(-After 1767)
2nd Mrs. Benjamin Scrivner


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Mary COX

Benjamin SCRIVNER 3

  • Born: 20 Jun 1757, Plumstead, Bucks County, Pennsylvania 2 3
  • Marriage: Mary COX on 28 Dec 1779 in Rowan County, North Carolina 1 2
  • Died: 16 Mar 1835, Smith County, Tennessee 2 3

bullet  Research Notes:

I am indebted to Doris Scrivner Collier for most of the information on Benjamin and Mary (Cox) Scrivner and their children contained herein. (It should be noted that Doris also often supplies interesting individual narratives in her book, which supplement the basic genealogical data.) Although she is a tough act to follow, I have tried to supplement her information with research of my own, particularly with respect to the records of Smith County, Tennessee. My contributions, however, have been modest, mostly relating to transcriptions of documents from the Revolutionary War pension file for Benjamin Scrivner and to an examination of the meager estate records for Benjamin and Mary. [I had more success finding information on Thomas Scrivner, half brother of Benjamin, and Thomas' son, Jonathan, both of whom also lived in Smith County. See their respective web pages for this research.] 4


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census: 1820, Smith County, Tennessee. 5

Family 1858
Scrivner, Benjamin:
1 male under 10, 1 male 10-16, 1 male over 45;
1 female over 45.

[Benjamin is presumed to be the male over 45.]

[Note: Although the 1820 census is partially alphabetized, it may still be a good indicator of how close the various Strongs and Scrivners lived to one another.]

2. Military Pension Application: 1832, Smith County, Tennessee. 2

Selected excerpts relating to Benjamin's application for a Revolutionary War pension, from the War of the Revolution Pension File No. W6000 for Benjamin Scrivner:

The Declaration:

"State of Tennessee, Smith County
On this 5th day of September 1832, personally appeared before me John [originally James, but that name was struck and John was substituted] Tubb one of the justices of the court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for said county in said State (the said court being a court of record) Benjamin Scrivner a citizen of said county aged 75 years on the 20th day of June last past, 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 of the act of Congress passed the 7th day of June 1832. That he volunteered in the service of the United States some time during the revolutionary war, but at what particular date he cannot presently state; he entered service in the state of Pennsylvania. Northhampton county, under General Woodford, & John Oakley Quarter Master General, the names of the other officers he cannot now recollect; that part of the Army under the command of General Woodford was, at the time his applicant joined it, lying near Germantown in said State. Immediately after he entered the service he was employed in carrying expresses from General Woodford to a place called Little York & then back to Gen. Woodford again, when he was not thus engaged he was employed as a common soldier, such as standing guard __ for Gen Woodford remained stationary nearly the whole of the time that this applicant was with him, which was about eight months the length of time for which this applicant had volunteered -- he cannot recollect the names of any other officers, nor was he in any battle or engagement during the said 8 months. When his term of service expired, he received a regular discharge signed by John Oakley Quarter Master General, as aforesaid, which discharge will be accounted for hereafter.

