Facts and Events
John Davidson was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- Some researchers have placed this John Davidson as a son of Samuel Davidson and Ann Dunlap, but it is clear from John Davidson's Revolutionary War Service Declaration that his father died when John was just 4 years old (which would have been abt. 1761/62). The Samuel Davidson listed died abt. 1784, some 23 years later, ruling him out as this John Davidson's father.
- John Davidson's statement made 8 August 1832 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, as follows (entire statement listed below):
- 1st Question: He states that he was born on the 20th day of Oct. 1757 in Augusta County Virginia (the part of sd. Augusta County in which he was born is now a part of sd. Rockbridge County.
- 2nd Question: This applicant states that he has no record of his age in his possession (the large Bible, in which it was recorded having been sold at his fathers death, when this applicant was in his 4th year) but from what his mother has often told him of his age, in his youth, he distinctly recollects the date of his birth, as told him by her, and that his age now is 75 the 20th of Oct last.
- The person that certainly fits as the father of John Davidson is John Davidson (abt. 1723-1762), who acquired land in the Borden Tract in 1751 and died in 1762, leaving behind his wife Elizabeth and children John (identified in his mother's will as the eldest son), sons William and Daniel and daughters Ann, Elizabeth, and Nancy.
Records in Augusta County, VA
Vol. 2 - John Davidson's Declaration, August 8th, 1832: Was born in Augusta (now Rockbridge), October 20th, 1757; was living in Botetourt when called into service; Gen. Muhlenberg, Col. Parker, Col. Willis, Capt. Gray, Capt. Andrew Moore, now deceased; Lieut. John McClung, Ensign James McDowell, Col. Bowyer, Capt. David Gray, Maj. John Wilson, Ensign George Ware, Capt. Wallace, at Fort Young; Capt. William Moore. Amende September 31st, 1832: Capt. William Lyie, Col. Samuel Lewis, Capt. John McLane.
- American Revolutionary War Veteran
Revolutionary War Pension Information
Information from “Virginia/West Virginia Genealogical Data from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records”, Vol. 2, compiled by Patrick G. Wardell, Lt. Col. U.S. Army Ret. :
Davidson, John - born 10/20/1757 in Augusta County (area later Rockbridge County) Virginia; father died when soldier was age 4; mother resided in Botetourt County, Virginia, during Revolutionary War when soldier entered service in 1778; granted Pension age 75 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, 1832; query letter in file 1930 from descendant Greenlee D. Letcher, Lexington, Virginia; query letter in file states soldier died in Lexington [Rockbridge County], Virginia, 1835; query letter in file in 1908 from D.A.R. regent, Monmmouth, New Jersey, for soldier's descendant Mrs. Fannie Dawson. F-S8304, R747.
- Graves, William T. Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters.
Pension Application of John Davidson S8304 VA
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris. Revised 15 Aug 2014.
State of Virginia
Rockbridge County Virg.
On this 8th day of August in the year 1832 John Davidson of said County and State, personally appeared in open Court, said Court being a Court of record for said County and being duly sworn according to Law, did on oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832. The said Davidson states that he was born in Augusta County, now said Rockbridge County, Virginia in the year 1757. That he has no record of his age, nor ever had. when called into service that he was living in Botetourt County, State of Virginia, on James River. That since the Revolutionary War he has lived, and still continues to live in the said County of Rockbridge. he states that he was drafted into service in 1778 and volunteered against the Indians in Greenbrier, about the 1st June in the same year. he states that some of the regular officers, of the troops in which he served, were, General Muhlenburg [sic: Peter Muhlenberg], Col. Parker and Col. [Lewis] Willis. he states that he encamped with a company of low land Militia but never knew how it was designated. he states that he was pressed by Captain Gray to accept a commission of orderly Sergeant, during services but being satisfied with the name of a private soldier he refused it. he farther states, that he served as a Militia Soldier in the Revolutionary War, as follows, That he was willing to serve in the Virginia Regiments in the Spring of 1778 it having fallen to his Lot, as an unmarried man, under the act of the Virginia Legislature of 1777-78, entitled an act for speedily recruiting the Virginia Regiments, on the Continental Establishments, and for raising additional Troops of Volunteers, but was induced by the remonstrations of his Mother to assume the privilege of the act, and hire a substitute, who served 12 months. That he served a Tour of about 3 months and 15 days (the days occupied in returning home). In the winter campaign of 1781 under the command of Captain Andrew Moore (now dead) then of Rockbridge County Virginia. The other officers of the company that this applicant recollects, were Lieutenant John McClung and ensign James McDowell, who were under the immediate command of Col. [William] Bowyer. said Company rendezvous’d at the red house in said county 10th January 1781 and marched to Portsmouth Virginia where it chiefly remained, excepting one month, during which it was stationed at the great bridge, where Dunsmore [sic: Lord Dunmore] was defeated [9 Dec 1775]. the troops stationed there, were under the command of Col. Parker. That he left the service about the 11th April 1781 and got home in 15 days. – That he received a certificate for said service, which was taken in by the sheriff for tax.
