Posts Tagged ‘“betsey Grout”’

The City of Bangor vs. Asa P. Lansil – 1863


asa paine


My 3rd g-grandfather, Asa Paine Lansil, the fifth known child of Charles V. Lansil (Lancel/Lanselle) and Ruth Paine, was born 17 Oct 1812 in Bucksport, Hancock, Maine.   He married Betsey Turner Grout, daughter of Amos Grout and Rachael Couillard, 2 November 1834, in Bucksport.  Asa, a Cooper, settled in Bangor, Maine, with his wife and six (or perhaps seven) children, where they remained until about 1871, at which time the family relocated to Boston Massachusetts. 

I have written of Asa in the past but not of his noteworthy case as a defendant at the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine against the City of Bangor (the plantiff) in 1863.

Asa, purchased land on the corner of Maine and Lincoln Streets in Bangor for $500 from Wiggins Hill, a merchant, on 15 Dec 1848 (book 192, page 375).  The land is described as:

Beginning at the corner of Maine and Lincoln Street, hence running Westerly on the line of Lincoln Street 100 feet thence at right angles with Lincoln Street Northerly about 70 feet to the dividing lines between said lot and land owned by Thomas Curtis and others as divided by George W Pickering and others, hence Easterly on said line to Maine Street hence Southerly on Maine Street to the point began at more or less.

Lincoln Street Purchase

On 28 Jan 1851 Asa bought land (book 212/page 140) on Buck Street for $500 from his brother James (formerly known as Lincoln Street, lot #8) which Martha Lansil (his brother’s wife) had previously purchased of Wiggins Hill (book 150/page 554). It measured 70 feet on Buck Street and 107 feet deep, per an 1844 survey by Gilman.   Asa later sold this parcel to Joshua Miller on 2 Feb 1853 (book 231/ page 341).

On 1 May 1852, Asa purchased land adjoining to that purchased in 1848 (known as lot #2) on Lincoln Street from Wiggins Hill (book 248/page 470) for $150.  It was an additional 69 1/2 feet by 500 feet.

Lansil land

On this land there was a swale (a low tract of land, that is moist or marshy).  When Lincoln Street was constructed in 1834, the water flowed in gutters down the street until it got to Asa’s lot where it flowed over his property in larger amounts than it had previously.  Asa add fill to the lot, in 1852, to stop the water.  The Bangor Street Commissioner, without town approval began to dig a drain; Asa finished it himself. Later, the drain fell into disrepair.  Asa choose not to repair it, the City of Bangor (after giving Asa notice), repaired and enlarged the drain, then took Asa to court to recover $43 in expenses.

The appeal went to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s role is to decide on questions of law that arise when a case is appealed from a trial court. Opinions are published and become binding on all the (Maine) courts when they adjudicate similar disputes. The Lansil decision is still cited in cases today.

In the Lansil case, the Court issued the following opinion:

“The owner of land has a legal right to fill it up so as to interrupt the flow of surface water over it, whether flowing from a highway, or any adjoining land. Nor does the fact, that the land filled up was a swale (a low tract of land, especially one that is moist or marshy), make any difference in the owner’s rights, provided no natural watercourse is obstructed. If, in filling up his lot, the owner construct a drain for the flow of surface water from the highway, which had been accustomed to flow across his lot, and afterwards allow the drain to become obstructed, and it is repaired by the town, the latter can maintain no action to recover the expense of such repairs. Such a drain is not a “private drain,” within the meaning of § 12 of c. 16 of the Revised Statutes”.

Case, under § 12, c. 16, of E. S., to recover the amount expended by the plaintiffs in the repair of a drain.

The evidence, affecting the questions of law raised, tended to show that the drain in question was from Lincoln street, through the defendant’s lot, and another lot, to a drain made by the city; that the defendant’s lot was formerly a swale, and the surface water flowed across it, but there was no natural watercourse on it; that Lincoln street was constructed in 1834, and, after that, the surface water flowed in gutters down the street, till it came to the defendant’s lot, and then passed off across his lot, in greater quantities than before the construction of the street; that, in 1852, the defendant filled up his lot so as to prevent the water from flowing from the street over it; and, thereupon, the street commissioner, without authority from the city, dug the drain and the defendant finished it, and the water from the street had passed off through it, until recently; that, the defendant failing to repair the drain after proper notice, the plaintiffs had repaired and enlarged it; and this action was brought to recover $43, the expenses incurred.

