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Who Is Buried in Humphrey Scroggin’s Grave?

Who Is Buried in Humphrey Scroggin’s Grave?

Humphrey Scroggin Stone

This is a photo of the marker on the grave of one Humphrey Scroggin in Steenbergen Cemetery, Mt. Pulaski Township, Logan County, Illinois. But does it mark the grave of Humphry Scroggin, Revolutionary War veteran?

Humphrey Scroggin, the RW veteran, was born about 1763 in Culpepper County, Virginia. According to his pension application he was drafted twice to serve out of Henry County, Virginia. After the war he bought land in District 96, South Carolina, in 1784, is found in Warren County, Kentucky, in the 1800 census and in 1814 bought land in Gallatin County, Illinois. Before 1830 he was in Sangamon County, Illinois, which became Logan County in 1839. He died there in July 1845. But where was he buried?

Several genealogists have suggested that the stone in Steenbergen does not mark the grave of the veteran and that this Humphrey Scroggin was in fact buried at Carlyle Cemetery. One of those was the late Dalen Shellhammer who, with his genealogist wife Sandra, managed Steenbergen Cemetery for years and oversaw the restoration of the Scroggin stone. They had heard or found enough to question but had neither the time nor the inclination to pursue an investigation at that point.

In the southeast part of what is now Logan County there were five Revolutionary War veterans living in 1835: John Downing (1838), Abraham Lucas (1841), William Patterson (1840), Humphrey Scroggin (1845) and James Turley (1836). The date after their name indicates the year of death. They all died within a 10 year span.

In 1917 and subsequently, the DAR published a list of RW veterans buried in Illinois. They didn’t know about all of them. Of the above group they only knew about Scroggin and Turley. Turley is listed as buried in Carlyle Cemetery which was then known as Turley. Scroggin is listed as buried “near Mt. Pulaski.” Both Carlyle and Steenbergen are “near Mt. Pulaski.” In fact, they are only a few miles apart.

Stones exist for Downing (Bowers Templeman), Lucas (Steenbergen) and Patterson (Downing). There is no stone for Turley or Scroggin at Carlyle. Stones exist from the period.

The Scroggin stone at Steenbergen is very near the stone for Lucas. There is also an existing stone for Lucas’ wife. There is no stone for Scroggin’s wife although there have been some DAR markers added.

Who is the candidate for burial if not the RW veteran? Humphrey Scroggin did not have a son named Humphrey but he did have a grandson named Humphrey. Grandson Humphrey died in 1859, not so much after his grandfather. His wife Sarah Lucas survived him by more that 40 years, remarried and is buried in Macon County with her second husband. Sarah was the granddaughter of Abraham Lucas, buried oh so close to the Scroggin marker, and the daughter of James Lucas (1827) and Hannah Bowman Lucas (1843). James Lucas’ stone is gone but Hannah’s remains, also right there near the Scroggin stone. No other stone is known for the grandson.

Makes you go hmmm.

John Downing’s Elusive Service

John Downing’s Elusive Service

Originally, John got a Revolutionary War marker based upon his service in the company of Capt. James Scott, 3rd Battalion, Washington County Militia, Pennsylvania. He was a private 5th Class and can be found listed in the Pennsylvania Archives. DAR agreed. Later John and his extended family and friends traveled to Ohio and on to Sangamon now Logan County, Illinois. They even brought along James Scott. 
 
(When I looked into this I couldn’t find anything about the James Scott except he traveled with John Downing. About the same time a James Scott joined the Lake Fork Predestinarian Baptists before dying in neighboring Macon County, Illinois. I could not swear it is all one person but it seems likely. Not that it mattered.)
 
Then it was determined that was not the right service for this John Downing. Nope. His service was in Capt. Timothy Downing’s Company, Washington County, Pennsylvania, militia. At least the location was correct. And probably the two Johns are related. A new marker was added to the old on at Bowers Templeman Cemetery just north of Salt Creek. The DAR participated in the ceremonies. That was 1977. 
 

 
Then the DAR decided that wasn’t correct either. And the timing really was off. After the war John moved back east in Pennsylvania instead of continuing on west? That could not be explained.
Recently, DNA testing allowed Mary Lou Cole of Ohio to follow a theory. John Downing didn’t serve in Washington County, Pennsylvania, but Washington County, Maryland. Mary Lou is not a descendant of this particular Downing line but she was determined. There were naysayers, including me. She continued on.
On September 5, 2013, the DAR notified Mary Lou that they agree with her conclusions (and documentation of course) and John Downing is now officially recognized as having his Revolutionary War service in Maryland.
John Downing has three stones. He has his original, which goes with the stone of his wife Hannah, to go with the two in the photo. Will he get a fourth, this time with the correct service?