Hamilton County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

Pension File # W 8823

Information Submitted by Jeanette Foster Wescott

Our note:
The exact burial place of Abner Foster is unknown, though this researcher thinks he is buried in Hamilton County. An Abner Foster is listed in the 1840 Census of Pensioners as living in Gallatin county, as well as in the regular 1840 census in Gallatin, but none as living in Hamilton County during that census period.

This is what the DAR book of 1917 says about the Gallatin county Abner Foster:
ABNER FOSTER - was from Massachusetts, where he served in Capt. Benjamin Adams' company, Col. Jonathan Johnson's regiment, enlisting August 15, 1777, serving four months. He came to Gallatin county, Illinois, and is doubtless buried there as he was an aged man. He was pensioned. ("Illinois Revolutionary War Veteran Burials", 1917)

That's not to say that the DAR book from 1917 is infalliable - there are errors in any genealogy publishing - and the writer is making an assumption of his burial place based on his age.

Sooooo.... what WE are presenting here are the FACTS found in the research of Jeanette Foster Wescott. Any conclusions to be drawn are left up to the researcher, because NONE of the following information has been verified by Genealogy Trails.
It is up to the researcher to research and verify all information!!!

Information Submitted by Jeanette Foster Wescott

Our subject, Abner Foster, was born, December of 1759, in Amelia Co, VA. He died, 27 February 1848, Hamilton County, Illinois. His first wife was Drusilla O'Neal, married in Amelia County, VA, abt. 1781. It is said Abner and Drusilla may have had 5 children. Two are known, William and Winnifred. Drusilla died by 1804, and Abner married Judith Lane on 15 March 1804, in Pittsylvania County, VA. The only known child of this marriage is a Nancy Foster, said to be the oldest child of this couple. (there are some speculated children)

From Pittsylvania Co, VA Marriage Records:

FOSTER, Abner m. LANE, Judith on 15 Mar 1804

Marriage verified by Judy's Widow's Pension Papers. Marriage Bond shared by John O"Neal, marriage performed by John Black, a Baptist Minister.

Abner Foster, lived in Bedford Co, VA. by 1789, Pittsylvania County, VA, in 1804, 1810 in Warren Co, KY, on to Allen Co KY by 1820 and in Henderson Co TN by 1830. In 1840 he was in Hamilton County, Illinois, where he died in 1848. Abner, made application for a military pension 1834 in Henderson County, Tennesse, and later that transferred to Hamilton County, Ill. On West Tenn Henderson county. Inscribed on the roll in 4 March 1834

Transferred to Illinois. August 24 1838 Nashvile, Sept 04 1838 Illinois.

1810 Warren County, KY
Abner Foster, 2 males under 10, 2 males 10-15, 2 males 16-25, 1 male 45 over, 3 Females under 10, 1 female 26-44, 1 female 45 and over.

Abner is living next to Cornelius Foster, who in the 1830 Gallatin co, Illinois Census is living at Cave In Rock Township, Gallatin Co, Ill. Also included in the Warren Co KY Census is Drury, John, John, Samuel, and William Foster.

1820 Allen County, KY
Abner Foster -- 1 male under 10, 1 male 16 under 26, 1 male 45, 4 females under 10, 3 females 10 under 16, 1 female 26 under 45.

So by the 1820 Census, Abner had 5 sons moving on with 3 between ages 20-25, 2 between ages of 26-35, had one additional son, and 4 new dtrs; with 3 of his dtrs ages approx 16, and one dtr. Age 26-44 for a total of 7 sons and 7 dtrs. One of his sons may have died, as the 1810 census shows 2 males under 10.

We know for sure one of his eldest sons was named William. There may have been a John and an Isaac.

In Nov 1834, when Abner was 75 years old. (b. 1759), he testified that he entered the service in Amelia, Virginia on Jun 7, 1779. He said that he was drafted for three months from Dec. 1779. After marching many miles and engaging in several skirmishes against the British, he was discharged in Mar. 1780. In May 1780 he again entered the service under Capt. Pleasant Roberts. He served in Bedford VA and Warren, KY. He served as a private in the company commanded by Capt. Garland in the regiment commanded by Col. Meriwether. He formerly lived in Tennessee, but at the time of deposition resided in Hamilton Co., Illinois.
History in part as follows:

