Henry PAYTON served as a private in the Revolution with the Amherst County Riflemen. The “Cabell County Annals and Families” by George Selden Wallace of 1935, credited the service of Henry PAYTON as “first as a substitute at $20.00 a month, was on garrison duty at Point Pleasant, was at Guilford Court House and at Yorktown, later at Winchester guarding prisoners, a privater in the Virginia Militia.”
Henry PAYTON made application for a pension on 28 October 1833, when he was seventy-three years of age and a resident of Cabell County, Virginia. His pension was approved, but then, as often happened with these honorable patriots, for some reason his statement of service was declared fraudulent, resulting in his name being removed from the Revolutionary Pension Rolls.
I have encountered this same sequence of events with one of my own ancestors who was impressed as a teenager to carry a message from southeastern Virginia to Fort Pittsburg and who afterwards enlisted in the Continental Army, yet was never able to document his service to the government’s satisfaction. Another of my ancestors did qualify for his pension, but his exact-named cousin in the adjoining county was declared a “fraud” because the government considered it was already paying him a pension. I have sympathized with them at having given such invaluable service to their new nation, and then be declared dishonest and frauds as old soldiers in their waning years.
During his lifetime, Henry PAYTON petitioned several times to restore his good name, and finally on 16 February 1839, an act of the U.S. Congress reinstated his pension and made it retroactive to 1831. To add further insult to the soldier’s memory, the death date of 1836, on his grave marker that was placed by a Revolutionary War lineage society, was wrong. Henry PAYTON was alive in 1839, and still writing letters to Washington as late as 1842.
As of today, even though a number of descendants of three different children of Henry PAYTON had joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) under his Revolutionary War Service, his line has been closed, as the statement of fraud has been “rediscovered” in his pension record. Once again as genealogists, we see how difficult it is to correct errors of many years ago that were put in “official” writings. It will now be necessary for a descendant of patriot Henry PAYTON to join the DAR under his lineage and include a copy of H.R. Bill 1150 as proof of his service, or for a descendant who is already a DAR member to make a supplemental application proving his Revolutionary War service. Hopefully, someone will be able to once again, reinstate the good “Patriot” name of Henry PAYTON (Henry Lindsey PEYTON) of Amherst and Cabell Counties, Virginia.
When I first published the First Edition of “PEYTONS Along the Aquia Genealogy” in 2004, I included on page 140, a photocopy of H.R. 1150 of the United States Congress, dated February 16, 1839, “For the relief of Henry PEYTON.” Page 141 onward contains some of the descendants of Henry PAYTON – one of the ‘PEYTONs Along the Aquia’ descendants.
A comment was made on May 17, 2008, at "Blog Some Genealogy" by Barbara Van Houte: "Thank you for this information about Henry Peyton. He wrote a letter that is in the RW file of William Davis of Amherst County, VA, who married Benedicta Milstead in 1787 in Amherst. William and Benedictia and family moved to Greenbrier & Fayette Counties of WV. Benedicta was the daughter of Joseph and Rebecca Milstead."
See Henry Lindsey Peyton of Cabell County