John Secor

There is information on John Secor at the site Heritage Quest Online:


The database of interest is Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. For John, the reference is:

Series: M805, Roll 724, Image 342, File S15231, Pages 1 to 8

Starting on Page 4, John tells his story in applying for a Revolutionary War Pension:

"Otsego Common Pleas of October Term 1832

Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7 1832

State of New York
Otsego County

On this 16th day of October 1832 personally appeared in open court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in & for the County of Otsego being a court of record & now sitting John Secor aged 69 on the 13th day of January next who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers & served therein as herein after stated
To Wit

In the year 1780 this deponent was a resident of Haverstraw in the then County of Orange now Rockland County in the state of New York. In the month of January of that year this deponent became 16 years of age & in a few days thereafter he was drafted from Col Gilbert Cooper's Reg't of Militia into the service of the United States for nine months & attached to a company under the command of Captain Samuel Thompson. This deponent states that according to the best of his information Capt. Thompson had previously been taken prisoner by the British when a captain in the regular service & having been exchanged a few weeks afterwards the command of a militia company was given him of which this deponent was one. The Lieutenants names were Joshua Hunt & William Conkling. Immediately upon joining his company they were marched to White Plains when Genl Washington lay with the army. We were soon ordered back again to Haverstraw near Stoney Point to watch the Refugees & Tories. He was engaged in this arduous & perilous duty at this place & in the immediate neighbourhood until the expiration of his term when he was discharged. In a few days & as this deponent thinks about the first of October he was again drafted for the term of three months & attached to the same Company in which he served his first term & under the same officers - Capt Thompson Lieuts Hunt & Conkling. He served out his term faithfully & was discharged - but in a short time & in the first part of January following he was again drafted for the term of six months longer & transferred to the same Company & under the same officers that he had previously served. During this service as in most of the former service they were employed much of the time as scouts throughout the whole country which they alternately scoured to gain information & to watch the Refugees & Tories. They frequently made excursions into the state of New Jersey & upon one of these occasions Lieut Hunt died. He was succeeded by one Hovencamp. He served out his time of six months & was discharged. This deponent served in the whole under the drafts aforesaid for the term of 18 months but he does not recollect that they were ever attached to any regiment but he well knew Captain John Johnson & Capt Robert Barek who he believes were attached to the regular service. In consequence of this deponent's living so near the theatre of action he was frequently called upon or rather pressed as into the service before he became 16 years of age like all others who lived near the army. And previous to his ever being drafted he frequently volunteered as a militia man for short excursions & upon alarms. He well recollects that in the year 1777 in the latter part of the year he with all the others who were to be had in the vicinity were called upon to assist in guarding the troops which Genl Gates had taken under Genl Burgoyne at Saratoga as prisoners through the state of New Jersey. His place of residence & the country round about was the scene of a constant predatory warfare. This last mentioned service & many others of a similar nature was performed before he became 16 years of age. He assisted at one time in taking a spy by the name of James Fluellen who was afterwards hung as he thinks at Poughkeepsie as he understood. He was born near Haverstraw in the County of Rockland New York on the 19th day of January 1764. He has a record of his age taken from the family record some years since at home. When about 24 years of age he removed to the Salisbury Litchfield County CT where he worked at carpenter work about 10 years, from thence to Colchester Delaware Co N York for about 3 years, from thence to Guilford Chenango County NY where he resided about 36 years, about 18 months since he removed to the town of Middlefield Otsego County where he now resides. He refers to the names attached to an accompanying certificate for his character as to truth & veracity. Has seen Genl Schuyler the Traitor Arnold whom he saw at his fathers house about ten days before his treason buying a firkin of butter. Also Genls Washington Wayne & many others. He has no documentary evidence of his services nor does he know of any person living whose testimony he can procure to [?]. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present & declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state. He further notes that he never had any written discharge.

Sworn & subscribed the 16th day of October 1832.                                                                                        John Secor

Horace Lathrop, Clerk"

Below this statement is the beginning of a deposition by Elisha Foote & Henry Beadle of Cooperstown, Otsego County, but this was not completed and was then crossed out.  John's submission was accepted and he did receive a pension, though there is no indication of how long he received it.

The eighth page in the file is a copy of a letter sent to Myra L. Shattuck of Shattuck Farm, Norwich, NY on May 29, 1924 by the "Acting Commissioner," unnamed, of the Rev. & 1812 War Section. This letter summarizes the information above and also adds that in 1848 a son, Dr. James Secord, living at Mount Upton, Chenango County, NY, stated that his father had been dead a little over a year.

From John's statement we have a date of birth for him of Jan. 19 (or possibly Jan. 13), 1764. While he was from present-day Rockland County, this does not state that he was born there. John says that he moved to Connecticut when he was about 24, which would be 1788, and so we would expect to find him there in the 1790 census. However, there was no John Secor listed in Connecticut at that time. There was a John Secor in Haverstraw, Orange County, NY. His household consisted of one male over 16 and one male under 16, plus three females. This might be the John Secor of interest here.

The information that I can see in the Ancestry family trees suggests that this John was the son of Isaac and Mary (Gedney) Secord, with Isaac the son of James/Jacques and Marianne (Revaux) Secord, and James/Jacques the son of James/Jacques and Anne (Terrier) Sicard, with this James/Jacques the son of Ambroise Sicard the immigrant. I have not attempted to confirm this information.