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First/Given Name(s):


Captain Henry Connelly / Conley

Male 1752 - 1840  (88 years)

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  • Name Henry Connelly / Conley 
    Title Captain 
    Born 2 May 1752  Chester Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 May 1840  Oil Springs, Johnson Co. KY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Old Capt. Henry Conley Cemetary,Oil Springs,Johnson Co.,KY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I285  Beam
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2006 

    Father Thomas Connelly,   b. Abt 1725, Charleston, SC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1783, Guilford Co. NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Mother Mary Vanharlingen,   b. Abt 1724, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Guilford Co. NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1746  Chester Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F49  Group Sheet

    Family Ann Macgregor,   b. 14 Feb 1756, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1827, Oil Springs,Johnson Co. KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 70 years) 
    +1. John Conley, Sr.,   b. 8 Aug 1785, Guilford Co., North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Aug 1878, Johnson Co. KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2006 
    Family ID F48  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
      Located near the intersecton of US 460 and Ky 825 near Oil Springs, Ky.

      *Note family story says that Henry changed his name from Connelly to Conely after the war to distiguish himself and his descendents from other family members*

      Colonial Families in the United States

      He Came with his father from Chester County, PA to Guilford Co. NC, and later went to what is now Johnson Co. KY, stopping frst in Letcher Co. KY; was captain 7th July 1777, and for five years thereafter on a company of Cavalry of North Carolina Militia. His company was engaged in keeping sown a daring tory named Fanning , who after the Revolution was excluded from ever amnesty feature and who in 1799 removed to Nova Scotia.

      REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION: Captain Henry Connelly, Floyd Co., KY

