52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: 15th Week Reuben Walton – A Double Life

This is another post in response to the challenge of posting about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks by Amy Johnson Crow

Reuben Walton, my 1st cousin 5x removed. was born 1765 in Amherst, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire as the third of five sons to Reuben and Mary (Thompson) Walton. His brothers were Benjamin, Artimas, Jonathan. all born in Amherst and Simeon who was born in Stoddard, Cheshire County, NH. The family moved to Stoddard in late October of 1769 and lived in a covered pole house on 3 acres of land.

Reuben and Ruth Marriage Record

Reuben and Ruth Marriage Record

On May 30, 1787 Reuben Walton married Ruth Peabody (daughter of Isaac and Sarah (Wilkens) Peabody in Lyndeborough, Hillsborough County, NH. Reuben and Ruth had 10 children: Artimas, Sally, Elizabeth, Ruth, Reuben, Benjamin, Rachael, Eunice, Martha and Susan. In 1790 they lived in Lyndeborough according to the first US Census with three of their children. Probably by the early 1790s they had moved and lived in Alstead, Cheshire County, NH where the 1800 US Census shows them living.with seven children.

In her book about the Walton family history, Hattie Heninger states that in about 1814 Reuben moved his family north to the area of Shipton, Quebec, Canada; his youngest daughter has stated she was 13 when they moved. He may have moved to be near two of his daughters. Apparently Sally, with her husband Job Tyler, and Rachael with her husband Captain John Smith had moved to the Shipton area.  By 1818 he was once again in the United States, this time in Mexico, Oxford County, Maine. The 1820 US Census shows him living in Mexico near his son Reuben Jr. The older Reuben’s household includes several young female children. On March 20, 1825, Reuben died in Mexico, Maine at the age of 60.

Now for the other side of the story!

Reuben Walton, as were many of his cousins and other contemporaries, was a soldier in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. Based on his own testimony and other records, he was a private in Captain Taylor’s company, Colonel Tupper’s regiment and General Glover’s brigade. He enlisted in February of 1781 and served over three years before receiving an honorable discharge from General George Washington at Newberg in December, 1783. Reuben’s main service was at West Point, White Plains, Albany and Saratoga and he was in the battle of King’s Bridge as well as various skirmishes.

However, regardless of how hard you look you will not find his name on any of the roll calls, muster sheets or payroll vouchers. He did not serve under the name of Reuben Walton. Little is known of his early life except that at five years of age, as the family moved from Amherst to Stoddard, he was indebted to the service of the Honorable Hugh Wilson in Petersborough, NH. Mr. Wilson was a member of the House of Representatives but there is no indication of his profession. There is also no indication of why Reuben was indebted to an apparent stranger but since Petersborough was the main source of supplies for those living in Stoddard, the family was probably able to stay in touch.

Reuben ( John Thompson ) Walton Statement

Reuben ( John Thompson ) Walton Statement

In about 1778 Hugh Wilson died and Reuben continued to live with Hugh’s son James until 1781. At about the age of 16, Reuben ran away from his master and joined the Continental Army, aided by a neighbor Capt. Smith. In order to avoid detection and capture because James Wilson was pursuing him,  Reuben entered service under the name John Thompson. The use of the Thompson surname (which was his mother’s maiden name), the reason for leaving his master, and his service are documented by sworn statements submitted by Reuben, his mother and brother Benjamin. These statements, along with others constitute Reuben’s successful application in 1818 for a pension given to veterans.

Reuben Walton Household in 1820

Reuben Walton Household in 1820

According to Hattie Heninger, Reuben said “Pride would not allow me to apply for a pension as long as I was able to work” His application states that the reason for applying is old age and disability. A schedule, included as part of the application file, dated July 20, 1820 lists Reuben, Ruth, three daughters, two granddaughters and his mother Mary as members of the household. This matches very nicely with the 1820 US Census which shows a household consisting of Reuben and seven females.

Sources:

  1.  Source Information: Ancestry,com. New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659-1947[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: “New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659–1947.” Online index and digital images. New England Historical Genealogical Society. Citing New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records, Concord, New Hampshire.
  2. Source Citation: Year: 1790; Census Place: Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Series: M637; Roll: 5; Page: 293; Image: 178; Family History Library Film: 0568145. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1790 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: First Census of the United States, 1790 (NARA microfilm publication M637, 12 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  3. Source Citation: Year: 1800; Census Place: Alstead, Cheshire, New Hampshire; Roll: 20; Page: 752; Image: 25; Family History Library Film: 218679. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1800 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by Family Search. Original data: Second Census of the United States, 1800. NARA microfilm publication M32 (52 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Second Census of the United States, 1800: Population Schedules, Washington County, Territory Northwest of the River Ohio; and Population Census, 1803: Washington County, Ohio. NARA microfilm publication M1804 (1 roll).
  4. Source Citation: 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Mexico, Oxford, Maine; Page: 127; NARA Roll: M33_37; Image: 79. Source Information:Ancestry.com. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by Family Search. Original data: Fourth Census of the United States, 1820. (NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  5. Heninger, Hattie E. Walton; “A Brief Historical and Genealogical Account of the Walton Family in the New England States, the Western States, and Canada with Notes on some of the Allied Families”; Salt Lake City, Utah.
  6. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Maine Pensioners, 1835 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998. Original data: United States Senate. Report from the Secretary of War, in Obedience to Resolutions of the Senate of the 5th and 30th of June, 1834, and the 3d of March, 1835, In Relation to the Pension Establishment of the United States. [Maine Section]. Washington, D.C.: Duff Green, 1835.
  7. Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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About larrytom2

Older guy interested in genealogy and family issues.
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One Response to 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: 15th Week Reuben Walton – A Double Life

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 15 Recap | No Story Too Small

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