Friday, July 6, 2012

Did John Seagroves Lie?

Did John Seagroves lie on his Revolutionary War pension application?


Maybe not.

John Seagroves (Seagraves) of Surry County (and Granville County, NC before that) was closely associated with John White of Surry County.  (John White was my GGGG grandfather.)  A fellow genealogist (Hi, Jack!) and I have found ourselves researching John Seagroves to hopefully learn more about our John White.  As often happens, we have found some inconsistencies John Seagroves' story.

In 1818, John Seagroves applied for his Revolutionary War pension.  He served in the Revolutionary War for 2 years in the 6th NC Regiment out of Granville County, NC.  In his application, John stated that he was essentially destitute and had incurred debts.  John stated he was a hatter and unable to perform that work due to an unnamed infirmity.

Here is where things get a little tricky.

1814 - John Seagroves was living in Surry County, NC close to William Tucker.
1817 - John Seagroves applied for a land grant in Surry County, NC of 300 acres adjoining Ezekiel Wilmoth and William Tucker and William Smith on or near Little Fishing River.
1818 - John Seagroves applied for his Revolutionary War pension and testified he was destitute.
1819 (Feb 5) - John was awarded a military pension of $8 per month to be paid in arrears from Sep 1818.
1819  (Dec) - The land grant is issued to John Seagroves.  A note on the back indicates John Seagroves paid for the land in full.  Unfortunately, the price per acre of land is not listed on the document.

Did John have money hidden away to pay for the land?  After all, he testified a year earlier that he was destitute and unable to work.

By Dec of 1819, John would have collected about $144 from his pension. Would this have been enough to take care of his debts and pay for his land as well?

Quite possibly.   If this is the case, then John Seagroves did not lie on his pension application.  He likely started the land grant process and the pension application process in hopes of obtaining the money to purchase the land.

John Seagroves continued to live on the land until his death on 26 Jan 1833. John Seagroves left his land to John White, my GGGG grandfather.


  1. Hmmm. Interesting! Shows the importance of creating a timeline, for sure.

  2. You are absolutely right about timelines! Creating timelines of my ancestors' lives has proven invaluable.


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