Category Archives: Virginia

Sunday’s Salute ~ David Hunter Strother ~ Brigadier General

David Hunter Strother, my 3rd cousin 5 times removed, was born September 26, 1816, in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia. He was the oldest of 8 children born to Colonel John Strother (1782-1862) and Elizabeth Hunter Pendleton (1786-1861). He was the only son that lived to adulthood. After receiving his schooling at the Martinsburg academy, as well as his father’s tutelage, David traveled to Philadelphia to study drawing in 1829. He also spent a year (1832) at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1835 David and his friend John Ranson took a 500-mile round trip hike in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, down to Natural Bridge and Rockbridge County, Virginia, and back up through the Shenandoah Valley, which changed his outlook on life. In 1837–38, David traveled to New York City to study painting under Samuel F. B. Morse, who later became more famous for inventing the telegraph. David first married Anne Wolfe (1830-1850) in 1849, and they had one daughter, Emily (1850), but mother and daughter died. David then married Mary Elliott on May 6. 1861, and they had 2 sons, with one dying at 5 years old.
At the beginning of the Civil War in June 1861 David volunteered as a topographer due to his detailed knowledge of the Shenandoah Valley. By March 1862 as West Virginia continued its drive toward statehood, he received a commission as captain in the Union Army and was assigned to assist General Nathaniel Banks in the Valley Campaign. In June 1862, he accepted a commission as Lt. Col. of the 3rd West Virginia Cavalry, and was the topographer on General Pope’s staff during the Battle of Cedar Mountain and the Second Battle of Manassas. During the Antietam Campaign, he served on General McClellan’s staff until that officer was relieved in November 1862. He then returned to the staff of General Banks, again seeing action at the Battle of Port Richie in Louisiana. During the Gettysburg Campaign, he was back to Washington, unassigned, but promoted to Colonel of his regiment (which he never commanded in the field).
During the war David documented his wartime experiences in a detailed journal, some of which Harper’s Monthly published after the war as “Personal Recollections of the War.” His articles won praise for their objective viewpoint and humor. On June 12, 1864, Colonel Strother was chief of staff to his distant cousin General David Hunter. He was involved in 30 battles, though never wounded. He resigned his commission on September 10, 1864, when General Hunter was replaced by General Philip Sheridan. In August 1865, David was appointed a brevet brigadier general of volunteers and remained Adjutant General of Virginia militia into 1866.
Due to his dedication to his home state, especially its rural character, he moved to Charleston for a short period in the early 1870s. There, he edited a newspaper and dedicated himself to furthering West Virginia’s growth and well-being. He convinced state leaders to prioritize infrastructure initiatives. David became one of the first writers to understand West Virginia’s unique place in both wanting to preserve its natural beauty while also encouraging growth, both economic and industrial.
In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed David as the General Consul to Mexico. In that capacity he hosted former General and President Ulysses S. Grant and dealt with the problems of various Americans in that country. He also dealt with the country’s relations with the government of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz. He served until 1885, after which he returned to West Virginia. David died in Charles town, West Virginia three years later on March 8, 1888, at the age of 71.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Hometown Tuesday ~ Hopewell, Fredrick County, Virginia

