Tag Archives: Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Bateau Boats Made By The Rucker’s

Anthony and Benjamin Rucker where the sons of John and Susannah (Phillips) Rucker of Rucker CrestOrange County Virginia. Benjamin born in 1726 became a lawyer, justice of the peace, a vestryman at St. Matthews Church, trustee of Warminster Academy, a member of the Amherst County Committee of Safety, and a Captain in the Revolutionary War. Anthony born in 1728 was also a Revolutionary War Captain, as well as Amherst’s Commissioner of Provision Law in 1781 and Tobacco Inspector in 1792. 

The fact that the Rucker’s were tobacco farmers prompted Benjamin and Anthony to try Batteau boatto figure an easier way to move the harvested tobacco down the James River to Richmond.  Sometime in 1774 the Rucker Brothers invented a flat-bottomed boat called a Bateau. It has not been proved as to whether it was just Anthony or if the two brothers worked together. The first Bateau was launched in April 1775. The earliest known reference to the Bateau comes from Thomas Jefferson’s account book, dated April 19, 1775. Jefferson made notes in his account book describing this new river boat in 1775: “Rucker’s bateau is 50 f. long 4 f. wide in the bottom & 6 f. wide at the top. she carries ll.hhds. & draws 13 ½ water.”

James River RuckersThe Bateaus where used by the Continental Army. Bateaus were used to move troops, munitions and supplies on the shallow inland rivers during the Revolutionary War. They were carefully built craft as they were often mentioned as being built by a boat builder or “ship’s carpenter.” This evidence infers that the crafts known as “James River Bateaus” were strong, shallow-drafted vessels. They were a valuable military asset and were considered a major loss if captured by the enemy. These boats were used until around 1850.

There is a James River Bateau Festival held every year in Lynchburg VA. They celebrate the Rucker’s and their contribution to the early Transport for the tobacco industry and the Revolutionary War. They launch replica Bateaus and travel down the James River to Maiden’s Landing.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, 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, Bateau Boats, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, History, Revolutionary War, Rucker's, Uncategorized, Virginia

52 Ancestors, Week #11 – Thomas Lee Divine – Luck of the Irish

Thomas Divine back tombstoneThomas Lee Divine is my maternal 4th Great Grandfather. He was born on February 21 1748 in Dublin, Ireland. At the age of 17 he made the decision to start a new life in America. He arrived in Kent County Delaware in 1765.  He soon found his new adopted country was in great turmoil, most of his fellow citizens wanted desperately to break away from England and begin a new, more Democratic Country.

Thomas Divine letter

When the Revolutionary War broke out Thomas enlisted as a private in the year seventeen hundred and seventy-six under Captain Gray in the Continental Line in Kent County in the State of Delaware and served for six years until shortly after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and was then honorably discharged. He was in the Battle of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and he was at the siege of Yorktown. Thomas was wounded by a cannon-ball on the side of the left leg above the ankle in a skirmish with the British when they fired across a small lake or pond but he continued to fight and to serve once his wounds were healed.

In 1782 he married Miss Jemima Dill at the house of Esgr Calhoun that was located within one mile of Black swamp-causeway in the county of Kent and State of Delaware. They lost their first four children to miscarriages but went on to have 6 more children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Prior to 1790 Thomas moved his growing family to Spartanburg, South Carolina.

After moving to South Carolina on the waters of Pacolit River in the Greenville District, the house they were living in burned to the ground and they had to start all over again, building a new home and getting new furnishings. Over the next several years he expanded his lands and crops and provided a very good life for his family.

church_3_945_334_c1In 1825 Thomas moved his family to McMinn County Tennessee. In 1834 on land given by Thomas the Big Creek Baptist Church was constituted. He also furnished the land for the cemetery, which is up the hill from the church.

Thomas Divine tombstone

Thomas Divine died on the twentieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty at the age of ninety years old.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under #52ancestors, Ancestry, Delaware, Family History, Genealogy, Ireland, Revolutionary War, South Carolina, Tennessee

52 Ancestors #7 -For the Love of his wife –John Parrott

Parrottsville TnMy 3rd Great Grandfather, John Parrott was born in 1740 in Toms Brook, Shenandoah, Virginia to Frederick and Barbara (Edwards) Parrott. He was the oldest of 11 children. In 1761 he married Catherine Meyers. He and Catherine had seven children. In 1769 they moved their family to Tennessee where he founded the town of Parrottsville. (It is currently the third oldest town in that State)

When the Revolutionary War broke out all of his younger brothers joined the fight. It wasn’t until July 4 1777 that John enlisted 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.

John’s regiment was one of sixteen organized by a congressional resolution in Congress in December 1777. Four of the sixteen units were composed largely of Virginians. John’s commander, William Grayson, had been assistant secretary and aide-de-camp to George Washington at the time he was put in command of his regiment. John was assigned to Captain Thomas Triplett’s company. By April 1779, the regiment, significantly reduced in size due to a smallpox epidemic, merged with Colonel Nathaniel Gist’s regiment, where John served under the command of Captain Joseph Smith.

