William Pauley: Revolutionary War Soldier

Biography of William Pauley


William Pauley was born on 2 March 1762 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. By the time he enlisted in the Virginia Militia in 1780, his family was living in Montgomery County, Virginia. His home was located near the middle fork of Walker's Creek. He enlisted into the militia under Captain Thomas English and Lieutenant John Hays. He also spent time under the commands of Colonels Campbell and Armstrong, and Captains Joseph Cloyd, John Preston and James Montgomery. He served between six and eight months total over a 12-month period during the years 1780-81. This included participation in the battle on Reedy Fork of the Haw River. Following his enlistment, William Pauley returned to Montgomery County where he married Margaret Munsey on 11 April 1787. They settled in the section of Montgomery County that later became part of Wythe County. That same year, William's brother Thomas married Margaret's sister Abigail.

In 1807 the Pauley family moved across the state line and settled in Campbell County, Tennessee. William purchased a 140-150 acre tract of land from James McCracken, lying on the waters of Indian Creek and extending to the base of the Cumberland Mountains. Few records were left behind by this family, but William Pauley did sign a petition in 1813 along with many other Powell Valley residents to try to have the county seat moved closer to Claiborne County. He also witnessed a few deeds of his friend and neighbor, Andrew Hatfield. Pauley's daughter Mary wed Davis Hatfield around 1823 and remained in the Stinking Creek area until her death in the late 1830s.

In 1829 William Pauley sold the land he and his family had lived on for 22 years to Isaac Moyers, and then removed to Montgomery County, Indiana.

In February 1832, Pauley purchased three 80-acre tracts of land in Washington Township, Boone County, Indiana. He lived on this land until his death on 22 November 1838. His death, at age 76, came about as the result of a fall. He is buried in the old Precinct Cemetery, which is now called Bethel Hill Cemetery, three miles east of Thorntown in Washington Township. His wife Margaret was still living there as of the 1850 census, and many generations of Pauleys have continued to live in the area. A county-provided Revolutionary War monument decorates William and Margaret Pauley's gravesite. It was unveiled on 24 September 1899, with nearly 2,000 onlookers present. A Thorntown lawyer by the name of Ira Sharp gave the dedication, and Pauley's granddaughter, Mrs. Wilson Beck, unveiled the monument. Several of William's children, their spouses and a few of their children are also buried in Bethel Hill.

William Pauley was a blacksmith by trade, and his religious affiliation was Methodist. He may have had as many as 13 children, but only 10 were named as being alive or having heirs during the probate hearings following his death. They were:

  • Nancy Pauley, married to John McClary/McCleary/McCleery.
  • William Pauley, married to Rebecca;
  • Elijah Pauley;
  • Joseph Pauley, married to Sarah Blaine;
  • Wesley Pauley, married to Mary Smith;
  • Neomia (Naomie) Pauley, married to Sawyer Smith;
  • Elizabeth Pauley, married to James Turner;
  • John Pauley, married to Hannah Emily Swinney/Sweeney;
  • Margaret Pauley, married to James Smith;
  • Mary Pauley, married to Davis Hatfield.


Indiana. Boone County. Lebanon. County Clerk's Office. Boone County Probate Complete Record A.

Tennessee. Campbell County. Jacksboro. County Clerk's Office. Deed Book, Volume A.

Tennessee. Campbell County. Jacksboro. County Clerk's Office. Deed Book, Volume E.

Washington: National Archives. Revolutionary War Pension File. W10233.

Indiana. Boone County. Washington Township. Bethel Hill Cemetery. Grave Markers.



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© Mike Curtis, 1999-2001
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23 October 2001