Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Benjamin Cleveland ~ Terror of the Tories ~ Part 2

An image of the american revolution

Last week I took a look into the early years of this Revolutionary War hero.  I discovered that not every Patriot was honorable or moral, even though I had always seen them that way. This week I will cover his military career up to his participation in the Battle of Kings Mountain: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Before the Revolutionary War Benjamin Cleveland fought off and on in1200px-French_and_indian_war_map.svg the French and Indian War. During the seven years, he would join a skirmish for a while then return home. It was here that he learned the brutal way the French fought. As the area where Benjamin lived was prospering there were mounting troubles with the British. By 1774 he was becoming excessively outspoken in his criticisms of British policies concerning the colonies. When news of colonial taxation by King George and the Parliament reached the Yadkin Valley, Benjamin was among the first to resent the threatened tyranny. He joined the Regiment of Militia for Surry County on June 28, 1774. Those listed in this unit were Jesse Walton as captain, Benjamin Cleveland as a lieutenant, and William Jerrell as ensign along with three sergeants, three corporals, one drummer, and eighty privates who were not listed by name.

By 1775 local tempers were running high when neighbors and friends of the Upper Yadkin Valley traveled to Cross Creek to sell their surplus products and to purchase supplies. Before they were permitted to make these transactions the colonists were compelled to make an oath of allegiance to the king. When Benjamin heard of this blatant act of tyranny, he swore he would crush the scoundrels. He then raised a select party of riflemen to march upon the Loyalists and scatter them.

loyalistBenjamin hunted the countryside and captured several Loyalist outlaws, one of whom he executed. He was a man named Jackson, who had set fire to the home and fully-stocked storehouse of Ransom Sunderland, one of the many Surry County residents who were friends of American liberty. On September 1, 1775, Benjamin was offered the position of the ensign of the North Carolina Line under the command of Colonel Robert Howe, but he turned down the honor, to serve with the militia in his own locality.

By the summer of 1776, the British had enticed the Cherokees into open hostilities with the colonists. Fighting had begun in various locations as some British agents tried to divert the patriots’ mental focus. Working as a colonial scout on the western frontier, Benjamin took his men to Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River. From there they covered the frontier in a display of force for the Cherokees. His activities caused the Indians to change their thoughts about being associated with the British, and the tribes smoked the long pipe of peace with Benjamin and his friends.

The peace was only temporary and by autumn the Indians were once again agitated into ravaging the frontier by the British. This time General Griffith Rutherford led a strong force against the Cherokees, and Benjamin and his men joined the campaign in the Surry Regimentcolonel joseph williams under Colonel Joseph Williams and Major Joseph Winston. During the campaign, the troops suffered hardships and need in this service. There were never enough provisions and the company had just a few blankets and no tents. The men were dressed in mended clothing made of a crude material gathered from the field and forest. They were often harassed on their march by ambush parties, and all of the men participated in the skirmishes of the campaign because there was no official general engagement. General Rutherford had begun with two thousand men before Benjamin and his volunteers added to their strength.

He was promoted to captain on November 23, 1776. While securing the country around Cape Fear, Benjamin and his men engaged in the Battle of Moore’s Creek and captured and executed several outlaws while burning many Loyalist towns. “Cleveland’s Bulldogs” were earning him a reputation for brutality in partisan warfare characterized by inhumanity, summary hangings, and mutilation. On some occasions, he would hang Tories by their thumbs until they confessed to British movements–thus creating a local expression “being hung by your thumbs.”

mountain menThe fiercely loyal mountain men were untrained but they were hardy and accurate with their guns. Admirers and countrymen called them “Cleveland’s Heroes” or “Cleveland’s Bulldogs,” but to the British and the Tories they were the “Cleveland’s Devils.” In 1778 Benjamin was made colonel of the militia. Despite his reputation for brutal justice or it could have been because of it, he was appointed justice of the Wilkes County court and placed at the head of the Commission of Justices. Regarded as one of the most popular leaders of the mountain section of the state, he was easily elected to the state’s House of Commons during this year.

