Elijah Sperry was born 8 Sept 1751 in Woodbridge/ New Haven, CT to Enos (b: 19 Feb 1706 – d: 10 Nov 1756) and Rachel Sanford (b: 1 May 1710 – d: ?) Enos and Rachel were married 8 Aug 1750. Enos’ first wife was Abigail Johnson (b: 9 Feb 1710 in CT, d: 1748 in CT). Their children were: Cpt. Ezra Sperry, Enos, Reuben, Abigail, Eunice, another Enos and Hannah.
In 1777, Elijah was living in New Milford, CT where he served his apprenticeship as a blacksmith. That same year he enlisted in the Continental Army for three years. He was a corporal then a sergeant for almost one year. He then became a lieutenant and engaged in the battles of Bennington, VT, Danbury and Horse Neck, CT, Brandywine and Germantown in PA and Monmouth, NJ.
In April of 1779, Elijah was serving as a Lieutenant of Artificiers (an artificier is a skilled or artistic craftsman) in Danbury, CT, under the command of Capt. Stephen Osborn(e)’s company, Colonel Jeduthan Baldwin’s Connecticut Regiment of Artifiers. On 19 April 1779, by a Presbyterian minister named Peck, he married Marauchie Van Orden. He was then stationed at West Point, NY in the same company of artificers. While there he assisted in making and placing, across the Hudson River, huge chains to stop the British ships from supplying their forts up-river. Marauchie was there at the time the British ships attempted to pass.
Marauchie Van Orden Sperry was born in the Netherlands (Holland) in 1754, the daughter of Pieter Van Orden. A wealthy family, the Van Ordens migrated to New York City during her childhood. They built a “substantial” house of brick, probably brought in the hold of the ship for ballast. Her family was driven from the city in Sept. of 1776 by Lord Howe’s forces. Her father and two brothers were killed by the British and her mother died because the British had poisoned their well. Their home was destroyed and their estate was confiscated by the British. Marauchie became a protege of General and Mrs. George Washington and was present at the surrender of General John Burgoyne at Saratoga Springs, NY on 18 Oct 1777. She assisted those Continental Army soldiers wounded that day. That victory marked a turning point in the war.
Elijah and Marauchie had nine children: Hannah (b: 1780), Mary (b: 1781), Enos (b: 1783), Rachel (b: 1785), Elam (b: 21 April 1788 – 1853), Daniel S. (b: 21 July 1790 d: 4 Oct 1881), Peter Vanorden (b: 1793), Lovina (b: 1796 – 1864) and Louisa (b: 1797). In 1794, Elijah and Marauchie moved with their surviving children to either Bennington or Rutland VT and then to Luzerne, NY; in 1802. Elijah’s name appears in the 1810 census of Luzerne, NY living next to Elam Sperry, his eldest son and his family. In 1818, Elijah applied for a pension for his service in the Continental Army and the necessary documents were forwarded to Washington, D.C. They were returned to the agent in New York for amendment but Elijah died before anything was done. Elijah died 4 Sept 1818 in Luzerne, Warren County, New York.
At some point in time, Marauchie started using the names “Polly”. Perhaps because Marauchie was a difficult name to spell and pronounce.
After Elijah’s death, Marauchie came to Kirtland, Geauga County (now Lake County), Ohio with at least three of her surviving children: Daniel S., Lovina and Louisa. She applied at the Geauga County Court on 14 Nov 1839 for a pension based on Elijah’s service in the Revolutionary War. During her appearance at the court, she stated that she “had made diligent enquiry but could not find the papers, the said Agent (in New York) having removed from the place where he then lived, and died as she is informed & believes said papers to be lost or destroyed.” She also stated that she “had seen her husband’s commission and also his discharge but does not know what became of either.”
An affidavit from Elam Sperry (Elijah’s nephew) was attached. “I, Elam Sperry aged seventy eight years last May — say that I was a nephew of Elijah Sperry deceased who was a soldier and served in the Revolutionary War, that my father was the son of the father of said Elijah by his first wife, the said Elijah a son by the second wife.” He stated that they were neighbors except when Elijah served his apprenticeship as a blacksmith and when he served in the Revolution.
Alfred Phelps of Chardon, OH wrote to the Department of Pensions on 5 Aug 1840. He said “that he had been advised Feb. 27 last that “Polly’s” application was filed with suspended cases. The record of service was accepted but that it would be necessary that the proof should be clear as to the marriage having been in April 1779.” The town clerk of Danbury, Connecticut could find no record of the marriage. The town of Danbury had been burned and it was assumed that the record had been destroyed. The record had been in the family Bible and Elijah had copied it into a newer Bible. This Bible was in the possession of a daughter and she said that the record had been lost. Apparently all these efforts were eventually successful as Marauchie (Polly) was “inscribed on the Roll of Pittsburgh at the rate of $115.50 per annum to coommence on the 4th day of March 1836. The amount was based on 10 months 8 days of Elijah’s service as a Sergeant of Artificiers and 2 years 18 days as a Lieutenant.” Marauchie (Polly) died 13 May 1845 at Kirtland, OH.
“February 12, 1853, Marauchie (Polly) Sperry was a deceased pensioner. This day it was satisfactorily approved that Marauchie (Polly) Sperry was a revolutionary Pensioner, as the widow of Elijah Sperry, deceased, that said Polly died at Kirtland in the County of Lake and State of Ohio on the 13th day of May A.D. 1845 leaving the following of her surviving children, to wit: Daniel S. Sperry, Lovina Call, wife of Obed W. Call residents of said Kirtland, and Louisa Colton, widow of Josiah Colton (served in the war of 1812) deceased a resident of Geauga County, Ohio, being her only surviving children now living; and that said Polly Sperry remained a widow up to her decease.” Alfred Phelps Probate Judge Pension #43885
“This calculation ($115.50) was erroneous. It should have been $123.75. This increase was allowed from 4 March 1836 to 13 May 1845 less two years and was payable to the three surviving children.”