his estate and income to the Secretary of War. The Secretary of War had the authority to remove anyone from the pension list who, in his opinion, was not in need of assistance.
1 May 1823 – An act was passed to restore the pensions to many of those whose names had been removed as a result of the 1 May 1820 legislation.
15 May 1828 – The act passed granted full pay for life to surviving officers and enlisted men of the Revolutionary War who were eligible for benefits under the 15 May 1778 resolution, as amended. Applicants did not have to demonstrate need.
7 June 1832 – This act extended the 15 May 1828 provisions to more people. Every officer or enlisted man, including those who served in the naval service and the marines, who had served at least 2 years in the Continental Line or States troops, volunteer or militia, was eligible for a pension at full pay for life. For those who had served less than 2 years but at least 6 months were eligible for pensions at less than full pay. Money due the pensioner from last payment until the date of his death could be collected by the widow or children. Applicants did not have to prove need.
4 July 1836 – Some widows of Revolutionary War veterans were again permitted, as a class under public law, to apply for pensions. This act provided that the widow of any veteran who had performed service as specified in the 7 June 1832 Act was eligible to receive the pension that might have been allowed to the veteran under the terms of that act, if the widow had married the veteran before the expiration of his last term of service.
7 July 1838 – This act granted 5-year pensions to widows whose marriages had taken place before 1 January 1794.
3 March 1843, 17 June 1844, and 2 February 1848 – These acts continued the pensions granted under the act passed 7 July 1838.
29 July 1848 – Congress provided life pensions for widows of veterans who married before 2 January 1800.
3 February 1853 and 28 February 1855 – All restrictions pertaining to marriage were removed.
9 March 1878 – Widows of Revolutionary War soldiers who served as few as 14 days, or served in any engagement, were declared eligible for life pensions.
Revolutionary War Patriots of Germanna:
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Aylor, Henry – PS, Abercrombie and Slatten
Aylor, Jacob – Private, VA, Capts. Buford and Hill, pension, *S8040
Back, John – Private, Gen. George Rogers Clark, pension, *S32103
Barlow, Ambrose – Private, VA, VA line, CSR
Barlow, Ephriam – Private, VA, VA line, CSR
Barlow, Thomas – Private, VA, VA line, CSR
Blankenbaker, Jacob – PS, Abercrombie and Slatten
Blankenbaker, Michael – PS, Abercrombie and Slatten
Blankenbaker, Nicholas – Private, VA, VA Regt, Capt. Stokely, pension, *S30872
Broyles, Michael – Private, VA, NC, Capt. Russell, pension, *S3052
Carpenter, George – Soldier, VA, 1st Virginia State Regiment, Land voucher, Exe. Dept.
Carpenter, John – Private, VA, Gist’s Brigade, CSR, deserted 20 Dec 1777 but returned
Carpenter, Samuel – Private, VA, pension widow, *W6631, Order book Madison County
Carpenter, Solomon – Private, VA, 12th VA Regt, CSR, deserted 20 Dec 1777
Carpenter, William Jr – Private, VA, Culpeper Classes, Culpeper County VA Class List 1781
Carpenter, William Sr – PS, Abercrombie and Slatten
Coons, Frederick – Private, VA, Capt. John Gillison, *S
Crim, Joseph – Private, VA, militia, Aud. Accts.
Deer, Andrew – Private, VA, Culpeper militia, pension of brother Martin Deer, *S8311
Deer, Martin – Private, VA, Virginia militia, pension, *S3811
Delph, Daniel – Soldier, VA, 1st Virginia State Regiment, Land voucher, Exe. Dept.
Finks, Mark – Captain, VA, pension rejected, R3551v
Fishback, Harman — Soldier, VA, VA Culpeper Classes, GRC 1983, S1 Vol 213, 23
Fishback, Jacob – Private, Wagoneer, VA, State Militia, Exec. Dept.
