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Thomas Ogan (abt. 1741 - abt. 1813)

Thomas Ogan
Born about in At Sea- Atlantic Oceanmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Brother of
Husband of — married about 1766 in Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Rockingham County, Virginiamap
Profile manager: Chet Ogan private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 10 Aug 2016
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Thomas Ogan served during the American Revolution
Service started:
Service ended:


Original research by Chet Ogan. Oganc(at)

Thomas Ogan was born in 1741 AT SEA and died before 7 December 1813 in Rockingham County, Virginia. His family likely settled in south central Pennsylvania, perhaps Montgomery, Chester, or Lancaster County. According to historian Billie Jo Monger, Thomas Ogan was among several Rockingham County, Virginia, men who fought for Washington both during the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War and who tried to enlist for the War of 1812.

On July 28, 1775 Thomas Ogan formally enlisted into Captain Matthew Smith's Company, Cmpy I (6th Company of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, Colonel William Thompson's Rifle Battalions), which was recruited from the part of Lancaster County which in 1785 became Dauphin County (near present-day Harrisburg, PA). Recruited by July 28, 1775, after a swift 10-day, 400 mile march from Pennsylvania, the unit was at Boston on August 7, 1775. They first saw action at the Siege of Boston. What were these riflemen like? We have this description: Doctor James Thacher, a young doctor from Barnstable who observed the regiment during August 1775, provided this description. "They are remarkably stout and hardy men, many of then exceeding six feet in height. They are dressed in white frocks or rifle shirts and round hats. The men are remarkable for the accuracy of their aim, striking a mark with certainty at two hundred yards distance. At a review, a company of them, while in a quick advance, fired their balls into objects seven inches in diameter at a distance of 250 yards . . . their shot have frequently proved fatal to British Officers and soldiers who exposed themselves to view at more than double the distance of common musket shot." (Source: James Thacher, "Military Journal during the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783".) This unit was chosen in October 1775 to join General Benedict Arnold’s campaign to capture Quebec in conjunction with General Richard Montgomery's campaign to capture Montreal. Though General Montgomery was killed, the campaign for Montreal was successful, whereas the siege of Quebec failed. Many of the expeditionary soldiers were captured at Quebec and held in a convent and monastery: 17 officers and 267 soldiers were returned 11 Sep 1776. For an account of this campaign, read the novel "Arundel" by Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novelist Kenneth Roberts, featuring characters from the town of Arundel, Maine, as he follows many of the main characters who joined Benedict Arnold through many hardships in his march to Quebec during the American Revolution. British General Sir William Howe and General George Washington agreed to an exchange of British and American prisoners captured during the 1775 Canada Campaign. Terms for the exchange included that it would be man-for-man and rank-for-rank; the company commander, name, state of birth, and age was listed for each prisoner. From the document listing these war prisoners captured 31 Dec 1775, at Quebec, and exchanged September 24, 1776 at Elizabeth, New Jersey, Thomas Ogun’s (sic) age was recorded as 24 [the person writing the documentation misunderstood the brogue of many of the men, Ogan was 34 years old], the state of birth was blank, but under the column for notes, was BORN AT SEA. He was listed Captain Matthew Smith’s 6th Company, 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. According to Pennsylvania records, all the men listed in this company roll except one born in Ireland and Thomas Ogan, born at sea, were from the western part of Lancaster County which became Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Captain Daniel Morgan was the senior American officer responsible for the well-being of soldiers and officers held prisoner in Quebec. In the list of Pennsylvania soldiers who served in the Revolution his name was recorded as Thomas Gunn. An age of 24, giving a birth year of 1751, Thomas Ogan would have been too young to have served in the French and Indian War, his age was misunderstood and should have been recorded as age 34 (see below). Beginning in 1812 through a series of letters written in his support by officers he served under, Thomas Ogan applied for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service. In November 1813 an affidavit is taken in which Thomas Ogan states he is 72 years old [born 1741] and neither he nor his wife, who is at least 75 [born ca. 1738], can work to support themselves. [This makes him old enough to have served in the French and Indian War.] On 7 Dec 1813 Thomas Ogan is granted a Memorial Pension- that is after he has died.

