George Leary
(Abt 1720-)
John Leary Sr.
(Abt 1748-1839)


Family Links

1. Margaret

John Leary Sr.

  • Born: Abt 1748, Prince William County, Virginia
  • Marriage (1): Margaret
  • Died: 6 Jan 1839, Mt. Solon, Augusta County, Virginia about age 91

bullet  General Notes:

The following is from "A History of the Town of Dayton, Virginia", compiled by Sites and Hess:

"According to legend Mr. John Leary came from Ireland around 1760 and settled in this vicinity. Probably it was he who built a grist mill located east of the present Highway 42, which is now the Main Street of Dayton. Mill Street, which runs perpidendicular to Main, got its name from this mill..........Mr. Silas Leary, a descendent of Mr. John Leary, married Miss Miller whose parents.........remodeled or rebuilt the mill........Mrs. Nora Leary Holsinger claims to be a direct descendent of the Mr. Leary who came from Ireland."

It was legend around Dayton, believed by the public and some family, that John Leary came from Ireland. He was actually born in Prince William County which borders the Potomac River. Attached to this record is a picture of what was called the lower mill prior to 1922. This is the location where John Leary built his mill. The lower mill burned in 1922 and was never replaced. Another picture shows the lower mill pond location and the lower mill location drawn over a map of today. These locations were in a 1885 map of Dayton. Cooks Creek had two forks. One still exists today which I will call the upper Cooks Creek. The fork feeding the lower mill pond went to the lower mill and then merged back into one Cooks Creek. The lower fork and mill pond do not exist today. I believe the lower mill location is somewhere under the western side of highway 42. For many years there was also a upper mill that still stands today.

Silas was John Leary's grandson. He married Margaret Miller, the daughter of the Millers who were the last known owners of the lower mill. They had a partner named Kiser.

John Leary (aka Larry,Lary, Larey, Laury) was a Private in the Revolutionary War from 1776 until 1780. He had some intermittent leaves for illness and hardship. "He marched into Pennsylvania, was engaged in battles at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Sandbar, and at Trenton at the capture of the Hessians. After his term of service, he obtained an honorable discharge. After his service had expired, he volunteered his service for 3 months, and marched under General Wayne, Captain William Overall and Lieutenant John Overall, from Dumfries, VA to Yorktown, VA, and was at the capture of Lord Cornwallis."
Source #1: Pension Application #6017 filed in Shenandoah Co, VA on 13 August 1832
Source #2: Certificate of Pension #2082 was issued Nov 19, 1832 retroactive to March 4, 1831, the month of his entry into the war
Source #3: M Lee Minnis, The First Virginia Regiment of Foot, 1775-1783, Willow Bend Books, 1998, pages 16 and 284.

In the 1792 "Tenth Legion Tithables" John Leary is listed as one of those who would owe tax based upon his property. His residence is described as in the Mt. Clinton - Muddy Creek - War Branch area. Captain Thomas Shanklin and his company of men were responsible for collection in this area. Apparently it was up to the local militia to collect the taxes.

The following is John Leary's Obituary printed in he Staunton Spectator and General Advertiser on 17 Jan 1839. Parens enclose words I could not make out or best guess.
"Another Revolutionary Patriot gone"
Died, on Sunday the 6th last near Mt. Solon, Mr. JOHN LARY, a Soldier of the Revolution, in the 93rd year of his age. He was born in Prince William County of this State, where he was still residing, when the (?) of war resounded from the fields of Lexington, which warned every Patriot, the hour had arrived, when all the rights he cherished as most sacred, were in danger, and must be defended at the point of bayonet. He was prompt to obey the summons and hastened to volunteer his services with that band of brave and daring men who chose Gen Morgan as their leader.
The term of service for which he had volunteered having expired, he felt it his (imperious) duty of continue his aid, which about this time more than at any previous period, his suffering country commanded, and forthwith enlisted as a regular soldier until the close of the war. Part of this time, he served under Gen. Wayne, whose memory he (?) to cherish with the most profound respect, but his great (boast) was that he had endured hardship, underwent suffering, and submitted to every privation in common with the immortal Washington himself, during that trying period, that the American Army was encamped at "Valley Forge". It was his fortune to have been engaged in several of the hardest fought contests of the Revolution, among which were those at Brandywine, Germantown, Guilford Court House and Cowpens. He was also present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, shortly after which period, he removed to the (Valley) of Va. where he had since lived. It was his fate (?) as it was of too many of these devoted men who shrunk not back when their "Country" required their services, to contend with (?) and want, and to prove to some extent the truth of the remark, that "Republics are ungrateful". He did receive for a few years a small pension, but a mere pittence with the length of time he had served as a soldier; which with the proceeds of his toil was barely sufficient for the maintenance of a large family. But he is gone. Time is rapidly sweeping away his comrades in arms, and in a few years at most they will have disappeared. Does not (patriotism) demand our (?) for their memories should increase as their numbers diminish? Long will his memory be cherished and his virtues remain indelibly impressed upon the hearts of his survivors. "Requiescat in pace."

John also served as a guard to George Washington. His name is listed in the "Commander in Chief's Guard" by Carlos E. Godfrey, M.D. published in 1904.

The following is part of a document that suggests that John Larry (Leary) was the son of George Larry (Leary)
Burnt Deed 21 Oct 1830 Rockingham Co, VA
George Larrie Eight-Part Tract of Land, Rockingham, Co: This indenture made the 21st day of October in the Year 1830 between John Larrie of Augusta County of the one part and Jeremiah Lamb of Rockingham on the other part. Witnesseth that the said John Larrie in Consideration of Twenty Five Dollars lawful money of this common-wealth to him in hand paid by the said Jeremiah Lamb at or before unsealing of these presents (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged) have bargained and sold by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said Jeremiah Lamb and his heirs and assigns a certain tract or parcel of land it being Eight-part of an undevided tract of land belonging to the heirs of George Larrie Dec'd.........
John Larrie signed with his mark - x


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

1. Picture: Lower Grist Mill Pond: Dayton Virginia. This picture shows the location of the pond that fed the Lower Grist Mill. Cooks Creek had two branches - one that flowed to the Lower Mill and one that flow around it. The lower branch and mill pond no longer exist.

2. Picture: Lower Grist Mill: Dayton, Virginia. This is a picture of the Lower Grist Mill in Dayton, Virginia. It was taken prior to 1922 when it burned to the ground and was never rebuilt. John Leary built his original mill on this location sometime prior to his death in 1839.

3. Residence, 1830, Eastern District of Shenandoah County, Virginia. This is information from the 1830 United States Federal Census.


John married Margaret. (Margaret was born in 1750 and died in 1835.)

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