After this applicant received his discharge as aforesaid he went to the State of North Carolina, Rowan County, when & where the tories were doing a great deal of mischief. When he arrived in North Carolina, he volunteered again for 6 months (the date he cannot recollect but expects to prove the date of this service by a disinterested witness then and there living) & entered the service of the United States under General Rutherford, Cols. Isaacs, Capt Jacob Nichols, Lieutenant _____ [blank in original] Chapman, James Beaty (orderly sergeant) he does not recolect the names of any other officers under Gen Rutherford. After he had remained with General Rutherford until his time of service had expired during which time they had many skirmishes with the tories, he received a written discharge from Gen Rutherford, signed by his Captain Jacob Nichols, which discharge will also be accounted for, hereafter. A short time after he was discharged as last above named, he Volunteered, (a third time) in the said State of North Carolina, Rowan County, and entered the service again under the same General Rutherford, Cols. Lapp, Major Frederick Smith, Capt. Peter Hendrick & Lieutenant Hagle. The tories were now very troublesome -- shortly after he entered the service this last time Cols. Childs came up from neighborhood of Deep River a distance of about 50 or 60 miles and brought news that the tories were doing great damage there, where upon General Rutherford ordered the troops under his command to march immediately to Deep river to subdue the tories, the troops to which this applicant belonged did march to that place & had a very severe skirmish with the tories, many of whom were killed, some hung, in this skirmish Cols. Childs was shot through the arm & his arm was broke by the ball. After we had dispersed the tories and Deep river the troops returned to Rowan and we continued to pursue & annoy the tories whenever we could hear of them, we were thus engaged until the six months for which this applicant had volunteered had expired, when he together with many others in the same service were dismissed without any written discharge. Not long after this last campaign to Deep river & his discharge as aforesaid, he was drafted to go a campaign into South Carolina to Purillsburgh under the same General Rutherford & Capt Peter Headrick, the names of the other officers he has forgotten; the troops marched to Purillsburgh in South Carolina & shortly after our arrival there, we received intelligence that peace was made and we were discharged by General Rutherford & our discharges were signed by our Capt Peter Headrick. This applicant is wholly unable to state the dates when he entered into or was discharged from the service, but expects he can prove by disinterested persons, what will be satisfactory ot the war department upon this subject -- He was in no battle or engagement except the skirmishes with the tories as aforesaid, which were very frequent. This applicant has no documentary evidence by which he can prove his service as aforesaid -- but expects to prove by the acompanying certificates & affidavits several particulars in relation to dates & other circumstances relative to his said service, which from old age and great length of time has entirely faded from his recollection. He had carefully preserved the three discharges spoken of above, though not with the view of their ever profiting him anything, until the fall of the year 1825, when his dwelling house together with what little property he had therein and the three discharges above spoken of were consumed by fire, by which this applicant is deprived, not only of the best means of proving the services above described, but is also, thereby, reduced to the most abject & hapless poverty.

(Here the interrogatories prescribed by the war department were propounded to the applicant)

1 Where and in what year was you born? Ans -- I was born in the state of Pennsylvania & county of Plumstead & on the 20th day of June 1757.

2 Have you any record of your age & if so where is it? Answer I had and it was burned when my house was burnt as above stated.

3 Where were you living when called into service; and where have you lived since the revolutionary war & where do you now live? Answer the foregoing declaration contains a full answer to this Question.

4 State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where your served, such continental and militia Regements as you can recollect & the general circumstances of your service? I am unable to give any better answer to this question that has been detailed in the foregoing declaration.

5 How were your called into the service was your drafted, did you volunteer, or was you a substitute & if so for whom? The answer to this question is also to be found in the foregoing declaration.

6 Did you ever receive a discharge from the service & if so by whom was it given & what has become of it? I recd. 3 different discharges signed by the persons as stated in the above declaration & the same were burned together with my house in the fall of 1825 as above stated --

7 State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood, & who can testify as to character for veracity, & their belief of your services as a soldier of the revolution. Answer -- I refer you to Levi A. Durham, Samuel Walker , James Jones, and many others of my neighbors who have known me for many years.

This applicant hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, & declares that his name is no on the pension roll of the agency of any state." [Signed by Benjamin (his X mark) Scrivner and acknowledged by John Tubbs, J.P.]

Supporting Affidavits:

"We Levi A. Durham a clergiman, residing in the county of Smith & State of Tennessee -- and Samuel Walker a citizen of the same county & state, do hereby certify that we are will acquainted with Benjamin Scrivner who has subscribed & sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be seventy five years of age that he is reputed & believed in the neighborhood where he resides, to have been a soldier of the revolution, and that we concur in that opinion." [Signed by Levi A. Durham and Samuel Walker and acknowledged by John Tubb, J. P.]

"And I the said Justice fo hereby declare my opinion after the investigation of the matter & after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the war department , that the above named applicant was a revolutionary war soldier, and served as he states & I do further certify that it appears to me that Levi A. Durham who has signed the preceding certificate, is a clergyman, resident in the county of Smith & State of Tennessee, and that Samuel Walker who has also signed the same is a resident citizen in the same county & state & is a credible person, & that their statement is entitled to full credit. I do also further certify that the above named applicant is very infirm, & lives at a distance of about 15 [?] miles from the nearest place of holding any court of record, & that he cannot without very great inconvenience attend at the court house to make his declaration, that he cannot ride on horse back attall." [Signed by John Tubbs, J.P.]

