For this Fourth of July patriotic holiday, I share this information about Maurache Van Orden Sperry and her husband Elijah Sperry.*
My late mother-in-law Blanche Sperry Moore, a native of Kirtland, OH, was a direct descendant of Marauchie and Elijah, and I regret that she could not have received and enjoyed this information before her death.
(Maurache and Elijah were among the interred who were washed away in erosion and flooding of the small Angel Cemetery near Wisner Road in Kirtland.)
ELIJAH AND MARAUCHIE VAN ORDEN SPERRY
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 Sperry 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 Pennsylvania 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
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
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, she 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.
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 moved 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, which read:
"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." Elam further 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 because 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, which was in the
possession of a daughter who said the record had been
lost in moves along the way.
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
Her death records with Alfred Phelps (Probate Judge Pension # 43884) noted that "Marauchie (Polly) Sperry was a deceased
pensioner. It was satisfactorily approved that she was a revolutionary Pensioner; the widow of Elijah Sperry, deceased; that she 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 of Geauga County, Ohio, being her only surviving
children now living; and that said Polly Sperry remained a
widow up to her decease."
Probate Judge Alfred Phelps further noted the$115.50 calculation of Marauchie's Pension
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
*(From the Connecticut Society of Sons of the American Revolution, Inc.)