That he served another Tour of about 2 months and fifteen days, from the 7th August 1781 to 24th October 1781–. That he marched on to the Siege of York. That he lay at Burrels Mill [Burwell’s Mill] about one month as an advance guard, thence marched down to York. This service was under Capt. David Gray (now dead) then of the said County of Rockbridge. the officers of the Company were Major John Wilson, and Ensign George Ware [George Weir].– of which service he received a certificate, which was taken in for tax. This applicant further declares, that about the 1st June 1778, he volunteered against the Indians in Greenbrier. he went with two or three companies, and was finally under the command of Capt. Wallace at Fort Young. That he was about 12 or thirteen days in this service, as well as he can recollect. For confirmation of the above statement this affiant refers to the testimony of Captain William Moore [pension application S5787]and John McClain, both of said County of Rockbridge, accompanying this application.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity, except the present, and declares that is name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any State. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year above written.
John McClain of the same County aforesaid [Rockbridge], deposeth that he has lived in the immediate vicinity of said John Davidswon, for about 60 years, that he has known him during that time, that he believes him to be of the age of 75 and that it is the general belief of said Davidsons neighborhood, that he was a soldier in the war of the Revolution. That he knows from his own knowledge, that said Davidson was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, from his having served with him at Portsmouth, Three months and 15 days, having been his intimate companion through the service.
State of Virginia
Rockbridge County S.S.
The Declaration of John Davidson, an applicant for a Pension from the County of Rockbridge, under the late act of Congress, being returned by the Department with objections, the said John Davidson appeared in open Court this 31st day of December 1832 said Court being the County Court of Rockbridge, and now sitting, who being first duly sworn, doth on his oath make the following amendment to his aforesaid Declaration.
To objection No. 5th. That early in July 1778 he served a tour of fifteen days, under Capt. William Lyle of sd County of Rockbridge, in driving Pack Horses loaded with flour and Bacon, for the troops stationed on the frontier of Virginia, During the Indian Wars, he stated that this was then called a military service and so considered by him, he refers to the Testimony of sd Capt. William Lyle as evidence in his behalf.–
This service amounting to fifteen days is } 00 15
His services during the winter campaign of 1781 as }
mentioned in his Declaration under the Command of Capt. }
Andrew Moore, amounts to three months, exclusive of the }
15 days consumed in returning home is } 3 00
His service of two months & seven days between }
the 7th Aug’t 1781 & 14th Oct. 1781 at the Siege of York, }
as mentioned in his declaration, but which is exclusive of }
travelling, having included traveling in the statement, }
made in his declaration amounts to } 2 07
His tour of service of 12 days in which he volunteered against the Indians in 1778 at Fort Young, under Capt. Wallace, as mentioned in his Declaration amounts to } 12
Amounting in all to Five months & thirty four days. 5 34
The said John Davidson positively affirms his whole service as amounting to the above aggregate of five months and thirty four days, which is exclusive of service of ten days, he volunteered, when Tarlton came to Charlottesville [sic: Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, 4 Jun 1781], but for which 10 days service the said Davidson claims nothing.