The presiding Judge instructed the jury, that it appeared by the testimony that there was a low swale on the lot of defendant, over which the water from the land in the vicinity naturally flowed; that, if defendant bought the lot under these circumstances, he had no legal right to fill up the lot and obstruct the natural flow of the water, and thus cause it to flow back into the street, and upon adjoining owners; that, if defendant filled up his lot, he was bound to make a suitable drain to carry away the water, so as, not to injure the highway and adjoining proprietors; that, if defendant made the drain under these circumstances, it was a private drain, which he was bound to keep in repair, and, if he neglected to do so, and in consequence of such neglect, the highway was injured, the plaintiffs, after due notice, could themselves repair such drain and recover the expense of the defendant in this action.

The defendant (inter alia) requested the presiding Judge to instruct the jury, that, if the plaintiffs duly laid out and constructed Lincoln street, and the water flowed down the drains of such street to the defendant’s lot which abutted upon said street, and a drain across the defendant’s lot was needed to drain the water from the street, the defendant was under no legal obligation to construct such*drain, but the law provided another remedy to secure the construction of the drain, and, if defendant, without permit from the proper authorities, and through a misapprehension of his legal rights and obligations, constructed such drain, such construction would not of itself constitute it a private drain.

The presiding Judge refused to give the requested instructions, but did instruct the jury that, if more water was brought by the drains on Lincoln street down to the defendant’s lot than naturally flowed there, the jury would deduct from the expenses of repair in like proportion.

The jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs of twenty-seven dollars, and stated, in answer to an inquiry from the Court, that they reduced the damages, because more water was brought to the defendant’s lot by the construction of the street than formerly flowed there.

asa vs city bangor verdict.png

The defendant excepted [objected].

new case asa.png

W. H. McCrillis, for defendant.

A. Q. Wakefield, for plaintiffs.

The opinion of a majority of the Court was drawn up by

Davis, J.—By our statute of 1821, c. 121, copied from the Massachusetts Act of 1797, a person needing a drain “for his cellar,” or for other purposes, could construct it, upon his own premises, to the street; and then, “by the consent and under the direction of the selectmen,” he, either alone, or with others, might extend it across or along the street, to some suitable place of discharge. If there were several owners, it was a “common sewer.” But, whether owned by one or more, it was a private drain.

Such drains were entirely different and distinct from gutters, made as part of streets, to drain off the surface water. Such gutters had always been made, under the general power and duty to open the streets and keep them in repair.

Unless by some city charters or by-laws, no public sewers, for the accommodation of the inhabitants, were authorized by law, until 1844. All such sewers, though constructed under and along the streets, were private property. And no change has ever been made in the law, making such drains other than private property. Many such may be found in all our cities and large towns.

By c. 94 of the laws of 1844, the municipal authorities were, for the first time, empowered to locate and construct public drains, for the common use of such adjacent proprietors as, for a stipulated price, desired to connect private drains therewith. These public sewers were to be located, either under the streets, or, if necessary, through the lands of any person, who was to be compensated therefor. The proceedings of the location are, in many respects, like the proceedings in locating streets.

As cities and towns were only authorized, and not required, to construct public drains, the sewerage of our cities has been, and still is, to a large extent, by private drains. These have, many of them, been made across or along the streets. As they were liable to get out of repair, there had always been a provision by which any owner could repair a “common” sewer, at the expense of all.

But it was found that, in some cases, none of the owners would repair such drains; and that, by their want of repair, the streets across or along which they were constructed, were thereby made unsafe for the public travel. And therefore, by c. 77, § 9, of the laws of 1854, the street commissioner of the city of Portland was authorized, in any such case, to repair the defective “private drain ;” and the owners were made liable to the city for the expense of such repairs. This special statute was made general, by R. S., c. 16, § 12.

The action before us was brought under this provision of the statute.

Was the drain repaired by the city in this case such a drain as is contemplated by the statute?