His strong patriotic nature saved the western Carolinas from the British and Tory taking over. In 1779 his abrupt justice was further demonstrated by his handling of two hoodlums, James Coyle and John Brown, who had terrorized the entire country between Wilkes County, North Carolina, and Ninety-Six, South Carolina. After their spree of rape, murder, robbery, and plundering, they were eventually caught and brought before Benjamin, who was so incensed he wanted to kill them himself. He thrust his sword at Coyle, but a counterblow broke the blade. Now even more enraged, Benjamin had them seized by his men and hanged from the nearest tree. James Harwell, who had housed and protected these hoodlums, were severely beaten by Benjamin’s men. Cleveland and Benjamin Herndon, who was also involved in this justice, were subsequently indicted for murder in the Superior Court of the District of Salisbury, but on November 6, 1779, the North Carolina House of Commons offered a resolution to the governor, who signed it, and the two men were pardoned for their actions.

Benjamin was the leader of more than a hundred fights with the Benjamin Cleveland portraitTories. He was considered the perfect athlete with a large frame and an iron constitution. Since he was accustomed to the forest and climbing mountains, he was able to endure fatigue and hardships in his pursuit of Tory rebels. According to Governor Perry, Benjamin was “bold, fearless, and self-willed, full of hope and buoyancy of spirits…..He was a stern man and loved justice more than he did mercy. He knew that very often mercy to a criminal was death to an innocent man.”

Next week will be part 3 of the series on Benjamin Cleveland. This one will cover his greatest victory, the Battle of Kings Mountain.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Benjamin Cleveland ~ Terror of the Tories ~ Part 1

An image of the american revolutionWhen you think about those who rose to the occasion of fighting for our countries freedom we tend to think of that patriot as a morally upstanding person. You can envision all the heroic deeds that they did were for unselfish reasons. You may also believe that the person was raised in an honorable home, being taught right from wrong. Well, this is the life of my 1st cousin 6x removed, Colonel Benjamin Cleveland who was none of these things. His life was so diverse I decided to have this first part of the blog be about his life before the Revolutionary War. Part 2 will cover all he did during the War and Part 3 will cover his post-war exploits.

Benjamin Cleveland was born May 26, 1738, to John (1695-1778) and Elizabeth (Coffey) (1705-1772) Cleveland. He was raised in Orange County, Virginia, about seven miles from where he was born on the mouth of Blue Run, in Prince William County. Benjamin’s father, John owned six hundred acres of land in Orange County in 1734. Cleveland’s Run was about a mile northeast of Barboursville in Orange County, and it was named for Benjamin’s family

Benjamin and 8 his brothers were considered “a reckless lot” by all who knew them in Orange County and Benjamin was the worse of them all. All of the boys were considered “immoral”. He alone exhibited raw courage that few boys his age possessed. Even the drunken rowdies who were bent on destruction could not intimidate him. It is no surprise that he would earn the nickname “Terror of the Tories” during the Revolutionary War. Benjamin grew to be 6 feet tall and weighed close to 300 pounds. He was a man who gave in easily to many debaucheries. This had him in trouble throughout his youth.

You could always find Benjamin playing cards in the local tavern. He never lost a handTavern c. 1750 gambling because his strategy was to first accuse the other player of cheating, then he would strike the man causing him to fall down and then take all of the money. Not one opponent ever challenged him trying to get the money back because of his size and overbearing presence. He also frequented the racetrack, losing his money betting on the races and he and his brothers never left the track without starting or participating in a fight or two. Although he could be good-natured, he was also considered reckless, hot-tempered, and determined. He also did a lot of carousing and drinking,

Benjamin had no use for school. He did attend long enough to learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. He did, however, have an excellent mind and a natural intellect. He was a quick thinker and had the ability to think through a problem with a positive outcome.

