Revolutionary War Pension Papers
Johannes N. Hilts (1764-1813)
"John the Runner"
Herkimer County, NY
Transcribed by Glen Bender
Contributed by Carol Grainger
Pension papers of Johannes N. Hilts 1764-1813
State of New York
On the seventeenth day of April one thousand Eight Hundred and forty personally appeared before me, Charles Gray Justice of Herkimer County Courts of the Degree of Counseller in the Supreme Court, Susanna Hilts a resident of the town of Herkimer in the county aforesaid - aged seventy six or seventy seven or seventy eight years she cannot now state the year of her being born. Who being duly sworn according to the law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress proposed July 7th 1838 Entitled "An act granting Half pay and pension to certain widows". That she is the widow of John Hilts the son of Nicholas Hilts and who was in the after of his life called John N. Hilts. That he was sometimes called Johannes Hilts. That her said husband was a soldier in the service of the United States in the state troops & Militia in the Revolutionary War. That she herself with her fathers family resided at Fort Dayton from the year 1779, the period after Herkimer was burnt to the close of the war. That during this time she remained at Fort Dayton she often, and during the whole war, saw the said John Hilts her said husband on duty as a drummer that he was the only drummer at the Fort.
That he served as such drummer under Captain Mark Damuth usually called Hon Mark Damuth, that he served under Captain McKean also under Captain Henry _____ also of the Fort part of the time and also a Captain then by the name of Ellsworth. That she frequently saw him beat the drum, that when at the Fort he used to beat the drum daily early in the morning and again at evening when the soldiers from the Fort returned, That he informed her that he was in service in the year in which the Oriskany battle was and previous to said battle at Oriskany, to block up Wood Creek but she does not recollect how long he was out at that time. That he informed her also that he was selected to carry letters from Fort Dayton to Fort Stanwix which he did do. Leaving Fort Dayton in the morning on foot and returning at night. that he would travel about sixty miles a day in the performance of such duty. that he was very springy on foot being able to outrun any person in the vicinity that he used to run foot races with the indians and beat the indians which was the cause of his being selected for that duty.
She further says that one Adam Helmer was also an officer under whom he served under in the war
and she further says that her maiden name was Susanna Miller. That she was married to the said
John Hilts in the month of February the first winter following the close of the war the precise
day she cannot now recollect neither can she state the year but is certain it was the winter
after the close of the war. That the marriage took place at Fall Hill to which place the said
Susanna &smp; the said John in company with George Hilts the brother of the said husband and
one Larry McComb & some others went for that purpose that the Reverend Abraham Rosecrantz
solumnized the marriage - that her husband the aforesaid John Hilts died on the third day
of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirteen that she has not intermarried since
but remains the widow of the said John Hilts. That she was not married to him prior to his
leaving the service but the marriage took place previous to the first day of January one
thousand seven hundred & ninty four and at the time above stated - that although she cannot
state the precise year of her marriage yet she knows this was in the twenty first year of her
age when she was married and that it was the ___ ___ ___. That she also knew Andrew Piper &
Jacob Piper, his brother, in the said war. That they served in the same Company with her said
husband as she has been informed and always understood that Jacob Piper was killed by the enemy,
and that he also knew Frederick Baum in the said war and that he also served one season in the
same company with her said husband. And she would refer to these statements hereto annexed.
And she further saith that she cannot write her name and that she never could write at all and
that she has always signed by writing her mark which is the only way in which she is now able
to sign this, her declaration. That she is now also blind so that she cannot see and her mark to
this, her declaration, which was read and explained to her by Charles Gray, was made by the aid
and guiding of the said Charles Gray.
