JOHN McFERRAN, War of 1812

Submitted by Virginia Simms Toney.

Selections From National Archives Pension File

Bounty Land Warrant - Service in War of 1812
Bounty Land Warrant - Document 2
Bounty Land Warrant - Document 3
Bounty Land Warrant - Document 4

Wheeling, VA 29th Oct 1850

Hon. Sir,
I herewith transmit the evidence of my claim to the bounty of the Government based upon actual service, the terms although brief, was of momentous improtance, being attached to a company which was deservedly entitled to the credit of tern___ the mortal carreers of the British Major General Ross famed for sacking & destroying the Embelishments of your City & whose life & Carreer if it had not been checked by the Sharp Shooters, might have been the death of thousands with a repetition of the scenes & destruction of Washington at the City of Baltimore, my native City.

If agreeable & convenient I would respectfully request your ___ly attention to my claims, as possibly if the administration would grant me a state either in California or Texas that I would migrate.

Yours with Respect,
John McFerran

Please send me a few forms for applicants & instruct me how to obtain the Patent office repors & obl___

Commonwealth of Virginia
County of Ohio & City
of Wheeling

On the 29th day of October A.D. One thousand eight hundred and fifty, personally appeared before me the Mayor of the said city within and for the County and Commonwealth aforesaid, John McFerran aged fifty six years, a resident of the City of Wheeling in the Commonwealth of Virginia, who being duly sworn according to law declares, that he is the identical John McFerran, who was a Sergeant in the First Baltimore Sharp Shooters commanded by Capt. Edward Aisquith in the First Rifle Battalion of Maryland Militia commanded by the Honourable Major William Pinkney, in the War with Great Britain, declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812, that he volunteered on or about the 18th day of August AD 1814 for and during the War and continued in actual service in said war, for the term of three months and was honourably (sic) discharged at Baltimore, Maryland on the 18th day of November 1814 as well appear by the Muster rolls of said company on file in the office of 3rd Auditor of the Treasury Department of the United States.

He maketh this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which he may be entitled under the "act granting bounty land to certain officers & soldiers, who have been engaged in the Military Service of the United States, passed September 28th 1850.

John McFerran

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year above written, And I hereby certify that I believe the said John McFerran to be the identical man who served as aforesaid and that he is of the age above stated. Given under my hand & the corporate seal of said city this 29th day of October A.D. 1850.

Alfred Caldwell


Book 4, Ohio County, West Virginia

I, John McFerran of the city of Wheeling West Virga (sic) hereby revoking all last wills and testaments heretofore made by me, do make and publish this my last will and testament, in manner and form following, that is to say I give devise and bequest unto Jane Bell Sweeney, wife of Thos. S. for her sole and separate use and excluding all marital rights of her husband, one moietey (sic) of all my real personal and mixed estate, except my Law Library, which I give and bequeath to John McFerran Sweeney or the proceeds thereof if his parents Thos Sweeney and Jane B. Sweeney may deem expedient. I also give and bequeath to M. Thos Sweeney two Land warrents one numbered 1091 for 160 acres and the other numbered 40992 for 80 acres and my Gold watch & Gold headed cane, and if it should be the will of Providence that the said Jane B. Sweeney should die before her husband Thos. Sweeney my desire is that the above moitie (sic) shall be equally distributed to her issue M. Thos Sweeney, John McFerran Sweeney & Ann Eliza Jane Sweeney or any other heirs she may have and in case of the death of either of the above named heirs then to go to the survivors equally as may be deemed proper & expedient - - I also devise give & bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth M. Gilfillan wife of Edward Gilfillan the other moitie of my Estate Real personal and mixed for her sole and separate use and excluding all marital rights, during her Natural life and if she should die without issue, then the said Moietie(sic)to go to the heirs of Jane B. Sweeney - It is my desire that Thos. Sweeney the husband of Jane B. Sweeney be the Executor of this my last Will & Testament

John McFerran

As the intent & object of a will is to fulfill the wish & desire of the testator I do hereby express & repeat that all my Estate real or personal shall be distributed to my lawful and legal connections & issue, that is to say to be equally divided with Jane B. Sweeney & Elizabeth M. Gilfillan & if either Jane B. Sweeney or Elizabeth M. Gilfillan should die, that their respective legacy shall be distributed to their respective legal heirs already living or that may be born after my death, but if Elizabeth Gilfillan should die without lawful issue my desire is that her portion or moitie shall be given to the heirs of Jane B. Sweeney or her assigns, and lastly, my express will & meaning is and I do hereby order and appoint, that if any difference, dispute, question or controversy shall be moved, arise or happen, concerning any gift, bequest, or devise or other matter or thing in this my will expressed or contained, that then no suit or suits in law or equity or otherwise shall be brot (sic) commenced or prosecuted for or concerning the same, but the same shall be referred wholly to the award order & determination of the Recorder of the County of Ohio West Virginia & what he shall order direct or determine therein shall be binding & conclusive to all & every person and persons therein concerned.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this eight(sic) day of Oct in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred & sixty five

John McFerren


Wheeling Intelligencer - 26 Aug 1868

PASSING AWAY - Under its apropriate(sic) head in our colums (sic) this morning will be found announced the death of John McFerran, Esq. For many years a resident in this city. Mr. McFerran came to Wheeling about forty years ago from Baltimore, where he spent the earlier years of his life. When that city was menaced by the British forces under General Ross the subject of this brief notice belonged to a military company which bore an honorable part in resisting the advance of that proud and profane officer, and many of our citizens will remember with what pride Mr. McFerran was accustomed to refer to his participation in that memorable event. To the close of his life, we believe, he retained his membership in an organization formed in the city of Baltimore and known as the "Old Defenders," and before he became so enfeebled by age as to prevent his meeting with his old comrades in arms, he annually joined them in celebrating the victory they achieved. The State of Maryland, if we are not mistaken, acknowledged the value of the services rendered by the military company mentioned above by giving each one a certificate thereas(?) and paying them a pension.

One by one, and at short intervals, our old citizens are passing away. But yesterday the remains of Samuel Ott, Esq. were consigned to the tomb, and today at 2 o’clock the family and friends of Mr. McFerran will bear all that is mortal of him to the quiet and seclusion of Greenwood. Like his comptemary just mentioned, Mr. McFerran filled up the measure of days allotted to man on earth, and like him his departure leaves a void in the community not easily filled.

My notes on John McFerran:

Carol A. Scott’s "Marriage and Death Notices of Wheeling, WV and the Tri-State Area 1866-1870:

McFerran, John Esq. 23 Aug 1868 75 y, at his residence in North Wheeling, one of the defenders of Baltimore in 1812 (Baltimore papers please copy) Wheeling Intelligencer 25/26 Aug 1868

McFerran, John 23 Aug 1868, at his residence in North Wheeling from Daily Register 25 Aug 1868

John McFerran married Elizabeth Wright Moore who died 11 Feb 1865. Their children were Jane Bell McFerran who married 26 Mar 1845 Wheeling Assoc. Reform Church and Elizabeth Milton McFerran who married 21 Sep 1864 Edward Gilfellan of Parkersburg, WV.

John McFerran was named with his mother Jane as executor of his father, John McFerran’s Will 12 Jan 1820. John’s mother Jane died 09 Apr 1839.

John McFerran whose death notice I have typed in this article was the uncle of my great, great grandmother, Anna Dean Lyeth Carlin. Anna Dean Lyeth’s father, Samuel, fought with John McFerran in the War of 1812.