Hearing that Thomas Ogan was a prisoner, wife Anne Ogan moved the family from Lancaster County to Frederick County near Winchester, Virginia, where his brother Peter Ogan and wife Phamy, who married there in 1769, were living. Lieutenant Steele returned his troops from New Jersey to Lancaster Co., PA, about 10 October 1776, Thomas Ogan returned to his family, learning Anne had moved to Virginia. 12 Dec 1776 - Frederick County, Virginia, Thomas Ogan enlists in Capt. William Johnston’s Company of Col. Daniel Morgan’s 11th Continental Line Regiment. Capt. Bryan Bruin in 1785 attests that Thomas Ogan served until the “the latter part of 1781.”

From Frederick Co., Virginia, Court Order Books, held at Virginia State Library:

5 Aug 1777: p. 454: “On application of Ann Ogan whose husband is a soldier in the 11th Virginia Regiment setting forth that she with six children destitute of the common necessaries of life, and unable to support themselves as the eldest is but nine years old and praying that the court would take her into consideration the same being made to appear to the satisfaction of the court. It is their opinion that they ought to be allowed 10 pounds for her immediate relief agreeable to an act of General Assembly. Present William Gibbs. Absent Philip Bush.”

3 Aug 1779: p. 188: "On the application of Ann Ogan setting forth that she is the wife of [not named to protect the soldier's identity] Ogan who is a soldier in Col Morgan's Redgment in the Continental Army and that she has seven children, and destitute of support on consideration whereof it is the opinion of the court that she ought to be allowed 30 pounds for their support for the ensuing year which is ordered to be certified."

2 Aug 1780: p. 355: "On the application of Ann Ougan setting forth that her husband is a soldier in the Continental Army and that she is unable to support herself and her 4 small children. On consideration whereof the court are of the opinion that she ought to be allowed the sum of 105 pounds of pork for the subsistence of herself and children the ensuing year, which is ordered to be certified."

Frederick Co. Virginia Court Order Book 3 Jun 1778, p. 27: Thomas Campbell vs Thomas Ogan - Abates.

August 1784, p. 560: Thomas Ogan plaintiff vs Archibald Rutherford defendant - Dismissed.

From Old Tenth Legion marriages- Marriages in Rockingham County, Virginia from 1778 to 1816. Compiled by Harry M. Strickland, 1928 (Gen Publ Co, 1976) Lists bride’s ( Sarah Ogan’s father) as Tom Gogan, Surety bond held by father. Marriage June 30, Wm Lilly to Sarah Ogogan, clerk’s certificate. [Chet's note- notice that Thomas Ogan had a brogue based on the spelling in the documents].

“Johannes Werbel and his descendants- The Warble-Warvel Family History 1740- 1991” by John H. Warvel and Ralph Morton- 650 pages.

Notes of John H. Warvel, Jr. M.D., 10951 E. Mallard Way, Indianapolis, IN 46278 email johnw(at) dated 7 March 2000 In his note he states that he was given some of his info on the other children of James and Sarah Lilly from Mrs. Billie Jo Monger of Elkton, VA, who has done several books on Rockingham County history.

Gwathmeys (1938) Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution lists Thomas Ogan from 1777 to 1781 on the muster roles of the 11th, 15th, and 7th Virginia Continental Line of Morgan's Riflemen as a wagoner under the command of Brigadier General Daniel Morgan. Thomas Ogan spent part of the winter of 1777- 1778 (March, April, May 1778) at Valley Forge, PA. according to the muster rolls at the National Archives and records at Valley Forge National Historic Park.

12 Aug 1785 200 acre Land Warrant No. 3956 for 200 acres due for services in the Virginia Continental Line assigned to Edwd Valentine who transferred the voucher to William Reynolds, who used the voucher to get warrant land in Kentucky.

