Saturday, June 11, 2016

My 64 ~ Researching My 4th Great Grandparents : Benjamin Griswold and Elizabeth Eastman

My fourth great grandfather, Benjamin Griswold, was born in Canaan, Connecticut, on December 3, 1756, likely the son of Benjamin Griswold and Susanna Spaulding. Nothing is known of his youth, until the stirrings of rebellion harkened this 19 year-old to battle.

His "Affidavit in Support of An Application for a Pension," in 1818, reads:

"In June 1775 at Crown Point in the State of New York he enlisted in the Company commanded by Capt. James Noble in the Regiment of Col. Easton in the Continental troops for the northern expedition, that he continued to serve in said corps which was principally commanded by Major Solomon Brewer until the retreat of the army from Quebec on the sixth day of May 1776; that his term of service had expired in April 1776, but that he served until May and was sent on ... to Crown Point and was there dismissed but had no written discharge ...

The Company that Benjamin joined in June of 1775
 came to be known as the
 Green Mountain Boys.

In the fall of 1780 he enlisted at Sheffield in Massachusetts and was placed in a company commanded by Capt. James Wade, Regiment of Col. Michael Jackson in General Patterson's Brigade in the Massachusetts line of Continental troops; that he continued to serve in said corps in service of the United States until, in the fall of 1783, when, having served his term of three years, he was honorably discharged, and his discharge was signed by Gen. Knox ... that he was in the storming of Quebec, that he is in reduced circumstances and stands in need of the assistance of his country for support ..."

Two years later, in 1820, his "Certification of Pensioner's Estate and Income" reads:

"... I was discharged in the fall or winter of 1783 at West Point; that I was in an engagement near to Kingsbridge on the North River... " (This would have been in present-day Bronx, New York.)

Sometime after Benjamin was discharged, he met and married Elizabeth Eastman. She was the widow of Josiah Terrill, who had died sometime in 1782. Elizabeth was born around 1751 or 1752, the daughter of Jonathan Eastman and Elizabeth Wood. Jonathan Eastman was a prominent citizen of Bennington, Vermont (then part of New Hampshire). Four children were born to the couple, all in Bristol, Vermont:

Horace, b. 1787
Huldah, b. 1788
Robert, b. 1790*
 Benjamin, Jr., b. 1792

*my 3rd great grandfather
who married Amanda Prior

Shortly before 1800, Benjamin moved his family to Cambridge, Vermont, and about thirty years later sold that property. Perhaps the sale signals the passing of Elizabeth. By the 1820 Certification, he had stated:

"I further state that I am 63 years old, my wife Elizabeth is aged Sixty Eight years. I am by occupation a farmer and have a heart which renders me unable to labour much..."

In any event, no records have been found for the deaths of Benjamin and Elizabeth, and no graves discovered in Vermont.

Benjamin is Ancestor # A048653 in the Daughters of the American Revolution GRS. Perhaps someday I will send in a supplemental application under his name.

Green Mountain Boys Memorial, Rutland, Vermont
Courtesy: Tom E Canavan

In the meantime, there is a Griswold Family Association, which also has a Facebook page. I am greatly indebted to my new 5th cousin, Sara L. French, whose mother's DAR application I purchased, and who is a past president of the GFA. Sara's parents, Robert and Esther (Griswold) French co-authored the book, "The Griswold Family : The First Five Generations in America," (Elmira, N.Y., 1990), available (with corrections and additions) on CD at

Photo credit:

Green Mountain Boys Memorial

Sources: Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Membership application, Esther Griswold French, no. 521253, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C.

Vermont Births, Marriages and Deaths to 2008. (From microfilmed records. Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2013.). Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

French, Robert L. and Esther G., The Griswold family : The first five generations in America. (Elmira, NY (1990)., biography of Benjamin Griswold.

Lossing, Benson John. The pictorial field-book of the Revolution, Vol. 1. (New York : Harper and Brothers, 1851), p.155.

Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Oct 2014), Robert Griswald and Amanda Prior, 28 Aug 1822, Marriage; citing State Capitol Building, Montpelier; FHL microfilm 0027567.

“Revolutionary War Pensions,” database and images, Fold3 ( : accessed 13 April 2016); S.38773 of Benjamin Griswold (Massachusetts); citing Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, compiled ca. 1800 - ca. 1912, documenting the period ca. 1775 - ca. 1900, Record Group 15, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

St. Albans Daily Messenger, St. Albans, Vermont, online images (, Revolutionary Soldiers. A list of the names of the men who fought for independence and who are buried in Vermont. Saturday, August 19, 1905.

Recommended Reading:

Anderson, Mark R. The Battle for the Fourteenth Colony: America's War of Liberation in Canada, 1774–1776. University Press of New England (2013). ISBN 1-61168-497-8.


  1. We are cousins! I have Griswolds in my ancestry - 1Francis-2Samuel-3John-4John-5Ruth, who is my 5th great-grandmother.

    1. Wonderful! You should join the GFA (unless you have already)

    2. Wonderful! You should join the GFA (unless you have already)