City Point, the oldest part of Hopewell, was founded in 1613 by Sir Thomas Dale. City Point’s location on a bluff overlooking the James and Appomattox Rivers in Virginia, has been an important factor in Hopewell’s history for almost four centuries.The City of Hopewell had about 119 settlers by 1700. Their main agriculture crop was tobacco which was shipped back to England.
Hopewell Friends Meeting was named “Opeckan”, after nearby Opequon Creek, when it was set off from the Concord Pennsylvania Quarterly Meeting in 1734. It is the oldest Quaker meeting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The original group of settlers came from the Monocacy valley in Frederick County, Maryland. Initially, this meeting was a member of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. At that time, the settlement included about 100 families. Initially, a log meeting house was built on lands originally granted by Lt. Gov. William Gooch of Virginia to two Ulster Scots with roots in Northern Ireland, a Quaker named Alexander Ross (in 1730) and Morgan Bryan (in 1732).
The government would issue grants and patents over the following two years to the 100 families which Bryan and Ross believed they could attract. Some families arrived before 1732, but the project failed to meet the 2-year deadline, and grants were not issued until November 1735. Prominent London Quaker John Fothergill (1712-1780) visited this meeting in 1736. In 1757, the 1734 meeting house burned. In addition to losing its place of worship, the congregation also almost lost all its early records in a 1759 house fire.
Richard Harrold, my 7th Great Grandfather, was born on August 14, 1680, in Barwell, Leicestershire, England and came to America from London in 1681 on the ship Henry and Ann with his parents. He settled in Pennsylvania. He married Mary Beals (1692-1740) in 1710, in the Concord Monthly Friends Meeting in Chester County, PA. In 1716, Richard and Mary removed to the Hopewell Friends Meeting in Fredrick County, Virginia. In 1711, their daughter Rebecca was born and their son William was born in 1719. Richard died in 1730, at the age of 50.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Colonial Virginia, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, History, Home, Home Town Tuesday, Hometown Tuesday, Quakers, Richard Harrold, Uncategorized, Virginia

Hometown Tuesday ~ Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

hometown tuesdayLancaster is one of the oldest inland cities in the United States. It is 71 miles west of Philadelphia and is snuggled along the north and west by the mighty Susquehanna River. German immigrants, known as Pennsylvania Dutch, were the first to settle in the area in 1709. At that time it was known as “Hickory Town”. The Honorable James Hamilton laid it out in building lots and out lots, and on May 10, 1729, it became the county seat. John Wright, a prominent citizen, gave it the name “Lancaster” after Lancaster, England where he formerly lived. The city is known as the “Red Rose City” due to its link to the one in England. Lancaster became a borough in 1742.

Lancaster was one of seventeen original townships in Lancaster County. It was the smallest of the townships with its boundaries defined by the Conestoga River, Manor Township, the Little Conestoga Creek, (East) Hempfield Township, and Manheim Township. A two-mile square was later cut out of the northern part of Lancaster Township to create the county seat and Lancaster City. Early settlers started moving to the area in 1717 following the “new surveys.” With the establishment of the county seat came an influx of merchants, physicians, and lawyers and the Township’s population grew to approximately 200 people. The development of the Township was strongly influenced by the growth of Lancaster City.

history-of-lancaster-county-000aBetween 1730 and 1742 the major tracts of land were almost all laid out in residential lots, each with their own street patterns. In 1744, Lancaster served as the meeting place of the treaty-making sessions among the Six Nations of Indians and the colonies of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Visitors to the area were greatly impressed by the sophistication of this town in the wilderness. By 1760 Lancaster had become a borough of major importance in colonial America, economically, politically, and socially. A large number of skilled artisans and mechanics moved to the area, who, coupled with established industries and experienced merchants, thrust Lancaster into the role of making and supplying goods for the French and Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, and the subsequent westward expansion.

The area that became Lancaster County was part of William Penn’s Bishop Hans Herr1681 charter. John Kennerly received the first recorded deed from Penn in 1691. Although Matthias Kreider was said to have been in the area as early as 1691, there is no evidence that any Europeans settled in Lancaster County before 1710. The oldest surviving dwelling of European settlers in the county is that of Mennonite Bishop Hans Herr, built in 1719.

Sarah Dyer, my 5th Great Grandmother, was born in Lancaster, Sarah DyerPennsylvania on June 1, 1716. She is the only proven child of John Dyer (1687-1761) and Hannah Green (1701-1780). She married George Hayes (1714-1747) on June 1, 1730, when she was 14 years old and George was 16. They had 6 children, 4 sons, and 2 daughters. I descend from two of their children, Thomas (1740-1829) and Molly (1742-1829). The family moved to Virginia sometime before 1742. Her husband died in 1747, leaving Sarah to raise the children, ranging in age between 3 and 13 years old, by herself. She passed away on June 1, 1800, at the age of 84.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Home, Home Town Tuesday, Hometown Tuesday, Pennsylvania, Sarah Dyer, Uncategorized, Virginia

Here’s Your Sign #14 ~ Chippokes Plantation

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

 

Capt William Powell Sign

 

Captain William Powell, my 9th Great Grandfather, was born in 1577, in Wales. He was described as a gentleman and he arrived in America on the Third Supply mission of nine ships, which brought additional settlers and some supplies to the surviving colonists at Jamestown Virginia in 1609. Deputy Governor Samuel Argall appointed William Powell as Captain, responsible for the Jamestown defenses and its blockhouses, and further appointed him lieutenant governor in 1617. Powell was a member of the first Virginia House of Burgesses in 1619, representing James City County, Virginia. Powell lived on the “Surry side” of James City County, on the south side of the James River from Jamestown, Virginia.

