Pension Application for John Ostrander, Jr. - 1837

[ What follows appears to ba a summary/summmaries of the widow's pension claim process. We have not yet examined the actual pension application. ]

*Pension Application for John Ostrander W.15748 (submitted by his widow, Catharine)

Married latter part of March or fore part of April 1774, “Sunday before Easter”. John died of consumption the fore part of January 1800. Declaration of Catherine Ostrander widow of John Ostrander a Revolutionary officer in the Army of the United States. In order to obtain the benefit of the third Section of the Act of Congress of the 4th July 1836. State of New York, Onondaga County

On this twenty seventh day of June in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven personally appeared before me George Pettit one of the Judges of the County Courts, in and for said county, Catherine Ostrander a resident of the town of Tully in the County and State aforesaid aged eighty five years and upwards, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed July 4th 1836.

That she is the widow of John Ostrander who was a Lieutenant in the Army of the United States in the Revolutionary War. First in the Regiment commanded by Colonel James Livingston in the line of the State of New York, as will more fully appear by the Commission to the said John Ostrander as such Lieutenant hereunto annexed marked A. Second, in a Regiment raised for the immediate defence of the State of New York whereof Albert Pawling Esquire was Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, as will also appear by the Commission to the said John Ostrander as such Lieutenant hereunto annexed marked B.

That her late husband the said John Ostrander served in the Army of the United States during the war of the Revolution under the said Commission from the month of February in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven to the close of the war in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three. She further declares under oath as aforesaid and says that she lived with her said husband when he received the first commission at the East Camp Livingston's Manor now as she believes in the County of Columbia in this state — according, to her best recollection and belief she then had two children.

