Pension Application for John F. Helmer
State of New York
On this twentieth day of April one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, before me David Holtz, one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the county aforesaid, personally appeared John F. Helmer aged fifty-three years, resident in the Town of Herkimer in the county and state aforesaid, to me well known, who being by me first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declarations in order to obtain the provision made by the act of Congress entitled “An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War.”
That he the said John, enlisted as a private soldier at Albany in the State of New York in the spring of the year seventeen hundred and eighty–two in Captain Tears’ Company of Infantry in the regiment commanded Col. Marinus Willett in the New York Lines for the term of nine months.
That previous to the termination of this said nine months he the said John re-enlisted in the same company for three years. That he continued to serve in said company and regiment on the Continental establishment and against the common enemy from his first enlistment until after the close of the Revolutionary War, to wit, until the month of January seventeen hundred and eighty four, when he was honorably discharged at Schenectady in the state aforesaid. That his discharge was signed by Col. Willett and by Phiny Moore, as adjutant.
That he the said John about the year 1810 entered his said discharge with one William Dexter, who is now deceased and that since the death of the said Dexter, the said John hath endeavored in vain to discern what hath been done with said discharge or whatever the same be now in existence. That he the said John was in several skirmishes, but in no important battle with this our army. That he is in reduced circumstances and stands in need of the assistance of his country for support and that he has no other evidence now in his power of his services than this his own declamation, and the affidavit of Peter W. Dygert which is herein to annexed, and this said John hereby relinquishes all claim to any pension except one allowed him by the laws of the United States.
(Signed) John F. Helmer
State of New York
Charles Spinner of Herkimer in said County of Herkimer being duly sworn says that he is a son of John P. Spinner deceased who was a minister of the Gospel and who for over forty years officiated as such minister and Pastor of the churches and congregations of the Reformed Prot. Dutch Churches of Herkimer and German Flatts and as such minister and pastor from the year 1801 to the close of his ministerial labors about the year 1848 kept a record of marriages, baptisms and burials celebrated by him in the said churches and congregations. That he this deponent is intimately acquainted with the handwriting and the said record of his deceased father which said record is not in the care and custody of his mother and sister at the late family residence of his deceased father. That he has this day examined the said record of baptisms and births of his said deceased father and has found therein in the proper handwriting of his deceased father the several entries following to wit:
Subscribed and sworn to this 14th day of August A. D. 1855 before me and I further certify that I am well acquainted with the said Charles Spinner and that he is a person of good repute and his statements are entered with full faith and credit. David Rasback, Justice of the Peace
State of New York
On this 5th day of May 1823 personally appeared in open court to wit, a court of Common Pleas said court being a court of record in and for the County of Herkimer thus constituted by the law and statutes of the State of New York, John F. Helmer aged fifty eight years, resident in the Town of Herkimer in the county aforesaid who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath declare that he served in the Revolutionary War as follows:
That I, the said John F. Helmer, enlisted in Captain Peter Petrie’s Company commanded part of the time by Col. Marinus Willett and part of the time by Col. Van Schaick on the continental Establishment for three years that he served his time faithfully and was then honorably discharged by order of Gen’l Washington, and I do swear that the date of the original declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the act of Congress passed the 18th day of March 1818 is ______________ 1818 and the number I now have under the act aforesaid is ______________
(The reason of my not stating the date and number to my certificate is that the man that I left it with to collect my money due thereon has lost or mislaid it and it cannot be found and I do solemnly swear that I was a resident and citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1828 and I have not since that time by gift, sale or in any manner whatever disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent to so diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and I have not nor has any person in trust for me any property or securities or contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed.
Real property or estate I have none
Personal property, I have 2 pigs worth $2.00
One poor suit of every day clothing for myself not worth more than $2.00
One suit for my wife not worth more than $3.00
Seven children one suit each, very poor (no amount listed)
One poor bed (no amount listed)
And I do solemnly swear that I am by occupation a farmer but not very healthy that I have a wife forty eight years and she is not very healthy and I have no other way to support myself but by my industry which only affords but a pitiful living and without some help from his country, will soon have to call on the town for relief both for himself and family.
