Summary

John Shethar was a Captain in the Continental Army. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Brandywine, and was presented with a sword by General Washington.

Conflict Period:
Revolutionary War 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Captain 2
Birth:
14 Dec 1752 2
Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Conn. 2
Death:
19 Jun 1835 2
Geneva, Ontario Co., N.Y. 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
John Shethar 1
Birth:
14 Dec 1752 2
Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Conn. 2
Death:
19 Jun 1835 2
Geneva, Ontario Co., N.Y. 2
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Marriage:
Joan "Nancy" Nelson (2nd wife) 2
Sarah Smith (1st wife) 2
06 Mar 1800 (2nd marriage) 2
27 Jan 1773 (1st marriage) 2
HIghland, Ulster Co., N.Y. (2nd marriage) 2
Spouse Death Date: 17 Feb 1796 (Sarah's death) 2
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Revolutionary War 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Captain 2
Regiment:
Second Regiment, Light Dragoons 1
State:
Continental Troops 1

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Sources

  1. Revolutionary War Service Records [See image]
  2. Contributed by gersonyfam1217
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Stories

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 Shethar was born December 14, 1752 in Killingworth, Middlesex County, Connecticut.  He enlisted in the army in 1776, at age 23.  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 on October 11, 1777.  According to the above source, "he served from the beginning of the war and obtained promotion for his gallant bravery." At the battle of Brandywine (September 1777), he greatly distinguished himself, and this was reportedly personally witnessed by General Washington, who, 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, were treasured in the family for many generations, and then were donated to the New York Historical Society by his great-great-grandson, Edwin H. Shethar, in the late 1920s.

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. In an encounter with the Indians, he came near to being captured by the Mohawk Chief, Captain Joseph Brandt.

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 (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)

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 examinElizabeth, 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.ed 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.

OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT CAPTAIN JOHN SHETHAR:

John Shethar married Sarah Smith (born May 4, 1749) on January 27, 1773.  They had four children, of whom one lived to adulthood.  Sarah died in 1796, and John Shethar then married Nancy Nelson Drake, widow of Major Joshua Drak, on March 6, 1800.  They had three daughters, two of whom lived to adulthood.

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 his granddaughter, Elizabeth Hogarth, quoted above.

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.

John Shethar died on June 19, 1835, at age 82, in Geneva, Ontario County, New York.  He was buried in one of the earliest cemeteries of that town, the Pulteney Street Cemetery.  It is not known what date the plot was set apart for burials but the probability 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".

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