52 Ancestors Week 27 - Independence

+10 votes

AJC - July 4th (1776) is Independence Day in the United States. Do you have an ancestor who served in the American Revolution? Do you have a relative who was fiercely independent? Maybe an ancestor who struggled to gain some personal independence?

Extra Ideas  - Yesterday (July 1, 1867) was Canada Day - which also marks Canada's birth as a independent country as well.

Do you have an ancestor who fled the revolution and became a Loyalist in Canada?

Do you have any ancestors who were slaves and who escaped Slavery (or the Southern states) and travelled the underground route to freedom (and independence)  in either the Northern States or in Canada?

Do you have any ancestors who fought in any other war or were involved with the process for independence of their country?  (not just the USA or Canada)

in The Tree House by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
27. I have numerous ancestors that were held in British Concentration Camps around 1900-1902 during the South African Boer War. I pity them!

14 Answers

+9 votes

Yes Robynne, I do.  As a Canadian, I have ancestors who fought on both sides of the Revolution, it was very divisive. Some were written out of their father's will, others were driven from their homes, on both sides.  

But when I think of fierce independence, I think of a small group of settlers in Barrington and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia who refused to take sides in the conflict. Mostly Cape Cod fishermen they moved to Nova Scotia in order to get the vote, ten to fifteen years before the Boston Tea Party, and they weren't atall loyal to the English. They believed in peaceful solutions and refused to take either side in the Revolution. One example was my ancestor Joshua Pitman Trefry, who refused to take the English oath, and the American one. The history books and the diaries of the time note that he transported American prisoners back home from Halifax in his schooner, and carried Loyalists from New York to Nova Scotia. 

by Laurie Giffin G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+7 votes
Yes ma'am. I have my very own New England Patriots and one French Canadian who rendered aid:

Daniel Bailey https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bailey-16958

Joseph Felker https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Felker-466

Isaac Fellows https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Fellows-533

Joseph Fisher https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Fisher-12802

Peter Hunt Jr https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hunt-4553

Charles Mathieu https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mathieu-114

Amos Sargent https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sargent-2741

Benjamin Smart https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Smart-2626

John Smith https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Smith-34825

Matthew Stanley https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Stanley-6811

Richard Tandy https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Tandy-286

William Taylor https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Taylor-42963

Dunno if anyone was independent but a fair few ladies were. One of 'em changed her name from Deborah to Elizabeth. Made finding her info a little hard. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Fellows-1015
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (805k points)
+4 votes
Mine is Darling Jones and his profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Jones-76636.

Pvt. Carter's Co
Shelby's N.C. Regt.

The D.A.R. has placed a marker to by his headstone, a Revolutionary War veteran.

About the time of the Revolution War, he was visiting his parents in Washington (now Carter) County on the "Doe River" when he was drafted for Revolutionary service. He stated in his pension application: "left Roans Creek, crossed Stone Mountain at the head of Watauga to the high hills of Santee and to the Santee Swamp where he joined Marion." He also stated in the Indian Wars with John Sevier. After the war, he moved his family to Washington County where he had a grant of 259 acres - Grant No.1073, July 11, 1794" on Brush Creek." (The land was actually in the present Asbury Community.)

Darling and Nancy Huff (his second wife) Jones lived in a cabin home located near the Clinchfield Railway and the Asbury Bridge. After Darling's death, Nancy continued to live in that home until her death. The cabin was moved at the efforts of a Mr. Miller to the Girl Scout Camp on Oakland Avenue, where it is used as an office building.

Darling Jones was buried near his home where his grave was marked by the DAR.
Now I will provide on this the sources I have on his profile

* https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/33364355/darling-everette-jones
by Living Barnett G2G6 Pilot (511k points)
edited by Living Barnett
+8 votes
I have a number of direct ancestors who fought in the American Revolution:

John Gardner (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Gardner-7978 ), my 4-greats grandfather. "John Gardner was a man of fine form and agreeable manners. He commanded a company of scouts in the Revolution, and was very daring, and many acts of bravery and feats of horsemanship were related of him by his contemporaries long after the close of the war." (History of Chester County, PA) His brother, James Gardner, also served in the war.

Cyrus Kinne (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Kinne-162 ), my 5-greats grandfather. Past and Present of Onondaga Co. says: "Cyrus Kinne, the great grandfather of D. E. Olin Kinne, served with the American army throughout the Revolutionary war."

