In celebration of the upcoming bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, I have been working on a project to identify all known veterans of that war who died in Fayette County.
One of these veterans, Oliver M. Aubery, was born on June 9, 1792, in Bradford, Vt., the eldest son of Dr. John Frederick and Sarah Hidden Aubery, and died in Kaskaskia Township on Sept. 6, 1847. He was buried in the Lee Cemetery.
Oliver and Ruhannah Pratt were married on Feb. 20, 1821, in Erie County, Pa. Their children included John Russell, Ruhannah, Lucy, Sarah, William, Laura and Calista Aubery.
About the year 1841, Oliver, with his family and widowed mother, Sarah, came to Fayette County, joining other family members who had located here three years earlier.
His sister, Hannah, the wife of Dr. Simeon Bishop, and Sally who married Dr. Moses D. Morey, settled near the village of Cumberland on the National Road in 1838. Both of these families are mentioned in the early history of Fayette County.
A third sister, Lucy Aubery Kendall, also settled in Fayette County some years later, following the death of her husband, Cyrus Kendall, and made her home near her brother, Oliver.
Oliver’s mother, Sarah, made several attempts to receive a pension for the service of her husband during the revolution while living in Fayette County.
A rare document included with the pension file is a flyleaf from a book Oliver used to prove his age while making a deposition for his mother’s application. It reads, “Oliver M. Aubery, his book bought in the year 1813 in the twenty first year of his age.”
Although all of Sarah’s attempts to receive a pension were denied, the various documents submitted for evidence offer a rare look back into the early history of this family.
Dr. John 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.
In 1777, the doctor enlisted again and was in the battles of Bennington and Brandywine, where he was wounded in the left leg. He was then 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. Aubery had been gone for some time and presumed dead, his wife, Sarah, married Abel Castle of Essex, N.H. When Dr. Aubery returned to find his wife and child, Sarah fainted. It was decided that Sarah would choose with which husband she would live; she chose 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 Sarah Hidden in October 1791, and they were parents of five children, Oliver H., Hannah, Sarah "Sally," Lucy and James Aubery.
The next move was to Erie County, Pa., where Dr. Aubery again practiced medicine. It is there that he died on April 15, 1818.
Twenty years later, members of his family made the move west on the National Road, settling in Otego Township.
While living in Fayette County, Sarah Aubery applied for a pension for the service of her husband as a surgeon during the Revolutionary War. She made an affidavit that many times he had spoken of having spent his all, devoted his life and means, and shed his blood in the cause of his country.
Alas, for Sarah, she had turned over her husband’s papers in an earlier attempt to receive a pension, and they had been lost. The last record we have of her in Fayette County is in 1850, when she stated in an affidavit that she was 88 years of age, on Oct. 26, 1849.
Sarah Hidden Aubery rests in an unmarked grave, probably in the Lee Cemetery in Kaskaskia Township.