One year before William Penn founded Philadelphia in 1681, Betsy Ross's great-grandfather,Andrew Griscom, a Quaker carpenter, had already emigrated from England to New Jersey.
Andrew was successful at his trade. He was also of firm Quaker belief, and he was inspired to move to Philadelphia to become an early participant in Penn's "holy experiment." He purchased 495 acres of land in the Spring Garden section north of the city of Philadelphia (the section would later be incorporated as part of the city), and received a plot of land within the city proper.
Griscom's son and grandson both became respected carpenters as well. Both have their names inscribed on a wall at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, home of the oldest trade organization in the country.
Griscom's grandson Samuel helped build the bell tower at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall). He married Rebecca James who was a member of a prominent Quaker merchant family. It was not unusual for people in those days to have many children, so it is only somewhat surprising to learn that they had 17!
Elizabeth Griscom -- also called Betsy, their eighth child and a fourth-generation American, was born on January 1, 1752.
Betsy went to a Friends (Quaker) public school. For eight hours a day she was taught reading, writing, and received instruction in a trade -- probably sewing. After completing her schooling, Betsy's father apprenticed her to a local upholsterer. Today we think of upholsterers primarily as sofa-makers and such, but in colonial times they performed all manner of sewing jobs, including flag-making. It was at her job that Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross, who was the son of an Episcopal assistant rector at Christ Church.
Quakers frowned on inter-denominational marriages. The penalty for such unions was severe -- the guilty party being "read out" of the Quaker meeting house. Getting "read out" meant being cut off emotionally and economically from both family and meeting house. One's entire history and community would be instantly dissolved. On a November night in 1773, 21-year-old Betsy eloped with John Ross. They ferried across the Delaware River to Hugg's Tavern and were married in New Jersey. Her wedding caused an irrevocable split from her family. [It is an interesting parallel to note that on their wedding certificate is the name of New Jersey's Governor, William Franklin, Benjamin Franklin's son. Three years later William would have an irrevocable split with his father because he was a Loyalist against the cause of the Revolution.]
Birth Date: abt 1717 Death Age: 76 Death Date: 15 Sep 1793 Death Date on Image: 15 Ninth 1793 Burial Place: Pennsylvania, USA Residence Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Event Type: Burial Monthly Meeting: Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Northern District Historical Meeting Data: Search for this monthly meeting in the 'Quaker Monthly Meetings Index' Type (Orthodox or Hicksite): Pre-Separation Yearly Meeting: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Meeting State: Pennsylvania Meeting County: Philadelphia Source Citation Haverford College; Haverford, Pennsylvania; Births and Deaths, 1754-1806; Collection: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes
Residence: Philadelphia Spouse: Rebecca James Marriage Date: 6 Feb 1741 Original data: New Jersey State Archives. New Jersey, Published Archives Series, First Series. Trenton, New Jersey: John L Murphy Publishing Company.
Gender: Male Spouse Name: Rebecca James Marriage State: of PA Number Pages: 10 Source Citation Source number: 985.003; Source type: Pedigree chart; Number of Pages: 10 Source Information Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
SAR Membership: 18628 Role: Ancestor Children: Elizabeth Griscom Source Citation Volume: 94 Original data: Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls.
Name: Samuel Griscom [Samuel Griseom] Home in 1790 (City, County, State): Water Street East Side, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over: 1 Free White Persons - Females: 3 Number of Household Members: 4 Source Citation Year: 1790; Census Place: Water Street East Side, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Series: M637; Roll: 9; Page: 156; Image: 485; Family History Library Film: 0568149
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On 7 Sep 2015 at 16:05 GMT Doug Lockwood wrote:
Samuel is 18 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 40 degrees from Duke Ellington, 18 degrees from Keith Hathaway and 18 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.