Jacob Johns, Seaman

Jacob Johns. According to his pension application #W-1192, Jacob Johns was born in New Castle, DE on 5 October 1762 (7 October 1762 according to his gravestone). A Treasury Department authorization for payment dated 26 February 1793 to Seaman John Jacobs for services on the Confederacy to 19 May 1780 in the amount of $108.22 suggests that he was on the ship earlier than his pension indicates. He may also have served under Captain Harding on the Oliver Cromwell between May and October 1777 as seaman; however, this is not substantiated in his pension application. Johns’ pension records indicate he entered on board the Confederacy at Philadelphia in October 1780 as a Marine. His pension file offers interesting details concerning the second cruise of the vessel. He lists officers: Lieutenant Gore, Lieutenant Gross, Lieutenant Land, Sergeant Land of the Marines, Doctors Mate Davis. Johns recalled that ‘around Christmastime of 1780, they sailed for the French Port Hispaniola, during which voyage they captured an English transport vessel.’ Returning to Philadelphia, ‘they sailed in the Spring of 1781, and met up with a British gunman with four or five hundred Negroes aboard. This they captured and sold and divided the booty among the crew, it amounting to about twenty dollars per man.’ Captured and imprisoned on the Jersey prison ship, he was released at the end of hostilities, returning to reside in New Castle for a year or two. Jacob Johns then moved to the Tenmile in Washington Township, Green County part of Western Pennsylvania where he settled at Ruffs Creek on land which had been warranted to John Wolverton and acquired other tracts during the course of his life. Johns was married to Elizabeth Smith (1776-1853), daughter of Dennis Smith and Elizabeth Zook, on 9 October 1794 by the Baptist clergyman Rev. David Sutton. They shared the following children; Thomas born 31 August 1795 who married Mary Ross in 1818, Susanna born 5 June 1797 who married John Huffman, Anne born 1799, Mary born 1801, Elizabeth born 1804 who married Jacob Hoge, Jacob born 3 December 1806 who married Elizabeth Ross on 27 March 1834, Rebecca born 5 May 1809 who married Mr. Barnes on 14 September 1830, Hannah born 9 June 1811 who married Benjamin Ross on 13 November 1827, Phebe born 1813 who died aged three, Catharine born 1 July 1813 who married Silas Barnes and Rachel born 1 December 1815 who married Asa Mitchell on 25 January 1835. John Jacobs died in Green County, PA on 22 August 1845, followed by his wife on 11 January 1853. Both are buried in the Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery in Lippencott, Green Co. Jacob Johns’ gravestone is viewable online. Jacob Johns’ son Jacob was still living on his father’s farm into the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

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