Author Topic: Pittsburgh Payrolls 1775  (Read 8487 times)


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Pittsburgh Payrolls 1775
« on: July 03, 2010, 04:40:41 PM »

Some of you may be aware of the partial extract that someone has posted on a RootsWeb message board which is titled, "Pittsburgh Payrolls 1775".


It does not take much to determine that the extract of names from the payrolls shared there would only be a partial extract of a much larger collection of payrolls which are available as digital images online at the Library of Virginia website. In fact there are 530 digital images available containing payrolls of soldiers who served in various militia and ranger companies which was raised from both Pennsylvania and Virginia during 1774 from the events which led to Dunmore's War and the signing of the Treaty of Camp Charlotte, which was instrumental in opening up Kentucky and western lands for settlement.

The full collection of 530 digital images comprising the Pittsburgh Payrolls 1775 are available at the following link:

We of course are looking at the rolls of:

Captain Michael Cresap Jr., he appears to have raised this company from Frederick County, MD in late Feb or early Mar 1774. Upon the roll of this company, was Sergeant Daniel Greathouse. This roll would appear to represent Daniel's service for about 60 days in Mar and Apr 1774, prior to his involvement in the massacre at Yellow Creek. Based on statements made after the massacre in letters written by Captain Michael Cresap, Jr., it would be reasonable to think, based upon military justice that Daniel Greathouse would have, at least, been demoted and perhaps thrown out of Michael Cresap Jr's Company for his conduct during the massacre at Yellow Creek, which appears to have been the case, based upon Captain Hancock Lee's roll.


Captain Hancock Lee, he was commissioned by Lord Dunmore of Virginia and raised his company from mostly fellow Virginians who had settled at Pittsburgh and the surrounding area along the Ohio River. His area of recruitment could have extended as far east as the Monongahela River, except for Virginians who had settled east of said river.

It is important to note that the Pennsylvanians, who had settled east of the Monongahela River, which was the western bounds of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at the time... [throughout the ongoing struggle over the border disputes between Pennsylvania and Virginia, along with increasing hostilities with the Indians, which were mostly provoked by the Virginian militias which were mustered by John Conolly, who was Lord Dunmore's, Governor of Virginia, agent at Pittsburgh]... remained staunchly loyal to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with some exceptions where known Magistrates and residents of Westmoreland County, PA demonstrated dual allegiance to Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Upon the roll of Captain Hancock Lee, were named Private Daniel Greathouse and Private John Greathouse. Daniel and John Greathouse appear to have enlisted in Lee's Company prior to said company's march under the command of Major Angus McDonald, leaving Wheeling on 25 Jul 1774, on what was known as the Wacatomica Campaign. Wakatomica, the Shawnee town on the Muskingum River, being 90 miles away, being the objective point.


Daniel Greathouse, probably of Baltimore or Frederick County, MD settled at Mingo Bottom, along the Ohio River at present-day Folansbee, WV in 1771. Based upon John Greathouse's deposition given in 1803, at Charlestown in Brooke County, VA regarding Beard vs Henderson, 1801, where he stated that Daniel Greathouse improved and settled land in the Mingo Bottom in 1771.

John Greathouse, probably of Baltimore or Frederick County, MD, produced a certificate from the commissioners for 400 acres on Harmons Run to include his settlement made in the year 1774. Also another for 400 acres on Crosses Creek to include his settlement made in the year 1775 [Yohogania Co. VA Land Entry Book, certificate #86 & 87].


Captain John Wilson, being the son of George Wilson, Esquire, who was one of the Magistrates of Bedford County, PA in 1771 and then Westmoreland County, PA in 1773, appears to have been commissioned by Arthur St. Clair and his father, to raise a company of Pennsylvania Rangers from Point Marion, Westmoreland County, PA and the surrounding area. Due to the tyrannical usurpation of the rights of the legitimate Magistrates of Westmoreland County, PA and numerous attempts by John Conolly to prevent those Magistrates from conducting the business of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania according to the orders of John Penn, Governor of Pennsylvania... along with numerous attempts to arrest the legitimate magistrates of Westmoreland County, PA, by John Conolly, his agents and militia captains, it would seem very unlikely for Captain John Wilson to have recruited men who had demonstrated their allegiance to Virginia.

