Revolutionary War Pension Applications

Stokes and Surry Counties, North Carolina

UNDERWOOD, William, Capt.– W 1003

(b. Feb. 17 or 19, 1756, son of John & Margaret Underwood – d. Dec. 20, 1814)

wife Susanna Kerby

Declaration of Susanna Underwood (88) – Anderson Co., TN – Mar. 2, 1841

Susanna, widow of William Underwood, who was a captain in light horse militia in Col. Martin Armstrong’s regiment. William enlisted from Surry Co., NC, his residence on Jan. 27, 1780. She had receipts for service from Wm. Adkins (14 days), John Kirby (14 days), Moses Harris (56 days), all in 1780, and Col. Armstrong, in 1781.

Susanna and William married Feb 28, 1782, in Surry Co. Her maiden name was Kerby. William died Dec. 20, 1814.

Affidavit of John Underwood (86) – Sevier Co., TN – Nov. 15, 1853? -- John was William’s brother. He states William served two or three years as captain of cavalry in Wilkes county in Morgan District and then in Surry Co. in Salisbury District because the portion of one county was added to the other and thus William was transferred from one district to the other. [William had another brother Thomas, age 83, in Sevier Co., TN, in 1853.]

Affidavit – Surry Co., NC – Aug. 8, 1796 *– Subscribers well acquainted with Wm. Underwood and certify he “distinguished himself as a true friend to his Country.” John f leser ? Hugh Armstrong Franklingen? Rich’d Allen Cole Wither ? Joseph _ Thompson? ?? Co Lovill JP Jas Bady JP H Speer JP

Archives summary letter states William was born February 17 or 19, 1756, the son of John and Margaret Underwood. File also includes North Carolina state list of receipts for William.

The file contains Bible records which are hard to read and a will that names William’s children.

Capt. William Underwood’s company of light horse or dragoons is mentioned in Christopher Kerby file.

VENABLES, John W. 1822 [1810 Stokes co. census, p. *, 567]

(b. Sept. 1, 1762 Frederick Co., VA – d. June 1, 1839 Stokes Co., NC) [son of William Venables, who died Dec. 22, 1815, and Margaret, who died Nov. 23, 1774] Uncle Richard Venables resided Lincoln Co., NC

wife Mary Curry (b. June 25, 1762)

Declaration of John Venables (age 71) – Stokes Co., NC, Sept. 10, 1833 – Entered service as a substitute for John Jordan in York District in South Carolina as a private militia soldier in August or September 1778 in a company commanded by Lt. Malcolm Henry and regiment commanded by Col. Thomas Neal. Rendezvoused at a Mjor Ropis ? in York district and marched from there and crossed Broad River at Talbots Ferry. He was marched across Fair Forest, Tiger and more rivers and through a small village called Ninety Six, thence crossing Saluda River to a place called Fort White Hall at which place a General Williamson resided where a military store was kept. At this place orders were given that Capt. Sadlers and Lt. Henry’s companies should be detached from Col. Neal’s regiment. This applicant marched some miles under Lt. Henry’s command up the country not far from the Savannah River to guard the country against the hostile Indians and marched by a fort called Independence several miles through a wilderness country. They were stationed in an encampment near Savannah River at a large canebrake on the north side of the river, at which place he was discharged from his three month term.

He knows of no living witness to this term as a substitute because he was a school student under the tuition of Jesse Burgen in York District in SC and 16 years of age on September 1, 1798, and he was then living about 150 miles from his father William Venables who resided in the part of Surry County, NC, which is now Stokes.

His next service was as a private militia soldier drafted in Surry County in February or March 1780. They rendezvoused at the court house in Richmond in Surry County in the company of Capt. James Freeman and Lt. Samuel Dyer. The troops were called into service to join the army for the defense of Charlestown, SC. They marched from Richmond towards Charlestown about 150 miles crossing the Yadkin River and through Salisbury in Rowan County and Charlotte in Mecklenberg County. They were in company with Gen.Rutherford near Salisbury and after being marched to the Waxhaw Settlement in SC near the Cataba River, a nation of Indians called the Cataba Tribe, information came to our troops that Charlestown had surrendered to the British. It appeared to discourage our officers to proceed any further. We were verbally discharged by the Captain after serving one month at least.

In May or June 1780, when living at his uncle Richard Venables in Lincoln Co., NC, he entered service as a volunteer in a company of light horse or militia. He found his own horse under command of Capt. John Barber of Lincoln County and marched about 40 or 50 miles to Waxhaw Settlement on the Carolina border. There, at the encampment of General Sumpter, his horse escaped.