      Pension Declaration Captain Henry Connelly 15 August 1833

      Captain Henry Connelly
      Henry Connelly was a Captain of Cavalry, in the War of Independence, in North Carolina. The record of this service is contained in declaration made in application for a pension, now on file in ther Bureau of Pensions, Washington, and of which I made copies in the year 1902. These declarations are set out here:
      On this 15th day of August, 1833, personnally appeared before me, James Davis, a Justice of the Peace now sitting, HENRY CONNELLY, a resident of Floyd County, and State of Kentucky, aged Eighty one
      years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832:
      That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated:
      That he entered the service and commanded one hundred State troops of North Carolina (called militia) as the Captain thereof on the 7th day of July 1777, for five years or during the war in the County of Guilford, North Carolina. His Colonel in the first instance was Colonel John Williams. Then under Colonel Paisley. Then by Colonel John Taylor. And lastly, by Colonel Billy Washington. This applicant's company was a Horse Company and was raised for the especial purpose of keeping down a daring Tory Colonel by the name of Fanning who had
      made several daring attempts in the neighborhood of Salisbury and Charlotte. During the first year of the service of this applicant, by the orders of his Colonel, the company traversed and marched to Rowan and Guilford in order to keep Fanning and his confederates down. During this year, in the month of October, the company encountered his scouts and routed them with some loss. The general rendezvous of the Tories was in that region of the country called the Haw Ford on the Haw River. These counties and the adjacent neighborhood was assigned to the applicant's charge by His Excellency the Govenor of North Carolina, in the month of June 1778. And that winter he and his company rendezvoused at Salisbury. The particulars of this years service was only a few fights with the
      Tories. The War was raging in the North, whither that distinguished and active officer, Colonel William Davidson had gone, and all remaining for the constituted authorities to do was to keep down the Tories, which were so numerous in this region of North Carolina. During this year 1778, the men suffered much for clothes and every necessary, and our forage master frequently had to press forage for our perishing horses. Continential money was then one hundred dollars for one - for this applicant could not get a breakfast for $100 in Continental money During this year, by order of the Govenor, this applicant's company was placed under the direction of Colonel Davie, who then commanded the North Carolina Cavalry; but he renewed the old orders, and my district still remained as under my former orders. Early in March, 1779, the Tories broke out with great fury at a place called the Haw Fields, whither this applicant and his horse company repaired and dislodged them with the assistance of Colonel Lyttle from Rowan who commanded a regiment of militia. During this year the Tories were fast accumulating in Rowan, and this applicant's Horse Company was almost withdrawn from Guilford to that section of North Carolina. The Whigs this year took a great many Tories, who were all put in jail at Hillsborough (Hillsboro) and Salisbury. In the month of November 1779, orders were received by Colonel Paisley from Colonel Davie, the Commanding Colonel, to rendezvous at Salisbury to the South to join General Lincoln at Savannah, but
      about this time news arrived that General Lincoln was overtaken at Charlestown, and all were taken prisoners.
      General Davidson now raised several hundred men, and Colonel Brevard had several skirmishes with the Loyalists, in which this applicant and his company actively participated at Colson's Mills. About this time at a place in the western part of the state (N.C.) the Tories had collected to a great number and we marched against them and (met them) at Colson's Mills. This was in the month of May 1780, as well as this applicant recollects. He recollects well that it was just before or about the time of Gates' defeat at Camden. During this winter and the fall this applicant's company abandoned his district of "protection" and under Colonel Davis and General Davidson opposed the passage of Lord Cornwallis through North Carolina. At the time of approach of Cornwallis to Charlotte, under Colonel Davie the troops posted themselves to meet the enemy. On the enemy's approach the companies commanded by this applicant received the first onset from Tarleton's Cavalry, and the firing became
      general on the left wing. The troops were commanded by Colonel Davie in person, and for three times we succeeded in repulsing the enemy. At length we had to yield to superior numbers. In this battle we had many men killed, several from under this applicant. In December, just before Christmas, General Nathaniel Greene, from the north, took command of us all. This was in 1780. We all, by his proclamation and the orders of our Govenor, were placed under his command, and assembled at Charlotte. From there this applicant was placed under Colonel Washington and Marched to Augusta and Ninety Six. After marching in a southern direction for several days news came that Tarleton was after us. We were all now under General Morgan, and a terrible conflict ensued at the Cowpens between Tarleton's men and the army under General Morgan. Here the Americans were victorious and took a great many military stores, cannons, baggage and six or seven hundred British and Tory Prisoners. This was in January 1781. It was cold weather but inclined to be raining during this battle. The company which belonged to this applicant was placed under Colonel Howard, on the extreme right of the Division, and this applicant commanded a company in the center. Our company, when just about to catch up to our horses was hid about four
      hundred paces in the rear of the line of battle. (The enemy) fell upon us with great fury, but we were fortunately relieved by Washington's Legion that hastened to our assistance. After this engagement we all formed a junction with General Greene, and retreated with him to Dan (River) and crossed over into Virginia and remaining there but a short period, marched back to Guilford Courthouse, and this applicant actively participated in that memorable battle, and he had the mortification to see his men in a panic fly at the approach of the enemy; and although this applicant endeavored to rally them, it was impossible, and many even retreated to their homes. But this applicant
      remained and continued to fight until the Americans were thrown into disorder and confusion and defeated. About this time or a few days afterwards, this applicant being unwell, and his company broken, obtained a respite for a while, which was granted him (by the Govenor). He remained at home and did not go with General Greene to Ninety Six. During this summer he did all he could to get his company to assemble. Their cry was "no pay" and their families required them at home. He then went from Guilford over into Virginia, and in September 1781, he raised a small volunteer company for three months, to join General Washington at Little York (Yorktown). Little York was, however taken before this applicant arrived. He knew a great many Continental Officers, and regiments, and Militia Officers, during his service. In the Month of October the term of service of the Company from Montgomery County, Virginia, just mentioned, expiring, he gave them their discharges, and he himself returned to North Carolina, where he received the thanks of the Govenor and a certificate stating his services. This applicant knew General Smallwood, General Davidson, General Rutherford, General Pickens, General Sumner, General Otho Williams, Colonel Cleveland, Colonel Lyttle, Colonel William Washington Colonel Malmody? (Malmedy)?, Colonel Lee (Light Horse Harry-from Virginia),General Goodwin, Colonel J. E. Howard, who commanded the Third Maryland Regiment, Captain Holgin, Colonel Paisley, John Williams. The Baron Dekalb, Colonel Brevard and many other Continental and Militia Officers that he now forgotten. He has now no documentary evidence in his favor, having forwarded his commission about six years ago by General Alexander Lackey to the War Department. It has never been returned to this applicant. He received a letter from the Secretary of War informing him that as he was not a regular he could not be allowed (his pension). His commission was from the Govenor of North Carolina. He has made search and inquiry for it for sometime, and he believes the same is lost or mislaid. He refers the War Department to Henry B. Mayo, Esq., The Honorable David K. Harris, to Colonel Francis A. Brown, to Colonel John Van Hoose, the Reverand Henry Dixon, the Reverend Cuthbert Stone, the Reverend Samuel Hanna, the Reverend Ezekiel Stone, Reverend Wallace Bailey, to Andrew Rule, Esq., to John Rice, and to Jacob Mayo, Esq., Clerk of the Floyd County Circuit Courts. These can testify to his character for his veracity and their belief of this applicant's service as a soldier and officer of the Revolution. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