He loved hunting and spent most from his early years roaming the surrounding Plantationwilderness securing furs and skins. In 1758 he married Mary Graves (1740-1800) daughter of Joseph (1715-1774) and Sarah (Crank) Graves. She was a great influence on him, trying to steer him in a moral direction. During the early years of his marriage, Benjamin fathered three children. However, only two of them, his sons Absalom and John, were by Mary. A daughter named Jemima was born by another woman. The newlyweds had to settle on Joseph Graves’s plantation because Benjamin’s “habits and pursuits” had prevented his accumulating any property of his own. On the other hand, Benjamin’s father-in-law “had a good living consisting of a tolerably good plantation and plenty of other good property.” During the harvest season, Benjamin invited his neighbors to help on Joseph’s plantation, rewarding them with plenty of liquor and fiddle music. The day’s work usually ended in debauchery.

In 1769, Benjamin moved his family, his father-in-law’s family, and his brother Robert to the newly opened backcountry of North Carolina settling near Mulberry Fields in Wilkes County.  He tried his hand at being a farmer, however, he didn’t like it. He moved his family to the northern bank of the Yadkin River and built a new plantation that he called “Round About”. He called it this because the land it was on was a horseshoe-shaped piece of land which was situated in a loop of the Yadkin River that ran “roundabout” his place. He soon focused his attention back to hunting and exploring the wilderness once again collecting pelts and furs. He would then take them to Salem and Salisbury to sell them. He also loved hunting deer at night.

His neighbor was Daniel Boone who was a fellow hunter and horse breaker. He toldDaniel Boone Benjamin many stories about the Kentucky country and the wonders of the long hunt. In the summer of 1772, along with 4 “long hunters”, he set out to hunt and to explore the Kentucky wilderness. The party was seized and robbed by a band of Cherokees. The Indians took everything, leaving the tattered band to find its way back through miles of wilderness. Cleveland was a fighter and a man of action. Delaying only long enough to regain his strength and to select a party of riflemen, he boldly returned to the Cherokee country, retrieved his horses, and returned in triumph to the Upper Yadkin, his reputation as an Indian fighter solidly established.

Upon returning from the hunt Benjamin began making friends and influencing people through his new vocation of surviving. Although he had in the past was by trade a house carpenter and builder, he discovered that surveyors were in great demand in North Carolina as people moved in and claimed the land. He also served as a tax collector for the part of Surry County that eventually became Wilkes County. Because of his connections with the residents due to his surveying, he was chosen to serve as the areas’ first representative in the legislature in 1778 and then the State Senate in 1779.

Part 2 of this blog will continue next Sunday with Benjamin’s astounding feats, both heroic and disgusting, during the Revolutionary War.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.



















































































Sunday Salute ~ Josiah Winslow ~ King Philips War

josiah Winslow paintingJosiah Winslow, my 10th great-uncle, was born on May 22, 1629, in Plymouth Massachusetts Colony to Edward and Susanna (Jackson White) Winslow. Both of his parents came to Plymouth aboard the Mayflower. Both of his parents lost their spouses during the first winter in Plymouth and married on May 12, 1621. Josiah had several half-siblings as a result. He married Penelope Pelham (1633-1703) in 1651 in Marshfield and had the following children, Elizabeth Winslow 1663-1738 and Isaac Winslow 1671-1735.

Josiah was educated at Harvard in Cambridge Massachusetts. He then became the assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony from 1657 to 1673. In 1656 he succeeded Myles Standish as commander of the colony’s military forces. He also served as Plymouth’s Commissioner to the New England Confederation from1658 to 1972. He became Governor of Plymouth in1673 and served until his death earning accolades for establishing America’s. first public school.

In 1675 and 1676 Winslow was a military commander during the action against Native Americans known as King Philip’s War. As governor, he signed the colony’s declaration of war and also issued a famous statement denying the Indians had a legitimate grievance against white settlers in New England “because the Pilgrims had honestly bought their land.”

Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag. had maintained a long-standing alliance withKPW Soldiers top the colonists. Metacom was his younger son, and he became tribal chief in 1662 after Massasoit’s death. Metacom, however, did not maintain his father’s alliance between the Wampanoags and the colonists. The colonists insisted that the peace agreement in 1671 should include the surrender of Indian guns; then three Wampanoags were hanged for murder in Plymouth Colony in 1675 which increased the tensions. Indian raiding parties attacked homesteads and villages throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine over the next six months, and the Colonial militia retaliated. The Narragansetts remained neutral, but several individual Narragansetts participated in raids of colonial strongholds and militia, so colonial leaders deemed them to be in violation of peace treaties. The colonies assembled the largest army that New England had yet mustered, consisting of 1,000 militia and 150 Indian allies, and Governor Josiah Winslow marshaled them to attack the Narragansetts in November 1675. They attacked and burned Indian villages throughout Rhode Island territory, culminating with the attack on the Narragansetts’ main fort in the Great Swamp Fight. An estimated 600 Narragansetts were killed, many of them women and children, and the Indian coalition was then taken over by Narragansett chief Canochet. They pushed back the colonial frontier in Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Rhode Island colonies, burning towns as they went, including the town of Providence in March 1676. However, the colonial militia overwhelmed the Indian coalition, and, by the end of the war, the Wampanoags and their Narragansett allies were almost completely destroyed. On August 12, 1676, Metacom fled to Mount Hope where he was killed by the militia.

Old Winslow burial Grounds signJosiah Winslow died on December 18, 1680, in Plymouth and is buried in the Winslow Burial Grounds there.



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.





Sunday’s Salute ~ Roy Lee Hughes ~World War I

Roy Lee Hughes Military DressRoy Lee Hughes, my 1st cousin 1x removed, was born to Henry Siegel and Myrtle (Joslin) Hughes on July 18, 1891, in Malta Bend, Saline Co, MO. He was the 5th of 11 children. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Hughesville, Pettis Co, MO. His family was farmers so he grew up and worked on the farm. The 1910 Census,  lists Roy as being single and in the 1920 Census, it lists him as being divorced. I have not found a marriage nor divorce record for him during this time frame. On his draft registration card for WWI dated June 5, 1917, he is listed as being single.

On July 28, 1914, a global war was declared against Germany. It wasn’t until 1917 that the United States officially joined the fight. Roy felt called to help defend democracy so he enlisted in the Company A 162 Infantry at the age of 23 and within 1 month he was sent to the newly constructed military training camp, Camp McArthur in Waco Texas. From there he was transported on September 21st,1917 to Hoboken, New Jersey along with the rest of his unit to begin his deployment overseas. He served in France until February 19,1919. He was honorably discharged upon demobilization

roy and salle hughes older

When he returned home he met and married Sallie Sarah Anthony (1894-1972) on October 8, 1921, in Sedalia, Pettis Co, MO. They rented a farm in Houstonia, MO, and over the next 14 years, they had OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA7 children, 3 sons, and 4 daughters. In 1935 the family moved to Kansas City, MO and here they had two more children 1 son and 1 daughter. Once they got settled here, Roy began working in a rock quarry. He passed away from Multiple Myeloma and Bilateral Bronco pneumonia at the Veterans Hospital in Kansas City on September 24, 1968, at the age of 77.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.