It is quite obvious that it was not a public drain, or sewer, within the meaning of the statute. It was neither located, nor constructed, as such. None of the provisions relating to sewerage by public drains, to be made and owned by the city, for the use of the abutters on the streets, are applicable to it.

In discussing the question whether it was a “private drain,” it is contended, in behalf of the city, that the defendant, in 1852, had no right to fill up his house lot, which was at the lowest point of a swale crossed by Lincoln street, so as to prevent the water flowing down the gutters either way, during a storm, from passing off over his lot, as before it was filled up.

His right to fill up his lot, depended on the question whether there had been a natural watercourse across the lot before Lincoln street was made. That street was made in 1834. No right to flow water across it had therefore been acquired, by prescription or otherwise, in 1852, unless there had been a watercourse there before 1834. If there had not been a watercourse there, though it was low, swampy land, and, with the adjacent lots, had been overflowed at certain seasons of the year, he had the right to fill it up.

A natural watercourse “consists of bed, banks, and water; yet the water need not flow continuously; and there are many watercourses that are sometimes dry. There is, however, a distinction to be taken in law, between a regular flowing stream of water, which at certain seasons is dried up, and those occasional bursts of water, which in times of freshet, or melting of ice and snow, descend from the hills, and inundate the country.” Angell on Watercourses, 5th ed., § 1. *

In accordance with this definition, it has been held, that, “when there is no watercourse, or stream of water, one cannot claim a right of drainage, or flow of water, from off his land, upon and through the land of another, merely because his land is higher than that of the other, and slopes towards it, so that the water which falls in rain upon it would naturally run over the surface in that direction.” Luther v. Winnissimet Co., 9 Cush., 171.

Whether there had been a watercourse was a question for the jury. If there had not been, then the defendant had the right to fill up his lot; and he was under no obligation to make any drain, or permit the city to make one.

But, if there had been a watercourse, though the defendant had no right to fill it up, still this action could not be maintained. The statute applies only to a “private drain,” made strictly for private use, which the owners may keep open, or fill up, at their option, leaving the street in good repair. But a watercourse is private property only in a restricted sense. The owner of the land through which it flows has no right to fill it up, to divert the water from the land below, nor to turn it back upon the land above. For so doing, he is liable to indictment, or to an action on the case at commonlaw, for the damage caused by the detention or flowage of the water. Calais v. Dyer, 7 Maine, 155.

But the action given by the statute, for the expense of repairing, cannot be applied to a watercourse, even if it is used for a drain. The language is clearly applicable only to drains and sewers which are strictly private property. The city can have no right to use such drains. The owners cannot be under obligation to keep such drains open for the benefit of the city. If the street gutters were opened into them, they would no longer be private, but public.

It is clear that the drain in this case is not such as the statute refers to, as a “private drain.” If it was a watercourse, and the defendant was bound to keep it open, the remedy must be sought in a different action, not for the expense of repairing, but for the damage caused by obstructing it. The verdict must be set aside, and a new trial granted.

Appleton, C. J., Kent, Walton and Barrows, JJ., concurred.

Cutting, Dickerson and Danforth, JJ., disseuted.

Cutting, J. — There are only two kinds of drains known to the law—one a public and the other a private drain. Public drains arc those constructed by the municipal officers of a town under R. S., c. 16, § 2. All other drains are private drains, and embrace two classes. The first such as connect with a public drain by permission of the municipal officers, and the second without such connection; of which latter class the defendant’s drain was one.

It appears that Lincoln street was established and built in 1834, running through a low swale, extending from above and below the sides of the road down and across the lot subsequently purchased and filled up by the defendant; that a culvert was built across the street above the lot, bellow which culvert a drain extended down and through the defendant’s lot to a public drain below. As to the construction of this drain, thus passing through the defendant’s land, by whom and for what purposes built, there was controversy, but none whatever as to its actual existence. It was not a public drain, for it was not constructed by the municipal officers, and, if the street commissioner assisted in its construction, it was without authority and consequently a gratuitous act. It is true the defendant swears “that it is not a private drain nor any use to his lot, nor of any private advantage to him.” The existence of the drain being admitted, it became a question of law as to its character. He may perhaps, now, in a certain sense truly say, after having filled up his lot, dammed up the road, and caused an overflow of water, that the drain is of no use to him so long as he is high and dry, and suffered so to remain in consequence of this drain. But the more important question now is, whether that drain is of any use to the public. When a road is legally laid out, and constructed, no owner of adjoining lands has lawful right by embankments to create an overflow of water; otherwise highways instead of being a public benefit would be a public nuisance, and such would be the situation of Lincoln street, if the defendant should prevail in this suit. Against such an, act even the common law would afford a remedy, which is also found in § 12 of the Act before cited.

