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Prosser, Otey

I am a 6th generation descendent from Otey Prosser who fought in the battle of Brandywine and wintered at Valley Forge. He was from Virginia and I assume he was in one of the Virginia regiments. Tradition has it that he assisted Lafayette from the battlefield after he was wounded. Lafayette met Otey again during his tour of the United States in 1824. Supposedly Lafayette gave Otey a warm French greeting (embrace and kiss on both cheeks). Otey was born in Henrico County, VA in 1761 and died in Washington County, GA in 1839 at the age of 78.

Lee R. dePersia

9 comments on Prosser, Otey

  1. Hello,

    Otey Prosser was my 6th great granduncle. I descend from Otey’s sister Rebecca. Rebecca was also married to a patriot. His name was Anthony Christian.

    Michelle Cocchia

  2. Otey Prosser was my grandfather, 7 generations ago, through his daughter Fanny. It’s fascinating to see where the family went from there.

  3. My mother was Emma Mae Prosser Golden. I ahd a aunt Katheryn, Prosser Veerkamp. My Aunt Juainta Prosser Ivey is in Green Acres Nursing Home in Hardwick, Ga.My uncle Buford Prosser died some years ago. His son Buford was killed in an outo accident a couple of years ago. I was in attendance for the Prosser Family Reunion at the dedication of the rennovated Old State Capital building on the campus of Georgia Military College. It was there at the reinactment of Layfayette’s visit to Milledgeville in 1825 that I became interested in learning more about my ancestor Otey Prosser.

  4. Otey Prosser was my grandfather, 6 generations ago, through his son William, who was born in NC. and moved to Georgia. I have a photo of Otey’s headstone in Washington Co., GA.. We will have a 50th family reunion on April 1st, 2012 in Bulloch Co., GA. descending from Otey.. It is wonderful to find all of this information on Otey.

  5. Has anyone published a family tree of Otey Prosser
    He was my 5th greatgrandfather

  6. Does anyone have documentation showing that Otey was at Brandywine? His Compiled Service Records from the National Archives suggest that Otey did not enlist until Feb. 11, 1778 – five months AFTER the battle at Brandywine…. There are also several eyewitness accounts suggesting that the person who helped Lafayette from the field at Brandywine was a man from N.C. named Thomas Duffel. Nevertheless, I DO have good eyewitness documentation to confirm that Otey was indeed recognized warmly by Lafayette when the latter visited Milledgville, GA on March 27, 1825 (about 15 miles from Otey’s home at the time); and, Otey’s regiment (the VA 7th – which later combined with the 3rd, then became the VA 5th) did leave Valley Forge under Lafayette’s command. So, it’s possible that Otey and Lafayette grew familiar under circumstances other than the battle at Brandywine.

    Otey is my 5th great-grandfather. I am happy to share research with anyone who may be interested! (

  7. Julian and Kenneth:

    Otey’s Compiled Service Records can be found online at Fold3, but are also available on microfiche from the National Archives (pub. #M881, roll#0983). They show that Otey enlisted in the 7th VA Reg. of the Continental Army on February 11, 1778, for a period of one year. Also, a transcript of enlistments from Powhatan Co. VA was published in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (v.24 [1916], pp.328-9). This roll includes Otey and dates the enlistment subscriptions as being collected on Feb. 12, 1778. Notably, Abraham Stovall also enlisted with the same regiment, and served with Otey during his year in the Continental Army. Otey would go on to marry Abraham’s sister, Frances Stovall (in December of 1880). The CSR shows Otey being discharged from the Continental Army on February 16, 1779.

    During his year with the Continental Army, Otey mustered at the following locations (respectively): Valley Forge, Paramus, White Plains, Newark, Pompton Plains, and Middlebrook. This itinerary suggests Otey may have fought with Lafayette at Barren Hill and Monmouth (in addition to wintering with Lafayette at Valley Forge). These experiences may be the origin of Lafayette’s acquaintance with Otey Prosser. Beyond this, however, It is likely that Otey served with Lafayette again, during the VA campaign of 1881 – this time as a member of the VA militia. Indeed, most of the activity in that campaign took place in Otey’s “back yard” and he most certainly would have been pressed into service with his local militia.

    After the war, Otey appears on the tax lists for Franklin Co. (VA) in 1788, and Bedford Co. (VA) in 1800. I find him in the Georgia censuses for the first time in 1820, in Washington Co., where he died on July 3, 1839 and is buried in a Prosser family plot in Deepstep, GA. However, there are indications that Otey’s eldest son, Jesse (my gggg-grandfather), was in Milledgeville as early as 1809.

    In 1884, a man claiming to have been a close acquaintance of Otey and his descendants in GA wrote a letter to a local newspaper in Milledgeville, recalling the early days of that city’s founding. It was in this letter that we first get a published eyewitness account of Lafayette recognizing Otey during his visit to Milledgeville in 1827. There is a good deal of evidence to support the accuracy of that letter. (Note: the letter does NOT suggest that Otey may have been at Brandywine.)

    Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at:

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