Sunday’s Salute ~ Nathaniel Hughes ~ Matross in the Revolutionary War

Nathaniel Hughes RW 35Nathaniel Hughes, my 4x Great Grandfather, was born in 1760 in Prince William, Virginia. He was the 3rd of 7 children born to Edward and Elizabeth (Grigsby) Hughes. He married Rebecca Dodson (1745-1812) in 1764. They had 3 children, one son and 2 daughters by the start of the Revolutionary War. On February 14, 1777, Nathaniel enlisted in Captain Nathaniel Burwell’s Company in the 1st Regiment of Artillery commanded by Colonel Charles Harrison. Their first assignment was to the Southern Department. Nathaniel served as a Matross, which was a gunners mate. His duty was to assist in the loading, firing and sponging the guns. By the end of his service, 3 years later he had become a Bombardier. In May of 1777, Nathaniel took the Oath of Allegiance which is recorded as being taken by Reuben Pain in Pittsylvania, Virginia.

For the next year, Nathaniel stayed close to home in Virginia where he trained and fought in defense of Pluckemin_Academy picthe State. In February 1778 the regiment was reassigned to George Washington’s Main Army and that is where he served until his discharge. They moved the regiment north to Pluckemin New Jersey the site that would become West Point Military Academy. Here they lived in a cantonment. This was a group of buildings constructed primarily for the purpose of housing the troops. It was also used as a laboratory where they repaired and produced ammunition. It was used as a storage facility to house the ammunition and powder. In the winter of 1779-1780, it was used as a hospital.

valley_forge_mapWithin a few weeks, this regiment was sent to Valley Forge. There were a total of 289 men that made the trek through the snow and the freezing temperatures. They stayed and assisted General Washington until June of that year when they made their way Ramapo, New Jersey. Here they had many skirmishes with the British.

The only known battle that Nathaniel participated in was the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse taking Battle of Monmouthplace on June 28, 1778. It was the last battle of the Philadelphia Campaign that began the previous year. The Continental Army was led by Washington and the British Army was led by General Sir Henry Clinton. Thanks to the Franco-American alliance the Americans had become stronger and this forced the British to abandon hopes of a military victory and to go on the defense. Clinton was ordered to evacuate Philadelphia and Washington’s army followed them. At the courthouse in Monmouth, the infantry battle gave way to a two-hour artillery duel, during which Clinton began to retreat. The duel ended when the Continental brigade established artillery on a hill overlooking the British lines, forcing Clinton to withdraw his guns.

Nathaniel and the regiment then removed to Smith’s Clove in New Jersey arriving there in June and there they continued to make ammunition for the troops. Here the stayed for 3 months before finally making their way north to Camp Haverstraw, located on the banks of the Hudson. This position was the dividing line between New England and the other colonies. In January 1780, Nathaniel was honorably discharged after 3 years of service.

Upon returning home he moved his family to Pittsylvania Co, Virginia. Here he received 269 acres for his service in the war. His land was situated on the Branches of Burches Creek. They built a comfortable home, barns, and gardens. He sold this land and all that went with it to Benjamin Morris for the price of 2000 pounds shortly before his death in 1784. There is no record of his burial location.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Take To The “Air” ~ 52 Ancestors #16

Me and BrotherIn 1955 my brother Gordon Smith Wilson, who was 18 years older than I, graduated High School and joined the United States Air Force.  He left home and began to travel the world.



In March 1965, President Lyndon Johnson made the decision to send U.S. combat forces C130into battle in Vietnam. My brother was among the first to go. He had achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant and was the LoadMaster for the C130 cargo plane. His unit would fly supplies and fresh troops into the combat zones and then fly the wounded and dead out. He was very good at his job and could even load a plane in the midst of the jungles without a scale.

Brother in Vietnam
Gordon, bottom left

About a year into his first tour in Vietnam (He voluntarily served 3 tours) my parents received a letter from the Air Force about Gordon. I remember it so vividly. It was a commendation letter for a heroic act that he had performed. His unit had been flying some wounded soldiers out of a combat zone when their plane was hit on the right side making a hole in the right gas tank. As the gasoline slowly leaked out, the plane began to tip to one side. Knowing they had to distribute some weight to correct this problem, my brother, using sacks filled with grain, climbed up inside the right wing and shoved the sacks as far into it as he could. He did this until there was enough weight to level the plane. They were able to fly the aircraft quite a distance until they could safely land it. Gordon’s quick thinking and courage saved many men that day. He was indeed a hero.

