Saturday, February 25, 2012

Captain in the Revolutionary War – Oliver Lyman

B. 1 Apr 1739 in Northampton, Massachusetts
M. about 1760
Wife: Eleanor Lyman
D. 22 Jun 1799 in Charlotte, Vermont

Oliver Lyman was born in Northampton, Massachusetts on April 1, 1739 to Gad Lyman and Thankful Pomeroy. He was the oldest of six children. In about 1760, he married his second cousin, Eleanor Lyman. Between 1761 and 1775, they had seven children.

Oliver became a captain of the militia and served in this role when the American Revolution began. His duty was to keep the forces ready in his hometown of Northampton. On August 16, 1777, the Battle of Bennington was fought along the border between New York and Vermont. The British had thought they could raid the small town of Bennington, unaware that a militia of 1,500 men was stationed there. The Americans won and this greatly helped the cause of the war.

Before the battle, the British forces were marching near Northampton. On the night of August 13, word spread to the town that the enemy was in the area. The alarm was sounded and a man with a large drum notified everyone. Men of all ages assembled at the meetinghouse. They were given guns and told to be ready to fight.

It was said that Oliver was the captain of this company of over 100 men. They set out in the direction of the action, but didn't take part in the battle itself, only the aftermath when they had "a number of Hessians" delivered to them. It took about three days to bring them back to Northampton, where they guarded them inside the meetinghouse for several days.

Oliver moved his family to Charlotte, Vermont, but it's not clear when. He may have moved back to Northampton a few times. Some of his children were born in Charlotte before the war, but Oliver's service took place in Northampton. And in 1786, he was licensed as an inn keeper in Northampton.

Oliver died in Charlotte on June 22, 1799 and was buried in the Barber Hill Cemetery.


1. Abigail Lyman – B. 18 Apr 1762, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 10 Apr 1834, Charlotte, Vermont; M. Ephraim Wooster (~1754-1808), 1781

2. Charlotte Lyman – B. 22 Nov 1763, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 21 Aug 1809; M. Ezra Clark, 14 Jun 1785

3. Gad Lyman – B. 23 Aug 1766, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 9 Feb 1813, Charlotte, Vermont; M. Prudence Bill (1771-1813)

4. Oliver Lyman – B. 31 May 1768, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 1793

5. Medad Lyman – B. 18 Mar 1770, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 5 Feb 1813, Charlotte, Vermont; M. (1) Anne Clapp (1773-1802); (2) Mrs. Olive Mead (1779-1836), 5 Dec 1805

6. Jared Lyman – B. 6 Sep 1772, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 26 Jan 1813, Bridport, Vermont

7. Eleanor Lyman – B. 25 Jun 1775, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 1777

History of Northampton, James Russell Trumbull, 1902
Genealogy of the Lyman family in Great Britain & America, Lyman Coleman, 1872
Tombstone inscriptions, Barber Cemetery, Charlotte, Vermont

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