Actress Jane Wyman, as a child.

In March 1778, while residing in Montgomery county, Owens volunteered and served nine months as a sergeant in Captain James Newell’s company, Colonel Preston’s Virginia regiment.

In March 1779, he volunteered again and served another nine months with the same company and regiment.

In March 1780, while residing in Montgomery County, Owens volunteered and served one year in Captain James Maxwell’s company, Colonel Preston’s Virginia regiment.

During his total 36 months of military service, Owens built and defended forts, scouted as a spy, had numerous skirmishes with American Indians and captured Tories.

He says in his pension record, “The Tories were inflicting upon friends of the Revolution every injury, murdering, burning houses, destroying crops, capturing citizens, and plundering…”

William and Nancy Owens had 13 children, including one set of twins. The names and birth dates of their children can be found in the pension record. Two children, Juda and Behethleum, died before reaching two years old. Children who reached adulthood were Reuben, Jane, Sarah, Rebeckah, Samuel, Nancy, Avy, William, John, Martin and Levina.

After the war, the family lived in the part of Montgomery County Virginia that became Wythe county until 1796 and then they moved to Russell County, Virginia until 1803. In 1803, William Owens moved his family to Pulaski County, Kentucky.

On January 20, 1834, Owens appeared in Pulaski County court and made a declaration for a pension under the 1832 Act of Congress. His pension was approved and issued.

William Owens died on August 9, 1836, in Pulaski County, Kentucky. He is buried in the Sinking Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. His widow, Nancy, applied for his pension. It was approved and issued. She died October 2, 1840.

One of the most famous descendants of William and Nancy Owens is the Academy Award winning actress, Jane Wyman, who was the first wife of President Ronald Reagan.