To all historians and researchers of Job Caswell and David Parkhill,
I have in my possession a military land grant signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison dated April 5, 1808. This document granted David Parkhill assignee of Job Caswell, a soldier in the late army of the United States; in consideration of the said Job Caswell’s military service a certain tract of land estimated to contain one hundred acres in Tuscarawas County Ohio.
My ancestors owned this tract of land for a considerable length of time during the 1800s and 1900s. I have made an effort to research the history of the participants regarding this land grant. My first inquiry in 1998 was to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., then the State Library of Massachusetts. I applied for and received the military pension and bounty land warrant records of Job Caswell. This may be something that you may have already done. If so, continue reading and compare your assumption with mine, and see if we came to the same conclusion. My conclusion is not set in stone, and therefore could be swayed depending on what may surface as far as historical records concerning Job Caswell’s participation.
Upon receiving the military pension and bounty land warrant records of Job Caswell, Massachusetts - Revolutionary War. Pension /Bounty – Land File No. S34677 – B.L.Wt. 368 -100 (acres). I examine the first document. It was labeled as follows:
No. 368 ------- Job Caswell Private Mass. Line (Massachusetts Line Regiment) Issued* 28 Nov. 1807 & Del. to John Chandler Esq.
* The underlined words and phrase are written in illegible manuscript and may be different than what I have interpreted.
Upon initial examination, it appears that things were starting to fall into place. The No. 368 also appeared on the reverse side of the original document (military land grant). The names and dates fit the time period; the “100” matches the size of the tract in acres, so it appears to be a positive identification.
The next set of documents in the file adds a little confusion to the research. It appears that there were two soldiers by the name of Job Caswell serving in the same Massachusetts Line Regiment (2nd) under Capt. Judah Alden. Also, additional documentation in the record indicates that they were father and son,Job Caswell Sr. and Job Caswell Jr., but can be differentiated by ages, locations when applying for pension, and occupations. The identity of these soldiers caused a problem with the government agencies regarding the payment of pensions, transfers to other states, and the land warranty claim.
Job Caswell (Jr.), about 59 years of age and a resident of Baltimore, Maryland appeared in the District Court of Maryland on September 5, 1820. It appears that he was there to transfer his pension of eight dollars per month from South Carolina to Maryland. This document indicates that he “enlisted in Hanover, Massachusetts in February 1777 under Capt. Judah Alden and later served under Capt. Luther Bailey. He was discharged at headquarters at Windsor from 2nd. Massachusetts Regiment with the Badge of Merit signed by General Washington on June 10, 1783.“ It further states that Job Caswell served six years and six months to receive his pension of $8 per month in South Carolina.
Additional documentation indicates that he considered a transfer of his pension to Maine, but “this contemplated transfer never was [sic] made and caused an appearance of an attempt of fraud on the government,” according to a document signed by the Justice of the Peace for the city of Baltimore, Maryland dated September 16, 1824. Recorded within the same document; Job Caswell (Jr.) mentioned removing himself to South Carolina and “had not been in the State of Maryland or Maine since 1818. The only way deponent can account for the misunderstanding is that his father Job Caswell was a soldier in said Regiment, he was a private soldier and acted as a barber, and deponent believes was placed on the invalid pension list at about $6 a month.” Apparently there was some confusion as to which Job Caswell was applying for the pension transfer.
As I try to understand the chain of events concerning which Job Caswell was granted the land for his military service, I find it necessary follow the ages and location of each Job Caswell and determine that it must be the senior who applied for and received the land grant. How David Parkhill enters in as an assignee for Job Caswell is somewhat perplexing. Other documents in my possession indicate that David Parkhill lived in Jefferson County Ohio and near the Steubenville Land Office. This could explain Parkhill obtaining the land by living in close proximity to the office and working as a land speculator. Also, the possibility exists that David Parkhill was an acquaintance of Job Caswell in Massachusetts, or sought out recipients of land grants. The historical record indicates that many soldiers sold their bounty land cheap, or even trading it for a cask of rum. Not every soldier wanted to move to the Ohio country in the early 1800s.
To solidify my assumption that Job Caswell Sr. was the soldier who received the bounty land of one hundred acres in Tuscarawas County Ohio for his military service, I review the sworn statements in the document signed by the Justice of the Peace for the city of Baltimore, Maryland dated September 16, 1824. These sworn statements are as follows:
“Your petitioner or deponent (Job Caswell Jr.) has a brother named Levi Caswell who lives in the town of Leeds, County of Kennebeck [sic]. State of Maine, who has been informed, has made an attempt to obtain his rights to Revolutionary claims that- Levi get Job Caswell Seniors Land through Genl. Chandler, then a member of Congress.”
I have studied several documents pertaining to this 100 acre property in Tuscarawas County near Strasburg, Ohio, butfound a renewed interest in the documents following a search of the burial record of Job Caswell on www.findagrave.com. I found the documents to be both interesting and somewhat difficult to interpret. If you believe that these two soldiers named Job Caswell could be in your ancestry, please take the information and review it. Possibly, there may be more to the story. In the event, that you would like to study the documents that I referred to during my research, please find the information below.