That on receiving his commission her said husband immediately commenced recruiting soldiers for the Army, during a short time. That in the night before Easter Sunday of the same year, the house in which they then lived at the place last mentioned was accidentally burnt. That she her husband and children hardly escaped with their lives, all their furniture, cloathing [clothing] and provisions of every kind were destroyed. They had to depend on the humanity of their neighbours for necessary cloathing and provision and her said husband was obliged to set out in avery few days to join his regiment.
That her said husband served in the Army as such Lieutenant at the Capture of General Burgoyne and his Army. That shortly after her said husband went to join the Army under General Gates at the North she moved with her children to the City of Albany and remained there until after the Capture of Burgoyne’s Army. That during [Page 2] the battles between American & British Armies, she almost every day went to the Riverside where the wounded, that were brought down the river in boats were laid down on the shore, to ascertain whether her said husband was not among them.
That the Regiment in which her said husband served or a part of it went into winter quarters at Johnstown in the County of Montgomery in this state but in what year she cannot recollect but believes it must have been either the winter immediately after the taking of Burgoyne, or the next succeeding winter thereafter from the circumstance that she then had as she believes but two children, her third child being born in June seventeen hundred and seventy nine. That her said husband procured a room for her at Johnstown and brought her and her children to Johnstown where she remained with him during the winter. That he then did duty as a Lieutenant. That shortly after she arrived at Johnstown, her said husband was taken sick with the small pox having taken the disease accidentally and had them so bad that during some time very slight hopes were intertained [entertained] of his recovery. She had her two children there Inoculated. That she there became acquainted with several officers Captain Wright, Captain Peter Rutan and Ensign John Gates, but whether they blonde [belonged] to the same Regiment with her said husband or not she does not know.
That her said husband from the time he entered the service as aforesaid until according to her best recollection and belief about the close of the year seventeen hundred and eighty was constantly with the army, excepting that he would occasionally come home on a short visit to his family, and she recollects that in some instances he was absent, and did not see his family during nearly six months at a time. That in these visits to his family he would state where he had been, and the actions in which he had been engaged, and she distinctly recollects that on one occasion he told her that he had been on Rhode Island with a part of the American Army and in several engagements with the british there — On another occasion during one of his said visits he informed her that he had been in some engagements between the American and British forces at or near the White Plains, and at another time, that he was in a fort at Schoharie at the time the British and Indians burned and destroyed many houses large quantities of grain and other property at that place, and that he was doing duty at these several times as a Lieutenant, but the periods at which these several events happened she cannot recollect. That she has heard all of the above facts of the services of her said husband related by him at various times during and after the close of the war, and has heard him also state that on some occasions he acted as adjutant or Major of the Regiment but when or on what occasions she cannot remember.
That she has also after the close of the war frequently heard him converse with the officers above named and others, in particular John H. Wendell who was a captain in the army who knew of his services on the subjects above mentioned. That she does not recollect who commanded the company in which her husband served during the period above mentioned. That she knows that all the [Page 3] officers she has named are now dead.
And she further on her oath says that between the two periods above mentioned That she knows that all the officers she has named are now dead. And she further on her oath says that between the two periods above referred to (viz) the spring of the year seventeen hundred and seventy seven and the close of the year seventeen hundred and eighty. She resided at different times in the City of Albany in Livingston’s manor before mentioned and at Rhinebeck in the County of Duchess In this state, as was most convenient for her said husband to supply her and her children with the means of support — and he having nothing but his pay and rations — That about the latter end of the year seventeen hundred and eighty but the day and month she cannot recollect by reason of her age her memory has become impaired, her said husband from feeling a sense of the helpless and indigent situation of this declaration and her children, she then having three children, and from an apprehension that the regiment in which he served might be ordered to some of the helpless and Indigent situation of this declarant and her children, she then having three children, and from an apprehension that the regiment in which he served [m]ight be ordered to some distance place, so as to render it difficult if at all possible for him to furnish them with necessary subsistence, was induced as he stated to her to resign his commission in the regular line of the troops of this state and the month of April seventeen hundred & eighty one.
[He] again entered the service of this state as a Lieutenant in a regiment raised for the immediate defence of this state as will appear from the commission hereunto annexed and secondly above mentioned and the endorsement thereon. That she then lived at Rhin[e]beck in the county of Dutchess and he joined and did duty with that Regiment some short time before he received his commission as Lieutenant. That the Regiment in that Commission mentioned in which he then served as she understood from him in one of his visits to his family was then stationed at different places along the foot of the range of mountains on the west side of Hudson River for the protection of the Inhabitants against the Incursions of the Indians and other enemies, and that the company in which he served as Lieutenant was stationed near the foot of the mountain west of Saugerties in the County of Ulster. That some time in the fall of the year seventeen hundred & eighty one or in the spring of the year seventeen hundred and eighty two her said husband then being with the said Regiment procured a room for this deponent & her children in the house of Benjamin Snyder who resided in the same house some miles west of Saugerties landing and in the vicinity of where her husband’s Company was stationed. That he sent for her & her children and had them removed to that house. That they continued to live together at this place until the close of the Revolutionary War.
That during the whole of the time from her husband’s entering the service as last mentioned until the close of the war, her said husband did duty as a Lieutenant in the said Regiment commanded by Colonel Pawling. That a Captain Pawling commanded the Company in which her said husband served as Lieutenant who was frequently at the house where she and her said [page 4] husband lived as above mentioned. That Captain Pawling was sometimes absent from the Company, at such times her said husband commanded the Company and discharged the duties of a Captain. That during the period last mentioned there were frequent alarms of the approach of the enemy on such occasions here said husband would immediately march with the said Company to such place as was designated, and ordered by a superior officer. That she has also during the period last mentioned seen Colonel Weisenfels at the said house as she believes in company with her said husband.
That when Peace was proclaimed her said husband marched with said company somewhere to the south and was absent some days but how long she cannot now remember, on his return he said he was discharged and the company disbanded but she does not recollect of ever having seen the discharges. That she does not know whether Colonel Pawling, Captain Pawling and Colonel Weisenfels or either of them are now living or not, nor where they can be found if living.

