Jirene's Genealogy Treasures

Genealogical Information of Interest on my Ancestors: Morris and Ellsworth families including Lee, Halladay, Wanslee, Gordge, McFerren, and Blackhurst (England, Ireland, Wales, Australia to the US: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah and Arizona), and the Butler and Adams families including Hancock, Lind, DeWitt, McCleve, Thetford, and Nielsen (England, Ireland, Denmark to the US: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Utah, and Arizona).

Jul 5, 2010

My Revolutionary War Ancestors: From Drummer to Serving under Benedict Arnold

This Independence Day weekend prompted me to research which of my ancestors served in the American Revolutionary War.  (It also helped that Footnote.com was offering a free search this weekend!).  I wasn't having too much success (problems with Footnote.com's servers being busy - go figure), so I decided to read blog posts to which I subscribe.

I came upon a blog post (Family History Expos' blog) that suggested when researching Revolutionary War veterans, to also research the databases of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  I ran a few names from our family history through the DAR database and found some wonderful nuggets of information.  Here's a sampling of what I found:

Josiah Bearce (1755-1845), of New Milford, Litchfield, Connecticut:  He was a Private, and served under Captains Reuben Bostwick and Benjamin Stone.  He also served under Colonels Silliman and Fellows.

Supply Reed (1754-1847), of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:  He was a Private, and served under Captains Parker and Ford, as well as Colonel Jonathan Reed.

John Byam (1761-1835), also of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:  He was a Private, but was also a drummer.  He served under Captains Minot More and Foster, as well as Colonels Reed and Howes.

Jacob Ward (1756-?), of Somerset, Connecticut:  He was a Private serving under Captain Ames Walbridge and Colonel Charles Webb.

Stith Parham Sr (1730-1793), of Sussex County, Virginia:  Although he didn't fight in the war, he was recognized for his patriotic service in Virginia by furnishing supplies.

Israel Ellsworth (aka Israel Ellsworth Holliday) (1755-1834), of Pittsford, Rutland, Vermont:  He served in the Green Mountain Boys unit under Captin Peleg of Sunderland, Vermont.  He also was on the "line" with Cols. Ethan Allen (founder of Vermont) and Benedict Arnold (traitor for the British).   

Side note:  Benjamin Franklin wrote that "Judas sold only one man, Arnold three million."  Funny coincidence, though:  my sister's husband descends from Benedict Arnold.  Small world!

Although I don't know these relatives that well, I do know a little more about Israel Ellsworth Holliday because of the family "legend."  His true name is Israel Ellsworth, and the family story* is that following the war he disappeared about 1790, leaving his wife Hopestill Stevens in Pennsylvania with five children.  No one knew of his whereabouts until his Revolutionary War Pension Application in 1832 (which I did retrieve from Footnote.com; to be shared in a later story).  It seems Israel abandoned his family, assumed his mother's maiden name (Holliday), moved to Virginia, then married Ann Bennett.  He and Ann made their home in Fairfax, Virginia, and had four children.

Hopestill Stevens Ellsworth's version of the events (as recorded by a gentleman named Caleb Hendee) was that Israel, "in a fit of insanity," went into the woods and never was seen afterwards.  Hopestill left her Pennsylvania home and returned to her family in Pittsford, Vermont.  There she married again to a Mr. Patterson, with whom she lived for some years until he left her.  Later she married Willard Seaton.  It seems they were well matched, "both bad enough," and they lived together for some years.  Thereafter he left her and Hopestill went into Upper Canada and there married a fourth time.

Though I digressed into divulging "family dirt" about my ancestors (admit it, it's the fun part of genealogy!), I do have a sincere gratitude for their serving this great Country in its infancy.  I know a blog post remembering them does not compare, but learning these little nuggets about them instills in me a great pride.  Thank you, Patriots.

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.  
~Thomas Campbell~

*See book on Ancestry.com called Our Ellsworth Ancestors.

1 comment:

  1. Want an interesting story! I agree "family dirt" is a fun part of genealogy! Thanks for sharing.


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