Subscribed and sworn to this 17th day of April 1840 before the subscriber, a Judge of this Herkimer County Court. And I the undersigned do further certify that the said applicant Susanna Hilts from bodily infirmity is wholly unable to attend Court and that She is a person of good character and her statement Entitled to full credit, and I certify also that the said Susanna Hilts, besides other bodily infirmity is suffering also under blindness and that ______ in order to make her mark that she had to be aided by some person and that the undersigned did (no other pages available)
(______) illegible or questionable
Pension and death information for Susanna Hilts
State of New York John N. Hilts
On this day of October one thousand Eight hundred and forty three before
the court of common pleas of said county before the Judge thereof in open court the same being
a court of record, personnally Jacob Hilts a resident of the town of Herkimer in the said county
who being first duly sworn according to law does on his oath say that Susannah Hilts widow of
John N. Hilts both deceased was a pensioner of the United States under the act of July 7, 1838.
That her pension was first allowed and paid at about twenty two dollars per annium; and that
afterward an additional certificate was paid to her. that his mother the said Susannah Hilts
died on the Eighteenth of August One thousand Eight hundred and forty three in the said
town of Herkimer. that she left the following children and heirs, her surviving to wit; Margaret
Colvin wife of Joseph Colvin, George J. Hilts, Elizabeth Colvin widow, Anna Cook wife of Israel
Cook, John N. Hilts & Godfrey Hilts & this deponent. which are the only children, her
surviving, and who are each over twenty one years of age. that all the other children and heirs
have assigned their interest in and to all pension money to which their said mother was entitled
under the act of March 3, 1843 up to the time of her death with full power to apply for and
receive the same to this deponent. as will appear by the assignment annexed hereto. and this
Application is made for an allowance to this deponent of the said monies from the 4th day of
March 1843 to the 18th day of August 1843. and this deponent pray that the certificate be issued
payable to him soley.
Pension papers of Johannes N. Hilts 1764-1813
State of New York
On this 26th day of September 1839 personally appeared before the undersigned a Justice of the Peace in the said County, George Hilts of the town of Herkimer in said County aged seventy seven years who being duly sworn does on his oath say. That he is the brother of John N. Hilts, son of Nicholas Hilts both of whom are dead. That he was born and always has been at Herkimer, That in the year 1778 he was about 15 years old, That his brother John was older than this deponent. That in the fall of that year and this deponent thinks in the month of October of that year and about one and a half months after the settlement on the German Flatts was destroyed by the enemy his brother John enlisted in a Company of Rangers under Captain Mark Damuth, Lieut. Adam Helmer (the name of the Ensign this deponent cannot now recollect) as a drummer for one year and served said Company as drummer the said term of enlistment. That he well recollects the time for the reason that the house and barn of the father of the deponent were destroyed at the time by the enemy. That he well recollects that they had thrashed their seed when ___ ___ ___ and cleaned it up and it was burned lying on the barn floor but that a hay stack & stack of (pine) near the barn was left. That before his brother, the said John, enlisted as aforesaid he the said John was at work for one Daniel Fox, an uncle of his, and that at night when he came to the house his aunt used to scold him because he did not plough more and the third day he worked all day without eating and at night came home and told his mother that she should get his clothes that the next morning he was going to enlist. That his father objected and told his brother this said John that he should only dare to enlist. And that the next morning the said John got up before daylight and went off and enlisted as aforesaid at Fort Dayton under the Officers aforesaid- That this deponent resided at Herkimer during the whole of the term and saw the said John in the service and serving as a drummer in said Company most every day during the year. That after the expiration of the year he came home and worked for his father and occasionally served in the militia. that he was the drummer in the Militia Company commanded by Capt. Henry Harter but this deponent cannot now recollect that he was out on service in said company of militia after his enlistment - But well recollects that his brother the said John was on service in the militia in the year 1777 to Fort Stanwix and previous to the Battle of Oriskany blocking up Wood Creek and was there taken sick. but he cannot state how long he was absent on that occasion but that he was home sick and was sick at the time of the Oriskany Battle so that he remained at home.
That in the winter following the close of the war the said John G. Hilts, the brother
of this deponent, was married to Susan Miller, daughter of Frederick Miller. That this deponent well recollects
probable date of deposition; c 1840
(____) illegible or questionable
Note from Carol Grainger: "The son Jacob Hilts that gives a statement was not included as a child of John and Susanna in the Early Families of Herkimer County book by V.H. Barker. I don't understand how he could have left this child out, but he did."