The instructions were in harmony with this construction of the law, except they were too favorable for the defendant, by which the damages were reduced as found by the jury.

Dickerson and Danporth, JJ., concurred.

Patriots Day and Ancestor William Grout

My dad worked as an Engineer, at Honeywell, in Lexington, Massachusetts, and enamored with the area and its history, cherished Patriots Day.  In the 1970’s, whilst much of Boston had plans to attend the Red Sox game or cheer for Boston Marathon runners, we rose Monday morning at 4AM and trekked to Lexington to view the early morning reenactment of the battle on Lexington Green. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War, fought within the towns of  Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy [Arlington] and Cambridge.  Although dark, typically cold and sometimes rainy, it was always exciting!

The Colonists wished to run their own affairs and sought their independence from England. In an effort to stop this, the Regulars headed for Concord, on the morning of 19 April 1775, with orders to destroy muskets, powder, cannons and provisions stockpiled at Colonel Barrett’s farm. The Red Coats arrived in Lexington at dawn to find the militia gathered on the Green. The British ordered them to lay down their arms and disperse. Then a shot rang out, “the shot heard around the world”, signifying the start of the American Revolution. When the smoke cleared, two were dead and several wounded.  Women and children ran to their fallen loved ones as the march continued to Concord [a YouTube video of the reenactment, filmed in 2010 can be found here].

Later, we attended the parade, toured historical homes and snacked.

Turns out, my 5th g-grandfather, William Grout, was engaged in the Lexington Alarm! [click on any image for a larger view]



Grout pension

William Grout was born 25 June 1754 in East Sudbury [now Wayland], Massachusetts to William Grout and Eunice Moore (widow of Samuel Cutting). William was their only known child, as the elder William, age 29, was likely killed in action, during the French & Indian War while part of Captain Dakin’s company in Lake George.  

On 20 July 1758, the Indians attacked a group of ten who were scouting. Others from the fort went out to assist; the Indians shot and killed fourteen, including William. The dead were scalped by the Indians and later buried in a mass grave.


Dr. Ebenezer Roby, jr. who was part of the Alarm List (persons between the age of 16 and 60 ordinarily exempt from military duty) that were called to join the First Foot company in Sudbury on 25 April 1757 during the 4th French and Indian war, kept a journal of his service which documents the elder William Grout’s death:

Thursday, 27  [July, 1758]

 A warm morning.  A smart thunder shower about 11 o’cock, very warm before.  I see William Rice who told me that Captain Dakin, Jones and Lawrence, Lieutenant Curtis, William Grout, Jonathan Paterson was killed.  A shower in the afternoon. Lodged on straw bed.

Click for full Diary.

William Grout death

The elder William was the grandson of John Grout, the Puritan, born 1616 who immigrated to America in the early 1600’s, and who from 1675 to 1676  saved Sudbury from certain annihilation in King Phillip’s war. Read of him here – “The Original Captain America Save Sudbury”  After his heroics in the King Phillip War, Grout was promoted to captain, equal to knighthood in England.  Grout was not in the employ of the government and was entitled to pay, but he volunteered his service and received no bounty. he died in 1697 age of 81.

According to g-grandsons Walter Franklin & Wilbur Henry Lansil’s SAR applications, the younger William carried forward his family’s patriotic tradition as part of the Minute Company under the command of Captain Nathaniel Cudworth, in Colonel Abijah Pierce’s regiment, at the Lexington Alarm; he was a private in Captain Thadeus Russell’s company in Colonel Jonathon Brewer’s regiment 1775; in Captain Ashiel Wheeler’s company, Colonel Reed’s regiment 1776 at Ticonderoga; in Captain M. Sawyer’s Company, Colonel Dyke’s regiment 1777-1778; in Captain Seth Newton’s Company, at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Colonel Abijah Stern’s regiment and in Captain William Howe’s Company, Colonel John Rand’s Regiment, 1776, thus serving sixteen months in Revolutionary War times.

