John Gerard

John Gerard

From Garard/Garrard/Gerard/Gerrard/Girard, Descendants of Rev. John, Elias, & William by Robert and Carolyn Gerard, June 1999.

"John enlisted at Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) late in the year 1775. He was recruited at Winchester, Virginia. He served six months as a private in Capt. John Nevill's Company. He reenlisted in early 1777 and served in Capt. Andrew Waggoner's Co. and James Woods 12th Virginia Regiment. He fought in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. While at Valley Forge he reenlisted the day after Christmas in 1777 in Col. Baylor's Regiment of Light Dragons. John was taken prisoner at Tappan Falls, NJ in 1778 and was held in New York until exchanged, length of time unknown. He rejoined his regiment then commanded by Col. William Washington and served until 26 Dec 1780 when he was discharged in South Carolina.

The records of the Goshen Baptist Church in Garards Fort, Pennsylvania show that John was received into the church by baptism 29 Oct 1785. The record also shows that John Gerard would make payment with 3 bushels of Indian corn for the making of fires and repairing of the chimney at the Whitley meeting house, dated 24 Nov 1789. John's wife is never given in the records but two other unaccounted Gerard female names do appear in the records, Rachel and Hannah. John as well as Hannah and Rachel had been dismissed from the church prior to the year 1799. The classes to provide the wine for communion rotation list for 1792 did not include John's name.

John and his family went to the Ohio Territory around 1789/1790. He along with Joseph Martin and others built a fortification close to the Little Miami River where the group settled. It was known as the Garard/Martin Station and was the first fortified settlement in Anderson Township of Hamilton County.

John served as the first Clerk of Anderson Township while his brother, Jesse was the first Constable, according to the History of Hamilton County, 1881. Hamilton Co. Ohio Probate Record 1791-1826, Book 1, p.48 shows that John was granted, 20 Jan 1798, letters of administration for his father, Elias, at the request of the widow. Abner Gerard was named as security in the estate.

This family was one of the early pioneer families of the area that became Miami Co. in 1807. Feb. 4, 1807 John Gerard was appointed an Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the county of Miami by the governor of Ohio, Journal 1, p. 1; he held that position for eight years. Land records in Miami Co. have been researched and it appears that John disposed of all his land in order to avoid probate costs or to be able to apply for a pension.

It is thought John's wife died prior to 30 Aug. 1813 when a John Garard married Rebecca Earls. A deed signed 2 Jun. 1818 by John Garard gave to Rebecca Garard in consideration of natural love and affection a parcel of land. Henry Garard was one of the witnesses to this deed. A search was made for divorce records concerning this John and Rebecca but no early divorce records could be found in the basement of the Miami Co. Courthouse. The 1830 census of Shelby Co. Ohio lists a Rebecca "Geard" age 60/70 living alone in her household. Further research may prove this assumption correct or incorrect.

While residing in Miami Co. Ohio his pension application was executed 4 Dec 1819. He gave his age as 63 years with no wife living at that time and that he was living in the home of one of his children. His pension was approved and issued in 1821 at the rate of $8.00 per month. In that year he was living in Hamilton Co. Ohio with one of his children and certified again that he was 63 years old and had lived in Ohio 37 years and had lived in Virginia previous to that. The last pension was paid 4 Mar 1829 in Hamilton Co.

The names of children born to this union are not known but by the process of elimination and circumstantial evidence the children listed here are thought to belong to this family. Martha married Henry Gerard and they lived in Miami County. Henry was a witness to the land transaction for John, 2 Jun 1818, dB 3, P. 360; and Henry and Martha had an older male living in their household in the 1820 census. Soon after that census Martha died and John was found in Hamilton Co. in 1821. No proof has been found that Mehetable is their child as stated in the work of Lindsay Brien, but several descendants believe she is his daughter. Another likely child is John L. Gerard, born in Virginia, who married Elizabeth Huddleston in Hamilton County in 1811.


GOSHEN BAPTIST CHURCH RECORDS, Garards Fort, Pennsylvania."