Over the 3 tours that he completed in Vietnam, Gordon was shot 3 times, Once in each of his legs and once in his shoulder. He was captured by the Viet Cong but was able to escape and he was exposed to radiation which left horrendous scars across the bridge of his nose. Through it all, regardless of how anyone back home felt about this war or about those who fought in it, my brother felt he was doing what was needed to be done to protect the country that he loved.

Gordon Smith Wilson was born on April 06, 1937, and died on February 12, 2018.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Sunday Salute ~ Thomas Allen ~ War of 1812

War of 1812 picA mere 29 years after the end of the Revolutionary war the United States again entered into a war with the British. The French under Napoleon had engaged in a war with Britain. As a result, the British enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France. This was something the Americans contested as being illegal under international law as they did a lot of trade with the French. The British also began supplying arms to American Indians so they could raid the settlers on the frontier, trying to hinder their westward expansion and this caused a lot of resentment of the British. On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed into law the American declaration of war. Most of the war was fought on the United States and Canadian borders although there were battles taking place in diverse places throughout the United States. Soldiers were called up from all over the country to help in the war.

Thomas Allen, my 4x Great Grandfather, was born on June 2, 1768, in Frederick Co, wilkes co NC 1780 mapVirginia. He was the first son born to Colonel Richard Allen, a patriot of the Revolutionary War and his wife Nancy Lindsay. In 1770 his family moved to Wilkes, Surry Co, North Carolina. Thomas was only 15 years old when this war ended and although he wanted to fight he had to stay home to help his mother and help care for his 4 younger siblings. On October 1, 1796, Thomas married Permelia “Milly” Loving (1774-1866). They had 12 children, the first two died at birth. In about 1805 the family moved to Bedford, Tennessee. This is where they lived when the War of 1812 broke out.

Ft StrotherThomas, at the age of 44, joined the 1st Regiment (Napier’s) West Tennessee Militia Under the command of Captain John Chisholm. He enlisted as a private. As part of General Thomas Johnson’s brigade, this regiment mustered in at Fayetteville and marched to Huntsville, then Ft. Deposit, Fort Strother, and Fort Williams. While some detachments participated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814), others stayed at Fort Williams on guard duty. Many of the men then marched to the Hickory Ground (near present-day Montgomery, Alabama) where Jackson anticipated another battle with the Creeks, but the defeat at Horseshoe Bend had been decisive and the Tennesseans faced no further massed resistance. The regiment numbered about 500 men. Once Napoleon abdicated his throne there was no longer any reason to cut off the trade with France. This started the end of the war.

At the end of the war, Thomas returned home and continued to farm and they had theThe Allens 1840 last two of their children. In 1819 Thomas bought 80 acres of land in Moniteau Co, Missouri and moved his large family there. Missouri did not become a State until 1821 so this was still part of the frontier. It was a good life as they built their home and farmed the rick land. When their older children began to get married and have their own families, they all stayed close to home. On August 7, 1843, he died at the age of 75.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday Salute ~ The Parrott Boys ~ Revolutionary War

Patriot picFrederick Parrott, my 4x Great Grandfather, was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1717 and died in 1798.  He arrived in Colonial Virginia in 1737. He married Barbara Edwards (1722-1780) and his first son, John was born and both events took place in Tom Brooks, Shenandoah Co, Virginia in 1740. Frederick and Barbara went on to have a total of 10 children, 3 daughters, and 7 sons. The last son was born in 1764.


The Revolutionary War started on April 19, 1775, and Frederick Sr joined the fight. One by one each one of his sons also signed up for service. The last son joined in 1781. Here is the list of sons and the information about their service.