"State of Tennessee, Smith County, September the 5th 1832.
I do hereby certify that I have been acquainted with Benjamin Scrivner for about twenty years, I was first acquainted with him in the State of North Carolina -- Roan County and I always understood that he was a Revolutionary Soldier. I have frequently heard my father state that Mr. Benj Scrivner and himself was five months ____mates together in the State of North Carolina, against the Tories in the Revolutionary War." [Signed by James (his X mark) Jones. Acknowledged by John Tubb, J.P.]

"State of Tennessee, Smith County, September the 6th 1832.
I do hereby Certify that I have been Acquainted with Benjamin Scrivener for about or near seventy one years. I was first acquainted with him in Pennsylvania Northhampton County for about ______ [thirteen or thirtee?] years and then in North Carolina Roan County where I knew him to be a Revolutionary soldier for I knew him to be Drafted for six months. ______ his officers was Col. Lopp [?] Magor Smith Capt Peter Headrick I think as ______ [near?] as I can recolect it was in the year 1779 and after that ______ [tour?] of Service he was a Minitt man was Constant after the Toreys." [Signed by Mary (her X mark) Briggs and acknowledged by John Tubb, J.P. ] [Unstated was the fact that Mary Briggs was the sister of Benjamin Scrivner.]

"State of Tennessee, Smith County, September the 11th day of 1832
I do hereby Certify that I have been acquainted with Benjamin Scrivner as stated in the foregoing declaration for upwards of thirty years and believe him to be entitled to full credit on his oath, and have always understood that he was a soldier in the revolutionary war." [Signed by Josiah Baird and acknowledged by John Tubb, J.P.]

Power of Attorney

"Know all men by these presents that Benjamin Scrivner of the county of Smith and state of Tennessee for diverse good causes and considerations reposing special confidence and trust in my friend James Tubb [Jr?] do [order?] constitute & appoint him the sd Tubb my true and Lawful Attorney to draw and Receive of the pay master appointed for the purpose of paying the officers & soldiers of the United States all the money due me for a tour of duty of six months in ___ Robertsons Company of Militia & receipt for the same in as full and ample a manner as if I was present personally. Ratifying & confirming what ever my said attorny doth [as touching?] these premissis[?] as witness I have here unto set my hand and seal" [Signed by Benjamin Scrivener and witnessed by John Tubb and John Reynolds.]

[This Power of Attorney is a loose undated document that was probably part of the original pension application.]

3. Military Pension Administration: 1833-1835, Smith County, Tennessee. 2

A summary of the details of Benjamin's Revolutionary War pension, from the War of the Revolution Pension File No. W6000 for Benjamin Scrivner:

The cover of the pension packet shows that Benjamin Scrivner of Smith County, Tennessee was a private in the company commanded by Captain Nichols of the regt commanded by Col. Lopp[Lock?] in the Pennsylvania line for 1 year and 5 months. His name was inscribed on the Roll of W. Tennessee at the rate of $56.66 per annum to commence on the 4th day of March 1831. A Certificate of Pension issued the 2 day of Aug 1833 and was sent to Jonathan Pickett, Carthage. The initial reward was for $141.65, which included arrears to the 4th of March in the amount of $113.32 and the semi-annual allowance of $28.33 for the period ending 4 Sept. Recorded at Book E, Vol. 7, Page 96.

On 22 Jan 1835, Benjamin Scrivner petitioned for a replacement certificate. He made the following declaration: "that he is the same person who formerly belonged to the company commanded by Captain Jacob Nichols, and once under Peter Headrick, in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Francis Lock in the service of the United States that his name was placed on the pension Roll of the State of Tennessee that he recd a Certificate of that fact under the signature and seal of the Secretary of War which Certificate on or about the 28th day of September 1834 he placed in the hands of Taylor Bennitt together with a power of Attorney to draw his pension from the 4th Sept 1833 to 4th September 1834 and as he is informed said Certificate and power of attorney was lost or stolen from said Taylor Benitt so that ___ can not be obtained when on his way to Nashville to draw said pension." [Signed Benjamin (his X mark) Scrivner and acknowledged by James Goodner, J.P.] A duplicate certificate was issued 23 Feb 1835 and the record shows payment through 4 Mar 1835. He died later that month.