To objections Nos. 11 & 12 he answers, that he was not aware when he made his Declaration, of the necessity of a clergymans certificate, and that since the return of his Declaration, he has obtained such certificate, which is hereto subjoined.
To objection No. 17th he answers thus, (questions 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th & 7th being unsatisfactorily answered).
1st He states that he was born on the 20th day of Oct. 1757 in Augusta County Virginia (the part of sd. Augusta County in which he was born is now a part of sd. Rockbridge County)
To ques. 2d This applicant states that he has no record of his age in his possession (the large Bible, in which it was recorded having been sold at his fathers death, when this applicant was in his 4th year) but from what his mother has often told him of his age, in his youth, he distinctly recollects the date of his birth, as told him by her, and that his age now is 75 the 20th of Oct last.
To question 5th he deems it necessary to declare more fully than he thought was necessary, when he made his Declaration as aforesaid, and answers, that he was Draughted as a Militia man; for a tour of three months, in the winter Campaign of 1781. Col. Bowyer, Capt. Andrew Moore, Lieutenant James McClung, & Ensign James McDowell, all of sd. County of Rockbridge & now dead, were his company officers. his company rendezvoused at the Red house in sd. Rockbridge, and marched on the 10th of January 1781 to Fredericksburg, thence to Sandy point on James River, thence to Cabin Point [on James River in Surry County], thence to Suffolk on Nansemond River, and crossed said River on a floating Bridge, a few days afterwards, he recrossed sd. floating Bridge, with a party of Volunteers, and marched down the south side of the River, to the Great Bridge, where Dunmore was defeated in 1775 at which place, they took from the British a Boat with 2 12 pound Howitzers, which had come up from a British Fort below. they killed 1 and under the command of Col. Samuel Lewis, a field officer from Botetourt Virginia, as an advanced Guard: and on the night of the 28th Sep. 1781 marched to York and remained there until the 14th Oct. This applicant deemed it unnecessary to go into the particulars of this Siege. He received no written discharge. he was subject to the orders of Lafayette, who commanded the Virginia line. In this tour this applicant served 2 months and seven days.
To question 6th This applicant answers, that he never received a written discharge, and that he never received a commission, never having been above the grade of a common soldier.
To question 7th this applicant answers that he refers to Capt. William Moore & John McLane, whose certificates accompanied his Declaration, also to Capt William Lyle, and the Reverend Andrew B Davidson all of his neighborhood who will testify to the service, and veracity of the sd. applicant.
This applicant believing that he has stated his claim as precisely, and amended his Declaration, as fully, as he is able, respectfully submits sd.
Sworn to and subscribed the day & year above written John Davidson
I William Lyle of the County of Rockbridge, do hereby certify, that I am well acquainted with the applicant in the above Declaration, that I was authorised to press horses, and purchase provisions for the Troops, stationed on the Frontiers, during 1778 and that the s’d. John Davidson served under me (as Pack Horse Master) for 15 Days as he states in his amended Declaration. I farther certify that I was authorised to give certificates of service, to those who drove Pack horses under me, with certificates were to stand in the place of a military tour of Duty. I farther certify my opinion founded upon a long acquaintance, that the s’d. John Davidson is an upright man, and incapable of making a false statement, that I am well convinced that s’d. Davidson served several tours, as he states in his Declaration. That he has been reputed and believed in his neighborhood, to have been a revolutionary soldier, and to have served in the Indian Wars, as he declares, and that no doubt to my knowledge have existed upon the subject.
Sworn to & subscribed the day & year above written. Wm Lyle
- The Pension Roll of 1835: Report from the Secretary of War, in Obedience to Resolutions of the Senate of the 5th and 30th of June, 1834, and the 3d of March, 1835, in Relation to the Pension Establishment of the United States. (Washington, District of Columbia: Duff Green, 1835).
Name: John Davidson
Birth Year: abt 1754
Pension Enrollment Date: 4 Mar 1831
Residence Place: Rockbridge, Virginia, USA
Service Description: Virginia militia