After losing his horse, he was permitted to go join the army under Gen. Rutherford about thirty or more miles away in Anson Co, NC, near the Rider River. He joined as a volunteer militia solder in infantry under Capt. Armstrong from Lincoln Co., in Col. Alexander’s regiment and near the encampment of Gen. Butler and Gen. Caswell with Gen. Gates from the north joined their forces under Gen. Rutherford. They marched from the encampment where the generals met by the place called Cheraw Hills in SC to Rugeleys Mill in SC in which place he saw about 13 generals. Gen. Gates was the commander-in-chief at this encampment. We were ordered to build up our fires and leave them in as silent a manner as possible in the night of Aug. 15, 1780, said to be 12 or 13 miles from Camden, SC. From there we marched silently some miles toward Camden in the nightime when the advanced guards began firing. There was firing occasionally until daylight, when the general engagement took place in which Gen. Gates American Army was defeated. John was in that battle and after the battle and defeat he returned to Surry County, passing through Lincoln County. He served two months at least.

He again volunteered in 1780 a few days after he arrived home to his fathers in Surry Co., NC. He served as a light horseman private under Capt. James Shepherd to range Surry County to “keep the Tories in Subjection.” He continued in this at least two months. Edmund Kirby was Lt. And Wm. Hazlett his Lt. At another time in Col. Martin Armstrong’s regiment of Surry County Militia.

He then volunteered in the company of militia commanded by Capt. Wm. Bostick a short time after the Battle of King Mountain in fall 1780. He guarded the prisoners at the Old Town that were taken in that battle.

In 1781 he again entered service as a volunteer under Capt. Edward Lovell of Surry Co. Militia. He was immediately appointed Ensign and served at least a month as a light horseman or trooper. They marched from Surry County to Guilford Co., NC, and joined General Green’s army. He was in a battle at Whitsells Mills on Ready fork, which happened a very few days before the battle of Guilford.

He was again a volunteer horseman in May 1781 in Surry Co. under Capt. David Humphries. He served three months, mostly transporting lead from Chizzels lead mines near New River in Virginia crossing the rugged Blue Ridge of mountains to Salisbury NC, a distance of 100 miles. This service he proves by testimony of James Forrester.

His last service was entered at the Court House in Richmond as a private light horseman as a substitute for a certain Bangs. This was in Capt. Minor Smith’s company of troopers under Col. Smith and ___ Grayham. The applicant found his own horse and marched from Richmond, scouring the county to subdue the Tories through several counties in NC above 100 miles to the place called the Raft Swamp to the Brick House near Wilmington, NC, and at the camp of Shaw in Brunswick County. He enclosed a written discharged signed by Capt. M. Smith on Nov. 17, 1781, after serving his three-month term. He can prove some service by testimony of Rev. Wm. Steele and part by James Forrester and part by Abm. Stow.

John states he was born in Frederick County, VA, on Sept. 1, 1762. The record burned with his house in 1789.

Declaration of Mary Venables (widow) – Stokes Co., NC, July 30, 1829 –Unable to travel to court from bodily infirmities. She is the widow of John Venables, who served many expeditions as a private militia soldier. She married John on Dec. 23, 1783, by Micajah Clark, J.P., in Surry County, NC. John died June 1, 1839.

Mary bore nine children as recorded by John Venables:

John b. Feb. 14, 1785
Jesse b. May 14, 1787
Betsy b. Nov. 21, 1789
Wm. b. June 24, 1792
Sally b. Mar. 12, 1795
Mary b. Nov. 30, 1797
Rebecca b. June 2, 1800
John b. Apr. 25, 1803
Malcolm b. July 29, 1805

Her maiden name was Mary Curry.

Signed by mark Affidavit of Rev. William Steele, a clergyman “of the Baptist Order.” He married John’s sister Rebecca Venables and went with John Venables to the Surry County clerk a week or two before Christmas 1783 and was security for John’s bond to marry Mary Curry. He saw them joined together by a justice of the peace named Clarke in the then Surry Co., NC, a few days before Christmas 1783. He was at the burial of John Venables on June 5, 1839. He believes he died on the evening of June 1, 1839. Mary Venables, a widow, still resides in Stokes County but suffers from “Rheumatick complaint.”