      signed - Henry Connelly
      Att: J. Davis

      We, Wallace Bailey, a Clergyman, residing in the County of Floyd and State of Kentucky, and John Rice, residing in the same, to wit Floyd County, Kentucky, hereby certify that they are well acquainted with Henry Connelly, who has subscribed and sworn to the above application, that we believe him to be eighty-one years of age, that he
      is reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the Revolution, and that we concur in that opinion. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
      Wallis Baily (seal)
      John Rice (seal)
      And I do hereby declare my opinion after the investigation of the matter, and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary soldier (an officer) and served as he states. An I further certify that it appears to me that Wallis Bailey who has signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman resident in the county of Floyd and state of Kentucky, and that John Rice, who has also signed the same, is a resident of the County of Floyd and state of Kentucky, and are credible persons, and that their statement is entitled to credit, and do further certify that the applicant cannot, from bodily infirmity, attend court.
      (signed) James Davis, J.P.F.Co.


      Where and what year were you born?
      Ans. I was born in Pennsylvania, Chester County, on the 2nd day of May 1751.

      Have you any record of your age, and if so, where is it?
      I have it in my Bible, recorded there by my Father (In Dutch). I have it at my house.

      Where were you living when called into service, where have you livedsince the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live?
      I was living in Guilford County North Carolina, where I have lived since my father moved from Chester (County), Pennsylvania. up to the Revolution. I have lived three years in the County of Montgomery, in the State of Virginia, and the residue of the time I have lived in this County - where I now live.

      How were you called into service. Were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute, and if a substitute, for whom?
      Ans. I was a volunteer, under the Government of North Carolina by an invitation from the Govenor, and (my Command) were called State Troops or Militia. A part of the men under my command were drafted men for eighteen months. A Small portion was for six months, and about forty were volunteers for and during the War. I was called into service by a recruiting officer by the name of Holgin, I think a regular officer. I made up my company and reported to the Colonel and went forthwith into active service.

      Did you ever receive a Commission, and if so, by whom was it signed, and what has become of it?
      Ans. I did receive a Captain's Commission from Govenor Burke of North Carolina. It was, I believe signed by him. I gave it about six years ago to General Lackey, who says he sent it to the War Department, he thinks. I have made search and cannot find it. It was never returned to me.

      State the Names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops when you served, such Continental and Militia Regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your service.
      Ans. I knew General Greene, I have seen General Gates at Hillsboro. (I knew) General Smallwood, General Davidson, General Pickens, General Sumner, General Otho Williams, Colonel Billy Washington. Colonel Lee, Colonel Howard, the Baron Dekalb. I have seen in 1780, Captain Holgin, Colonel John Williams, Colonel Nat Williams, who commanded the Ninth Regiment North Carolina Militia in 1778, Colonel Paisley, Colonel Buncombe, Captain Charles Briant, Colonel Brevard, Major (often called Colonel) De Malmody, and old Colonel Cleveland., Lieutenant Joseph Lewis, Major Charles Anderson, and William Boma Ensign. I was directed by Govenor Burke and Colonel Davie to keep down Fanning in Guilford and Rowan. This applicant did with one hundred men, a horse company. He served in 1777 in this capacity, likewise in 1778 and until the fall of 1779. He then joined General Davidson and was with him at the battle of Colson's Mills where he (General Davis) got wounded. This was in May or June 1780. He was at the battle of Hillsboro and had nineteen of his horsemen killed on the field and seven died the next day of their wounds. I was in the battle of COWPENS, under Colonel Washington and Colonel Howard in January 1781, and Tarleton was defeated and we took his baggage and several hundred prisoners. I retreated with my horse company with General Greene to Dan (River) - went over into Virginia, and remained with the Army until the battle of Guilford (Courthouse). I was in that battle and my men broke very near at first charge, in a panic, and fled, and many went even home. When my roll was called at the Iron Works I had but a few men left.

