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THE FAY FAMILY PAGE

GENEALOGIES
   
John Fay (born 1755)
Revolutionary War Service and Pension
  
  
The information found in the file for John Fay in the archives at NARA can be divided into two sections: material relating to his first application for a pension which was dated 1818-1819, and material sent in response to a change in the law concerning pensions in 1820. Below is a short section from an extremely informative essay on the laws concerning Revolutionary war pensions.
   
The full article may be found here or here or on this site here.
   
Not until March 18, 1818 (3 Stat. 410), did the U. S. Congress grant pensions to Revolutionary War veterans for service from which no disabilities resulted. Officers and enlisted men in need of assistance were eligible under the terms of the 1818 act if they had served in a Continental military organization or in the U. S. naval service (including the Marines) for 9 months or until the end of the war. Pensions granted under this act were to continue for life...

The service-pension act of 1818 resulted in a great number of applications, many of which were approved. Congress had to appropriate greater sums than ever before for Revolutionary War pension payments. Financial difficulties and charges that applicants were feigning poverty to obtain benefits under the terms of the act caused Congress to enact remedial legislation on May 1, 1820 (3 Stat. 569). The new law required every pensioner receiving payments under the 1818 act, and every would-be pensioner, to submit a certified schedule of his estate and Income to the Secretary of War...
   
John's service is also documented in the muster rolls and payrolls provided by Gloria Lester and found on the pension page for Moses Fay.
   
NOTES
The file from NARA contains 10 pages in what seems to be a haphazard order. I have ordered them in accordance with my reading of the contents (the first page contains only the name and file number, and I have not included it here). Each of my pages contains both a scan of the page I received plus a transcription of that page. I have expanded most of the abbreviations, and I have tried to keep the original spelling, although I found as I was transcribing that it is difficult to use a variant spelling and that I was unconsciously typing it the way I would spell it. There are a few words that I could not read, but very few. Many of the expressions used are formulaic.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The pension law was passed March 18, 1818. The original application for a pension contains John Fay's declaration of service, and is dated 4/7/1818.

With this, the file is opened, and requirements for qualifying begin to be noted. What seems to be a cover page is set up, and items are crossed off and remarks added as the claim is pursued.

The affidavits of witnesses are taken, one on August 21, 1818, to bear witness to John's service in the war (witness); and three on the 19th of June 1819 (witnesses).

Dated 8/21/1819, the official Certificate of Pension, number 13782. Sent to Watertown, NY.

Dated September 1819, this seems to be the cover page for the opening of the file in Watertown, NY.

Shortly after these events, the new law is passed (May 1, 1820) requiring proof of need. John complies with the law, and on December 26, 1820, files a declaration of need and schedule of property in Jefferson County, to which he has moved by now. This is then certified on the same date, December 26, 1820.

A new cover is prepared for the file, and a new number, 43543, assigned to the file. It is probably that this cover is a much later addition to the file, since there seems to be mention of an "1870 arrangement."

It is notable that there is no mention of when the pension stopped; in other words, when John and his wife died.