Researching My Revolutionary War Ancestor Noah Marsh

My fifth-great-grandfather Noah Marsh (1755-1830) was a Revolutionary War soldier and the father of 13 children. I didn’t know much about Noah aside from his military service, so I decided to research him using GenealogyBank.

A screenshot of GenealogyBank's search page showing a search for Noah Marsh
Source: GenealogyBank

One of the first records that pulled up after searching for just Noah’s first and last name was his obituary.

An obituary for Noah Marsh, American Advocate newspaper article 13 November 1830
Source: GenealogyBank, American Advocate (Hallowell, Maine), 13 November 1830, page 3

I knew that he was a Revolutionary War veteran, but I wanted to know more about his service, so I kept looking through the search results. Under the Government Publications section on GenealogyBank I found something interesting: a rejected 1838 pension application by Noah’s widow, Hannah (1754-1844).

Photo: rejection notice for pension request from Hannah Marsh, widow of Noah Marsh, 11 January 1838
Source: GenealogyBank, “Noah Marsh” Report from the Secretary of War, with statements of rejected applications for pensions. January 11, 1838. Referred to the Committee on Pensions, and ordered to be printed.

This is terrific.

What a find!

Notice the reason listed for rejecting her application: “Husband was not in actual service after the date of his marriage.” A good clue that this was his second wife.

GenealogyBank show that he received a pension in 1818.

Photo: pension record for Noah Marsh, 28 March 1818
Source: GenealogyBank, “Noah Marsh” Message from the President of the United States, transmitting a report of the Secretary of War, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate “to cause to be laid before them a list of all the pensioners of the United States, the sum annually paid to each, and the states or territories in which the said pensioners are respectively paid.” March 28, 1818. Printed by order of the Senate of the United States.

Next, I googled “Noah Marsh Revolutionary War” and found his name listed at the bottom of the second column on a New Hampshire Muster Roll that I found online using Google Books.

Photo: Revolutionary War rolls for New Hampshire
Source: Google Books, Provincial and State Papers, Volume 14, New Hampshire (Colony) Probate Court. 1885. Page 312.

From another Google Books result I learned that Noah served in the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment in 1777 and that he was wounded in action.

Photo: record showing Noah Marsh received a wound during the Revolutionary War
Source: Google Books, Provincial and State Papers, Volume 17, New Hampshire. 1889. Page 465.

In addition, I learned that his unit, the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, had spent the brutal winter of 1777-1778 in Valley Forge and his name is on the Valley Forge Muster Roll of that unit at Valley Forge, provided by Interestingly there is the notation “sick at Albany.” So, I don’t know if he remained hospitalized in Albany, New York, during this period or if he actually spent the winter in Valley Forge with his unit.

Photo: Noah Marsh record on the Valley Forege muster roll during the Revolutionary War

According to this website, Poor’s Brigade entered Valley Forge in December 1777 and left July 1778 as a part of Lee’s Division.

A Wikipedia article on Valley Forge says the following about that winter:

“Valley Forge was the military camp 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Philadelphia where the American Continental Army spent the winter of 1777–78 during the American Revolutionary War. Starvation, disease, malnutrition, and exposure killed more than 2,500 American soldiers by the end of February 1778.”

Amazingly, Noah survived that winter and lived another 52 years.

According to my FamilySearch notes, Noah died in Cornville, Somerset County, Maine, in October 1830 and was buried in the West Ridge Cemetery in Cornville. Here is a photo of his gravestone from Find a Grave. See:

Photo: gravestone for Noah Marsh
Photo: Gravestone of Noah Marsh, West Ridge Cemetery, Cornville, Somerset County, Maine. Source: Find a Grave.

Thank you GenealogyBank – I learned a lot about my ancestor Noah Marsh.

Genealogy Tip: Use GenealogyBank and free sources online to find historical records that can help you learn more about your ancestor’s military service in the Revolutionary War.

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