William Powell was killed leading a party of militia against the Indians. The militias were seeking revenge for the March 22, 1622, massacre. Captain William Powell, as he is identified in the list of Burgesses, may have died in late 1622 or possibly in January 1623.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Captain William Powell, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Here's Your Sign, History, Jamestown Colony, Uncategorized, Virginia

Here’s Your Sign #12 ~ Arthur Lee

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Grave of Arthur Lee

 

Arthur Lee, my 2nd cousin 9 times removed, was a very political person. Here are a few of his accomplishments.

Delegate from Virginia; born at ‘‘Stratford,’’ in Westmoreland County, Va., December 20, 1740; attended Eton College, England; studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and was graduated in 1765; returned to London in 1766 and studied law at Temple Bar 1766-1770; was admitted to the bar and practiced in London 1770-1776; commissioned as an agent of Massachusetts in England and France in 1770; appointed correspondent of Congress in London in 1775; commissioner to France in 1776 and to Spain in 1777; returned to Virginia in 1780; member of the State house of delegates 1781-1783, 1785, and 1786; Member of the Continental Congress 1782-1784; member of the Treasury board 1785-1789; died in Urbanna, Middlesex County, Va., on December 12, 1792; interment in Lansdowne Garden, in the rear of ‘‘Lansdowne,’’ his home, at Urbanna

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

 

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Arthur Lee, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Here's Your Sign, History, Markers, Revolutionary War, Uncategorized, Virginia

Hometown Tuesday ~ Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts

hometown tuesdayThe Town of Northampton (originally the town of Nonotuck meaning “the midst of the river”, named by its original Pocumtuc inhabitants.) was granted its Charter in 1654. Northampton’s founders, though strongly Puritan in conviction, were drawn to the area more by accounts of abundant tillable land and ease of trade with the Indians than by the religious concerns that characterized their brethren in eastern Massachusetts. In May 1653, 24 persons petitioned the General Court for permission to “plant, possess and inhabit Northampton MANonotuck.” Northampton was settled in 1654 on a low rise above the rich meadowlands by the Connecticut River. Relations between settlers and Native Americans, though initially cooperative, became increasingly strained, culminating in King Philip’s War in 1675, when Chief Metacomet’s uprising was put down by the English.

800px-Northampton_(Massachusetts)_(NYPL_b12610608-421421)Though Northampton grew as a trade and marketing center in the 18th century, religious fervor was quickened by the ministry of the congregational preacher, theologian, and philosopher Jonathan Edwards. He was a leading figure in a 1734 Christian revival in Northampton. In the winter of 1734 and the following spring, it reached such intensity that it threatened the town’s businesses. In the spring of 1735, the movement began to subside and a reaction set in. But the relapse was brief, and the Northampton revival, which had spread through the Connecticut River Valley and whose fame had reached England and Scotland, was followed in 1739–1740 by the Great Awakening, under the leadership of Edwards. For this achievement, Edwards is considered one of the founders of evangelical Christianity. He is also credited with being one of the primary inspirations for transcendentalism.

Northampton hosted its own witch trials in the 1700s, although no newenglandmathersalleged witches were executed. Mary Bliss Parsons (circa 1628-1711/12) of Northampton was the subject of accusations and charges of witchcraft resulting in at least two legal trials. To head off the allegations, Joseph Parsons initiated a slander case in 1656, which he won. But eighteen years later, Mary was officially accused of and tried for witchcraft in 1674. She was eventually acquitted, but it seemed that the residents of Northampton, despite any court decrees, were convinced that Mary was a witch.

