Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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Reuben Brainard

Reuben Brainard of Spencertown (Spencer), Tioga Co., NY, was born there September 17, 1763. At the age of 19, he married Hannah MACK (b. December 10, 1763) in Spencertown. They were married by Elder CLARK on the 13th day of September, 1782. On March 15, 1798, Reuben died at Harpersfield, Delaware Co., NY leaving behind his young wife and 7 children. According to Lucy Brainard's "Brainard Genealogy," he drowned in a mill race (a canal in which water flows to a mill wheel) or by the bursting of a flume.

Reuben BRAINARD fought in the Revolutionary War. His pension records state that he enlisted in 1779 in Spencertown (Spencer), Tioga Co., NY. As a sergeant in the army of General Sullivan, he fought in the Western Expedition against the Indians in 1779. He served a nine month term. Reuben enlisted again in 1780 and went to West Point for a three month term.

The Western Expedition against the Indians was a major battle in the Revolutionary War and a victory that led to America's independence. The commander of the expedition, General John Sullivan, was a high ranking officer in George Washington's colonial army. He was chosen by Washington to lead an expedition against the hostile Indians of the League of Iroquois, sometimes referred to as the Six Nations. The tribes of the Six Nations had sided with the British, and were carrying out brutal raids on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and New York. This expedition was successful, because it broke the power of the Indian Confederation and pushed them out of New York and into Canada.

After Reuben's death (in 1798), Hannah never remarried. Later in life, she moved to Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., OH to live with her son, David, and his family. At the age of 75, she took advantage of an act of Congress on July 7, 1838 which entitled half pay and pension to certain widows of war veterans. She received a pension for her husband's service in the Revolutionary War on December 29, 1838. The amount of the pension was inscribed on the roll at the rate of $26.66 per year, commencing March 4, 1843. Hannah died April 11, 1848 at the old age of 85 at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., OH.

David Brainard and Hannah Dodge

"David Brainard was the first BRAINARD to settle in Ohio. Leaving his home in civilized New York, he came to the wilderness country of Ohio and made a home for his family. He began a dynasty and is responsible for almost every Brainard in Northeastern Ohio. He and his wife are very interesting and important ancestors of ours.

David Brainard was born July 5, 1788 in HARPERSFIELD, NEW YORK. His father, Reuben Brainard, drowned when David was a young boy, leaving his mother with seven small children to raise. On May 29, 1813, at the age of 24, David married Hannah DODGE. They were married by Justice of the Peace Powell in German, Chenango Co., NY. Hannah Dodge was born May 29, 1793 in German to Josiah and Judith (BURGET) Dodge. The Dodge family has a rich heritage that extends back into seventeenth century England. It is through Hannah's ancestors that the Brainards are related to the great Chief Massosoit and the Pilgrim, Richard MORE. Before he was married, David fought in the war of 1812 against the British. This war was the result of a conflict between the United States and Great Britain that was begun by the United States on June 18, 1812 with a declaration of war. The reasons that led America to declare war were: * The British were interfering with American trade on the seas. * The British were stirring up Indian hostilities on the frontier.

Many settlers in Mississippi and Ohio River Valley areas were being massacred by the Indians and their British supporters. David's pension records state that he entered the army as a substitute for his brother, Caleb, who was drafted in HARPERSFIELD, NEW YORK for a term of 6 months. After 4 months of service, Caleb became ill, and David finished his term. David was 24 years old at the time, and his military records described him as being 5'8" tall with brown hair. He was a farmer by occupation.

Upon entering service, he became a sergeant in Lieutenant Henry Brakeman's 4th Brigade of New York Detached Militia. He was a member of the 13th Reg't. which was commanded by Col. Putnam Farrington. In total, David served approximately 3 months, but was paid for only two months according to the Company Pay Roll. The time period in which David served was from December 24, 1812 to February 24, 1813. He was paid a total of$18.13 for the two months. In late February of 1813, he was honorably discharged at Sackets Harbor, New York.

For his service, David received a bounty land warrant for 80 acres in 1851 and a pension in 1881.

"Many Hardships of the Pioneers" states that in 1813, after being discharged from the army, David started west on horseback for the wilds of Ohio. He bought 400 acres of land in the township of Harpersfield (Ohio) with the money his mother furnished. His mother gave 50 acres to each of her seven children with the exception of her daughter, Hannah ELLIS, to whom she gave 100 acres, since she planned to live with Hannah Ellis. However, they all sold their land except David. He located his farm on it, and then moved his family to that place March 4, 1814. David was the first Brainard to settle in Ohio. David and Hannah's homestead is located just off Rt. 534 in HARPERSFIELD, ASHTABULA CO., OH, and it is still standing today.

[Note: Emigrants who settled Harpersfield, OH named their new town after Harpersfield, Delaware Co., NY--the town from whence they moved.] Upon moving to Harpersfield in 1814, David and his family lived in a small log cabin about 1/4 of a mile east of the homestead. However, once they were settled, they built this permanent home in which they raised their 11 children. The fields to the front and back of the house were used for farming. The house was handed down to David's oldest daughter, Phanella EVANS, who in turn handed it down to her daughter, Nell, and husband, John BISHOP. John built the new barn in 1909 and remodeled the house, The grainery is the original one built by David in the early 1800's. David's house did not leave the Brainard family until about 1970. It was sold by Nell and John Bishop's daughter, Edith BACH."

Submitted June 2, 1997 by Otto Burgett
Updated April 24, 1998

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