James Elderkin, Gunner’s Mate

James Elderkin. James Elderkin was posted as Gunner’s Mate under Captain Seth Harding on the Ship Oliver Cromwell from 14 April to 14 October 1777 and as Gunner on the Schooner Spy under Captain Zebadiah Smith from 20 October 1777 to 20 February 1778. Minor Elderkin also served as a seaman on the schooner Spy during this period under Captain Smith. James Elderkin is listed with other crew of the Confederacy in Silas Cleveland’s pension file #S-12486. In Annis Calkins’ pension application, Daniel Perkins testified the Elderkin was the Gunner’s Mate on the Confederacy and that he was a relative. Perkins was married about 1787 to Polly (Mary) Elderkin, daughter of Joshua Booth Elderkin, Commissary of Connecticut Militia. After the Revolutionary War, Joshua Booth Elderkin lived in Chelsea, VT with Confederacy Mate Frederick Calkins. One possibility for this person is the James Elderkin who was born on 19 October 1739 in Norwich to Joseph Elderkin and Mary Story. Another possibility is the James Elderkin who was born on 11 December 1745 in Norwich to James Elderkin and Betty Waterman. This James Elderkin was married to Martha Bliss on 14 February 1760 in Norwich. This second individual appears to be the James Elderkin of Norwich who drowned while fishing in a canoe on Saturday 19 June 1784 leaving a “sorrowful widow and seven children”. One of these two persons is likely also the James Elderkin appointed to serve on a Committee of Inspection on 22 December 1774 and whose job it was to “observe the conduct of all persons” with regard to the increasingly hostile state of affairs.

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