Revolutionary War Pensioner: William Bond (1760-1851)

I’ve written about William’s immigrant ancestor, William Bond (abt 1625-1695). Most of what I know about THIS William Bond, my 5th great-grandfather, comes from his pension files and compiled genealogies. Because the pension files are his own account of his war service and the circumstances of his life in his old age, I prefer them as a source of information.

William was born in the year 1760 in Weston, MA. He was the only child of William and Mary Bond. Both men served in the Revolutionary War, the older William was a private in Capt. George Minot’s company, Col. Samuel Bullard’s regiment, from August 1777 to November 1777. He was 38 years old at the time of his service.

The younger William first enlisted in December 1775, at the age of just 15 years old, as a private in Capt. Nathan Fuller’s company, Lt. Col. Bond’s 25th regiment. The company marched from Cambridge, MA, to New York and then on to Canada. When his term of service ended, he re-enlisted in February 1778 in Capt, Nathaniel Belcher’s company, Col. Edward Symmes’ regiment. That term of service lasted 3 months, after which he enlisted a 3rd time in July 1778 in Capt. Joshua Whitney’s company, Col. Josiah Whitney’s regiment. his final term of service lasted about 6 weeks, during which time his company was engaged at the Battle of Rhode Island and were there for the evacuation.

After the war, William married Sarah Parks and the couple settled in Charlestown, Sullivan County, NH.

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988

Together they raised a large family of eight children: William, b. 1784; Sally, b. 1786; Nathan, b. 1792; Luthera, b. 1794; Laura, b. 1797; Silas, b. 1799; Lewis, b. 1801; Charles, b. 1806.

Working a farm to support his family, by the time William was nearing 60 he found himself unable to continue the hard work and applied for a pension. Below are the original 1820 application files in which he described his service and an inventory of his estate is provided (click to enlarge).

Pension Application 1820 Pension Application 1820- List of assets

In 1832, William had been dropped from the pension roll and had to reapply (click to enlarge). At 72 years of age, and, as it would turn out, another near 20 years of life ahead of him, it meant a lot to have his pension restored.

1832 Pension Petition page 1 1832 Pension Petition page 2

Sarah preceded William in death; she passed away Sep. 8, 1845. William followed six years later, passing away on Oct. 22, 1851. They both rest at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Charlestown, NH. Their headstones are both adorned with a center obelisk flanked by weeping willows. The obelisk symbolizes a connection between heaven and earth. The willow image evokes “both mourning for the loss of earthly life and the joy of celestial life.” (Stranger Stop and Cast an Eye) Notably, William’s headstone claims he was age 94, but this is an error.

Sarah Bond d.1845 headstone Wm Bond d.1851 headstone
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