JOHANN JURG SILBER
"GEORGE SILVER, JR."
The second generation of the Silver family in America is represented by Johann Jurg Silber whose Americanized name was George Silver Junior.
George and his twin sister, Elizabeth, were born to Georg Wendel and Elizabeth Margaretha Schmieden Silber in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The exact date of their birth is unknown but records of the Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania reflect that they were christened on October 28, 1753.
Apparently George Jr. lived with his parents, who were farmers, in Montgomery and Berks Counties, Pennsylvania until the year 1774. In that year George Sr. patented (purchased) land in Frederick County, Maryland. This "plantation," as it was referred to in those years, was named, "Littleworth." George Jr. probably assisted his father on the plantation during the next two years. At some time in 1776, George Jr. joined the Continental Army. For the record of the next five years, we must refer to George Jr.'s pension application filed in Bakersville, Mitchell County, North Carolina in January of 1833. That document is printed in its entirety herein.
GEORGE SILVER, JR.S PENSION APPLICATION
The Declaration of George Silver (Jr.) in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress of the 7th of June 1832.
State of North Carolina, County of Burke.
On the twenty third day of January 1833 personally appeared before me David D. Baker one of the acting justices of the peace in and for the county of Burke aforesaid, George Silver, a resident of Toe River in the county of Burke and state of North Carolina aged about eighty years,
Who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832.
The first tour he served was with the Maryland troops at Annapolis in that state for a term of six months under Captain William Norris.
After his term of service was out he returned home to the neighborhood of Fredericktown in Maryland.
Not long after he returned he enlisted in Fredericktown under Captain Ralph Hillory in what was called the Flying Camp for a term of eighteen months.
The dates when he enlisted he cannot state but recollects very well that he was in the Battle of Germantown (Pennsylvania) in 1777 while under this enlistment and that in that battle a bullet grazed the skin of his neck.
And when his enlistment was up he received his discharge in Fredericktown in Maryland.
And that shortly after he was discharged he enlisted again in Fredericktown in Maryland under Captain Boyer for three years in the German regiment.
Soon after he enlisted he was marched to Northumberland and from there to Wyoming (Wyoming Valley, PA). This he believes to have been about the year of 1779. This he says was against the Indians and others which they dispersed.
Afterwards he was marched to West Point and while he was there he was sent out with a detachment and had a skirmish with some British Draggoons, and he says he was present and under arms when Major Andre, the British spy, was executed in 1780. Afterward he was marched to Philadelphia and from there to Baltimore and we lay sometime at a fort on the Slatistone point not far from Baltimore.
When we marched from this place we went to Annapolis and after harvest we were marched to Yorktown where we besieged the British under Lord Cornwallis in 1781.
After the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and the British army at Yorktown he was ordered to the south and was attached to the Army under General Green.
And while in South Carolina he was sent out with a party against a party of mounted Negroes near Charleston which the British had sent out.
Of this party they killed and made prisoners of the whole party.
And he further states that he continued in South Carolina till about the close of the war.
(Then) he was marched back to Annapolis and then to Fredericktown in Maryland where he received his discharge from Captain Winchester.
But (he) says this (discharge) and all his other papers are lost or destroyed.
He further states that after his term of enlistment expired he was induced to stay with the Army until he was discharged in Maryland.
He says he believes he served under his enlistments and other ways upwards of five years.
And he says that his memory is bad and that he has forgot the names of many of his officers, but says his first tour to Annapolis his captain's name was William Norris.
The rest of their names he has forgotten except a Sergeant Shoemaker.
And in the 18 months enlistment in the Flying Camp his captain was Ralph Hillory. He says General Smallwood and Colonel Will Luckett was with them and many others that he has forgot.
But (he) says General Washington was chief commander at the Battle of Germantown.
And he says Captain Huff was wounded in the engagement and Lieut. Michael Thrush was killed.
And in his three years enlistment under Captain Boyce, Wettner was the name of his colonel in the German Regiment.
He recollects the names of the following officers--Captains Crawford, Rice and Winchester and Major Oxburg.
But Washington and Green was mostly the generals he was under.
He says there was one John Gordon, a quartermaster sergeant, and he says he knew one Lieut. Bettis and says he knew a Sergeant Low that deserted to the enemy.
He thinks these are names enough to mention, and he further says that he is not on any pension roll in this state nor any other state or United States and that this is the first time that he ever made application to be put on the pension roll of the United States or any other state.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
In addition to a copy of George's pension application, copies of military pay records obtained from the National Archives document his services from November 1779 through December 1780. During this period, he served as a private in The Lieutenant Colonel's Company, German Regiment of Foot, commanded by Lt. Col. Ludwig Weltner.
On the 12th of April, 1782, George and Nancy Ann Griffith were married. Nancy was born in 1766, the daughter of Orlando and Elizabeth Riggs Griffith, plantation owners in Frederick County, Maryland.
George and Nancy were the parents of 11 children, 6 boys and 5 girls, all born in Frederick County, Maryland. They were John Silver, born about 1785. George Silver III, born 17 July, 1786. Elizabeth Silver, born about 1790. Jacob Silver, born 22 February, 1791. Sarah Silver, born about 1794. Greenberry Silver, born 8 February, 1795. Rachel Silver, born about 1796. William Griffith Silver, born 14 June 1800. Henry Gilbert Silver, born 26 October, 1801. Nancy Silver, born about 1802, and Thomas Silver, born 15 December, 1803.
In the latter part of 1806, George and Nancy sold their plantation and moved with their children to western North Carolina. Their plantation was sold in three parts to Chisholm Griffith, Henry Winemiller and William Norris Silver. Their move was to take advantage of a land grant awarded to George for his Revolutionary War service. This land grant consisted of 640 acres located in the Toe River section of Burke County, North Carolina that is now part of Mitchell County.
George and his family had traveled by horse drawn wagon in the company of the Buchanan and Ellis families down the wagon road from Maryland. The travelers arrived in the Little Crabtree section on Christmas Eve of 1806 in a blinding snowstorm. After spending the night there, the families went their separate ways in the morning.
George, Nancy and the children proceeded to the Toe Valley. Here, over the next three years, they built their home that stands to this day. In the intervening years they cleared and tilled the land. Eventually, the children grew up and married. Some remained in close proximity while others, like John and George III, traveled far and wide. John settled in Georgia while George III traveled to Kentucky, Indiana and eventually to Missouri.
After a long and fruitful life, George died of typhoid fever on July 8, 1839. Nancy died on April 30, 1849 of natural causes. They are both buried in the Silver Family Cemetery at Kona, Mitchell County, North Carolina within sight of their home and farm.
|Updated 08 February 2009, Barney Kaufman|