LIEUTENANT PETER VROOMAN
By James F. Morrison
The intent of this article is again to correct some misinformation in various National Archives Records concerning Peter VROOMAN. I am not pointing my finger at the National Archives and claiming that they are incompetent as it is not their fault that there is more than one Peter VROOMAN and that they are not familiar with the local geography.
The following letters pertain to Ensign Peter VROOMAN of Captain John LITTLEs Company in Colonel Frederick VISSCHERs regiment of Tryon County Militia (third Regiment). This letter was misfiled as part of Colonel Peter VROOMANs regiment of Albany County Militia (Fifthteenth Regiment), Series M246, REVOLUTIONARY WAR ROLLS 1775-1783, MICROFILM REEL 77, NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WASHINGTON, D.C..
How do I know its wrong? First, the rank. There are two Peter VROOMANs from the Schoharie area. One was the Colonel of the regiment from 1775 until 1784 and his second cousin was a private soldier (Pension No. R18673).
Second, the geography. By militia law, every able bodied man from the ages of 16 to 50 had to serve, in the local militia company. For example if you lived in Schoharie you would have to serve in the Fifthteenth Albany as that is the district that you lived in. the Fifthteenth Albany served very little in the Mohawk Valley as they were raised to protect the United Districts of Schoharie and Duanesburgh. One of the rare expeditions into the Mohawk Valley was after Sir John John Johnsons raid of October 17, 1780.
Also the national Archives have listed the men who paid their bounty to raise men to serve in the New York State Levies (most likely to serv in Colonel John Harpers regiment) as also serving in the Fifthteenth. This is also wrong. The list is strictly for the various classes of men who were paying bounty for someone to serve from their particular class of militia, (there were usually ten men per class).
Also one other interesting fact is the file number. It appears to be a pension application number but who does it belong to.
Then the second document written by the son of the Lieutenant Peter VROOMAN was misfiled with the pension application of Private Peter VROOMAN R18673 adds some more mystery about Lieutenant VROOMAN.
Gilbert VROOMAN claims his father applied for a pension and also included his commission as proof of service. There appears to be none. Mark SULLIVAN while in Colorado was going thru the pensions on microfilm and the first one he checked for more more misfiled information was R18673 which did not have the commission etc..
I am continuing my search for Lieutenant Peter VROOMAN and his service files. Peter was commissioned as an Ensign on March 8, 1781 but he did serve as a Lieutenant but he was never commissioned for that rank.
Peter H. VROOMAN who was born on March 7, 1756 and later married Sarah VAN BRAKELEN, the daughter of Gysbert VAN BRAKELEN, had the following children: Nettie, born on May 28, 1783, Gysbert (Gilbert), born on May 7, 1786 and Neeltie, born on May 26, 1789.
Coughnwago April the 16, 1780
I have Recd his Excellenys the governors orders to Raise the fiftant man out of our Regt to sarve from the first Day of May untill the first Day of January Next in June therefore I send you a class of the Man and is to be classed with Your self you must furnish a good able Bodied man Wall accoutred the man you is alowed as a bounty tow (two) Hundred Eackers of ounpropoited Lands for his Nine months Sarvis you are to see that the man is to be (illegible) at Fort plaine by the first Day of May Next in order to be mustered pray send me the Mans name (two words illegible) I Hope You will Not faile in Raising your man for in case of a failure (?) you will be assest (assessed) Dubble the sume any other man may coast in the Regt
Liet Peter VROOMAN
I am your Humble
V VEEDER Lieut Col
[S File 18673]
Peter VROMAN Ensine
Timmy WESSAN (?)
Timmy VAGTARS (?)
Gorg SHENK Junr
Duncan Mc gregor
(name crossed out)
John ALGIRE (?)
Christn GITMAN (?) absent
To (?) The People that are not Marching
give the not payable
the 26th Day this month
The following numbers were written on the bottom of the back page which may represent what they paid. 8 5 61/2 8 5 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 3 4 4 2 6
* Source: Revolutionary War Rolls 1775-1783, Incorrectly filed with Colonel Peter VROOMANs Regiment of Albany County Regiment (Fifteenth Regiment), Microfilm Reel 77, National Archives, Washington, D.C..
State of New York
On this 24th day of May 1857 Personally appeared before me James H BOWEN a notary Public in the County of state aforesaid. Gilbert VROOMAN aged 65 years a resident of the town of Aubush Jefferson County NY. Who being first Duly Sworn according to Law declare that he is the son & only living child of Peter VROOMAN who was an Ensign & Lieutenant in the War of the Revolution that he was first an ensign in the Company of NY Militia Commanded by Capt LYTLE. and served with said company as Ensign & Lieutenant during the whole term of the War. that his father Commenced an application for a Pension near the year 1819. while was not granted to him on account of his having to much property. that the appreciation was renewed afterward and denied on account his name not having been found on the Continental Establishment his Service having been in the Militia Service that the said Gilbert VROOMAN now desires that he may be allowed to know if he may not use the claim of his father and receive the account that justly belonged to him on account of said Service he desires that the Case maybe taken up & considered and his legal rights as the Son & heir of the said Peter VROOMAN granted to him. The Proof of his Service & his Commission are on file in the Department and makes this application that the application as made by his Father & argued by Dr TROWBRIDGE & Mr. E FOWLER may now be examined and for the purpose of the said examination he does by these presents appoint & constitute F. E. HASSLER Esq of Washington D C his true & Lawful attorney for him & his name place & stead to ask for. & prosecute the afore said claim of his Father Peter VROOMAN for all pension pay commutation & that may be due on account of Services endured by the said Peter VROOMAN in the War of the Revolution withfull power to do all that I might or could were I personally present at the doing thereof in the receiving aforesaid amount and giving full receipts & discharge for the same fully satisfying whatsoever my said attorney may do in the premises my hand & seal
this 2n th day of May 1857. Gilbert Vrooman
Sworn to of subscriber before me the day & year above written witness my hand & Seal
James H Bowen
* Transcribed June 7, 1999 by Douglas J .Weaver who is researching the following names in Fulton, Montgomery & Herkimer Counties: WEAVER BAUMAN, CLAUS/CLAUSE, FREDERICK, GOODRICH, HILLEGAS/HELLINGAS, MEYER, SMITH, WELLS
Copyright ©1999, James F. Morrison
Copyright ©1999, Douglas Weaver, Jeanette Shiel
All Rights Reserved.
Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:37:45 PDT