Every now and again, I shake the branches of the family tree and another Revolutionary War veteran falls out. The Barker side of the family has long acknowledged Thaddeus Thompson (bombardier and drummer in Lamb's Artillery, wounded at Yorktown), but has not retained memory of the patriot service of Nathaniel Gage (1763-1844). Nonetheless, this ancestor received an annual $20.00 pension beginning in 1833 for service in the Massachusetts Continentals.
Piecing together the specifics of this service is a work in progress, made complicated by conflicting secondary source material and the peregrinations of the Gage family during this period. Nathaniel Gage was born in Pelham, New Hampshire on June 13, 1763 and at the age of five his family had removed to the vicinity of Saratoga and Stillwater, New York. They remained in the region for the next decade which included Burgoyne's Albany Expedition, though they may have been displaced at this time.
In 1779 he moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, where Nathaniel Gage's pension application reportedly states he enlisted "as a private with various companies" between 1779 and 1780. From this statement one might assume his was militia service, yet the pension list from 1835 claims he was in the Massachusetts Continental Line. The records of the Onondaga Historical Society , the community where he spent the last years of his life, list him as taking part in the Lexington Alarm from Amherst, which is geographically improbable and not supported by his pension claim. There was a Nathaniel Gage at Lexington, but he was an officer from Bradford and had a company of minutemen at Bunker Hill. Bradford, incidentally, was also the community where Nathaniel's father Jabez was born. The Gages were early settlers of Ipswich, MA.
Having established that Nathaniel Gage was not in service before 1779 and had previously resided in Saratoga, it occurred to me to wonder whether there is any evidence that Jabez Gage (1723-1786) served in the Revolution as well. There was, in fact, a Jabez Gage serving as a second Lieutenant under Col. John McCrea in the 13th militia Regiment (Saratoga district) who seems a very promising candidate, but this will require further confirmation.
Nathaniel Gage and Mehetabel Tefft had a son William Gage (b.3/22/1790). He had a son with the marvelous name of Rensselaer Watson Gage (1804-1860) who was born in Olcott, Niagara, New York. He married Mary Ann McElwaine and their daughter Sarah Ann Gage married John Thomas Martin. That ought to be a familiar name to the Barker clan, as his daughter was Alice May Martin aka "Grandma Barker", my great grandmother. My Aunt "Marty" and cousin Cynthia Gage Canham carry on these family names.