Fishback, John – Private, SC, Capt. Winn, *W
Fishback, John Frederick – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten, VA Rev Pub Claims, Vol 1, 257, 270, 276
Fishback, Phillip — PS, VA
Fleshman, Moses – Private, VA, Capts. Finks and Kirkley, pension, *S8484
Garr/Gaar, Andrew – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten
Garr/Gaar, John – PS, Soldier, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten, Culpeper County VA Class List 1781
Hitt, Peter – Private, VA, Capt. Elias Edmond, pension, W7732
Hoffman, Ambrose – Private, VA, Capt. Posey, 1st VA Regt, pension, *S16420
Holtzclaw, Benjamin – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten
Holtzclaw, Jacob – Soldier, VA, Capt. Samuel Kirkham, Gen. George Rogers Clark, Harding
Holtzclaw, Josiah – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten
Holtzclaw, Nathan – Private, VA, Capt. Elias Edmond’s Co., 1st VA State Regt Artillery, Gwathmey
House, Adam – Soldier, VA, Capt. Bohannon, militia, sub for father, R5260v
Huffman, Jacob – Soldier, VA, paid £30 S17 D4, 7 July 1784, Act of Assembly
Huffman, Peter – Private, VA, paid £36, 22 December 1783, Act of Assembly
Huffman, Reuben – Private, VA, paid £18 S12 D4, 2 December 1783, Act of Assembly
Huffman, Samuel – Private, VA, paid £49 S17 D4, 10 May 1784, Act of Assembly
Jacobey/Jacoba, Daniel – Corporal, VA, Capt. John Syme’s Co., 10th VA Regt (died 8 May 1777), RWR
Kemper, Charles – Private, Sergeant, VA, Capt. Hezekiah Turner, CSR, *W20292
Kemper, Tillman – Private, VA, Capts. Helms and Bowman, Pension, S*W8573
Lightfoot, William – PS, Lieutenant, VA, Creel, pension of Benjamin Butler, *S3096
Martin, Reuben – Private, VA, 4th VA Regiment, Capt. John Brent, deserted from Fort Christianna by April 1777, CSR
Martin, Samuel – Soldier, VA, 4th VA Regiment, Capt. Morton, died in service date unknown, CSR
Moyers (Myers), Adam – Soldier, NC, 1789 Rev. Army Accts Vol. 1
Moyers (Myers), Christopher – Soldier, NC, 1789 Rev. Army Accts Vol. 1
Nay, John Jacob – Private, VA, pension, *S9438
Rector, Jesse – Private, VA, Capt. Dudley, Yorktown Siege and Gen. Cornwallis’ surrender, R8639v
Rector, Lewis – Private, NC, Capt. Sharp’s Co., Surry Co., NC, *W45
Rector, Uriah – Private, VA, Capt. John Ashby, Col. Thomas Marshall, *W7135
Rouse, Jacob – Private, VA, Capts. Rice and Wood, VA militia, *W8558
Rouse, Lewis – Soldier, wounded 1781 Petersburg, state pension, Aud. Accts, Blankenbaker
Rouse, Samuel – Private, VA, Capts. Rucker, Wood, Triplett, Col. Barbour *S14360
Spotswood, John – Captain, VA, Capt. John Spotswood’s Co of Foot, POW 4 Oct 1777, CSR
Tanner, Abraham – Private, VA, Capt. Rice, pension, *S6190
Tanner, Christopher – Soldier, VA, Culpeper Classes, Killed at Yorktown, Eckenrode, NSDAR
Tanner, Frederick – Private, VA, Culpeper Classes, 1781 Capt. Mark Finks, Blankenbaker
Tanner, Michael – Private, VA, Capt. Rush, pension, *S32004
Thomas, Abraham – Private, VA, PA, Capts. Doherty, Kirkham, Gen. George Rogers Clark, pension, S*W11622
Thomas, Joel – Soldier, NC, Vernon’s Co., RWR
Thomas, Michael – PS, Soldier, NC, Capt. Blair, Regt. Col. Martin, NCMP
Utterback, Benjamin – Orderly Sergeant, VA, Capt. Elias Edmonds, pension, *S
Utterback, Harman – Private, VA, Capts. McClanahan and Ross, pension, *S31447
Utterback, Jacob – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten
Utz, Michael – PS, VA, signed petition 1776 Culpeper Co, copy in NSDAR file
Wayland, Joshua – Drummer and Fifer, VA, 2 VA Brigade, Capt. Gillison 10th VA Regt, CSR
Wilhite, John – Private, VA, Capts. Barbour, Miller, and Johnson, siege of Yorktown, pension, *S14833
Wilhite, Tobias — Private, VA, Capt. Reuben, pension, R11542
Wilhoit, Conrod — PS, NC Rev War Vouchers #1898, Roll S.115.134
Wilhoit, Gabriel – Soldier, Capt. Gillison, 6th Regt VA, RWR
Yager, Adam Jr – Ensign/PS, VA, Culpeper militia, Culpeper Classes 1781
Yager, Adam Sr – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten
