Becraft, Francis

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY


Francis was born in Hudson, Columbia County, NY on June 12, 1760[1], a son of William and Maria Becraft. He was christened at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Churchtown and the witnesses to his christening were John and Catherine Hartick.


Francis was a farmer.


He was living in Rensselaerville when he first entered the service and lived in Berne from the time of his discharge until about 1810 when he removed to Schoharie. [1]
He volunteered in the month of August of 1778 and served under Captain William Deitz’s company in Colonel Peter Vrooman’s Regiment. The company was stationed at Weidman’s Fort at a place called Beaver Dam which was about ten or twelve miles from the lower fort in Schoharie. He served there for three months.
In the Spring of 1779, probably April, he again volunteered to serve in the same Regiment and was stationed at the same fort. He continued there through November of that year.
Again, in the Spring of 1780 he volunteered in the same Regiment and served in the same place and served there again until November of that year. They played a significant role in building the other fort at Beaver Dam.
Again in the Spring of 1781 he volunteered in the same Company and Regiment and was stationed at the new fort in Beaver Dam. He continued to serve until late Fall of that year and was discharged.
He did not participate in any battles. His chief employment was standing guard and scouting.
In the Spring of 1783 he again volunteered in the same Company and Regiment and served for about a month when he was discharged.

Marriage & Children

On March 29, 1785 he married Catherine Dietz who was born on October 3, 1761 at Beaver Dam, a daughter of John Hendrick Dietz and Maria Elisabetha Ecker. They had the following known children: [2]

  • William Becraft born June 19, 1786
  • Elizabeth Becraft born March 30, 1789
  • Maria Becraft born November 11, 1791
  • Margaret Becraft born January 30, 1794
  • Annatje Becraft born July 5, 1796
  • Peter Becraft born in 1798
  • Jacob Becraft born before July 14, 1799
  • Jacob Becraft born January 19, 1801
  • Sarah Becraft born October 5, 1806


Catherine predeceased Francis, she died between 1840 and 1850 and Francis died on November 2, 1852[2]. Both died in Schoharie.

Additional Media

Francis, like many other veterans, provided affidavits his fellow veterans in order to help them get their Revolutionary War pensions. He was emotionally impacted enough by the Dietz Massacre to mention it in every affidavit he provided, including his own.
Below are selected pages of Francis Becraft’s Revolutionary War pension file.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pension file of Francis Becraft filed on November 12, 1832 in Schoharie
  2. 2.0 2.1