John Sykes

John Sykes - Revolutionary veteran

The Russell County patriarch of the Sykes family was John Sykes, who was born in 1750 in Prince George County. He lived in Sussex , Surrey, and Southampton Counties as well. All are in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

John Sykes enlisted in the 7th Regiment of the Continental Army in 1778 and was discharged in 1783. He served in the battles of Gwynn's(Quinn's)Island, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

On June 2, 1818 John Sykes made his first pension application for his service during the war. Fourteen years later, on September 4, 1832, he made another application that was accepted. He began receiving a fifty dollars per year pension. In his application he details his several enlistments in the Continental Army.

In 1815, John Sykes owned 18 acres on the waters of Clinch River, a few miles north of Lebanon; several Sykes graveyards are still in the area. His will was written on January 1, 1841 and probated July 8, 1851(or 1857). His son James Sykes married Nancy Jones on February 2, 1805 in Sussex County. Their only son Levi, married Catherine Wallace, a daughter to John Wallace IV, the fourth in a long line of Baptist ministers. James Sykes died on February 10, 1855 of dropsy.

There is an interesting story concerning the death of Levi Sykes - it is said that "grandfather Sykes was killed with a bayonet at old Honaker when Abraham Lincoln was elected president" It is possible that this quote was from Mary Catherine Steele Campbell, Levi's granddaughter, who lived until 1957.

To view John Syke's Revolutionary pension application click here

This information was submitted by Greg Lepore.
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