Affidavit of Malcolm Venable – Stokes Co., NC, Sept. 9, 1845 – John died June 1, 1839. Mary Venable died on Sept. 9, 1842, and left surviving 9 listed children. (Rebecca Venables had married Anderson Dunnigan.

Aff. of John Venables in Christopher Eaton file – Stokes Co., NC, 15 Apr. 1834 – He is acquainted with Christopher Eaton and knows of his militia service. He was present at Gates defeat although Eaton did not serve in the same company with him. He recollects Eaton serving in the militia in guarding prisoners at Old Town and in the * under our captain and Capt. Bostick.

Affaidavit of John Venables in Christopher Eaton file – Stokes Co., NC, 15 June 1836 – John has been acquainted with Christopher Valentine or Eaton ever since 1773. “I saw this same identical man” in United States service in the army commanded by General Gates in summer 1780, which army was defeated by the British troops under Lord “Corn Wallace” on August 16, 1780. In fall of the same year, Venables saw the same man guarding the army of prisoners taken at Ferguson’s defeat on Kings Mountain.

VENABLE, William -- [Wynette Parks Haun, North Carolina Revolutionary War Accounts, Secretary of State, Treasurer’s & Comptroller’s Papers, Journal “A”, (Public Accounts), 1775-1776 (Durham, NC. 1989), p. 186 lists soldiers under Capt. William Shepperd & Lt. John Horn, of a company of light horse disarming Tories and on an expedition to Cross Creek for 33 days, including Joseph Edwards, William Epperson, and William Venable.]


Henry Waller enlisted at same time as Christopher Eaton and others in November 1777 or 1778 before Capt. Joseph Philips at Surry old Courthouse or Richmond, NC. See Eaton file.

WARD, Henry – R1114. Surry Co. res. at enlistment. White, p. 3668.

WARD, John (Capt.)

Affidavit in Capt. Henry Smith file. Served under Smith to Savannah River. Lived in Stokes Co., NC, 1833. S16284. Res. Surry Co., NC, at enlistment. White, p. 3668.

WILLIAMS, Joseph (Col.)

Mentioned in files of * Adam and Frederick Binkley. Frederick Binkley stated that Col. Joseph Williams was “of” Surry County.

Declaration of James Davis, Sr., states that he served under Capt. Robert Hill, Major Joseph Winston, and Col. Joseph Williams, all of Surry County, in expedition crossing the Big Yadkin River in pursuit of the Tories at Bryants Settlement

WINSTON, Joseph (Maj.)

Referred to in files of Benjamin, Ephraim, and Joseph Banner, Adam and Frederick Binkley, James Davis, Sr., Christopher Eaton, and Henry Smith.

Ephraim and Joseph Banner declare that they served under Major Winston on an expedition to the Long Island of Holston River in 1776.

Capt. Henry Smith’s file describes service under Major Joseph Winston pursuing the Tories to Cross Creek in 1776.

Adam and Frederick Binkley describe their service under Major Winston to Battle of Kings Mountain in 1778.

Benjamin Banner and Ephraim Banner declare they served in June 1779 under Major Winston in pursuit of Tories across the Yadkin.

James Davis, Sr., states that he served under Capt. Robert Hill, Major Joseph Winston, and Col. Joseph Williams, all of Surry County, in expedition crossing the Big Yadkin River in pursuit of the Tories at Bryants Settlement. Major Joseph Winston also called him to guard the Tory prisoners from Kings Mountain at the Old Moravian Town.

Christopher Eaton’s file contains a certificate of oath of allegiance signed by Joseph Winston, J.P., Surry County, NC.

WOLFF, Lewis (pensioner)

Affidavit in Henry Smith pension file – Wolff served as musician fifer in Capt. Henry Smith’s company against the Scotch Tories to Fayetteville, NC, in 1776, and began expedition against Cherokee nation before hiring a substitute. Lived in Stokes Co., NC, in 1833.

W4403 – moved as child to part of Surry that became Stokes. White, p. 3922.


John Evans pension declaration states he enlisted in militia in Surry County under Capt. Woolridge and Lt. David Hedgepeth.

YOUNG, William – U.S. pensioner – d. 1 June 1844, res. Stokes Co., NC (aff. Of dau Polly Young; also John Mabe, Sr., aff., names widow Polly). NCGSI (Feb. 1994), p. 47.

ZIGLAR, Leonard widow Nancy made oath before justice of peace, Stokes Co., pension began 10 Aug. 1849. NCGSI (Feb. 1994), p. 46 (citing Stokes Co., NC, Misc. Records)

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