Levi Preston was born 6 Sep 1736 in Killingly, Windham, Connecticut. He was a fourth-generation descendant of Roger Preston, who settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1635. Much of what we know of know of him and his family comes from a Preston Genealogy published in 1931 by Charles Henry Preston entitled Descendants of Roger Preston of Ipswich and Salem Village.
In 1758, Levi Preston married Deliverance Mosher and their first child, John, was born in Springfield, NY on 15 Sep 1759. Sometime before 1769, the family moved to Cambridge, New York and their last two children were born there.
Early applications for DAR and SAR cited Levi’s service as a private in Captain John Salisbury’s Company of Colonel William Bradford Whiting’s Regiment, 17th Albany Co., New York Regiment as reported in the Preston genealogy. That work also gives an account that was presumedly passed on among descendants that Levi Preston was “supposed to have perished while a prisoner in the hands of the British in 1781 near Albany.”
Unfortunately, Roberts’ New York in the Revolution, the definitive work on New York soldiers in the Revolutionary War, does not list a Levi Preston in that unit. In fact, while there is a complete listing of a full complement of officers, there are only ten soldiers named as enlisted men. It seems that the records for that unit are incomplete.
Recent DAR and SAR applications rely on the fact that Levi Preston was a member of the Committee of Correspondence for Cambridge from June, 1776 to October, 1776 and he is named several times in Sullivan’s Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence 1775-1778. He was also a fence viewer according to The History of Washington County, New York.
The currently accepted date for his death is 14 Sep 1777 in Esopus, New York rather than the 1781 date, however, various sources still report both dates. There are no records available that indicate he was a prisoner of the British, but there is no known gravesite, either. His wife, Deliverance, survived him and apparently, at some point, returned to her home state of Rhode Island where she died in 1813.
References and Notes
Descendants of Roger Preston of Ipswich and Salem Village by Charles Henry Preston, The Essex Institute, Salem, MA, Newcomb & Gauss Co., pub. 1931, pp 85-86.
Sullivan’s Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence 1775-1778 Vol1. pp 517, 566, 567, 568, 570.