Jacob Forrey (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Forrey-15 ), my 3-greats grandfather, fought in the Revolutionary War as a private. Enlisted in Lancaster Co, Pa. Served under Captain Jacob Kloty, CO of the flying camp of Long Island and Brandywine.

And his father John Forrey (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Forry-132 ), who was a private under CAPT MATTHIAS, COL MICHAEL SMYSER, YORK CO MILITIA, in Pennsylvania. (DAR)

William Read (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Read-2794 ), my 3-greats grandfather, a Scottish immigrant, served as a blacksmith in the Revolutionary War. Little is known about him, or his family and history in Scotland. However, the clan he was from (Robertson) was one of the clans that fought against England in the Jacobite uprising in 1745. It is possible that the family fled Scotland because of the English reprisals after the uprising

Uzal Johnson (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Johnson-30257 ), my 4-greats grandfather, a rather confusing person, as there are 3 Uzal Johnsons, probably all related, who served in the Revolutionary War. One was a loyalist.

Matthias Boger, Jr. (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Boger-328 ), and possibly also Matthias Boger, Sr. (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Boger-281 ), my 4-greats and 3-greats grandfathers. Mathias Boger Sr.'s bio says that he was a hero of the Revolutionary war, but he would have been about 60, which seems a bit old to be rushing off to war. Mathias Boger, Jr. was a private, and was listed in the Muster Rolls of the Militia of Lancaster county.

Rev. Jacob Ulrich Strickler (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Strickler-601 ), my 4-greats grandfather, as a Mennonite preacher would not fight, but provided grain and forage for the army's horses.

I will add to this when I have time.
by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 8 (86.6k points)
edited by Alison Gardner
+8 votes

There are so many to pick from!  

I’ll follow Alison’s lead and pick an early settler in Onondaga County

Joel Cornish https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cornish-315

And a few years later when many more migrated to Onondaga County

Samuel Sands https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sands-350

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (624k points)
+10 votes
My great aunt, Wendy Wood (1892 - 1981) ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Meacham-885), fought fiercely for Scottish independence, from shortly after the end of W W I to he death in 1981.

She was born, Gwendoline Meacham, in Maidstone, Kent, in 1892, where her father was a brewery chemist.

A few years later, her father became the brewery manager for Olssons Brewery in Cape Town, South Africa, and the whole family moved there. She had a number of adventures associated with the Boer War, and with accompanying her father on visits to the Boer farmers who provided the raw materials for the brewery. These included finding a black mamba (poisonous snake) in the bed, and the unintentional betrothal (by exchanging hats) with a farmer's son. The family was friends with Baden-Powell, and she joined the early Boy Scouts, along with her brother.

As a teenager, she was was sent to boarding school in Tunbridge Wells (outside London), run by Scottish schoolmistresses. This is where she became infatuated with Scottish culture. At the same time her sister, Meena, 6 years older, was living in London and studying piano. Meena moved in Bohemian circles, and was friends with George Bernard Shaw, H.G.Wells, Yeats, Eric Gill and others. After one evening with Meena and her friends, a young protege of GBS insisted on accompanying Wendy to the station, where she was catching a train back to school. While there, he bought two round trip tickets to Paris, and tried to convince her to go with him. Finally, when she was on the train to Tunbridge Wells, he handed her a box of chocolates, and, as the train started moving, he said: "Even if you won't go to Paris with me, thanks for a lovely night". She spent the trip back to Tunbridge Wells under the disapproving gaze of her fellow passengers.

She trained as an artist, and worked as both an artist and an author. Before WW I she married a Scotsman, Walter Cuthbert, and had two daughters, one of whom lived to be over 100. After WWI they separated. She moved to Edinburgh with her two daughters and she became very active in the Scottish Independence movement. This is when she started calling herself Wendy Wood, to emphasize her artistic heritage- her mother's father was the sculptor Samuel Peploe Wood, and his brother was the painter Thomas Peploe Wood.

