General Joseph Cilley1

#133, b. 1734, d. 25 August 1799
General Joseph Cilley|b. 1734\nd. 25 Aug 1799|p133.htm|Captain Joseph Cilley|b. 6 Oct 1701\nd. 1786|p128.htm|Alice 'Else' Rawlins|b. 1701\nd. 1801|p129.htm|Captain Thomas Cilley|b. bt 1670 - 1675|p733.htm|Ann Stanyan|b. 17 Feb 1678\nd. b 1718|p734.htm|Benjamin Rawlins Sr.|b. 6 Jul 1678\nd. 1740|p4237.htm|Sarah Palmer|b. bt 1665 - 1670|p4238.htm|
Gen. Joseph Cilley
General Joseph Cilley was born in 1734 at Nottingham, Rockingham, New Hampshire.1 He was the son of Captain Joseph Cilley and Alice 'Else' Rawlins.1 He married Sarah Longfellow, daughter of Jonathan Longfellow and Mercy Clark, on 4 November 1756.1 He died on 25 August 1799 at Nottingham.2,1 He was buried at Gen. Joseph Cilley Cemetery, Nottingham, Rockingham, New Hampshire.3

General Joseph, born in Nottingham 1734, died in Nottingham 25 August, 1799. Joseph was a self-taught lawyer, Revolutionary soldier, judge, and politician. His father, Captain Joseph Cilley, who came from the Isles of Shoals, was one of the early settlers of Nottingham; his mother was Alice Rollins (or Rawlins). Joseph was married on November 4, 1756, to Sarah Longfellow, by whom he had ten children. He combined the occupations of farmer, lawyer and business man.
In 1758 he enlisted as a private in Major Roger's battalion of rangers, marched to the northern frontiers in Canada, and was then appointed a sergeant. He continued in the service for more than a year.
He was engaged in the attack upon Fort William and Mary in 1774. Upon the news of the battle of Lexington he marched for the scene of action at the head of one hundred volunteers from Nottingham and vicinity. He was appointed Major in Poor's (2nd) Reg. by the Assembly of New Hampshire and was made Lt. Colonel in 1776. On April 2, 1777 he was appointed Colonel of the 1st New Hampshire Reg. of three years' Men, in the Continental Army, in place of Col. Stark who resigned. He fought at Bemus Heights, at the surrender of Burgoyne, storming of Stoney Point, Monmouth and other battles of the Revolution. After the war he was appointed Maj. Gen. of the 1st Div. of NH Militia, June 22, 1786.
After the Revolution he became one of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati in New Hampshire. He was successively treasurer, vice-president and president of the society. He was made justice of the peace and of the quorum for Rockingham County, and held the position for life. In politics he was a Jeffersonian Republican. He was a member of the state Senate, 1790-91, and of the House, 1792, and was councillor 1797-98. He was a fluent speaker, a good man of business, and attractive in manner. Gen. Cilley was a man of great energy and industry; of strong passions, yet generous and humane. He was of medium height and weight, erect, quick in movement and in perception and dauntless in danger. He was distinguished for bravery and patriotism, beloved by his soldiers for his humanity, and trusted by other officers in the army for his integrity, decision of character, and promptness in action. And, when he died, he was sincerely lamented by his family circle, and his associates in arms and in the councils of state.4
Excerpt from Memoirs and Services of Three Generations published in 1909.5
Revolutionary War Service.4
Further reading about General Joseph

Framers of Freedom: Joseph Cilley
The Gunpowder: From Fort William & Mary to Bunker Hill
Cemeteries in New Hampshire
Surrender of Burgoyne
The Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, NY, October 17th, 1777

Children of General Joseph Cilley and Sarah Longfellow


  1. J. P. Cilley. The Cilley Family. Augusta, ME:, 1878.
  2. Rev. Elliott C. Cogswell. History of Nottingham, Deerfield, and Northwood, NH. Manchester: John B. Clark, 1878.
  3. Gen. Joseph Cilley Cemetery, Nottingham, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Gravestone, Maj. Gen. Joseph Cilley.
  4. Richard Cilley. History and Genealogy of the Cilley Family, 1550-1984. Lake Geneva, WI: Richard Cilley, 1984.
  5. Unknown author. Memoirs and Services of Three Generations. N.p.: Privately printed, 1909.