John Demons/ Deming (1727 – 1809)

John Demons/ Deming (1727 – 1809)

Contributed by Compatriot Ray King

John Deming was born on August 27, 1727 in Easthampton, Long Island, New York, the son of John Deming and Elizabeth Davis, and died on February 7, 1809 in Southbury, Connecticut. His mother died in 1730 when he was a small boy and his father remarried and produced a large family. John was bound out at the shoe makers trade about 20 miles from home when he was young and never had the opportunity to go home but once in his 7 years apprenticeship.

After roving for a few years following his apprenticeship, he settled in Southbury, Connecticut and married Anna Knowles of a respectable family. She had $200, which with what John could raise, bought them a modest house and one acre of land where they spent their days and raised a family of four sons and five daughters.

According to family history, John served in the French – Indian War (The Seven Years War), after which he set up a small tan works and began to anticipate better days. His wife Anna’s health was very poor and with a large family John struggled to make ends meet. When the Revolution broke out, all business came to a standstill. He could no longer carry out tanning being frequently called out on alarms. When Danbury was burned he was there under a militia captain and helped lead a charge to repel the enemy troops.

With more patriot troops being called for, the selectmen of the town pledged themselves to take care of the wives and children of every one that would enlist during the war. John being frequently called out and seeing no means of supporting his family, and being a full blooded patriot, enlisted. John was approaching 50 years in age when he enlisted for 3 years or the duration of the war.

John was a Private in the Second Regiment, Connecticut Line in Captain Samuel Granger’s Company commanded by Col. Charles Webb from his enlistment on May 26, 1777 until April 1, 1781 when he transferred to the Invalid Corps due to his advanced age where he served as an assistant to a field officer. When the war was over and the troops were disbanded to return home, John’s family had not heard from him and were concerned he might not have survived. In actuality, he was required to stay to the very end until the final pay-roll had been made out. He was one of the last to return home.

John Deming’s ancestors have a long history in North America having emigrated from England during the Great Migration about 1630. His Great Grandfather, Thomas, was one of the original settlers of the Colony of Connecticut as part of the 1635 John Oldham group, settling in Wethersfield with his sister Elizabeth (Foote) and brother John who was a signer of the original Connecticut Charter in 1662.