Subscribed and sworn this 5th day of May 1823 before me.
Henry Brown first Judge of Her. Com. Pleas. (Signed) John F. Helmer.
State of New York
On this 13th day of June A.D. 1855 personally appeared before me Ezra Gerves, County Judge of the County Court of the County of Herkimer and State of New York the said court being a court of record. Margaret Helmer a resident of the Town of Herkimer with said county and state above named, aged seventy-five years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the act of Congress passed July 29th 1848 granting pensions to widows of persons who served during the Revolutionary War.
That she is the widow of John Helmer, which was his baptismal name and by which he was known until after the war when those was another John Helmer who came to live at Herkimer when he saw her husband before and he designated by the addition of a middle letter F as appears from receipts and other papers taken and left by him and now remaining in possession of the family and from whence until his death he was known by the name of John F. Helmer and who was a soldier and served in the War of the Revolution and was a pensioner in his lifetime under the act of Congress passed the 18th day of March 1818 at the rate of ninety-six dollars a year as she is informed and believes; that her said husband was such pensioner and said drew said pension for the year 1818 and for several years afterwards when the same was stopped for the reason as she was informed that his service was performed in the State Troops and not in the regular Continental Line.
That her said husband as he always understood from him served in the said War of the Revolution under a time of enlistment for nine months under Col Willett and that after the close of said nine months term of enlistment he again enlisted in the service for the term of three years.
She further declares that she was married to the said John Helmer at Herkimer when he then resided and where he died.
On Easter day in the year 1777 or 1778 and she cannot state in which year but has no doubt it was either one or the other and she is quite positive that it was on Easter day or ??? so called, by the river Mr. Wietinssers a minister who came from below Fort Plain or that neighborhood; that her name before her marriage with the said marriage was Margaret Munterback which was her maiden name and that her husband the said John Helmer died at Herkimer aforesaid on the 26th day of November A. D. 1827 and that she has remained a widow since his death and is now a widow.
That she has caused inquiry to be made for a record of her marriage with said John? But has not been able to find any public or private and she believes there is none now present and said husband the said John married.
And she further declares that she and the said John Helmer had together in all ten living children six of whom are still living and four dead and that the following is the order of their births and their names respectively to wit: 1st Frederich J. Helmer who was her first born and who was born about one year after their said marriage, 2d a daughter who lived but a few hours after her birth and received neither baptism nor a name, 3d John Helmer, 4th Anna Helmer, 5th William Helmer, 6th Eve Helmer, 7th Margaret Helmer, 8th Lavina Helmer, 9th Elizabeth Helmer and 10th Catharine Helmer who was the youngest of her children and that all except the second born received the ordinance of baptism and that all who received baptism except the first and third to wit: Frederich and John and also the seventh to wit: Margaret were baptized by the Rev’d John P. Spinner who emigrated into this country from Germany and who became the settled minister and Pastor of the ??? Prot. Dutch Church at Herkimer in the year 1801 and continued so to be for about forty years and during that entire period as such minister as she is informed kept a record of births and of baptisms and marriages performed by him that said Frederich J. her first born was baptized by the Rev’d Mr. Pick and the said John her 3d child was baptized by the Rev’d Mr. Dyssling who was nuown? and whom she remembers by the name and designation of the “Schweitzer Psarrer? which is the name in the German language and which is she is informed is Swiss Minister in the English language and that he was so called from the fact that he emigrated into this country from Switzerland and that both her said sons were so baptized prior of the coming and settlement of the said Rev’d J. P. Spinner as such minister and pastor at Herkimer as aforesaid and that her said 7th child Margaret was baptized by the Rev’d Mr. Grotz (Gros) as she now thinks who was a minister of the gospel settled at Stone Arabia in the County of Montgomery. (Signed with her mark) Margaret Helmer
State of New York
Frederick J. Helmer of Herkimer in said county and state being duly sworn sys that he was either fifty-five or fifty-six years old in December 1854 but there being no reliable record of his age and there having always since he attained to the age of twenty-one years, been a question about his true age, he cannot state for certainty whether his age was fifty-five or fifty-six in December 1854 but from what he has always understood from his parents and relations and the other people in the neighborhood and of which he has no doubt he was either fifty-five or fifty-six and from the best and most reliable data that he has been able to obtain he believes he was fifty[six years old and will be fifty-seven in December next.
