john falls & sarah shower (52 ancestors #12)

Week 12 (March 19-25 — Psst:  some of us are playing catch-up…): “Same”

Passing on this week’s optional theme of “Same,” I decided instead to focus on my 4th great-grandparents, American Revolutionary War veteran John FALLS (1743-1830; buried Ebenezer Methodist Church Cemetery, Chuckey, Greene Co., TN) & his wife Sarah SHOWER (1754-1849; Ebenezer Methodist Church Cemetery).[1]

John FALLS (1743-1830) & Sarah (SHOWER) FALLS (1754-1849) grave marker at Ebenezer Methodist Church Cemetery, Chuckey, Greene Co., TN.

Sarah SHOWER & John FALLS were married in August of 1781 in PA by the Rev. Traugott Frederick Illing, both living at that time in West Nantmeal Twp., Chester Co., PA.[2]

Just who Sarah’s and John’s parents are is a mystery yet to me. Although I have seen various names put forth for John, I have yet to see any documentation of same. For both John & Sarah, actual facts seem precious and few, although anecdotal stories have been repeated all over the web.  (My goal, primary documentations…)

John’s American Revolutionary War Pension Claim reveals that he served as a Private in Captain Joseph POTTS’ Company of the 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Line, commanded by Colonel JOHNSON/JOHNSTON. Enlisting on January 2, 1777, FALLS was at the battles of Brandywine; Germantown; White Plains; Monmouth; Peola; and Stony Point. He received a wound in his right leg near the ankle. He was furloughed, he states, by Major George TUDOR in Dec., 1783, “and was never called on after that, and by that means was never Regularly Discharged.”[3]

FALLS, John, [wife] Sarah, Pension Claim (5of)

FALLS, John, [wife] Sarah, Pension Claim (6of)

These same records name Washington & Greene Co.s, TN, as John & Sarah’s’ place of residence from sometime before 1798 through 1818, their residence Greene at the time of John’s Apr., 1818, pension deposition. John’s health is in decline at this point, his deposition reading: “….deponent states [2nd page above] that he is now considerably advanced in life his constitution much impaired and much afflicted with diseases of long standing. And extremely poor and unable to support himself and is in much need of the genorous [sic] provision of the government.”

John affirms in his pension deposition that he has no “debts due to” him that might provide him income, nor income other than,

“2 ploughs 1 axe

“2 spinning wheels

“1 cupboard & furniture

“1 looking glass

“1 charn 1 pale [sic]

“1 chear [sic]

“6 hogs 2 geese

“2 weeding hoes”


Total value, “$18.50″[4]

At this time, “John FALLS aged Seventy-three years by Occupation a Colyer[5] and unable to follow it. Sally FALLS aged Sixty-seven years one Grand Daughter Betsy FALLS aged four years.”[4]

As I continue wading through the handwritten pages of John’s Rev. War pension application, I learn he & Sarah have a son James born about 1782[6], plus a daughter Delila who states helpfully for me that she is, “the seventh and youngest child of John and Sarah FALLS…”[7] This is the best:  good, solid, primary data-verification as we genealogists call it; I am feeling appreciation both to way-back great-grandaunt Delila and, to the U.S. government right now, for these details. 😉

U.S. Census-wise, I find Sarah in 1830 Greene Co., TN, with, right beneath her, the households of a Mary FALLS (a daughter or, widowed daughter-in-law??); a “Jas”/James FALLS, most likely the above-referenced son; and, two households below James, a John FALLS — no doubt John Jr., my 3rd great-grandfather. I find 4th great-grandmum Sarah next in 1840 Greene Co., TN, an Elizabeth FALLS right above her born between 1791 & 1800; likely a daughter or, widowed daughter-in-law, my hunches tell me…

I can’t wait to find more on John & Sarah, every new detail helping paint a more complete picture of these far-away-in-time kin, and, making history come alive for me — one of my favorite things about genealogy research.

Ebenezer Methodist Church Cemetery, Chuckey, Greene Co., TN.



1, “John FALLS,” at , accessed June., 2015. “Category – American Revolutionary War Veteran Graves;” “Waymark – John FALLS – Ebenezer Methodist Church – Chuckey, TN.” Photo of joint grave marker, reading: “John FALLS” / “Revolutionary War” / “Pension Claim W-924” / “1743 1830” &, “Sarah FALLS” / “Maiden Name SHOWER” / “Chester County Penn.” / “1754 1849.” Stone inscription continues, “P. Claim Indicates John And Sarah Were Buried” / “In Ebenezer M. Church Cem. Greene Co. Tenn.” / “Memorial By Floyd A. FALLS W.W. I Vet. No. 721821.” Photo contributed to WayMarking by “vhasler.”

Grave marker photo  See Endnote no. 1.

2 “Register Of Marriages and Baptisms Kept By The Rev. Traugott Frederick Illing,” “In Connection With The Churches of St. Peter’s, (Lutheran) Middletown, and Caernarvon, (Episcopal) Lancaster county, Penn’a” (Harrisburg, Harrisburg Publishing Company, 1891),, “Marriages By Rev. Mr. ILLING,” p. 13, accessed Nov., 2012. “1781” “Aug. 20. John FALLS and Sarah SHOWER, both of West Nantmeal township, Chester county; the first, Aug. 2, in the Forest; the second and third, Aug. 19. Received 15s [shillings].”

3 “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files”,, “John FALLS,” orig. images at (image “365 of 1288” at, &, at (image “366 of 1288” at, accessed Apr., 2015.

4 “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files”,, “John FALLS,” orig. image at (image “370 of 1288” at, accessed Apr., 2015.

5 Colyer / Collier: Charcoal maker per Wikipedia at . Collier: “Coal miner, a coal merchant or one who worked on the coal barges,” per, “Obscure Old English Census Occupations” at . Both, accessed Apr., 2015.

6 “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files”,, “John FALLS,” orig. image at  (image “371 of 1288” at, accessed Apr., 2015.

7 “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files”,, “John FALLS,” orig. image at (image “371 of 1288” at & (image “372 of 1288” at, accessed Apr., 2015.

Cemetery photo–  See Endnote no. 1.


This entry was posted in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to john falls & sarah shower (52 ancestors #12)

  1. I’m inspired to go on with the challenge , thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WOW, Shelley. 🙂 I’m taking that as QUITE the compliment! 🙂 Thank you, and, I’m so GLAD this post affected you in such a positive way. 😉 (Sort of makes up for the fact that I somehow lost the tote bag containing my cellphone, datebook and — horrors, a pErSoNaL journal — earlier today.) My best to you. 🙂


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