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submitted by Dick Halsey


Matthew Halsey, son of Matthew Halsey & Sarah Haines was born 25 July 1753 in Bridgehampton, NY. Matthew enlisted in the Revolutionary War at Southampton on 3 July 1775 in Capt. John Hulbert's Company. On the muster roll, he is described as 5' 10" with dark complexion and hair.

Many years after the war, in his pension request Matthew says that first "he marched with his company to Montauk Point." Two companies were stationed there and they remained there about six weeks. His company marched to New York City where they stayed ca. two weeks then marched to Albany with another company. His company then marched from Albany to Fort Ticonderoga to guard the ammunition wagons, staying there until the first of November. About 100 British prisoners were brought to Capt. Hulbert at Ticonderoga and Matthew with the company marched them to New Canaan, Conn. The company then marched to Fort Constitution, opposite West Point arriving ca. the first of Dec. and Matthew was discharged there on Feb. 14, 1776.

Back on Long Island in the spring of 1776 Matthew was in the local militia and he helped move people and their belongings to Conn. because of the threat of British invasion. Matthew also told his family that he took out letters of Marque and even made a private expedition to New London against some Hessians of which he captured thirteen. For this exploit he received a large some of Continental currency. Also Matthew said that during the winter of 1777-8 he went to Newark to visit his future wife by skating across the frozen New York Bay, the Kill von Kull and Newark Bay; all frozen from the extremely cold winter.

He first married Rose. We are not sure if that was her first or last name as there is a Rose family that lived in and around Southampton. They only had three children; Rufus, Gaius and Harriet. Matthew second married Ruth Leonard.

In about 1795 Matthew left Long Island and his daughter, Harriet was born in 1796 in Mt. Morris, Livingston County but he settles to the east of there in the town of Springfield, Otsego County, NY at the north end of Otsego Lake. The census has him living in Springfield in 1800. There is a mortgage dated June 19, 1801 that Matthew took out on 34 acres of land in lot #34 in Springfield on file at the Courthouse at Cooperstown. The mortgage was taken out from a Phebe Halsey of Bridgehampton for $509.40 and it is recorded that Matthew paid off the mortgage by June 14, 1803. On Nov. 4, 1809 Matthew sold the Springfield land for $1900 to Francis Bennett. There on a marker located on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church in East Springfield is the name of Matthew Halsey with other Revolutionary War soldiers who lived in the area.

In 1810 Matthew began buying up the rest of the lot that his son, Rufus, lived on in Middletown, NY. This lot was bordered on one side by Otsego Lake and on the other by the town of Springfield line and is called lot #3. The lot was owned jointly by many people and on April 11, 1810 Matthew paid Catherine Davy $70 for her share of the lot. Also on the same day he paid Thomas Day, Elener Hill and his wife Betsey, $280 for their share. Also in 1810, he paid on Nov. 19, $50 Matthew paid to John Taylor of Albany $355 and obtained possession of his share of the lot. In a letter written to Mr. Taylor on May 25, 1815, Matthew is still trying to buy the final share of the land from a Mr. Dutcher, but he would not sell. Probably for this reason, Matthew decided to sell his shares in the property. On June 10, 1815 he sold part of the land to John Wiert for $1171.50. Mister Wiert took out a mortgage from Rufus for $425.12. Matthew sold another part off the lot to Farrand Stranahan for $200 on Dec. 16, 1815. Matthew probably left for Howard, NY where hisson was living, shortly thereafter. In 1820, Matthew was living in Howard and in 1825 it is recorded that he had 7 acres of improved land and a livestock of 3 cows and 3 hogs.

In 1832 Matthew applied for a pension because of his Revolutionary War service. He got a pension of $33.33 per year.

In 1840, Matthew was living with his son-in-law, Simeon Holmes. Matthew died 28 Jan. 1841 in Cohocton, NY but is buried somewhere on Bennett's Flats in the town of Howard, NY. The tombstone has not been found. Supposely under his head in his coffin, to serve as a pillow, was placed his well preserved collection of Continental currency.


This page was last updated January 14, 2004.