Source: "Genealogy of the Shethar Family", Edition of 35 copies; New York, C.S. Williams, 1904.
The following is from the above source, pages 15-24:
John, born December 14, 1752, died June 19, 1835, in his 84th year. Married January 27, 1773, Sarah Smith, born May 4, 1749. She died February 17, 1796, and he married for his second wife Nancy (Nelson) Drake, widow of Major Joshua Drake, March 6, 1800. She was born April 23, 1766, died June 12, 1815, at Troy, New York. Sarah Smith, his first wife, born May 4, 1749, was a daughter of Joshua Smith who married Mary Stoddard January 25, 1732, and died April 30, 1787. He was a son of Nathaniel Smith of Scituate, Massachusetts, whose estate was administered on May 11, 1725, at Litchfield, Connecticut. She was the youngest of eight children. Captain John was married to his second wife, Joan, commonly called Nancy Drake, at the Highlands, New York, March 6, 1800. She was a daughter of Joshua Nelson and his wife Sarah Mandeville, who was a daughter of Jacob Mandeville, born 1709, died August 27, 1784, aged 75 years, and his wife Sarah ________, who died May 18, 1782. They lived at Garrisons, New York, on the Hudson River.
Captain John Shethar, when he enlisted, lived at Litchfield, Connecticut. He was made a Sergeant in Captain Seymour's Company, November 20, 1776, of a regiment of Connecticut Light Horse Cavalry, and was on the march through New Jersey with Washington in 1776. He was made Lieutenant 2nd Continental Dragoons, December 31, 1776, and Captain October 11, 1777. This was the 2nd Regiment raised agreeable to a resolve of Congress of December 12, 1776, but by another resolve of June 14, 1777, takes rank from November 25, 1776. Thus it seems 'he served from the beginning of the war and obtained promotion for his gallant bravery.' By his active efficiency at the battle of Brandywine, he greatly distinguished himself, and this coming under the personal observation of General Washington, he immediately after the battle presented Captain Shethar with a sword and highly commended him for his judicious acts.
This sword, with his chapeau and a portion of his military dress and many mementos of the War of the Revolution, have always been treasured in the family and are now in the possession of Edwin H. Shethar of New York City. Towards the close of the war, March 6, 1780, being so badly wounded as to preclude further active service for a long time, Captain Shethar felt constrained to resign his commission. His dress sword he presented to Ark Lodge, No. 33, F. & A.M., Geneva, New York, and is yet in possession of these Masonic brethren. In an encounter with the Indians, he came near to being captured by the Mohawk Chief, Captain Joseph Brandt.
Statement written by Mary Osborn Hogarth, November 27, 1864, living in 1904 at 550 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York:
My mother, Mary Jane (Shethar) Hogarth, was born in the village of Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York, September 3, 1805. Her father, Captain John Shethar, died June 19, 1835, aged 84. Her mother Johanna Nelson was born in Phillipstown, Dutchess County, New York, died at Troy, New York, 1815, aged 50. My grandfather Shethar owned a very large and valuable farm in the valley in which Hammondsport is situated. He became security for a Mr. William Root of Albany, and lost all his property. With a wagon load of household goods, fifty dollars in money and two little girls, one of them my Aunt Betsey, then four, and her sister, my mother, two years old, Grandfather and Grandmother Shethar, started for my grandfather Nelson's in Phillipstown. There Grandfather Shethar was laid up with rheumatism for six months, could walk only with crutches. As soon as he was able he went to Albany, rented a house and took boarders; there my mother's first recollections of herself begin. When she was six years old, Grandfather Shethar moved to Troy, New York. After about four years' residence in that city, her mother died and was buried there, where also her Aunt Martha Haight died in April, and in the September following Grandfather Shethar moved to Alexandria, Virginia, to reside with his son, my mother's half-brother, James Smith Shethar, who was very much my mother's senior. His son James Shethar (son of James S.) was two years older than my mother and they were always more like brother and sister than cousins. When my grandfather and mother went to Alexandria, Aunt Betsey went to Bath to live with Aunt Faulkner, the daughter of my grandmother Shethar by a former marriage with Major Joshua Drake. They stayed in Alexandria four years, when my half-uncle left them to reside in Charleston, South Carolina. They came 'across the country to Bath, New York, in a one horse wagon.' My mother speaks of this as a very interesting journey. She took her first horseback ride, five miles, behind her father. They remained in Bath, New York, six months and then went to Geneva, New York. Mrs. James Shethar after her husband's death also moved to Geneva. My mother spent a part of the time with Aunt Faulkner at the hotel and part with Mrs. James Shethar. For a short time before her marriage, she kept house for her father.
Narrated by Miss Elizabeth Hogarth now living in 1904, at 550 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, who had the facts direct from Captain Shethar, her grandfather:
During the Revolutionary War, Captain John Shethar was arrested as a spy, taken to New York at a time when the English held only New York. He was examined before Admiral Digby who a short time previous had arrived with Prince William, Duke of Clarence, then 17 years of age, who was afterwards William IV, the King, who preceded Queen Victoria. Prince William was present at the examination before Admiral Digby. Captain Shethar when committed for trial said, "As a soldier I have no favors to ask, but as a gentleman, Sir, I have one!? Well, what is it? ?That my guardsmen be British officers, Sir, not American refugees who have fled from their country's altar." Then the young Prince said, "Well, young man, when this disgraceful affair is settled, I intend to make a tour of this continent and would like to have you for a traveling companion," to which Captain Shethar replied, "Well, Sir, if our circumference was no larger than yours, (referring to occupation of New York), we could soon make a tour of it." Then Admiral Digby said, "I guess your Highness has got it now," to which Captain Shethar replied, "We do not now in our country pay that deference to royalty that you do in yours."
Captain Shethar once had for a prisoner a Captain Williamson, of the British Army, who after he was released, returned to New York and told his wife of the good treatment he had received at the hands of Captain Shethar. So pleased was she, that while Captain Shethar was a prisoner, she arranged matters and gave him a grand dinner, and ever afterwards, he was, through this influence, treated well. He was visited every day by the young Prince William who admired his sturdy manhood. When released Captain Shethar called on the Prince.
Elizabeth, daughter of Captain John, lived in Geneva, New York, and kept house for him. She never married; before this she lived with her brother James, who lived in Alexandria, District of Columbia, then went to Seneca and Geneva, New York.
Captain Shethar was a member of St. Paul Lodge, F & A.M. of Litchfield, Connecticut, and afterwards of Ark Lodge of Geneva, New York. Demit and Apron of Captain Shethar were sent to Ark Lodge, by Miss Elizabeth Hogarth, some years ago.
Captain John Shethar was a pensioner in 1818 and was living at that time in Alexandria, Virginia. Shethar Street in Hammondsport, New York was named for him, he having been granted one-tenth of the original township.
Capt. John Shethar was buried in one of the earliest cemeteries in Geneva, Ontario Co., N.Y., the Pulteney Street Cemetery. It is not known what date the plot was set apart for burials but the oprobability is that it was in 1797. In the summer of 1920 this cemetery was taken over by the school district of the City of Geneva for the purpose of building a new high school. The burials were removed and taken to a location in Glenwood Cemetery and is known as "Pulteney-in-Glenwood".