4. Estate Administration: 1835-1836, Smith County, Tennessee. 6

14 Oct 1835, Pages 273-274
William Floyd, administrator of the Estate of Benjamin Scrivner, Dec'd, appeared in court and "suggested the Estate of said Benjamin Scrivener Dec [was] insolvent or insufficient to pay the Debts" of said estate. The court thereupon ordered William Floyd, as administrator, to give notice in some newspaper published in the state and also at the court house in Catharge to the creditors of the Estate of Benjamin Scrivner, Dec'd, to come forward and file their claims on or before 1 Feb 1836. The administrator was further ordered to file on or before said date a true and perfect schedule of the assets of said estate.

11 Apr 1836, Pages 275
William Floyd, administrator of the Estate of Benjamin Scrivner, Dec'd, filed a schedule which showed the estate consisted of $84.00. The clerk of the court thereupon appointed Robert P. Allison, James J. Young and John H. Tugg [Tubb?] as commissioners to make a prorata distribution among the creditors, as required by State law.

[Date?], Page 276
The commissioners filed a report showing the following creditors, the amount of each's claim, and the prorated claim: David Scrivener, $15.00 > $11.28; William Floyd, $36.36 > $27.365; Sarah Strong, $21.62 > 16.265; Mary Strong, $5.50 > $4.145; John Scrivener, $19.00 > $14.29; and Williams & Son, $1.75 > $1.40. The prorated claims were based on a total of $74.75 available for distribution after paying $9.25 for the expenses of administration as follows: William Floyd for serving as administrator, $3.00; Jack R. ____ [reason unknown], $1.75; John J. Burnett for court fees, $3.00; and Commissioner fees, $1.50.

[One would expect the two creditors, David Scrivener and John Scrivener, to have been Benjamin's younger sons, although David (William David Scrivner) had been living in Cole County, Missouri since the early 1820's. John was enumerated in the 1840 census for neighboring Cannon County. While creditor's claims by children of a deceased are somewhat unusual, even if they rendered financial assistance to their parents in their later years, such claims may have been spurred by the existence of claims by non-family members. which otherwise would have largely depleted Benjamin's estate. Their claims may have been made to salvage some assets for their surviving mother.

The fact William Floyd was the administrator for the estate may suggest a lack of family residing in the area, or may have simply resulted because he was the largest creditor of an insolvent estate.

Sarah Strong was the wife of John Strong, presumed father of Hiram Strong. Hiram Strong was married to Rebecca Scrivner, daughter of Moses and Nancy Scrivner and thus a granddaughter of Benjamin and Mary Scrivner. Mary Strong was an adult unmarried daughter of John Strong from a previous marriage. I suspect Sarah and Mary Strong provided personal services to Benjamin and Mary Scrivner in the years preceding Benjamin's death.]


Benjamin married Mary COX, daughter of Moses COX and Sarah, on 28 Dec 1779 in Rowan County, North Carolina.2 3 (Mary COX was born about 1762 in Rowan County, North Carolina 3 and died on 19 Feb 1839 in Cannon County, Tennessee 2 3.)



1 Doris Scrivner Collier, The Descendants of Benjamin Scrivner (Published by Doris Scrivner Collier, Florissant, Missouri, 1990), Page 131. As of 2005, Doris' e-mail address was and her postal address was 177 Sanctuary Dr., Dardene Prairie, MO 63368.

2 War of the Revolution Pension File No. W6000 for Benjamin Scrivner, National Archives.

3 Doris Scrivner Collier, The Descendants of Benjamin Scrivner (Published by Doris Scrivner Collier, Florissant, Missouri, 1990), Page 131.

4 Doris Scrivner Collier, The Descendants of Benjamin Scrivner (Published by Doris Scrivner Collier, Florissant, Missouri, 1990), Page 131-304.

5 1820 Census, Smith County, Tennessee, Image 50 of 62.

6 Inventories of Estates, Smith County, Tennessee, 1827-1840, FHL Film No. 319,220, Pages 273-276.

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