Nero Cross

Living in Thetford, Orange County, with five other free persons in 1791 census.

Is he the Nero Casco listed in West Fairlee, Orange County, in 1800 with three other free persons?  There is a Martin Pelham listed two before him, with three other free persons.

In 1810 Nero Cross is in Fairlee, Orange County, with three other free persons.  There is a Martin Pelham listed next with four other free persons.  In 1820 Nero is in Brookfield, Orange Co., VT with one free colored male and one free colored female; it is difficult to determine the age column for these two people, but the male is probably age 45 and upwards, and the female is the same.

I have not found him in the 1830 census, but “The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. 1,” available through, lists Nero Cross as dying Sept. 1830, age 80.

Served in the Revolution from Connecticut, and obtained a pension, applying 4 May 1818 in Brookfield, and testifying that he is aged 68.  On 3 July 1820 he appeared before the County court at Orange and said he was aged 70 years with a wife, age 73.  He says he has one horse, one cow, one hog, household furniture worth $4; debts due him $9, for a total of $57.00.  He owed sundry persons $35.00.  His discharge signed by G. Washington is included with the pension application.

He appears from the Connecticut War records to have served several times in the Revolution.  He enlisted 28 April 1777 in Richards Company, for eight months and was discharged 12 Jan. 1778, no residence given; I believe he was at Valley Forge.  He enlisted 23 March 1778 in Humphrey’s Company, for nine months, and was discharged, no discharge date or residence given.  He was listed as paid from 1 Jan. 1781 to 31 Dec.  1781.  He is included on a return from the town of Lebanon, in a list of soldiers in the Continental Army, dated May 1781.  In that same return he is mentioned again as having enlisted last Spring for three years.  This is the service he claims in his pension application.  However he mentions serving under Captain Heart, and I do not find that name mentioned in the Lebanon return.

Nero Cross was warned out of Thetford 19 July 1811.  Vermont Warnings Out, Vol. 1, by Alden Rollins (1995).

The book, Beloved Village, Reminiscences of Thetford Hill, Vermont, 1921-1985, by Charles W. Hughes, Thetford Historical Society (1985) on page 35 has this:  A negro servant called Nero Cross was a member of the Buckingham household.  Cross had a remarkable military record.  He took part in engagements at Mt. Independence, White Plains, NY, and Long Island, as a member of Connecticut regiments.  His last service with the Connecticut line was for three years beginning in 1820 [sic] when he was 70 years old!  [Of course, this last sentence is not correct.]