Board of Supervisors 28 Mar 2011
Cherry Ridge Road
New Plymouth, OH
RE: New Plymouth Cemetery
Grave of: NATHAN BREWSTER (born 12 March 1758 New Windsor, Orange Co., NY – died New Plymouth, Vinton Co. (then Athens Co), OH
On 12 March 1843);
HANNAH PARKER BREWSTER (Butternuts Twp., Otsego Co., NY 1802 – New Plymouth, Vinton Co., OH 1855)
I am trying to locate the grave sites of my 3XG Grandparents, NATHAN & HANNAH BREWSTER, whom I believe died in New Plymouth, Athens/Vinton Co., and who may be buried in now unmarked plots in the small New Plymouth Cemetery on Cherry Ridge Road, just ¼ mile north of New Plymouth. NATHAN BREWSTER was a well-documented Patriot and Veteran of the American Revolutionary War. If his grave site can be determined, I would like to have the site of his (and his wife’s) interment properly marked with a proper VA headstone – honoring his well-documented military service in the American Revolutionary War.
When the Pension Act of 1832 was passed by the U.S. Congress to provide a small pension for the then-surviving elderly veterans (~50+ years after their service), NATHAN BREWSTER appeared in open court in Athens, and under oath told his story of his service. I have attached what I was able to retrieve from the U.S. Department of Archives regarding his sworn factual statement documenting his military service in the American Revolutionary War. The Pension records indicated that he and his wife, HANNAH PARKER BREWSTER each received the paltry pension allotted, and that each were residents of “New Plymouth”, until their respective deaths (presumably there) in 1842, and her receiving the “Widow’s Pension” and residing there until her subsequent death in 1855 - in what by then had become Vinton Co. (in 1850). Please see a transcription of his documented military service to support his Pension claim (Attachment “A”), as well as a Genealogical Data Entry I made on Genealogy.com, BREWSTER Family and the Vinton Co., Message Boards (Attachment “B”).
I also recently visited New Plymouth and the small well-maintained cemetery, walking it in its entirety looking for the headstones (if any) for NATHAN BREWSTER, and wife HANNAH PARKER BRESTER, and sadly could not locate any markers for them. (See Attachment “C”). However, many of the older soft limestone markers were badly weathered and totally unreadable by me. While I am not 100% certain that they are, in fact, interred there, if they died there in New Plymouth, I don’t know where else they might logically be interred; there are no other known burial places (like in a churchyard) anywhere nearby. So, I strongly feel that they are most probably buried right there in the small cemetery on Cherry Ridge Road, but in what now may be an unmarked or undetermined plot location. I am sure that they both died very poor and so impecunious that they or their family may simply may have not have had the money to have purchased or procured an expensive permanent stone marker at the time. They may possibly only have been given a temporary wooden marker, which has long-ago been swept away, making it difficult to tell where precisely they are interred.
So, my question is this: Are there any existing plot records from 1842 or 1855 under the current trusteeship of the Brown Township or the Board of Supervisors (whom I presume is the present-day custodian of the well-maintained site) that might help identify if the BREWSTERS are, in fact, interred there in the New Plymouth Cemetery, and if so, where? Is it also possible that in 1842 (and later, in 1855), the BREWSTERS might have been some of the first occupants of the then-newly established cemetery, and they might be interred under one of the now-unreadable and badly weathered old limestone markers? I carefully walked the entire cemetery and could not read or locate a marker bearing the family name(s) of “BREWSTER”, but many of the older markers were badly weathered and impossible for me to read. Even if the EXACT site of their individual plots can not now be definitively determined, if there in concurrence that they are most likely buried there somewhere in that location (based upon the Pension records in the U.S. Dept. of Archives, and the adequacy of other family records), the VA may be willing to provide a standard Rev. War veteran’s headstone marker to be placed there to honor their presumed presence and final resting place there in that location. If they do that, would the Supervisors or Board of Trustees of the Brown Township allow such a marker honoring this American Revolutionary War Veteran & Patriot (the one and only one, apparently) to be placed there in the New Plymouth Cemetery - at a suitable location of your choosing (if their exact site can not now be determined with any degree of accuracy)? Of course, the decision whether (or not) to grant a stone VA veteran’s marker rests with the discretion of that federal agency. (Please see the attached article on “Grave Honor”, detailing with how that process is done – Attachment “D”). As a now-retired veteran of the USAF (with 31 years of service as a career military officer), I would very much like to honor this direct ancestor of mine for his patriotic military service, and have his presumed final resting place properly marked. I believe that it would be a high distinction and honor for the Village of New Plymouth, Brown Township and Vinton County to have the final resting place of a fully-documented American Rev. War Patriot and soldier recognized there in this historic cemetery, as well.
The lineage of descent and connection of NATHAN BREWSTER and wife HANNAH PARKER BREWSTER to me (their 3rd Great Grandson) is provided in Attachment “E”.
Please put this matter on the agenda of your next meeting, discuss it, research whatever records there may be concerning this location (if under the control of the Brown Township), and advise me of your findings, and feelings on placing a supplied grave marker there (at no expense to the Township) in a appropriate location in the Cherry ridge Cemetery - if the precise plots can not be determined with certainty. I would like the assistance of the Township in properly securing the placement of the two stones in the designated sites, however, if approved.
I will be happy to provide any other or additional information you might need or require, but I have attached about all I possess at this point.
Very truly yours, /S/
John S. Hoff
Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Attorney at Law
HOFF & HERRAN
135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-4134
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