FullSizeRender (4)

Captain Nathaniel Cudworth’s participation in April 1775 is documented in written accounts:

The news spread quickly that men had been killed on the Lexington Green.  In Revolutionary Times, this was known as “the Day of the Lexington Alarm”.  The alert went out to every Middlesex village and farm, and developed a life of its own, reaching Worcester and Hampshire counties, New Hampshire and Maine.  The roads began to fill with minutemen and militiamen, advancing on Concord from many directions.

Sudbury sent several units, one being Captain Nathaniel Cudworth’s, with 40 men, likely one of whom was our William Grout.  There is a strong town tradition that Captain Cudworth’s Sudbury Company was heavily engaged on Brook’s Hill [Hudson, Sudbury, 380] and it is also possible that the other six units from Sudbury joined the ambush at Hardy’s [Brook’s] Hill, about a mile from Meriam’s corner, on Wednesday, March 22, 1775 – the fourth day of the Battle.

130 PM

map battle

battle road

Red dawn at Lexington

Lex accout #2

battle 3

Brewers 1775.jpg

In 1833, when William applied for a pension he wrote:

“I William Grout of Frankfort in Said County of Waldo [Maine], do hereby on oath further certify that from old age and bodily infirmity I cannot recollect the precise times which I enlisted in the War of the Revolution, but as near as I can recollect my first enlistment was on or about the 19th day of April 1775 with Captain Thadeus Russell and that I served eight months, the term for which I enlisted….”


Grout’s signed pension file tells us:

1. He was born in East Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1754.

2. That he believes his age is recorded at East Sudbury.

3. That he was living at East Sudbury when he enlisted and since the Revolutionary War he lived seven years in Hillsborough [New Hampshire], from thence two years in east Sudbury and from thence he removed to Frankfort [Maine] where he now lives.

4. That he volunteered his services.

5. That he recollects Col. Josiah Fuller, that General Putnam commanded on Cambridge Side, Prospect Hill, so called; that Col Patterson commanded a regiment and have up a ____ on Bunker Hill; that he recollects Col Carlton of Ticonderoga, but does not now recollect any other material fact but what is contained in his declaration.

6. That he never received any discharge for they were not generally asked for or given at that time.

7. The he is well known by the Rev Joshua Hall, Archibald Jones, Benjamin Shaw, Nehemiah Rich, esq., W. William Andrews and Tisdale Dean of said Frankfort, all or any of whom will testify to his character for veracity and their belief that he was a soldier of the Revolution.


On 1 April 1779, William Grout married Hannah Jennison, daughter of Robert Jennison/Jenison and Sibbella/Sybil Brintall at Sudbury and worked as a carpenter.

Although my research is “work in progress”, they are said to have had at least seven children: Joel, Amos, William, Mary “Polly”, Nancy, Hannah and Eunice.  Census data indicates there may have also been a fifth daughter.

None of these births are recorded in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, however William does appear on the tax records there from 1781 to 1785, after which he apparently relocated to Maine, where many records did not survive.   Since William was the only “Grout” to reside in Hancock County, Maine in that period, and as he had no siblings, it is likely that all Grouts recorded there are descendants.  His children William and Nancy are documented as residing with he and Hannah in 1822.  Nancy later married Nathanial Grant and his pension file further confirms her parentage.

According to the Lansil’s unsupported SAR applications and family lore, my family descends from William’s son Amos of Frankfort, who married Rachael Couillard of Bucksport.  At that time, SAR did not require documentation.  Walter and Wilbur’s mother, Betsey Turner Grout, likely told her sons that her grandfather had fought in the Revolution.  She had first hand knowledge, unlike today’s requirements, further proof was not a requirement.

amos rachael married

A land deed, dated 8 October 1810, filed in Hancock County transferring land from Amos Grout of Frankfort, Gentleman to William Richmond Marc and Tisdale Dean offers further evidence of the marriage. Rachael Grout signs by mark and Joshua Couillard and Arch. Jones witness to signing of Rachael Couillard. This probable error further implies that Rachael Grout was formerly Rachael Couillard.Rachael signature

William Grout was sued in 1800 in the Court of Common Pleas by Benjamin Thompson and Jesse Wyman who asked that Grout, a carpenter, be imprisoned in gaol (jail) at Castine, for debt of fifty dollars and fifty one cents plus thirteen dollars and thirty eight cents for the cost of the suit.