 
Rachel Celeste Moon, my 7th great-grandmother, was born in Northampton on August 13, 1703, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Moon. When Rachel was 16 years old her family moved to Frederick County, Virginia and here she married Joseph Elijah Lindsey on March 12, 1719. They had 2 known children, Elijah Jr, and my 6th great-grandfather Thomas. Rachel died on February 5, 1768, in Frederick County, at the age of 64.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Home, Home Town Tuesday, Hometown Tuesday, Massachuettes, Puritans, Rachel Celeste Moon, Uncategorized, Virginia

Here’s Your Sign #11 ~ Moore’s Fort ~ The Road To Kentucky

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

William Moore

 

Moore’s Fort was located in “lower Castle’s Woods” between the Clinch River and the Hunter’s Trace (later the Road to Kentucky), and was described in one pension application as being one mile from the Clinch River. Moore’s fort was probably the largest of the frontier forts in southwestern Virginia. Its central location on the Clinch River meant that the militia could be stationed here and sent either north or south to repel Indian Raids, whether they came through the Sandy War Passes, or through Cumberland Gap. Moore’s Fort came under siege a number of times, and it figures in the personal history of many of the pioneer families. Initially constructed during the opening of Dunmore’s War, its importance in frontier defense continued throughout the period of Indian Hostilities.

This was the fort that sheltered Daniel Boone and his family after their return to the Clinch in 1773. By petition of the people of Blackmore’s Fort, Daniel Boone was placed in command of Moore’s and Blackmore’s Forts in 1774 as a Captain of militia and continued in command of them until he went to Kentucky in the spring of 1775 to found Boonesboro.

This Fort was built on the land that my 5th great-grandfather, William Moore  (1726-1799) owned and he eventually sold the land to John Snoddy in 1775 when he and his family accompanied Daniel Boone and others to settle in Kentucky.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Daniel Boone, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Here's Your Sign, History, Indian Wars, Kentucky, Moore's Fort, Uncategorized, Virginia, William Moore

Hometown Tuesday ~ Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi

hometown tuesdayFounded in 1716, Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi River. It was founded as Fort Rosalie by the French to protect the trading post which had been established two years earlier in the Natchez territory. Permanent French settlements and plantations were subsequently developed a dangerous distance from the fort and too near important native locales. The French inhabitants of the “Natchez colony” often came into conflict with the Natchez people over land use and resources. This was one of several Natchez settlements; others lay to the northeast. The Natchez tended to become increasingly split into pro-French and pro-English factions; those who were more distant had more relations with English traders, who came to the area from British colonies to the east.

After several smaller wars, the Natchez launched a war to eliminate the French in November 1729. It became known by the Europeans as the “Natchez War” or Natchez Rebellion. The Indians destroyed theHistoric Natchez Map French colony at Natchez and other settlements in the area. On November 29, 1729, the Natchez Indians killed a total of 229 French colonists: 138 men, 35 women, and 56 children (the largest death toll by an Indian attack in Mississippi’s history). They took most of the women and children as captives. The French with their Indian allies attacked the Natchez repeatedly over the next two years. After the surrender of the leader and several hundred Natchez in 1731, the French took some of their prisoners to New Orleans. Following the Seven Years’ War, in 1763 Fort Rosalie and the surrounding town was renamed for the defeated tribe, and it came under British rule.

The terrain around Natchez on the Mississippi side of the river is hilly. The city sits on a high bluff above the Mississippi River. In order to reach the riverbank, one must travel down a steep road to the landing called Silver Street, which is in marked contrast to the flat “delta” lowland found across the river surrounding the city of Vidalia, Louisiana. Its early planter elite built numerous antebellum mansions and estates. Many owned plantations in Louisiana but chose to locate their homes on the higher ground in Mississippi. Prior to the Civil War, Natchez had more millionaires than any other city in the United States.It was frequented by notables such as Aaron Burr, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Winfield Scott, and John James Audubon.