John Parrott DAR

John Parrott (1740-1800) enlisted in the Revolutionary War for a three-year term on July 4, 1777, and served as a private in Colonel William Grayson’s Virginia Regiment. He would have been 37 at the time of his enlistment, comparatively old for a soldier in those days. His age probably accounts for why he did not enlist earlier when his brothers did. It was undoubtedly a sacrifice for him to serve, for he left a wife of 17 years and a large family behind. He only served 2 years of his 3-year commitment and he deserted his commission on August 12, 1779. He had to return home because his wife had died and he had to care for his children. John is my 3x Great Grandfather.

Henry Parrott (1742-1793) enlisted at the start of War and served under Captain John Tipton who was in charge of the Shenandoah Co., Virginia, militia during the Revolutionary War. He served for the entire length of the war engaging in many battles including the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780.

Jacob Parrott HS St John Luth Cem Singers Glen VA

Jacob Parrott (1744-1829) enlisted on March 4, 1776, serving under Captain John Tipton and was quickly promoted to ensign. On March 1, 1777, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He was dismissed from service on May 9, 1777. There is no reason given for the dismissal.


George Parrott (1746-1777)  enlisted at the start of the War in 1775 serving under Captain John Tipton. He participated in many battles including the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Paoli. On October 4, 1777, he fought in The Battle of Germantown. It was fought before dawn during a heavy fog, after marching all night to achieve the element of surprise, things did not go well for the Continentals. The Continentals lost 152 men that morning. Many soldiers were buried in mass graves, some were buried in local cemeteries. There is no known record of the disposition of George’s body. George was 31 years old and had never been married nor had any children.

Samuel Parrott hs

Samuel Parrott (1755-1843) enlisted on January1, 1781 to December of that same year. He served under Captain John Tipton. His rank was private.



Joseph Parrott (1760-1847) enlisted in December 1775 and served under Captain Jonathan Clark. In 1778 he was promoted to Lieutenant and Commissary. He was Joseph Parrott RW HSin the Battles Brandywine, Germantown and Yorktown. On December 25, 1777, he was appointed by General George Washington as a Purchasing Company to obtain provisions and clothing for the Army at Valley Forge, PA. He served until the end of the War.

Fredrick Parrott HS RW So Salem Cem, So Salem OH

Frederick Parrott Jr (1764-1842) enlisted in 1780 at the age of 17. He was called to serve at the Battle of Yorktown and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis. He was a private. After the war, he served in the Virginia Militia as an Ensign starting in1786. His last commission was 1794. He also participated in the War of 1812.




I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday Salute ~ Military Binders

moving boxesWhen we moved into our new home we had to do it all in one day. Our Son and daughter and their families only had one day off together to help us. So with 5 adults and 6 teenagers, we divided and conquered! Or so I thought. I was very careful to separate and mark the boxes so they could be placed in their perspective places and we got things done in record time. Or so I thought. I took my time unpacking and when I was finished my first priority was to start blogging and clavesresearching again. I kept thinking something was missing but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. A couple of weeks ago my youngest grandson asked me about my claves (Percussion sticks). He wanted to use them for a project at school. I had no idea where they were. I went out to our shed and started searching and I came upon a box marked “Genealogy”. It was then that I remembered what had been missing.

book 1About 8 years ago I decided to put together some binders for those who served in one of the many wars the United States has been in. I was surprised to find ancestors who fought in almost every one since King Philips War in 1675-1678. So, I researched as many as I could and made binders for them, including documents, information on the war they fought in, stories about the battles they engaged in and a cover sheet that showed how the soldier was related to me. I had forgotten about them and to say I was excited to find them is an understatement.

My grandson reminded me that he took 3 of them to school in 5th grade when they were studying the Revolutionary War. The teacher used them to help the children learn about the individual soldier, his life and the service he provided to our country. They were a big hit.

I am posting some photos of the binders so you can get an idea of what they look like. I have discovered more ancestors who fought in a war so I will be spending time putting more together. I wonder how many I will have when I’m done?