Therefore, it would be very unreasonable for us to think that any Greathouse men, he recruited to join his company, would have been Virginians, who were living on the waters of the Ohio River, in the area west of Pittsburgh and west of the Monongahela River. However, Benjamin Tomlinson was named as Captain Wilson's Lieutenant, along with Joshua Baker as one of his Sergeants, so questions remain how, for example, Benjamin Tomlinson, a known settler of Grave Creek and Joshua Baker, if he was the one who had settled in the area of Yellow Creek, were appointed to Captain John Wilson's Company.

Upon the roll of Captain John Wilson, were named Private William Greathouse and Private Jacob Greathouse. William Greathouse was paid for 166 days of service under Captain John Wilson in Oct 1775. Jacob Greathouse was paid for 153 days of service under Captain John Wilson in Oct 1775.

On 1 Nov 1774, after receiving reports from Arthur St. Clair, head Magistrate of Westmoreland County, PA, and others about General Lewis's victory at the Battle of Point Pleasant on 10 Oct 1774 and that Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, was in treaty negotiations with the Indians which resulted in the Treaty of Camp Charlotte being agreed to and signed on about 19 Oct 1774... the Pennsylvania Assembly voted that all Pennsylvania Rangers who had been mustered for service in the three ranging companies, which they had authorized Arthur St. Clair and his fellow magistrates of Westmoreland County, PA to raise for the purpose of defending the western frontier against Virginian usurpation of Pennsylvania's right to govern the residents of their province and against Indian hostilities, were to be discharged immediately. They also appointed commissioners to settle the payroll accounts to ensure that all Rangers were paid for their service and all magistrates and residents were reimbursed for their support of the Ranging Companies.

Based upon the days served for William Greathouse and Jacob Greathouse, along with the discharge date which was decreed by the Pennsylvania Assembly, again 1 Nov 1774, the approximate enlistment dates for William Greathouse and Jacob Greathouse in Captain John Wilson's Company can be determined.

William Greathouse, served 166 days. He enlisted on: Cal 19 May 1774. He was discharged on: 1 Nov 1774.

Jacob Greathouse, served 153 days. He enlisted on: Cal 1 Jun 1774. He was discharged on: 1 Nov 1774.

Coincidentally, both of their enlistment dates agree with several letters between Arthur St. Clair and John Penn, Governor of Pennsylvania, where St. Clair informed the Governor and the PA Assembly that he along with several Magistrates of Westmoreland County, PA, had taken it upon themselves to raise Ranging Companies, for the purpose of defending Pennsylvania's western border and residents against usurpation by John Conolly's armed militias stationed at Pittsburgh and Indian hostilities, which were for the most part instigated by the Virginians who were residing in the area of Pittsburgh and along the Ohio River.

Based upon all the evidence presented above, it appears very plausible for William Greathouse, a known resident of Brothersvalley, Bedford County, PA,  from 1771 through 1773 and of Turkeyfoot Township, said county and state, in 1774, to have enlisted in Captain John Wilson's Company of Westmoreland County, PA Rangers, on about Cal 19 May 1774.

In about Oct 1776, William Greathouse of Turkeyfoot Township, Bedford County, PA, saw his son, John Greathouse enlist as a private in Captain Kilgore's Company of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, which was commanded by Colonel Aeneas Mackay, Lieutenant Colonel George Wilson and Major Richard Butler.

Regarding Aeneas Mackay, Esquire, he was a Magistrate of Westmoreland County, PA, as staunchly loyal to the Pennsylvania Assembly, as was George Wilson, Esquire. In April, 1774, Captain Connolly, with his Virginia militia, interrupted the sessions of the Pennsylvania court at Hannastown and arrested the three Pennsylvania justices who lived in Pittsburgh. These were Andrew McFarlane, Devereux Smith and Captain Aeneas Mackay. They were taken as prisoners to Staunton, VA, and there detained four weeks, until released by the order of Governor Dunmore.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 03:41:45 PM by Rick »
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