Culpeper_SealPeter Rucker, my 5th great-grandfather, was born in 1735 in Culpeper, Culpeper County, Virginia. He was the 8th of 13 children born to Thomas Sr and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Rucker. By the age of 20, he had accumulated 500 acres of land and was a proficient farmer. In 1759, he married Sarah Wisdom (1746-1808) and they had 4 sons and one daughter. Peter furnished supplies to the county militia of Culpeper in 1755. He also served under Captain Robert Slaughter in the French and Indian War. In 1775 Peter and Sarah sold their land to Michael Ehart, and they packed up their children and belongings and made the long trek to Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi.

Here Peter worked as an Indian Agent for the Spanish. During the American Revolution, the British surrendered the Natchez District to Spain. As an agent, he would relay messages back and forth between the Spanish and the Natchez Tribal leaders. He also attempted to keep the peace between all parties. He died in 1781.

Peter had owned a large plat of land in the town of Natchez and in Natchez Plat Rucker1822 his son Jonathan filed a claim for the land. Natchez was the starting point of the Natchez Trace overland route, a Native American trail that followed a path established by migrating animals, most likely buffalo, which ran from Natchez to Nashville through what are now Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Natchez became part of the United States in 1817 when Mississippi entered the Union as a state.

27 years ago, before I really began my Genealogy journey we lived in Mississippi, and we would frequently make the drive up the Natchez Trace to Nashville. I wish I knew then that my ancestors had lived here.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, French and Indian War, Genealogy, Home Town Tuesday, Hometown Tuesday, Natchez Mississippi, Peter Rucker, Rucker's, Uncategorized, Virginia

Here’s Your Sign #8 ~ Ruckersville

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Ruckersville Peter Rucker historicalmarker

 

John Rucker, my 6th great-uncle, named the town of Ruckersville in Greene County, Virginia, after his uncle with whom he shared the name, John. Captain John Rucker established the St. Marks Parish Church here in 1732. The Rucker family patriarch Peter Rucker immigrated to the colonies in 1666. He was a French Huguenot who came here for religious freedoms. He settled not far from the town and many of his descendants lived in the area for generations.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, French Huguenot, Genealogy, Here's Your Sign, Markers, Peter Rucker, Rucker's, Uncategorized, Virginia

Sunday Salute ~ Rev. Joseph Warder ~ Revolutionary War

An image of the american revolution

Joseph Warder, my maternal 5th great-grandfather was born on December 5, 1752. in Charles County, Maryland. He is the son of an immigrant, William Warden born in England in 1710. There is not a lot of information about his early life. He married Esther Ford (1755-1816) on June 18, 1773, in the same county in Maryland. They moved to Fauquier County, Virginia sometime the following year, as their firstborn child, John was born there on September 9, 1774. Joseph and Esther went on to have a total of 12 children, 5 sons, and 7 daughters. All five of of their sons became Baptist Preachers.

Joseph enlisted as a private under Captain Hugh Garner in a rifle regiment in 1776.1600px-Battle_of_Fort_Washington,_1776.svg From 1776 to 1778 the regiment participated in the following battles: Battle of Fort Washington (1776); Battle of Trenton(1776); Battle of Princeton (1777); Battle of Germantown (1777) and the Battle of Monmouth (1778).

Joseph had joined the fight not only as a rifleman but as a Chaplain as he was a Baptist Minister. He spent most of his time in the unit giving aid and comfort to the wounded and writing letters of condolences to the widows and families of the fallen. On many occasions he helped to bury the deceased. He held services each Sunday in a large open-air meeting tent. His main focus as part of the war was to minister to the men in any way he could.

churchDiscussing this ancestors’ participation in the war with a cousin of mine caused my cousin to become a “little” heated. He said if he was a minister he should never have fought in the war. He should have just stayed home and tended his flock. What he said sounds good but I have a different take on it. Joseph went where the need was. He was able to help the soldiers one on one with any problem they had. If he had stayed home, how many of the men would have died without prayer or comfort? How many would have had to face a life-changing injury without someone to encourage them that they would be okay? Most importantly, who could the men talk to about their true feelings of loneliness and fear without feeling like they were less than the other men? Having Joseph there did more good than if he had stayed home.

Joseph returned home in 1779 to his wife and children and his church. He moved his family to He spent the rest of his life in service to others and he died in 1799 at the age of 47.

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Joseph Warder Sr, Revolutionary War, Sunday Salute, Uncategorized, Virginia