20200321_124408    book 2  20200321_123631


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Joseph Hardin Sr ~ Revolutionary War

Plaque for joseph hardinColonel Joseph Hardin Sr, my 4x Great Grandfather was born April 18, 1734, in Richmond Co, Virginia Colony the son of Benjamin Hardin Jr and Elizabeth Hooper. Not much is known about his early years but we do know that he grew up on a sprawling farm that grew tobacco. He married Jane Gibson on July 8, 1762, and they soon moved to the newly formed Tryon Co., NC Colony where he was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1772. Between 1762 and 1789 Joseph and Jane had 13 children, 9 boys, and 4 girls. 3 of their sons John, Benjamin, and Robert were killed by Indians during the Indian War.

tryon resolves

Joseph served several times as Justice of the peace, first in Tryon Co. from 1772 to 1778, then in Washington Co. in 1783 and finally in Greene Co. in 1796. When the Revolutionary War began he was appointed as Major to the 2nd North Carolina Minute Men in 1775. That same year, he appears in the rolls as a Captain in the North Carolina Colonial Light Horse Rangers, taking part in the Cherokee Expedition into the Washington District (Tennessee) the next year. Joseph was a signatory to the Tryon Resolves on August 14, 1775. The Resolves was a response to the Battles of Lexington and Concord showing solidarity against the British. It declares independence from British tyranny. Beginning in 1777, Hardin carried a Captain’s commission in Locke’s Battalion seeing much action against Britain and its allies. He fought in the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill on June 20, 1780, and later that year at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7th rising to the rank of Colonel.

Joseph Hardin map

In 1786 after the war, he was awarded land grants that totaled 8400 acres of land in North Carolina and what is now Tennessee for his service. Here Joseph once again entered politics, serving as an Assemblyman for the First Territorial Assembly of the Southwest Territory held at Knoxville, Knox Co., TN in the summer of 1794. Later that same year he made Knoxville his home and became a trustee of the newly chartered Greeneville College (later Tusculum).

Although he never set foot in the region, on March 11, 1786, the land along the far western reaches of the Tennessee River was surveyed by Isaac Taylor and warrants were drawn on behalf of Joseph for 3,000 acres in what was to become Hardin Co. Unfortunately, due to legal trouble with squatters and the wildness of this part of Tennessee, it would be another thirty years before the family could settle there.

Joseph died July 4, 1801, at his home-site near Knoxville. He is buried, along with his wife, at the Hickory Creek Cemetery, Hardin Valley, Knox Co., Tennessee.

Joseph Hardin HS

This is the large monument dedicated to Hardin at his burial site. The inscription reads:


Born April 18, 1734, in Virginia of English Ancestry.
Died July 4, 1801, in Hardin Valley, Tennessee.
A strict Presbyterian, stern and fearless in the discharge of duty.
Loved and trusted by his friends, feared by his enemies.


Major 2nd N.C. Minute Men, Salisbury District, 1775.
Captain Tryon Co., N.C. Light Horse, Cherokee Expedition, 1776.
In the battle of Ramsour’s Mill and at Kings Mountain, 1780.
Colonel for Western Counties (Tenn.), 1788.
Lost three sons in Tennessee Indian Wars.

Member Committee of Safety, Tryon Co., N.C., 1775.
Member Provincial Congress at Hillsborough 1775 and at Halifax 1776.
Member General Assembly of N.C., 1778-79 and (from Tenn.) 1782-88.
Organizer State of Franklin, Jonesboro, 1784-1785.
Member General Assembly, Territory South of the Ohio, Knoxville, 1794.

For his military services during the Revolutionary War and Indian Wars, he received in 1785 from North Carolina,
3000 acres of land in the middle district, now Hardin County, Tenn. named for him.

As a side note, Joseph Hardin is the great-grandfather of legendary Texas outlaw and gunslinger, John Wesley Hardin.



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