In the 1930s, at a demonstration celebrating the Battle of Bannockburn (the last MAJOR victory of the Scots over the English, in the time of Edward I), she looked up and saw the GIANT Union Jack flying over Stirling Castle and decided it had to come down. At the time, part of Stirling Castle was open to tourists (6d admission), and part was an active Army Barracks. She and her followers marched through the tourist entrance, refusing to pay the "saxpence" (Scots shouldn't have to pay to enter their own castle), and barged through the gate to the barracks, to the dumbfounded stares of the soldiers. They climbed to the top of the tower, and took down the Union Jack. Wendy pulled a similarly giant Royal Standard out from under her skirt (so clearly premeditated), and ran it up the flagpole. She put the Union Jack under her skirt and walked off. The Union Jack ended up under her carpet, but Eric Linklater wrote a roman-a-clef in which the clearly-based-on-Wendy character flushed the flag down the toilet. She sued him for libel (thereby keeping the Scottish Independence cause in the news) and eventually settled out of court for a farthing damages.

In the 50s (McCarthy period) she flew to New York to raise money for the cause. On her passport, she crossed out "United Kingdom" and wrote in "Scotland". When they landed in NY, she was asked to remain in her seat while the other passengers left. She thought "Now I am done for!" for mutilating her passport. But it turned out there was a pipe band on the tarmac to greet her. In New York she asked for a "large Manhattan", thinking it would be a club sandwich. She also thought some of the trash cans were post poxes, and almost got arrested for jay walking.

When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, Wendy was adamant that she might be Elizabeth II of England, but she was only Elizabeth I of Scotland. Wendy was part of a group that went around "paint bombing" anything that said "E R II". Eventually the authorities stopped putting ANY royal insignia on the post boxes in Scotland.

In 1972 (at the age of 80) she held a hunger strike for home rule, and she died in 1981, aged 89.

She was NOT involved in the theft of the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey, but wished she had been.

She wore the same clothes almost every day- a pleated skirt in Ross tartan (women DON'T WEAR KILTS, they wear pleated skirts) with a white blouse and a green jacket, and a green cape when it was cold.

It was said of Wendy that "she never let the 'mere truth' get in the way of a good story".

One example is her claim that her grandmother was Scottish. Not true. She had an English great aunt. Alethea Wood, who married (in her 50s) a Scots merchant named Ross, and they retired to Dalbeattie, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Her father built a holiday house in nearby Kippford, and the family spend many holidays there.  THAT was her Scottish connection.
by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
edited by Janet Gunn
What a fascinating ancestor! How wonderful that you have so much information on her life. I am sure she would be delighted to know her story is still being shared.
+7 votes

Great additions as food for thought Robin. Still working on this one.

*Updated - OK, done. I connected with an a helpful, very well organized Willard Family Association this week. Too much info to take in, and I had not been aware of my Willard connection at all. I got distracted with the whole thing. Turns out that Simon Willard https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Willard-10   was my 10th great grandfather. Definitely an independent man, who was one of the Founders of Concord, Mass. Here is my blog post for the week:(side note -my post for "Black Sheep" was featured in AJC's weekly email, which kind of made my week) http://www.libbyonthelabel.ca/2018/07/52-ancestors-week-27-independence-day.html#.W0FIgleg7sQ.link

by Libby Park G2G6 Mach 1 (18.9k points)
edited by Libby Park
+7 votes

Does Brexit count?

Ok...I can't count myself voting to become independent of Europe, but my next closest is Richard Phillpott who fought in the Naploeonic wars, but I've already used him in the Lucky week - as he was lucky to just lose a leg and not his life!

by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (176k points)
So are you going to find someone else?

I don't see why you cannot use one of your ancestors or relatives twice - if you feel it is necessary.

I certainly won't hold that against you. I think others have done that already.

OK...it has taken me a long time, but I've finally stumbled across a relative (distant!) whilst researching DNA matches for an ancestor for the Bio Builders challenge!

It seems Thomas Solley was press-ganged into joining the British army in about 1778/9 but deserted the British Army and joined Captain Stanton's company, Col. Elisha Sheldon's Regiment, Continental Dragoons on 11th January 1781. He married his 14 year old wife Eunice  in 1782, and had several children (I'm still  trying to trace all of them). A few of his descendants in the USA have applied for DAR and SAR membership, so I would guess he counts as serving in the Revolution, even if he didn't actually fight?