"Abner Foster, entered service in the Revolutionary War in the County of Amelia, VA. He was a drafted soldier in the month of December 1779, in the Virginia Militia regiment from the county of Amelia. Commanded by Col. ______ Merriwethers. His major was by the name of _____Garland in the company commanded by Captain ____Garland. This regiment marched onto the city of Petersburg in the state of Virginia, and from there on by Smith field to James River and then down that river to its junction with the Chesapeake Bay and there crossed ______? River at the turn of the same name hence which had previously been burnt by the British and from thence marched on to the south side of the Dismal Swamp- but er'e we completed our march we camped for a short period on Edmund's Hill about three quarters of a mile from Long Bridge Fort where we had a small skirmish with the British. When we departed and moved back into the fort having three of our men killed and five wounded. The our regiment continued its march on to the south side of the Dismal Swamp and from thence turned to the north. This regiment was at no time stationary for any lenth of time at any place. Marching and counterattacking from place to place is the ______? Of the service required. Abner states this regiment was discharged in the latter part of the month of March 1780 in a little old field about a day and half; march from Petersburg. The soldiers of this regiment ____?there discharge in writing under the signature of Colonel Garland the Colonel of the same and which discharge this declerant has long since lost, having faithfully served out his three months tour thus ending the first tour of service. This declarent states that this regiment was with another regiment Continental Ayuler, but could not say who the commanders were.

2nd Tour of Service; This declarant states that he again entered the service of the United States from the county of Amelia in the state of Virginia as a private Drafted soldier in the Virginia Regement of Militia for three months commanded by his original Colonel_ Garland, this tour in the later part of the month of May 1780- the Captain was by the name of Pleasant Roberts, Thomas Elmore was the Luetenant the ensigns name not now able to recollected. The company to which this declarant belonged was detailed off from the main body of the regiment (his former regiment in the first tour of his service) to act as a _____?(guard?) to the county of Amelia and to watche the movements of Colonel Tarlton who was then with his legion moving upon the borders of Amelia county, this declarent states that he faithfully carried out this tour of service of three months as a private soldier and was discharged in writing by his Captain Pleasant Roberts in the latter part of August in which discharged of the same year. He has lost ( sentence unreadable, but to the extent, that he didn't see a need of saving his papers, being as the regiment stayed in Amelia county)

Questions from the court to Abner

When were you born and do you have a record of it?
A. December of 1759, no record except in my Grandfathers Bible, but have no idea where that book is today"

Q. Where did you live during your tours of duty?
A. Amelia County State of Virginia, after lived in Bedford County in the same state, the to Warren County in the state of KY. And from there the county of Henderson my present place of residence.

Q. How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer or were ya a substitute and if a substitute for whom:
A. In both of my tours I was drafted.

Q. State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served such continental and militia regiments as you can recollect and the general circumstances of your services.
A. I can not state the regular or continental or militia regiments or the officers thereof having never been with them in relation to the general circumstances of my service you are refered to the same contained in the body of my declaration

Q. The persons to whom I can refer to for my character and who are known to me is my neighborhood for ______? And their belief of my services is a soldier of the Revolution are William H. Burton esqr. Chairman of the county court of Henderson County Hugh W. Wormeley Alexander Caruthers William d. Carrington esquire justice of the peace of Henderson and many others if required.
Signed Abner X (his mark) Foster "

Also presented two affaidavits signed by the above gentlemen.
Also stated that Abner was 75, on December the 18th.

In the State of Kentucky Allen County Court an affadavid of William Foster and resident of Allen Co, state of Kentucky states that he is the son of Abner Foster late of Hamilton County Illinois, deced, that he is 65 years old and that he is acquainted with Judy Foster the widow of said Abner and he was present when her and (my father) Abner Foster, were married though quite young at the time, recollected their marriage well. They were married in Pittsylvania County in the state of Virginia and my best recollection they were married in the year 1802, "I'am certain however that the marriage was in the year 1802 or 1803, the maiden name of said Judy was Judy Lain my recollection is that my Father informed me that I was fourteen years old at the time said Judy and himself were married, April 24th 1854. signed WM Foster. On there was signed by James W. Foster Justice of the peace in Allen County, KY.

There was an affidavit by John O Neal in behalf of Abner and Judy's marriage which was certified by Longhorn Scruggs.
Abner Foster was awarded his pension.

Judy (Judith Lain) filed for Widows Pension; and had a hard time producing proof of her marriage. Reporting that there had been a house fire in Allen Co, KY which destroyed her records.

Abner Foster's, Revolutionary papers were found through Footnote.com, from the Natn'l Archives.

Legends state that Abner was buried in 10 Mile Creek Cemetery, McLeansboro, Hamilton Co, Ill. However, after contacting the cemetery, they had no listing. "The stones they used were very soft, therefore unreadable today"


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