That after the conclusion of the war this declarant her husband & family continued to reside at the same place until the spring of the year seventeen hundred and eighty four when they removed to the City of Albany and she does not know whether the said Benjamin Snyder is now living or not. That her said husband this declarant and family arrived in the City of Albany some time she believes in the month of May in the year last mentioned, and continued to reside there together until some time in the fore part of January in the year eighteen hundred when her said husband died of Consumption as she believes, the precise day of his death she cannot recollect. And on her oath as aforesaid she farther says that she continued to reside in the said City of Albany until the latter part of the month of May eighteen hundred and thirty two when her son John J. Ostrander removed with his family from the City of Albany to Tully, County of Onondaga in this State, and this declarant moved with him and now resides in her said son's family at the place last mentioned. [The letter J and I are made alike in this period of time.]
And she farther says that that [sic] the annexed commission[s] are the only documentary evidence she has or can produce to her knowledge to shew the services of her said husband as such Lieutenant as aforesaid nor does she know of any witness now living, by whom his said services and be proved, and she further says that she was married to the said John Ostrander in the latter part of March or fore part of Aprilin the year seventeen hundred and seventy four, she cannot now recollect which of these months nor the day of the month but she does recollect that it was on a Sunday before Easter Sunday in the year last mentioned.That the marriage ceremony was performed by the Reverend Mr Coch pastor of the Presbyterian German Congregation in the East Camp Livingston’s Manor hereinbefore referred to. That her maiden name was Catherine Wetsell and has no parents,or relatives on her part now living that she has any knowledge of, except her children by her said husband.

[Page 5 of what appears to be more recent notes] That she has no documentary evidence to prove the said marriage, nor does she know [of] any that can be obtained. It being unusual at that a time to give Certificates of Marriage and none was given to her. It was however then customary to publish the vows of marriage on three successive Sabbaths in church, which was done in her case. And she does not know whether any church record was made or kept of such marriage or not. There were several persons present at her said marriage, but whether any of them or the said clergyman are now living she does not [know not] having heard from any of them during upwards of thirty years. And she further says that she has remained a widow ever since the death of her said husband as above mentioned as will more fully appears by reference to the proof hereto annexed. (Signed) Catherine Ostrander

Sworn to & Subscribed on the day and year above written before me George Pettit Judge of Onondaga County Courts. Letter in folder dated May 14, 1928, written in response to an inquiry. I advise you that from the papers in the Revolutionary War pension claim W.15748, it appears that John Ostrander, while residing at East Camp Livingston’s Manor, New York, was commissioned February 1, 1777, Second Lieutenant, served in that capacity in Colonel James Livingston’s New York Regiment, was in the battles of Saratoga, Rhode Island, an encounter at or near White Plains, and Schoharie, and resigned near the end of 1780. He was commissioned on April 27, 1781, a Lieutenant in Captain Henry Pawling’s Company, Colonel Albert Pawling’s New York Regiment, and served until the end of the war. On the Sunday prior to Easter Sunday, 1774, at East Camp Livingston’s Manor, soldier and Catharine Westsell of that place were married by Reverend Coch of the Presbyterian German Congregation. Soldier died in January, 1800, at Albany, New York. His widow, Catharine Ostrander was allowed pension on her application which was executed June 27, 1837, at Tully, Onondaga County, New York, where she lived with her son John I. Ostrander and his family. On that date, she was eighty-five years of age. One married daughter was living in Pompey, New York. The son, John I. Ostrander was baptized November 13, 1774, at Germantown, Columbia County, New York. Neither the names nor ages of other children are stated.


Pension and family information copied as faithfully as practical from an online printed source. Many liberties taken with the transcription/transformation - especially in the correction of spellings and usage glitches and the addition of paragraphing for clarity. (Pension application #W15748 refers to a document at the National Archives. The overall pension initiative is explained more fully via this link. Thanks again to James F. Morrison. The Guide further discusses our intended paths to these sources. Utilizing this copy is an expedient way to extract vital information on the lives of three target people.

Copied and transformed from the online posting cited above by SB

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first posted: 1/2/13; revised 2/21/13