Yager, John H. – Private, VA, militia, heirs received land script
Yager, Michael – PS, VA, Abercrombie and Slatten
Yeager, Solomon – Private, VA, Capt. Bohannon, Gen. Muhlenberg, pension, S*W2043
Yowell, Samuel – Corporal, VA, Capt. John Gillison, 10th VA Regt, CSR
Yowell, Thomas – Private, VA, Capt. John Gillison, 10th VA Regt, CSR
Ziglar/Ziegler, Leonard – Private, VA, Col. Slaughter, *W4107, BLW 29058-160-55
Zimmerman, Frederick – Soldier, VA, Gen. George Rogers Clark, *W8374
Listed below are additional men believed to be Germanna descendants who served the patriots’ cause in the American Revolution. If you have proof of their service, please provide a copy to the Germanna Foundation. Digital copies are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Amberger, Abraham Aylor, Henry Aylor, Joshua Barlow, Lewis Barlow, William Barlow, Nicholas Blankenbeker, John Camper, Moses Camper, Joseph Carpenter, Michael Carpenter, William Carpenter, Sr., William Carpenter, Jr., George Cook, John Cook, Michael Cook, Jacob Crim, Harman Crim, James Crim, Joseph Crim, Frederick Fishback, Adam Fisher, Stephen Fisher, Samuel Fleshman, John Fray, Lewis Gaar, George Hitt, Mathias Hitt, Nimrod Hitt, Benjamin Hoffman, Joseph Hoffman, Reuben Hoffman, George Holt, Reuben Holt, James Holtzclaw, John Holtzclaw, Adam House, George House, Tillman Huffman, Daniel Kemper, John Kemper, Peter Kemper, Philip Koontz, Paul Leather, Peter Leather, Aaron Martin, Benjamin Martin, John Martin, Adam Manspile, Edmund Manspile, John Millbank, Henry Miller, Jacob Miller, Michael Mayer, Christopher Moyer, Jacob Nay, John Otterback, John Rector, James Rector, Maximilian Rector, John Relsback, Martin Rouse, Michael Smith, Charles Spilman, Henry Spilman, John Spilman, Thomas Spilman, William Spilman, John Snider, Henry Snyder, John Snyder, Alexander Spotswood, John Swindle, Jacob Tanner, John Tanner, William Tanner, Tillman Weaver, Henry Weaver, Jessie Wilhite, Lewis Wilhite, Gabriel Wilhoit, Absalom Yager, Elisha Yager, Godfrey Yager, Moses Yager, Nicholas Yager, Aaron Yeager, Moses Yeager, Samuel Yeager, Samuel Young, William Yowell, John Zimmerman, Christopher, Zimmerman, Reuben Zimmerman.
Samples of documentation of Revolutionary War service and other instructive images and stories:
Below are two images from a map which represents an area with a very interesting Germanna story.
John Back, a Germanna descendant, the grandson of Harman Back who arrived in 1738 and settled in the Little Fork and purchased 100 acres from Jacob Holtzclaw, boasts a most fascinating Revolutionary War experience. John Back was born in Culpeper County, Virginia in 1760 and enlisted in the Army of the United States for twelve months in March 1778 as a private. John Back traveled with George Rogers Clark as part of the group of soldiers sent by Virginia governor Patrick Henry to attack the British at what is now Kaskaskia, Illinois. In July 1778, Clark and his men captured Kaskaskia and later marched back to Virginia in 1779 where they delivered their captives to then governor Thomas Jefferson.
John Back’s experiences with George Rogers Clark, in what was deemed a great victory for Virginia and the patriot cause, is just one example of a Germanna descendant actively participating in the Revolutionary War. In his pension application affidavit Back describes the end of his Kaskaskia experience thus: “I was now very unwell & almost naked and resolved to come home as soon as I was able.” He stated he was gone altogether 2 years and 3 months.
For more details on John Back’s service: click here
Below is an affidavit by Hannah Carpenter regarding the Revolutionary War service of Samuel Carpenter. Hannah Carpenter and Samuel Carpenter were first cousins, their fathers being brothers.
Margaret “Peggy” Blankenbaker married Samuel Carpenter. Hannah Carpenter married Solomon Carpenter (so Hannah was Hannah Carpenter Carpenter). Hannah was swearing that Samuel’s service was as stated.