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Richard Gunderway (abt. 1750 - 1820)

Richard Gunderway aka Gundaway, Gundeway
Born about in Pembroke, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 7 Mar 1785 in Pembroke, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 70 in Pembroke, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 14 Dec 2021
This page has been accessed 269 times.



US Black Heritage Project
Richard Gunderway is a part of US Black heritage.

Richard Gunderway was born about 1750 in Pembroke, Massachusetts[1] He was a free Black man in a time when slavery was legal and common in Massachusetts. He passed away in 1820.

Richard was a Revolutionary War veteran and is the great-grandfather of three Civil War soldiers who served in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. They are Benjamin Franklin Lee (abt.1844-), Warren F. Freeman (1845-1868), and William Henry Freeman (1841-1891)

Revolutionary War Service

Below is the complete transcription from both of Richard Gunderway's entries in "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War":

Descriptive list dated Hutts, New Boston, May 13, 1782; Capt. James Tisdale's (4th) co., 3d Mass. regt.; age, 32 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 9 in.; complexion, negro; hair, black; eyes, black; occupation, yeoman; residence, Scituate; enlisted Aug. 15, 1782; enlistment, 3 years; also. Private, Capt. James Tisdale's co., Col. John Greaton's (3d) regt.; muster roll for Oct., 1782; balance of term of enlistment unexpired, 33 months 6 days.

… Capt. James Tisdale's co.. Col. John Greaton's (3d) regt.; muster roll for Sept. 1782; reported sick in camp; also, Capt. Tisdale's (3d) CO., 3d Mass. regt. commanded by Lieut. Col. James Mellin; muster rolls for Jan. and Feb.1783; also, Capt. James Tisdale's (4th) co., 3d[2]

Richard Gunderway's service spanned about one year. His Revolutionary War pension file can be read at the National Archives.[3]

Probate File

Richard Gunderway's probate file shows that selectmen of the town of Pembroke petitioned for guardianship over Richard's estate because his "excessive drinking" required "maintenance and support" from the town of Pembroke.[4] This should be investigated further as it seems fair to suspect that this was a scheme for the town to swindle the Gunderway family.


  1. See image #13 of Richard's Revolutionary War pension file for an affidavit from John Turner stating that Richard was born and raised in Pembroke.
  2. Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. (1896-1908). "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War: A compilation from the archives". Boston: Wright and Potter Printing Co., State Printers.
  3. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application File W. 24320, Richard Gundeway, Mass.
  4. "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967". microfilm: Probate case files 1686-1881 no 8734-8790 > image 418 of 934; State Archives, Boston.

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