      State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood and who can testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of your services as a soldier and officer of the Revolution.
      Ans. I refer to General Lackey, to Colonel Brown, Colonel T. W. Graham, to Austin Litteral, to Jacob Mayo, Esq., to Andrew Rule, to the Rev Ezekiel Stone, to Rev Wallis Bailey
      Sworn to before me.
      (signed) James Davis.
      J.P.F.C. (seal)


      Personally appeared before the undersigned, one of the CommonwealthsJustices of the Peace, Phillip Williamson, Senior, of the County of Lawrence, Kentucky and made oath that he is eighty-four years of age, that previous to the commencement to the American Revolution he resided in Wake County, North Carolina, that he shortly after the commencement of the Revolution moved to Guilford County, and afterwards to Rowan County, that in the year of 1777, in the fall season thereof, Captain Henry Connelly, now of this County. was constitutional and commissioned a Captain in the North Carolina Cavalry. I was then well acquainted with him, and he was appointed to keep down Fanning. I was frequently with him in the next year in Rowan. This was in the summer of 1778. He then commanded the company of cavalry aforesaid. I recollect to have seen him several times in Hillsboro where the prisoners were kept. I also recollect him and his company was in the service during the year following in 1779, for I well remember several Tories his company brought in. In the month of February 1780, I left Rowan, and came back over to Washington County in the State of Virginia. I remained there till may and then I went back to North Carolina. Captain Connelly was then out with his Horse Company with General Davidson against the Tories. I do not remember that I saw him anymore for some time. I, about this time enlisted in the service as a "three months" man and joined General Greene. When we were retreating I again saw Captain Connelly commanding his company in the service as a Captain. The infantry was compelled to assist the cavalry over the streams. He was at the battle of Guilford. I recollect that I saw him a day or two afterwards in the Army. I have known him for a long time since the Revolution. Captain Connelly was a Captain of the Troops raised by North Carolina (not Continental). And further this deponent saith not.

      Phillip Williamson (seal)
      Sworn to and executed before Francis A. Brown, Justice of Peace of
      Floyd County, October 2nd 1833.

      On this 24th day of August 1833, personally appeared before me, the undersigned, one of the Commonwealths Justices of the Peace for Floyd County, Jonathan Pytts, an aged man, and now on the Pension Agency of Kentucky, and made the following statement on oath relative to the service of Captain Henry Connelly, who was an officer in the Revolutionary War. This affiant states that he resided in Rowan County, North Carolina long before the war, and that during 1777, Captain Connelly, who was a Captain of a horse company from Guilford arrived in the neighborhood of the uncle of this affiant, with whom this affiant resided. His business, he told us, was to assist us in keeping the Tories down. A great many Scotch Tories had accumulated under Fanning, and many about the Haw Fields, and a place called Cross Creek, He was, off and on, during that year in Rowan. I saw him several times in Salisbury in that year. In the year 1778 he and his company still were in Rowan. He knew him very well in the year 1779, for he was according to this affiants recollection, all year in Rowan until Colonel William Davidson came back from General Washington's Army and raised men to go help General Lincoln at Charleston, South Carolina. This affiant saw Captain Connelly frequently in Rowan. And the next year or the year after, this affiant again saw him and his company just before General Greene got to Dan. He was along with the Army. This affiant does not know whether Captain Connelly was in the battle of Guilford or not, for this affiant had been sent on an express to Burk (now called Burke). He does not know how long Captain Connelly enlisted for. He belonged to the North Carolina Cavalry, and how long he served this affiant does not not know precisely. He does not know who was Captain Connelly's Colonel; if he ever knew he has entirely
      forgotten. The impression of this affiant is that Captain Connelly's horse company consisted of one hundred men, but he does not pretend to certainty about this fact. And further this deponent saith not.
      (signed) Jonathan
      Pytts (seal)
      Subscribed and sworn before Stephen Hamilton, Justice of the Peace,
      Floyd County, Kentucky, August 24, 1833.

