The Souhrada Family Website
By Karen Souhrada
This surname comes into our Hagerty lines through marriage. Mary Hagerty came from Ireland, in the company we believe of two sons and a daughter or more. One of these daughters was named in Mary’s will, dated May 5, 1836: “Secondly: I will and bequeath to my daughter SARAH WASTECOAT all wearing apparel and one washing tub.” In looking through census records for Fayette County, Pennsylvania where Mary Hagerty and her sons William and Samuel James lived, we found entries for the years 1820, 1830 and 1840 that showed a female in the household that could well be a daughter of Mary, but nothing more definitive. [We should note that in these census records, the surname is shown by phonetic variants as Westcott/Westcoat/Waistcoat] The census record of 1850 finally answered the question of who was Mary’s daughter, and it was Sarah.
1850 Census, Jefferson Twp., Fayette Co., PA
Westcoat, Stephen, male, age 60 years, born in Virginia
Sarah, age of 60, born in Ireland
Margaret, age of 19, born in Fayette Co., PA
Sarah, age of 16, born in Fayette Co., PA
By the time of the 1860 census in Fayette County, Stephen is a widow in his 90th year, and living with a married daughter and her family, by the name of Dinsmore. We know so very little about Sarah and her life in this country, and almost all of it is filtered through the records and details that her husband Stephen left during his lifetime. The bulk of the material deals with his military service during the War of 1812, and his subsequent filing for land bounty benefits accrued through this service. A photocopy of a well folded and cherished document attesting to his service is posted here (click to display document). The following is a transcription:
Captain Valentine Giesey's Co. of PA Militia (Brownsville Blues), discharged February 25, 1815
[Source: NARA: From the Bounty Land Pension files for STEPHEN WESTCOTT, a resident of Fayette County, following his service in the War of 1812
Annapolis, February 25th, 1815
By virtue of a General Order from the Commanding Officer of the 4th & 10th Military Districts, he has, in the most honourable manner, discharged the Company of Volunteers from Pennsylvania, under my command, and who had so patriotically came forward and offered their services in defence of their Country, for six months. It gives the Commanding Officer of the Company pleasure to find, that the Men whom he had the honour to command, have conducted themselves with that soldier-like conduct and behaviour, as not only to give satisfaction to himself, but to the Citizens of Annapolis, in aid of whom they came forward, in times of danger, to guard against a rapacious and an invading Foe. -- Therefore, in obedience to the orders I have received from the Commanding Officer of the Districts aforesaid, I do hereby honourably discharge from the service of the United States, STEPHEN WESTCOTT a Private as a Volunteer of the Brownsville Blues of Pennsylvania, he having conducted himself as a good and faithful citizen and soldier.
Valentine Geesey, Captain
More historical information on this unit, nicknamed the “Brownsville Blues”:
[Notations on Captain Giesey, comes from a biographical-history book written and compiled by Franklin Ellis', and entitled, "History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania"; notations found on
pp 180 & 181 in his section on the War of 1812-15:]
“Capt. Valentine Giesey [note difference in spelling], of Brownsville (who had been first a sergeant, and afterwards a second lieutenant in Capt. Joseph Wadsworth's company), raised a company numbering one hundred and eighteen men and officers, who left this county in November, 1814. . . . The company marched hence to Baltimore, Md., but while on their way there they were met by a messenger bearing orders for their return. The eagerness of officers and men for active service was so great, however, that while the company halted and remained at Hagerstown, Capt. Giesey pushed on to Washington City, where by his importunity he prevailed on the Secretary of War to accept the services of the company, and order them forward to report to Gen. Scott, at Baltimore. On arriving there, Capt. Giesey, accompanied by his second lieutenant, Shuman, repaired to the headquarters, where he reported to Scott in person. The general examined the captain's order, and remarked in some surprise, "What! From Western Pennsylvania?" "Yes,, sir, from Western Pennsylvania," answered Giesey. "Well, Capt. Giesey," said the general, "you must have a very patriotic company of men." "I hope I have, sir,” replied the captain. Gen Scott continued the conversation for a short time, expressing the hope that the men of the company might have an opportunity to show their soldierly qualities, and finished by ordering them to duty with the Second Regiment of Maryland Militia. Three days later the company left Baltimore for Annapolis, where they remained until after the declaration of peace, when they were mustered out of service and returned to their homes.” From these files, we also see the mention of a Samuel Jobes in the same company, and this is a side line we are still researching. We believe that Mary Hagerty had another daughter, who married a Jobes/Jobs; as evidenced in Mary’s will where she mentions, “my grandson William Jobs”…In viewing early tax rolls of Washington and Fayette Counties, Pennsylvania we find that many of our early inter-twined surnames of this county are mentioned. The early times, a small population, and shared cultural histories as well as farming occupations, must have led into many a marriage between these early pioneer families. If interested, please refer to the tax rolls of early Fayette and Washington Counties of Pennsylvania.
The national Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D. C., administers a military records file, and searches there for Stephen Westcott/Westcoat revealed that he pursued legal action towards the securing of a land bounty deed in the state of Pennsylvania.
(From NARA records received this date, and in reference to applicants from Fayette county for Bounty Land awards)
JAMES E. HEATH, Esq. Uniontown, Penn.
Enclosed, please find five applications for bounty land under the late act of Congress. I hope you will give them your earliest possible attention. The applicants are, STEPHEN WESTCOT, JOHN EMERSON, HENRY HUTCHISON, STEWART SPEERS, and SAMUEL JOBES. I have the honor to be Your Obedient Servant J. K. EWING"
While this paper is not dated, the others in the packet run from 1850-1855. The bounty land that was granted was for 40 acres.