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To commemorate the War of 1812, a group was formed with one of its goals being to identify all known veterans of this war who died in the state.
As I worked to compile a list of veterans whose last days were spent in Fayette County, it was discovered that 21 veterans had settled here. The number is a little surprising, and now I can add the name of one more – Oliver M. Aubery.
Oliver and wife, Anna Pratt Aubery, came to this county about 1838 following several of Oliver’s sisters who had married and moved to Illinois, settling near the Otego Township village of Cumberland located on the National Road.
When Oliver and his wife made the move, they brought with them his mother, Sarah Hidden Aubery, whose husband, Dr. John Frederick Aubery, was a surgeon during the Revolutionary War. Although not much is known about Oliver and his service in the War of 1812, his father’s story is one of legend.
Dr. Frederick Aubery was born in France, probably in the Province of Lorraine, about the year 1740. He was said to have been at Quebec with the British Army in the French and Indian War, and dressed the wounds of Gen. Wolfe.
Dr. Aubery was living at Oxford, N.H., with his wife, Sarah Woodworth, and their infant son, John Frederick Aubery Jr., in 1775. He volunteered for the Continental Army as a surgeon in Capt. Timothy Bedel’s company, Gen. Richard Montgomery’s regiment, for the invasion of Canada.
At first, the colonial army was successful, and Montreal was captured on Nov. 12. Gen. Montgomery went on with a force to meet Benedict Arnold in Quebec. At this time, the tide turned and the British recaptured Montreal.
The American troops retreated in great misery. There was smallpox, as well as other diseases in the camp, where the troops suffered from exposure and lack of food. Dr. Aubery was left behind with the army in Montreal and retreated with them.
At that time, the surgeons had to purchase the medicine they dispensed, and many of the vouchers were never paid. When Dr. Aubery died in 1818, included with his estate were these debts to buy medicine for the injured.
In 1777, the doctor enlisted again, and was in the battles of Bennington and Brandywine, where he was wounded in the leg, and then was sent to Ticonderoga as a surgeon in the volunteer company of Col. Brown. It was about this time that he was captured by the Indians. Just where he was during his captivity is not certain.
An affidavit by Andrew B. Peters of Bradford, Vt., told that he knew Dr. Aubery, and that the doctor had told him that he had been carried to England and kept there during the rest of the war.
When Dr. Aubrey had been gone for some time and presumed dead, his wife, Sarah, married Abel Castle of Essex, N.H. When Dr. Aubrey returned to his wife and child, Sarah fainted. It was decided that Sarah would choose with which husband she would live, and she chose Mr. Castle, since she already had two or three children with him.
About 1790, John Frederick settled in Bradford, Granite County, Vt., and practiced medicine there for 25 years. He married in October 1791, Sarah Hidden, and they were parents of five children, four of whom moved to Fayette County, settling not far from the village of Cumberland in Otego Township.
One son, James, did not move to Illinois with the family, having settled in Erie County, Pa.
The first to choose Fayette County as their home were two of the daughters, Hannah Aubery and her husband, Dr. Simeon Bishop, and Sally Aubery, the wife of Dr. Moses D. Morey. They came with their families to the county about 1836, settling near the village of Cumberland in Otego Township.
Two years later, the eldest son, Oliver M. Aubery, a veteran of the War of 1812, also came to the county, bringing with him their aged mother, Sarah. A third sister, Lucy Aubery Kendall, followed her family to Otego Township after the death of her husband, Cyrus, bringing their young son, Cyrus, with her.
While living in Fayette County, Sarah Hidden Aubery applied for a pension for the service of her husband as surgeon during the Revolutionary War. It is through her pension application and accompanying documents that the fascinating story of Frederick Aubery came to light.
Oliver Aubery’s tombstone is one of three in the Lee Cemetery in Kaskaskia Township, although there are many graves there. His stone is in remarkable condition, showing clearly that he was born on June 9, 1792, and died Sept. 6, 1847.
Had I not searched for more information on Oliver H. Aubery, his father’s story would not have come to light.