He further states that he always understood from his parents that he was their first born and that next to him there was born to them a daughter who lived but a few hours and died. That next to the said deceased a sister who was the second born he had and still has a brother named John who was the third of his father and mother’s children and who is still living. That the next being the fourth and the children of his father and mother was a sister named Anna, that William his brother was the next being the fifth. Eve 6th, Margaret 7th, Lavina 8th, Elizabeth 9th and Catharine 10th.
That Margaret Helmer whose declaration is hereto annexed and which he has heard read and knows its contents is his mother and that the said John Helmer named in the said declaration was his father, that the said John as long as he this deponent had any recollection of him and until the day of his death was known as and wrote his name John F. Helmer. That his father as he always understood from him and from others of his age served in the War of the Revolution and he this deponent remembers distinctly that he always in his lifetime asserted and claimed that he served under Capt. Peter B. Tearse and under Col. Willett.
And this deponent further saith that as he understood from his father he was entered on the pension roll at the rate of ninety-six dollars a year about the year 1818 and that for several years thereafter he drew a pensions of ninety-six dollars a year but that the same was discontinued as this deponent has been informed on the ground that the service rendered by his father in the War of the Revolution was in the state troops or Levies and not in the regular Continental Army. That his father the said John Helmer died at Herkimer on the 26th day of November A.D. 1829 and that his mother has not been married since and is now a widow and living in the family of this deponent in the Town and County of Herkimer and that he has no interest in the pension application of his mother. That the maiden name of his mother was Margaret Munterbach, that his father and mother always lived together as man and wife and were reputed so and he and from the fact of their always living together as man and wife and have been reputed as to be and claiming at all times that they were married he has no doubt that they were lawfully married as is alleged in the declaration of his mother hereto annexed. (Signed) Frederick J. Helmer
The following letter is included in the pension application folder for Mr.
April 14, 1926
Mrs. Pascoe W. Williams
621 Providence Street
Albany, New York
I advise you that from the papers in the Revolutionary War pension claim, W. 7718, it appears that John F. Helmer was the son of Frederick Helmer.
He enlisted in Albany, New York, in the spring of 1782 as a private in Captain Peter B. Tearse’s Company in Colonel Marinus Willett’s New York Regiment, and was discharged in January 1784.
He was allowed pension on his application executed April 20, 1818, at which time he was fifty-three years of age and was living in Herkimer, Herkimer County, New York. He died there November 26, 1829.
He married about 1797 or 1798 in Herkimer, New York, Margaret Munterbach. She was allowed pension on her application executed June 13, 1855, at which time she was seventy-five years of age and was living in Herkimer, New York.
They had the following children: Frederick J., born about 1797 or 1798; a daughter, name not give; John; Anna; William; Eve; Margaret; Lavina; Elizabeth; Catharine.
The Revolutionary War records of this bureau fail to afford any information relative to pension or bounty land having been claimed on account of the service of Frederick of John Frederick Helmer who was the father of John F. Helmer who died November 28, 1829.
Respectfully, Winfield Scott, Commissioner
In a hand written note at the bottom of the letter: I omitted service from 1778 to 1781 as it appears soldier placed service between these dates to bring himself within qualification of pension law (was struck off because service from 1782 to [blotted] not Continental). Marinus Willett was Continental in 1778 not after 1781.