(Originally published at "West in New England" 25Apr 2008)
As I've said previously, the Barker family history is an
interesting one, but at the moment I will concern myself with
the three Barker brothers who filed for their pensions. For a
short overview of the rest of it, I recommend Mitch Barker's
page here on his Newry, Maine Website.
In the following transcriptions, preprinted sections of
forms are boldfaced .
The first page of Jonathan Barker's file lists him as having
served in units from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
His file number is S.37571.
Congress passed an Act on 18 March, 1818 establishing the
Pension Fund for Revolutionary War veterans. A little over a
month later, Jonathan Barker appeared in Judge Albion
Parris' court to file a petition for his:
"I, Jonathan Barker, a resident citizen of the United States of America,
an inhabitant of Newry in the County of Oxford and the State of
Massachusetts, do testify and say, that on the nineteenth day of April
A.D. 1775, I joined the army of said United States on the continental
establishment at Cambridge in said state for the term of eight months
as a private soldier in Capt. John Davis’ company, Col James Frye’s
regiment, who was soon after our Brigadier General in the Massachu-
-setts line, which term of eight months I served at Cambridge aforesaid
and at the expiration thereof I again enlisted into said army for three
months as a private soldier in Capt. John Allen’s company, Col John
Waldron’s regiment, and Gen Sullivan’s brigade in the New Hampshire
line, which term of three months I served at Charlestown in Massachu-
-setts and was then verbally discharged. In June A.D. 1778, I again
enlisted into the same army on the continental establishment, at
Methuen, Mass. and I joined the army at White Plains, N. York, as a
private soldier for the term of nine months in Capt. Samuel Carr’s
company, Col. James Weston’s regiment and Gen Lerned’s brigade
in the Massachusetts line, which term of nine months I fully served,
principally in the state of N. York and at the end thereof I received,
at Stony Point, an honorable discharge, which has since been
burned with my house. I further testify that I am sixty four years of
age,worship a few days, that by reason of my reduced circumstances
in life I stand in need of assistance from my country for support and
that I am not borne on any pension list of the United States.
On the other side of the sheet of paper is the testimony of
a Joseph Jackson:
"I, Joseph Jackson of Newry aforesaid, do testify and say, that I was
in the continental service in the revolutionary war with the above
named Jonathan Barker during his periods of service of eight months
and of nine months above mentioned and to my certain knowledge
saidBarker served these several periods as he has above stated.
Joseph Jackson "
Apparently Judge Parris felt further evidence as to Jonathan's
service was necessary, and he appointed someone to go about
"Maine District , ss.
To James Eames of Newry in the District of Maine, esq.
Whereas, at a special District Court of said United States
for the Maine District holden at Paris in said District,
on the twenty fourth day of April in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and eighteen Jonathan Barker of
Newry in said District presented an application to the Judge
of said Court, setting forth that he served as a private soldier
in the war of the revolution, on the continental establishment against
the common enemy, and requesting that an enquiry may be instituted
into the circumstances of his case, and that such further proceedings
may be made touching the premises as are prescribed by An Act of
Congress passed March 18th,1818,entitled "An Act to provide
for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service
of the United States in the revolutionary war," in order that
he may be places on the Pension List of said United States:-
and whereas in the course of the examination here had, it
appears that the testimony of sundry persons, who served
with the applicant in the revolutionary army, at present
residing in or near to the towns of Newry or Bethel in the
Districts aforesaid, is necessary and material in support
of said application:-
THEREFORE, to the end that the testimony aforesaid may
be had, and by virtue of the power vested in this Court by the
laws of the United States, you or either of you are hereby
appointed or authorized, at the proper expense of the
applicant, to take depositions of such persons as he may
cause to come before you, touching the application
aforesaid, and in particular as to the time when the
applicant entered the service, the time and manner of his
leaving it, the company, regiment and line to which he
belonged, and whether the service was performed on the
continental establishment or the militia of either of
the States; and such depositions, when taken, and your
certificate of the administration of the usual oath and of
the credibility of the deponents, together with this Dedimus
Potestam, you will certify and return to the Judge of said
Court without unnecessary delay.
GIVEN under my hand and seal at Paris in said District, the
day and yea r first mentioned.
Albion K. Parris
Judge of the United States in and for the District of Maine."
James Eames found a witness to testify who knew Jonathan
Barker very well.
He found Benjamin Barker.