They filed a second suit for forty four dollars and twenty six cents plus twenty five cents more for this writ plus your fees.

lawsuit Grout

100 acres of William’s real estate was set off as debt repayment of one hundred and twenty dollars (he still owed seven dollars and seventy six cents).  The land is described in the case file:

land description Grout

In 1802, probable sons Amos and Joel repurchase the same land, William is a witness – Grout deed 17 Aug 1802`


Another land deed dated 1809 seems to further link father William with sons Amos and Joel (note that Amos’ wife Rachael gives up her rights of dower, thus confirming this is likely “our Amos”).

Click here to read – Grout deed 25 Feb 1809

Amos and Rachael’s daughter, my third g-grandmother, was named Betsey Turner Grout [her story here], perhaps after an aunt –  a Hannah Grout, who according to cemetery records, was born in 1791 on Orphan Island, Maine (home of William Grout the 1790 census year), married a Samuel Turner and named a child William Grout Turner.  Amos and this elder Hannah are likely siblings and he choose to give his child the Turner name, perhaps after a child of his sister’s who was deceased.


A granddaughter of Joel Grout, through his son Robert Clark Grout, Elizabeth Sarah “Lizzie” (Grout) Smith (b. 26 Jul 1849 d. abt 1935) left a short family history.  She recalls her grandfather having three siblings.  Aunt Turner, who resided on Isle Au Haut, Maine; Aunt Drake and a brother who had a son Amos.  She further recalls that Aunt Turner’s daughter married Captain Lampher of Searsport.  Copy here: story-grout

A Mary (Turner) Lampher’s death is reported in Everett, Massachusetts in 1910.  She was reported to have been born in Isle Au Haute to  Samuel Turner and Hannah Grout. Hannah’s birth location is said to be Orphan’s Island, Maine (which is where William Grout was enumerated in 1790).

death certificate.jpg

“Aunt Drake” was likely William’s daughter Mary “Polly” Grout who supposedly married Lemuel Drake (unsourced online trees).  The death certificate of Phoebe (Drake) Perkins, recorded in Winterport in 1905 reports parents as Polly Grout or Grant and Samuel Drake. Samuel and Mary are found in the 1850 census in Newburgh, Maine; an ancestry user reports that Samuel was actually Lemuel.  The 1840 census does include a Lemuel Drake in Newburgh.  In 1820 & 1830 a man of that name was residing in Dixmont, Maine.

In 1850 a Friend Drake was enumerated with this family.  His death, recorded in Winterport, Maine in 1899 names parents as Lemuel and Mary Grout or Grant.  It further reports his mother’s birthplace as Massachusetts. This is possible, given that William Grout’s pension file reports: “he lived seven years in Hillsborough [New Hampshire], from thence two years in east Sudbury and from thence he removed to Frankfort [Maine] where he now lives.”

The “brother” of Joel, who Lizzie names in her history  “had one son named Amos”. My guess it that this brother was Amos, my direct ancestor, son of William Grout, husband of Rachael Couillard, who did have a son Amos.

Lizzie writes: “In the fall of 1859, father sold his Jackson property and we all moved to the old home in Monroe.  Grandfather was dead and uncle Amos (Joel’s son) was living on the place. Sure enough, we find that in Joel’s will, written Nov 1856, he leaves Lizzie’s father, Robert Clark Grout, land in Monroe. Joel’s son Amos is appointed as executor. A copy can be found on here.