On 26 Apr 1788, page 88 of the Deeds Book, Rockingham Co. Courthouse, a deed is given to Thomas Ogan for 98 acres adjoining Eliot Retherford, Benson, Dutch Lord, Hite, and Harrison. Survey was recorded by Jnl Lincoln and done by Alexander Herring SRC, . This is in the area of Smith and Cook Creek, Mill Creek, and Cub Run. According to a researcher on the Lilly line, the homestead was near McGaheysville, near Elkton west of the Blue Ridge Mtns. Strickler’s book indicates Thomas Ogan’s land was part of Harrison’s land and was near Old Indian Trail. (The land that Thomas Ogan bought was surveyed by the great-grandfather of President Abraham Lincoln)

The marriages Thomas and Ann’s daughters, Catherine, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Anne are listed in Stricklers (1928) 10th Legion marriages of Rockingham Co., VA (1778-1816).

Ties to John Ogan and hints to John Ogan's birth/age: 1790 - Rockingham County Tax Rolls. Only male above age of 16 listed is Thomas Ogan.

1792 - Harry M. Strickler's book of 10th Legion Tithables lists Thomas Ogan and a male who must have been at least 16 (men of 16 years were considered old enough to serve in the militia) in Cpt. Richard Ragan’s Company, Virginia Tenth Legion. The 10th District includes Keezletown, northeast of Harrisonburg, Old Indian Road, Head of Smith’s Creek and Cub Creek, Laird’s Knob, and Massanuten Caverns, Rockingham County, Virginia. On page 45 the name Jno (John) appears on the next line after Thomas Ogan. Ref: Strickler, Harry M. 1930. Tenth Legion Titheables, Rockingham Co., VA. [This places John's birth between 1775 and 1776.]

1794 Rockingham Co., VA, Property Tax List, p. 19. Thomas Ogan, 1 white male above 21, pd 28 July 1794. Next below is John Ogan, no tally marks, paid 28 or 29 July 1794. Chet Ogan has a photocopy)

Rockingham County Property Tax records show that Thomas Ogan paid personal property taxes 1789 through 1795, 1799, 1803, and 1811, according to the Rockingham County research library at 382 High Street, Dayton, VA.

In 1812/ 1813 Thomas Ogan filed a Petitions for old-age pensions for Thomas (aged about 72) and his "aged wife" (aged at least 75) which are recorded at the Virginia State Library.

Rockingham County was part of Augusta County until 1777 when it was split up into Rockingham Co. and Hampshire Co., VA (later WV). Most of Rockingham County’s records were destroyed by fire during the Civil War.

On page 49 of Strickler’s Tenth Legion Tithables it states that on June 4th, 1864, the County records for Rockingham County were removed by the Clerk of the Court House for safety. On the road leading up the east side of South River about two miles above Port republic, near the residence of J. W. Wisner, and burned by the Federalists who, it is said, thought that they were valuable war papers. They were extinguished but not without great damage. Nearly all the wills and administration settlements were wholly or partly burned. The deeds fared better, a number of them remaining. [We have Thomas Ogan's deed but unfortunately not his will, therefore DAR will not accept him as a Revolutionary patriot because he names no children.]

WHERE WERE THE ROCKINGHAM RECORDS BURNED? On June the 4th, 1864, the County records of the County were removed by the Clerk from the Court House for safety. They were overtaken on the road leading up east side of the South River about two miles above Port Republic, near the residence of J. W. Wisner, 1885, and burned by the Federals who, it is said, thot that they were valuable war papers. They were extinguished but not until great damage had been done. Nearly all the wills and administration settlements were wholly or partly burned- The deeds fared better, quite a number of them remaining. Ref: Strickler’s (1930) Tenth Legion Tithables.

Billie Jo Monger, a Shenandoah Valley historian and genealogist, contends that Thomas Ogan fought for George Washington during the French and Indian War between 1756 and 1763 and even at age 71 enlisted his services for the War of 1812, one of several Shenandoah Valley residents who served our fledgling nation is three conflicts to insure independence. (Correspondence between Chet Ogan and Billie Joe Monger, fall 2015)


  • Sources are imbedded within the biography above.. For further additions please contact Chet Ogan

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