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Uriah Jacobs in the American Revolution

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

For someone who never knew they had any ancestors who fought in the early American wars, it is amazing to discover several great grandfathers who risked their lives to fight for the freedoms we enjoy today.

This past week I discovered yet another honorable veteran in my ancestry. His name was Uriah Jacobs and he was my father's maternal 4th great-grandfather.

Uriah Jacobs was born on August 27, 1754 in Crompond, Westchester County, New York. He enlisted as a soldier in the Continental Army on August 1, 1780, just before his 26th birthday. His Captains were Peter Nestel and George Fleming, under Colonel John Lamb, the 2nd Continental Artillery. He was a Matross, a position which required him to assist gunners in loading, firing, and sponging their guns. They acted as guards and ranked as a private.

Image Public Domain:

While he was in the war, in 1781, Uriah married Elizabeth Ruff at "Somerstown", now called Somers, in Westchester County, New York, shown here in red on this Google Map image:

The couple's marriage was on hold until the close of the war.

His pension files provide a wealth of information about his life and service. We learn the following, quoted from his own personal account given in his 1834 pension request:

  • That he enlisted in the Army of the United States on the 1st day of Aug. AD 1780 with Capt. George Flemming

  • Served in the 2nd Regiment of the Artillery of the New York line, under the following named officers: vis: Col. John Lamb, Lieut. Col. __ Doty, Major ___ Stevens, Capt. George Flemming, Capt. Lieut. Peter Nestell (Nessle), 2nd Lieut. Michael Wetzell.

  • That he lived in the place called Crump Pond (Crompond) in the County of Westchester and State of New York when he retired the service

  • That he was in the Battle of Yorktown and in a skirmish at Morrissania, West Chester Co., New York.

  • That he joined his company at Verplanck’s Point and went from thence to near Newburg for winter quarters

  • That in the Summer of the next year (1781) his regiment at Sawmill River, West of White Plains, thence up to opposite Verplanck’s Point, thence to Trenton, New Jersey,

  • From thence went on board vessels and sailed to Wood Creek on the Delaware River, below Philadelphia,

  • Thence to Christiana and thence marched to French town at the head of Elk River

  • From thence was carried on board vessels to James River, Virginia, and landed below Williamsburg,

  • Marched up the West Side of York River and on its banks near York town and on its banks

  • In front of Cornwallis army built forts, continued till the surrender of his army,

  • Then returned the same route they went as far as Philadelphia,

  • From thence to Burlington, New Jersey, where they went into winter quarters and continued through the summer of 1782.

  • In the fall of 1782 they went to West Point, where he left the Regiment in Company with Capt. Lieut. Nessle and went with him to Dutchess County, New York, recruiting;

  • Continued with Nessle till sometime in the Spring of that year when he was by him discharged at Dutchess County,

  • That he lost his discharge more than twenty years since by the sinking of a canoe in the Delaware River.

We learn from his wife's statement, given in August of 1843:

"That she is the widow of Uriah Jacobs, who was a Soldier of the Revolution, and served as such during the war, and was a soldier in the War of the Revolution at the time she was married to him, and that she was married to said Uriah Jacobs on the eleventh day of October in the year seventeen hundred and eighty one, on Sunday of the week, at the house of Widow Brown in the town of Summerstown in the County of Westchester and State of New York, and that they were married by a Minister whose name was Gregory, does not recollect his first name, and at the time they were married, her husband Uriah Jacobs was a soldier in the company commanded by Captain Peter Nessle, does not know anything about the number of the Regiment, but did know Captain Nessle well, and her husband at that time was called a Matross as recruiting officer, and that after they were married her husband the said Uriah Jacobs, continued in the service as a Soldier for some time, does not know how long, but believes about two years, for they did not commence house keeping until two years after they were married and believes they went to keeping house immediately after he left the service.

And that her husband, the said Uriah Jacobs, was a pensioner under the Act of the 4th of June 1832, and his pension certificate was dated the 8th of October 1834, and at that time he resided in the town of Owego, in the said County of Tioga, and that her husband, the said Uriah Jacobs, died in the town of Candor in said County, on the third day of November, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, as this declarant believes, the exact day has forgotten, kept no record, but knows he died the fore part of November 1841, and thinks it was on a Wednesday of the week, and that she has not since married, and yet remains the widow of Uriah Jacobs"

A testimony written by an acquaintance name George Lane in May of 1844 reveals more about their personal lives, stating the following:

"That he has been intimately acquainted with Uriah Jacobs and Elizabeth Jacobs his wife for forty eight years and upwards and that about the year 1796 while this deponent was residing on the Delaware River at a plan called Checkoken in the State of Pennsylvania, the said Uriah Jacobs and family came into the same neighborhood with deponent to reside and that they lived neighbors together for about three years in that plan and thereafter in the year 1799 this deponent and family removed to the town of Candor where he now resides, and that about the year 1802 the said Uriah Jacobs and family came to the said town of Candor to reside also, at which last mentioned place the said Uriah Jacobs and family have resided ever since, with the exception of a few years, he removed into the town of Owego, to reside and remained there three or four years and them removed back into the town of Candor where he remained until the day of his decease and that for the space of forty five years, he this deponent has not lived at any time at a greater distance than five miles from said Uriah Jacobs and his wife, has always been intimately acquainted with the said Uriah and Elizabeth Jacobs, and from his first acquaintance with them, which was in the year 1796 they have lived together as man and wife and have reared a family of ten children, being the fruit of their bodies, six boys and four girls".

Uriah died on November 2nd or 3rd, 1841. (Perhaps he died on the 2nd and was buried on the 3rd?). He rests at Baptist Corners Cemetery in Spencer, Tioga County, New York. See his tombstone here. He may be the only Jacobs buried there. His wife, Elizabeth, died on July 1, 1849 and is buried in Weltonville Cemetery, Tioga County, New York, with several other Jacobs. Her tombstone can also be seen on Findagrave.

Click here for more information about this line or click here to see more of my military ancestors.


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