He was the cousin of my 5 x great grandmother Mary Solley

+4 votes

One of the United States Revolutionary War soldiers in my family tree is Rossel Richardson.  He enlisted in the Connecticut line in 1777 about age 19 and applied for a military pension in 1818.  Because the pension was based on financial need, one of the requirements was to submit an inventory of all his possessions and their value.  It is an amazingly brief list, less than a handwritten page that includes both the farm and household items.  Everything from 4 pigs @ $2 to 6 spoons @ .25 and goes on to describe his and his wife’s ill health.  And, mentions “my son who has a family and lives a few rods from me” – a lot of unexpected information beyond his military service! 

by Jill Perry G2G6 Mach 4 (46.0k points)
+4 votes
I have several ancestors that served in the Revolutionary war:

Nathan Atkinson - https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Atkinson-1875

Edward Woodham Jr - https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Woodham-35

Sherod Thompson - https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Thompson-20614

There were probably a few more but I don't have the documentation yet.
by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (292k points)
+4 votes

Hi! I'm in... and playing catch up. I have a couple of ancestors we know fought for American Independence: Willis McDonald & Samuel Gill. The profile of Samuel is one I use to illustrate how wonderful WikiTree can be - the picture of the portrait was sent to me by a cousin I didn't know I had! One of the best things, even if it's also sometimes one of the worst things about WikiTree is that everyone collaborates on a single profile for their ancestor. When it works as intended, it's a beautiful thing, as it was for Samuel's profile.

Cheers, Liz

by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (655k points)
+3 votes
I have actually lived through an Independence celebration so there is one photo I have uploaded as my "proof" Since both of the ladies involved are still living, their profiles are currently unlisted, but you can at least (hopefully) see the photo.

As you will know from my profile, I spent several years as a teenager living in a pacific Island country during the 1970s while my parents were missionaries.

On 7 July 1978 - that is now 40 years and 3 days ago, LOL - that country being the Solomon Islands - became an independent country within the British Commonwealth. It had previously been a colony.

Anyway,the British royal family were represented by the Queens cousin, Richard Duke of Gloucester and his wife Birgitte, both of whom are still living, so their profiles, like my mothers, are unlisted.

This is a 40 year old photo of my mother (Yvonne, on the right) being introduced to the Duchess of Gloucester (on the left) by the wife of the Governor General (behind and standing next to the Duchess).

The date of this photo would have been on or around the 7th of July, 1978. It may have been 1 or 2 days earlier, I can't remember the exact details.


More information about the Solomon Islands, if you are curious.

by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
+3 votes

This has been a really hard one for me.  The closest I can come up with is

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pennie-25  Ruth Catherine (Pennie) Tonkin,

She was my half aunt.  Half sister to my Dad.  Ruth Pennie was first WAC from Michigan. She was one of President Eisenhower's drivers when he was in the US. She drove him when he was a General. Laura Pennie-22 Bozzay and her husband drove to Detroit around 2004 and met with Ruth and her husband Bill. Very nice people. She showed us a newspaper clipping about her being the first WAC from Michigan (I have tried but not found a copy of that article) and photos of her with Eisenhower and the car.  Since General Eisenhower was a key figure in keeping us Independent in WWII I picked Ruth for this week's profile.  

by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (854k points)
+4 votes

52 Ancestors for 52 Weeks - Week 27 - Independence

Since today is Veterans Day in the United States, my ancestor that came to mind was my Uncle, [[Smith-159688|Wilbert "Wick" Smith]]. He was one of my father's brothers, and if the truth be known, I would say, his favorite one.

My dad and Uncle Wick would meet every morning for coffee. They were both very religious men, both loved music, their family and their country. Both of them served their country.

My Uncle Wick was a veteran of WWII and served in the Army.  He was a Tech 5, and a very quiet spoken man. If you talked to him, you would find that he was a soft spoken person.

I found it hard to believe that he fought in the battles of Rhineland and the European Theatre.

I was very impressed  at his funeral when they announced that he had been awarded the European, African and Middle Eastern Theatre service medals and also the Good Conduct Medal.

He was buried in the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois with full military honors. His funeral was the first time I had ever seen a military service funeral, other than watching John F. Kennedy's on television when I was a child.

I was suitably impressed.

I loved my Uncle Wick very much, and think about him and miss him every day.

So, when I saw the word - Independence, I thought of my Uncle Wick. May he rest in peace. And I thank him, and men like him for their service to our country.

Wick Smith

by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)

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