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Grave Stone Honors Revolutionary War Soldier From Southeast

Members of the Enoch Crosby Chapter, NSDAR, join descendants of Pvt. Daniel Gay in recognizing his service to his country. Photo courtesy of Denise Santalis.

A teenage descendant of Gay with members of the Reenacting Regiment of the 5th NY Continental Line.

A grave-marking ceremony at Ellis Cemetery in Southeast, honoring the legacy of Revolutionary War soldier Pvt. Daniel Gay, Dutchess County Militia, N.Y., was recently organized by the Enoch Crosby Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The commemoration began with a request from a National Society Sons of the American Revolution, Blue Ridge Chapter descendant, and blossomed into an event that included three generations of Gay’s family as they dedicated a marker acknowledging his service to our country.

Local reenactors flanked the gravesite as attendees were led in the Pledge of Allegiance by the seventh-great-grandson of the soldier, and his biography was read aloud. “Taps” was performed by Harry Sherblom, and the Reenacting Regiment of the 5th N.Y. Continental Line gave a military salute.

Research by a descendant of Gay (ca. 1749-1812) shows he was a private in the Sixth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia, N.Y., serving under Col. Rosell Hopkins and Captain Azor Barnum. Gay also fought at Bunker Hill under Gen. Israel Putnam in Capt. Thomas Knowlton’s company, and received an honorable discharge for seven years of service as a soldier.

He was a farmer, settling in Southeast between 1770 and 1774, and he and his wife, Sarah Kelly Gay, had nine children.

The benediction was given by the Rev. Jennifer Boyd of Trinity Lutheran Church in Brewster. Chapter Regent Joan Hay thanked Grace Zimmermann, chapter historian, and Registrar Libby Baker for their organization of the event, and Brewster Boy Scout Troop 1 for its assistance and preparation of the site.

If you think you might have a direct descendant who was a patriot in the American Revolution and would like to explore the possibility of joining the NSDAR, contact Baker at


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