Published in the Westside News (Spencerport, New York) on November 11, 2012
James Billings enlisted in May 1775 in Stonington, Connecticut and served six months as a private in Captain James Eldredge’s Company, Colonel Samuel H. Parsons’ Regiment. He re-enlisted in the fall of 1776 and served three months as a private in Captain Oliver Grant’s company, Colonel Ely’s Connecticut Regiment. He enlisted again in February 1777 and served as a private in Captain William Belcher’s company in the 1st Connecticut Regiment. He was discharged in February of 1780.
He was living with his son Walter in what was then Murray (now Clarkson) when he died in 1829 at the age of 78 and was buried in the Sage Cemetery on Parma-Clarkson Townline Road. If there was a gravestone originally, it no longer existed.
The Rochester Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution searched to find a descendant that would apply to the Veterans Administration for a gravestone for this Revolutionary War patriot. Mark Goslin from Sarasota, Florida made the application and a stone was eventually delivered to the cemetery.
On November 5, Sons of the American Revolution members, with the help of John Toal, a nearby resident, installed the stone to commemorate one of the oldest veterans, according to Robert Coomber, Treasurer, Rochester Chapter, Empire State Society, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution.