Wednesday, June 3, 2020

1778 Muster Roll of Company of Capt. George White of Topsham, Maine; in Manuscript Genealogy of William Willson (abt 1750-1801) of Harpswell, Maine

Pages 108-115, 121 and 137, including the 1778 muster roll of the company of Captain George White of Topsham, Maine.  Members of this company came from mid and south coastal Maine.  

The muster roll lists residences and frequent remarks, including deaths, illness, capture and desertion. Many of the deaths, wounds and capture appear to have resulted from the Battle of Hubbardton, Vermont.  According to the record, William Willson and other soldiers walked from Beverly, Massachusetts, to Bennington, Vermont, likely just the start of many more miles of walking.

These pages appear in a manuscript genealogy of William Willson (about 1750-1801), also seen as Wilson, and Descendants.  The genealogy was handwritten by Willson's great grandson William Blake Josephs (1854-1918) of Portland, Maine, in 1901 [with later entries by both himself and others].

The manuscript is discussed in installments, as noted below.

The manuscript measures approximately 7-1/2" by 5"and contains 201 numbered pages, with pages 182-183 and 199-200 missing.  William Blake Josephs wrote the vast majority of the information.

Note: most of the entries are unsourced, but information may have come from people with direct knowledge. Take all with a grain of salt, knowing there may be nuggets here not found anywhere else.

Be aware: the compiler used very little punctuation, including periods at the end of sentences, and was not careful about pronoun antecedents and spelling.  All of this makes some of his information difficult to nail down.

Toward the end are a few pages of entries in a more contemporary hand, perhaps entered by Joseph's widow Mary Jane (Blair) Josephs or one of their children. The missing pages are in this section.


Page 3
Having some family records and
wishing to preserve them is what led 
me to prepair this Book the early trad-
itions of the family herein quoted
have been handed down to me and
are Know doubt correct the principle
part of this work is the Military His-
tory of my great grand Father William
Willson his record of service in the Am-
erican Revolution i got from the 
Secretary of the State of Mass. (Maine
Was a part of Mass until 1820) this rec-
ord was taken from the Revolutionary
Archives of the State of Mass. The accou-
nt of the Battles he passed through
Was taken from the best works in pr-
int on the Revolutionary War Viz
Carringtons Battles of the American
Revolution, Lossings Field Book of
The Revolution. Paul Allen's History
of the American Revolution (Published
in 1819). Dr. Thatchers Military Jour-
nal. The part that relates to the 
Penobscot Expedition was taken from 

Page 4
Williamsons History of Maine also
Nathan Goulds History of Col Jona-
than Mitchells Reg. of Cumberland Co
The experience of the Regts to which Will-
iam Willson was attached was also his 
Experience so I have given the Battles
In detail which is very interesting rea-
ding especially that part which has refer-
ence to Cap Enos Stones Journal in
These few extracts it shows what beca-
me of the Prisoners taken by the British
in the Battle of Hubbardton Vermont it
can not be found in any history that
I ever saw. our Ancestor William Willson 
was one of the Prisoners

Pages 108-115, 121, 137 
1778 Muster Roll of Capt. George White of Topsham, Maine

A transcription follows the images.  

Note: The list is mostly alphabetical, but not reliably so, and there are a few stragglers at the end. In addition, some names appear in variant format.  Be sure to look over the entire list for your ancestor.

Pages 108-115, 121, 137

A muster roll of Cap Geo
White's Company Jan 1 - 1778

Note: George White was then living in Topsham, Maine; his men were mostly from the midcoast Maine south to Falmouth (including the part that is now Portland), one as far south as York, Maine.

Note: remarks accompanying the names of many of the men indicate death, sickness, taken prisoner, deserted, etc.  Many of those who died, were injured and taken prisoner had taken part in the Battle of Hubbardton, in a village in Vermont.