      On this (10th) day of October 1833, personally appearing before me, the
      undersigned, one of the Commonwealth's Justices of the Peace, Benedict Wadkins, aged seventy-four years, who being duly sworn on the holy evangilists, (deposes and says) that he was a resident of the State of North Carolina, Rowan County, during the Revolution; that in the year 1777, and 1778, he knew there Captain Connelly, who then commanded as a Captain in the North Carolina Cavalry; and I saw him in Salisbury also in the summer of 1779. He was still commanding his horse company in the service of the United States as a Captain. Captain Connelly, then I think, lived in Guilford (County). When the army was under General Greene I saw him once with the Army at Hillsboro; and he was with the army in the retreat from Cornwallis. The last time I remember to have seen him was after the battle of Guilford - the next day. He was then a Captain as he was in 1777 and 1778 and 1779. I cannot state how long Captain Connelly served, but I know he was commissioned as a Captain of Cavalry and served in that capacity for several years. When I came to the Sandy (the Big Sandy Valley) many years since, I found Captain Connelly here. Since then I have known him well. I recollect to have heard it asserted that he was at the COWPENS when Tarleton got defeated, but as I was not there, I cannot attest to that fact. The Tories were very bad in the western part of the State and Captain Connelly was appointed to keep them down. I
      distinctly remember that he commanded one hundred men and they were all chiefly Dutch Soldiers. And further this deponent saith not.
      Benedict Wadkins

      The deposition of William Haney, aged 75 years, that in 1781 he became acquainted with Captain Connnelly of the North Carolina Light Horse. He was then commanding as a Captain in the North Carolina Troops. When General Greene's army retreated into Virginia I remember that he was with the army. He was in the battle of Guilford Courthouse, I well Remember. I have known him many years since the revolution, and I know him well to be the same man. Given under my hand this 9th day of October, 1833.
      (signed) William Haney
      Sworn to before Shadrach Preston, Justice of the Peace, Floyd County, October 9th 1833, and the Justice certifies that Haney was a credible witness, as had all Justices of the other affiants. Kentucky, to wit.}

      The statement of Mesias Hall, aged fifty-five years, who upon his oath, states that he is a native of the state of North Carolina, Wilkes County. That he recollects many of the events at the close of the revolution. That he lived and was raised a near neighbor to Captain Henry Connelly, Sr. That he always understood from all persons that he served in the North Carolina State Troops in that capacity in which he stated. That he never was doubted by any person. He thinks one of his brother-in-laws served under him in the Revolution. who is long since dead.
      (signed)Mesias Hall
      Subscribed and sworn to before John Friend. Justice of the Peace,
      Floyd County Kentucky. who certifies that Hall was a creditable


      The Attorney who made of the papers of Captain Connelly was Henry C. Prestonsburg. He was attorney for the family for a generation. In a letter, in the files relating to the pension of Captain Connelly there is a letter written by Mr. Harris, in which he says: "The old man is a Dutchman, and when I made out his statement I could scarcely understand a word he said." His claim was allowed and he was placed on the pension roll of the Soldiers of the Revolution at one and fifty dollars per annum,beginning the 4th of March 1831. After his death, his widow, Temperance Connelly, was granted a pension,and in consideration of the inadequate allowance to Captain Connelly, she was paid six hundred dollars per annum. In making this to the widow of Captain Connelly a copy of his declaration for pension was sent to the Comptrollers Office of North Carolina for verification. Concerning his service, the Comptroller wrote the Commissioner of Pensions the following letter.

      NOVEMBER 10, 1851
      I have attentively examined the records of this office respecting the Revolutionary Services of Captain Henry Connelly, and regret to say, unsuccessfully. A portion of the records are undoubtedly lost. The Capital was burned about twenty years ago and many papers of this office were destroyed. In addition to this, I find a remark in the Journal of the Commissioners on behalf of this State to state the account of North Carolina against the United States, that Colonel (afterwards General) W. R. Davie neglected to make a return of the Cavalry forces of this
      State under his command, and expressing strongly the difficulty which they experienced in making out the accounts of the dragoons. The abstract of the declaration which you sent me contains the Best
      of the Revolutionary Struggle from 1777 to 1781, in the Middle Counties of North Carolina which I have ever seen. There are not five men in the State who could have written so concise and correct a history. I could not have done it and I have studied the subject for ten years with unusual opportunities for information. The names of officers, places and dates are all correct. Where did he get them from? For you must remember that the History of the Revolutionary War in North Carolina has not been written (except Colonel Wheeler's history, now in press). Is it not the presumption then, powerfully strong that these statements relative to his service are also correct. I hope at some future time to write a historical memoir of the period embraced in the declaration, and will keep your letter to refer to.

      Very Respectively
      Your Obedient Servant

      Wm. J. Clarke.,

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