William Grout in Later Years

1790 – Orphan Island, Maine [which was part of Massachusetts until 15 March 1820]

The William Grout household in 1790 included seven members:

Home in 1790 (City, County, State): Orphan Island, Hancock, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – Under 16: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over: 2
Free White Persons – Females: 3
Number of Household Members: 7


Description of Orphan Island, once a shipbuilding village:

Desc Orphan

1800 Buckstown [later Bucksport], Maine [which was part of Massachusetts until 15 March 1820]

The 1800 census, having a column “from whence immigrated” further verifies William as the William Grout born in Sudbury. The household included 10 members; the children include three boys and five girls:


Home in 1800 (City, County, State): Buckstown, Hancock, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 10

Description of Buckstown [later Bucksport in 1827]

bucksport 1827

1810-1830 (and likely until death) Frankfort, Maine [which was part of Massachusetts until 15 March 1820]

In 1810 and 1820, the household included five members:

Home in 1810 (City, County, State): Frankfort, Hancock, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 1
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 5
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Frankfort, Hancock, Maine
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 1
Free White Persons – Over 25: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5

And in 1830, just two are listed in the household, likely William and his son William (Hannah likely died between 1824 and 1830 as she does not appear in the 1830 census but is listed on William’s 1822/4 pension application – see below).

Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Frankfort, Oxford, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 70 thru 79: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2

History of Frankfort can be read here

On March 18, 1818, Congress enacted legislation which provided lifetime pensions to poverty stricken Continental Line and US Navy veterans who had served at least 9 months or until the end of the war.  The benefits provided for $20 per month for qualifying officers and $8 per month for non officers.  So many applications were filed under this Act that the legislation was amended on May 1, 1820 to require applicants to submit certified schedules of income and assets with their applications and empowering the Secretary of War, in his sole discretion, to remove from the pension rolls such beneficiaries as he may determine were not in need of financial assistance. On March 1, 1823, Congress passed legislation which resulted in the restoration of some of the pensions disallowed by the Secretary.

Mr. Arthur Livermore, State Representative for New Hampshire, requested a pension on William’s behalf on 19 January 1820 at the 16th Congress, session 1 (recorded on Journal Page 147).  He was referred to the Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims.


On 24 January 1820, his claim was referred to the Secretary of War (recorded on Journal Page 165).

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On 29 March 1820 the report of the Secretary of War, in regards to his pension. was laid before the house (recorded on Journal Page 350).

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Library of Congress, American Memory, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875, , Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States

William’s application for a pension under this act [although the database is labeled land grants?] is found in Hancock County, Maine for his Revolutionary Service. Original documents stored at the Maine State Archives here:Revolutionary war application

He was a carpenter, age 68, who is unable to work due to sickness and great debility. He did not own real estate. His possessions included: 1 hog $4.00, tea kettle & other iron ware $3.00, crockery ware $1.00, chairs, tubs and wooden ware $2.00, sundry small articles $6.00 – total $16.00. He resided with his wife Hannah (66) in Frankfort and two children, Nancy (24) and William (27).

Frankfort vitals

On June 7, 1832, Congress enacted pension legislation extending benefits more universally than under any previous legislation.  This act provided for full pay for life for all officers and enlisted men who served at least 2 years in the Continental Line, the state troops or militia, the navy or marines. Men who served less than 2 years but at least 6 months were granted pensions of less than full pay. Benefits were payable effective March 4, 1831, without regard to financial need or disability and widows or children of were entitled to collect any unpaid benefits due from the last payment to a veteran until his death. William finally was approved to collect under this act.

Payments under this act, which were made available in March and September, began in March 1832 but were retroactive to 4 June 1831. The numbers in the ledger below indicate whether the payment was collected by William (or his representative) in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th quarter.  It also tells us that he likely did not move from Maine in this time frame (usually a notation would indicate a transfer to an alternate pension office).

grout pension final U.S. Pensioners, 1818-1872 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Ledgers of Payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. Pensioners Under Acts of 1818 Through 1858 From Records of the Office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury, 1818-1872; (National Archives Microfilm Publication T718, 23 rolls); Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, Record Group 217; National Archives, Washington, D.C..

William is listed in the 1835 lists of Pensioners.

pensionroll1835i-002067 U.S., The Pension Roll of 1835 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.Original data:United States Senate.The Pension Roll of 1835.4 vols. 1968 Reprint, with index. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992.

Final payment

william final

william final 2.jpgwilliam final 3.jpg

Based on the date of last pension payment, in the 4th quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) of 1836, Grout, in his early 80’s likely died late 1836/early 1837.

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