Pages 108-113 - Muster Roll

George White, CaptainTopsham
William Stanwood, LieutenantBrunswick
Isaac Childs 2d LieutenantFalmouth
Hugh Mulloy, EnsignBrunswick
Francis Ryan, SergeantFalmouth
John Given, SergeantBrunswick
John Hunt, SergeantBrunswickdied Jan 1 - 1778
Anthony Moss, SergeantBrunswickSick in Hospital
James Low, CorporalFalmouthKilled July 7 - 1777
William Allen, CorporalTopsham
Luther Hall, CorporalBowdoinham
Thomas Means, CorporalNorth Yarmouth
Samuel Ayers, FiferFalmouth
Stephen Attwood, PrivateCape Elizabeth
Daniel Allen, PrivateTopsham
Samuel Adams, PrivateHarpswell
Benona Austin, PrivateBrunswick
Benjamin Barstow, PrivateBristol
James Brown, PrivateBristol
Benjamin Bagley, PrivateFalmouth
John Cornish, PrivateBrunswick
Enoch Cox, PrivateFalmouth
William Cox, PrivateFalmouthon command at Albany
Loring Cushing, PrivateCape ElizabethDied Oct 23 - 1777
James Flood, PrivateCape ElizabethDeserted Sept 16 - 1777
Thomas Foot, PrivateGeorgetownTaken July 7 - 1777
Oliver Graffam, PrivateBrunswickSick at Albany
George Grough, Private [Gough ?]Brunswick
Levi Hall, PrivateBristol
Martin Hall, PrivateBowdoinhamDied Dec 9 - 1777
William Hall, PrivateBristol
Joseph Jones, PrivateBristol
John Jones, PrivateTopsham
Austin Jameson, PrivateNorth Yarmouth
Zachariah Knight, PrivateFalmouth
Levi Kenney, PrivateFalmouthon furlough Sick
Joseph Laurance, PrivateBristolSick in Hospital
John Loyens, PrivatePownalboroon furlough Sick
Joseph Melcher, PrivateBrunswickKilled Oct 7 - 1777
Thomas Moore, PrivateFalmouth
William Mathews, PrivateBristolSick in Albany
John McDonald, PrivateFalmouth
John McDonald, 2d, PrivateCape ElizabethSick in Albany
William McGill, PrivateBrunswick
Jonathan Osburn, PrivateBrunswickon command at Albany
Francis Purcil, PrivateFalmouth
Timothy Pratt, PrivateFalmouthSlain in battle July 7 - 1777
Edward Pratt, PrivateFalmouthSick in Hospital
Alexander Potter, PrivateTopshamSick in Albany
Richard Poor, PrivateTopshamTaken July 7 - 1777
Timothy Ryan, PrivateFalmouthDischarged
Benjamin Sawyer, PrivateCape Elizabeth
Nathaniel Spofford, PrivateNew Casco [village in Falmouth]Sick in Albany
Samuel Sawyer, PrivateCape Elizabeth
Daniel Sargent, PrivateBrunswickDeserted June 10 - 1777
John Shannon, PrivateTopshamSlain in battle July 7 - 1777
Samuel Starbird, PrivateBrunswickon command in Hospital
Daniel Tobby, PrivateFalmouth
Seth Toothaker, PrivateHarpswell
Ephraim Taylor, PrivateBristolTaken July 7 - 1777
David Thompson, PrivateGeorgetownSlain in battle July 7 - 1777
William Willson, PrivateHarpswellTaken July 7 - 1777
Ezekiel Winslow, PrivateBristol
Joseph Whittam, PrivateBristol
John Whitton, PrivateTopshamSick in Hospital
Thomas Whittam, PrivateHarpswellTaken July 7 - 1777
Timothy Dwyer, PrivateGeorgetown
John Alen, PrivateNew Casco [village in Falmouth]
Samuel York, PrivateNew Casco [village in Falmouth]
James Kenady, PrivateFalmouthDied March 20 - 1777
John Stone, PrivateNew CastleDied May 10 - 1777
Thomas Goodwin, PrivateYorkDied Sept 6 - 1777

Pages 114-115

The above is a true Return
of the state of the company
according to best of my
George White Capt
examined by
Benj Tupper Col.

The above roll was copied from
the original which is on file
in the Archives at the State house
in Boston Mass
copied Aug 19 - 1904
In looking over the roll of Capt
Penobscot Expedition i find the
William Willson and Josiah 
8 days and received £8 - S 10

A note to Col Purrinton from
Capt Nehemiah Curtis Dated Dec
15 - 1777 has the following which
is of interest to us it relates to
men in his Milita Comp (1) who
enlisted into the Continental Army
two of these men interest us Viz
William Willson
James Flood  
See also page 137

Flood married Willsons sister 
Susannah they enlisted together
for a term of 3 yrs in Capt
Geo Whites Comp Col Ebenezer
Francis 11th Mass Regt

This was taken from the Archives at
the State house Boston
Revolutionary Rolls Vol 43, page 75
Nehemiah Curtis Comp in the
wages received by each man
Clark each served 2 month and
8 d for wages
[diagonally on page] (1) Capt Curtis Militia Comp was called the 1st Comp of Harpswell

Page 121

William Willson of Harpswell  Me
an item from the Revolutionary 
rolls in the Mass. State archives

Subsistence allowed from date of
enlistment Jan 13 - 1777 to time of
arrival at Bennington Vt credited
with 68-1/2 days allowance 370 miles
travel allowed said Willson

P.S. (they walked from Beverly Mass
       ( to Bennington Vt

Page 137

Enlistments in to Rev Army

In a return from Capt Nehemiah Curtis to
Col Purrinton of men enlisted in to the
Continental Army from Capt Curtis
Militia comp (this comp was called the first
comp of Harpswell) this was dated Dec 15 
1777 from the list i find the following 
were assigned to Capt Whites Comp Col
Ebenezer Francis Ret 11th

Seth Toothaker
Thomas Thitum
William Willson
James Flood
Samuel Adams

copied from the record at the State
House Boston Mass Aug 3d 1905

If you have corrections to the transcription or information on any of the men mentioned above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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