Nathanael Greene
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Nathanael Greene (1742 - 1786)

Maj. Gen. Nathanael "Nathaniel" [uncertain] Greene aka Green
Born in Forge Farm, Potowomut, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Islandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 20 Jul 1774 in Home of William Greene, Warwick Township, Kent County, RImap
Descendants descendants
Died in Mulberry Grove, Chatham, Georgia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 23 Aug 2011
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Nathanael Greene is notable.
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Nathanael Greene is an NSSAR Patriot Ancestor.
NSSAR Ancestor #: P-170154
Rank: Major General
Major General Nathanael Greene served in the Continental Army in the American Revolution
Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene was a Founding Father in the American Revolution

Nathanael Greene (August 7 [O.S. July 27] 1742 – June 19, 1786, frequently misspelled Nathaniel) was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United States are named for him. Greene suffered financial difficulties in the post-war years and died suddenly of sunstroke in 1786.

Before the American Revolutionary war

Nathanael was the son of Nathanael Greene (1707–1770), a Quaker farmer and smith, and the great great grandson of John Greene and Samuel Gorton, both of whom were founding settlers of Warwick, Rhode Island.[1] Nathanael was born on Forge Farm at Potowomut in the township of Warwick, Rhode Island, on August 7, 1742 new style. His mother, Mary Motte, was his father's second wife. Though his father's sect discouraged "literary accomplishments," Greene educated himself, with a special study of mathematics and law. The Rev. Ezra Stiles, later president of Yale University, was a strong influence in the young Nathanael's life.

In 1770, Greene moved to Coventry, Rhode Island, to take charge of the family-owned forge (foundry), just prior to his father's death. There, he was the first to urge the establishment of a public school and in the same year he was chosen as a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly, to which he was re-elected in 1771, 1772 and 1775. It is debatable that he was a member of the General Assembly since there is no mention of his participation in his personal papers and because there were several of his contemporaries with the same name from Rhode Island. He sympathized strongly with the "Whig," or Patriot, element among the colonists


Revolutionary War hero.

In about 1993 we visited the home in which Nathanael was born. This home was then owned by Thomas Greene and his mother Anne Greene. This Thomas Greene is not a lineal descendant of Nathanael's.

July 27, 2001 we helped celebrate Nathanael's 259th birthday at "The Forge", Potowomut, East Greenwich, Rhode Island where he was born.

We have one volume of his books of letters. JGP


1770 Member of Rhode Island Assembly
1774 Charter member of the Kentish Gaurds
8 MAY 1775 Chosen Brigadier-General of Rhode Island Army of Observation
24 MAR 1776 In command of Boston
25 APR 1776 In command of Long Island

Military Service

1776 Promoted to the rank of Major-General




JUL 1774 Home of William Greene, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island[1][2]


He married Catharine Littlefield, also known as "Caty," of Rhode Island.


19 June 1786 Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA.


DEATH 19 Jun 1786 (aged 43)[3]
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Colonial Park Cemetery
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
  • This is the original burial site
Nathaniel Greee (1742-1786) Greene died at “Mulberry Grove” on June 19, 1786, at the age of only 43. The was initially interred at the Graham Vault in Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah. On October 14, 1902, his remains were moved to a monument in Johnson Square in Savannah. [4]


  • Seventeen U.S. states have named counties in Gen. Greene's honor. They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.


  1. Greene Homestead brochure
  2. Helen Kessler
  3. Find A Grave
  4. Graves of Our Founders: Their Lives, Contributions, and Burial Sites By Lawrence Knorr, Joe Farley, Joe Farrell

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Nathanael by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Nathanael:

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Comments: 10

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Curious to see if there are any proven living descendants of Gen. Greene?
posted by Maureen Deegan
Perhaps his 1776 sticker needs to be updated ?

May 12, 1780, the 2nd NC Regiment surrendered 301 men to the British Army at the Fall of Charlestown, SC. Reconstituted from April to July of 1781, with detachments being hurriedly sent to South Carolina to support Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene. As men were recruited, they were assembled and marched southward, usually with no uniforms and with no arms or ammunition. Ultimately, the 2nd NC Regiment again became part of the NC Brigade (one and only one), an element of the Southern Department.

posted by Beryl Meehan
Nathanael Greene was my great grandfather times 5 or 6.
posted by Renee Fairchild
Hi Renee,

What is your line of descent from Nathanael Greene?

posted by Maureen Deegan
I just know he is my great grandfather times 5 or 6. I have a brick from a home that has some of the lineage laminated onto the brick. My grandmother is Addie Williams.
posted by Renee Fairchild
We used to pose under his huge equestrian statue in the Guilford Courthouse Battlefield Park in Greensboro, NC, not knowing until this year that he was a blood relative on my father's side.
Very nice profile :)
posted by Zoiya (Holland) Tate
The biography of Catharine Littlefield Greene "Caty" by John and Janet Stegeman offers more information on Nathanael Greene's children. These included Martha Washington Greene (who married John C. Nightingale and then Henry Turner), Louisa Ray Greene (who married James Shaw), and Catharine Greene (who died in infancy). Also, Cornelia Lott Greene re-married after the death of Peyton Skipwith, Jr. her cousin Ned Littlefield (son of William Littlefield, Catharine's younger brother).
posted by [Living Spada]

Find out more at the Global Family Reunion project

posted by Matt Pryber