The entire Parrott family was very Patriotic. That is why it was a shock that on August 19, 1779 John deserted his regiment after serving only 14 months of his three-year commitment. It was not uncommon during the Revolutionary War for soldiers to leave their troops for family emergencies. John deserted because the love of his life was gravely ill. He cared for Catherine until her death in 1781. Within a few months John married Louisa Bean. Together they had 5 children, the youngest one being Catherine my 3rd Great Grandmother. Catherine was named for John’s first wife.

John Parrott DAR

John Parrott HSAlthough John deserted his responsibility to the War he was still honored with a commemorative marker at his gravesite by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The marker that was placed there in 1783 still remains today. It is speculated that this was because he only deserted for the love of his wife and not because he didn’t believe in the cause.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under #52ancestors, Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, John Parrott, Revolutionary War, Tennessee

Please Define Famous

FamousIn our search for our Ancestors we always experience that excited anticipation of possibly discovering that one famous person in our lineage. Finding someone who accomplished some great feat or invented something used by millions or who became President or who was an outlaw can bring color and excitement to our trees. When you gather together with other Genealogists you would now have something interesting to tell. Talking with family about these persons may peak their interest in their own history and of those who came before them.  I just wonder, How do we define “Famous”?

Webster’s dictionary defines it this way “known or recognized by very many people: having fame”.

In today’s society the term fame or being famous is applied to anyone who can get themselves in front of a TV camera, or across the internet regardless of the reason. Most are just famous for being famous, really not earning the “title” by doing anything worthwhile.  So I just wonder by what standard we measure those we deem famous in our own families.

Colby Rucker sign

To me, my 4th Great Grandfather Colby Rucker who fought in the Revolutionary war should be called famous. He volunteered to fight at the age of 17, defying his father in doing so and even after he was captured and imprisoned by the British, upon his escape he returned to fight till the end of the war. I JamestownFortconsider my 9th Great Grandfather  William Powell famous because he came to America, Jamestown Virginia to be exact, in 1609. He survived the massacre of 1622 but was killed in 1623. Regardless of how some may feel about what happened once immigrants came and forcibly took over this country, he was still brave to come to this strange land, far from all he knew. I believe my 4th Great Grandmother, Permelia Loving Permelia Loving Allen 2Allen was famous. At the age of 66 she became a widow, after 47 years of marriage.  4 years later after her husband’s estate was settled at the age of 70 she personally lead a group of settlers from Cole County Missouri to Tarrant County Texas. Included in this group were 8 of her 10 children and their families. She was one of the first women to own land in this county and she donated land for the Mount Gilead Baptist Church to be built. This remarkable woman witnessed the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War and she died in her 92nd year.

These ordinary people who did extraordinary things are more “famous” in my eyes than some of the other “famous” people in my trees.  These are the stories I want to tell, the ones I am most proud of. Maybe we should rethink our definition of “Famous”. My new definition would be: “Those ordinary individuals, who through their own convictions succeeded to accomplish remarkable things that very few others are aware of”.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available at 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, Famous, Genealogy, Jamestown Colony, Revolutionary War, Texas

Star Wars versus the Revolutionary War-Engaging the Next Generation

Throughout the month of May people are posting Blogs entitled “Military Memories” to honor their Ancestors who fought in the various Wars. I have been so moved by all the accounts of bravery, courage and sacrifice of so many of them. I have always loved History so reading these is enjoyable for me. I guess you could say that I have a hard time believing that some people just do not find History to be interesting or exciting.

Last week my youngest Grandson Banon, who is 7 years old and in the first grade, asked me why I was crying while looking at my computer. I told him I was reading a Blog about a young man who was killed in a War and that it was sad.  He responded “Grandma, I don’t like History, it’s so boring!” I was mortified! How could a Grandson of mine feel this way? I asked him why he thought it was boring and he said “Because all those people are dead!” Oh my…where did I go wrong?

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As the day wore on I started thinking about what he had said about History being boring.  Then it hit me. I need to make it personal for him! So I pulled out the binders I had made for my older Grandkids a few years ago and called him over to me. Now he is a diehard Star Wars fan. He knows every character, every weapon, and every mode of transportation by name. This gave me the idea to make a correlation between Star Wars and the Revolutionary War. Before you think that I have totally lost it, please hear me out. I asked him what it was about the fighting in Star Wars that he liked. He then rattled off his reasons. I then asked him if he would like to hear about a real war where, just like Anakin, people fought to make their families free from a Ruler. He took the bait.

After explaining “briefly” about why America went to war with Britain, I started telling him about the different weapons that were used and how they had used horses and wagons for transportation. I then told him about the way they dressed.…the Red Coats vs. the Blue Coats. Then I finally took one of the binders and showed it to him. I saw a spark appear in his eyes! You see, 5 years ago when my oldest Grand Daughter started High School she told me that EBAY and Binders 001they were going to learn about the Revolutionary War in History Class. I told her we had Ancestors who fought in the War and she got excited. So I put together 3 binders with all the information I could find about the Soldiers, the company they fought with, who they fought under and named the Battles they participated in. I used maps and pictures of the Historic places. I also included a linage from that Ancestor to me. She loved them and took them to school. She got an A+ when she did her presentation on the War. I had made it personal to her and she was inspired to do her own research. Over the last few years 2 more Grandchildren have used the binders and since then I have made several more. So I made it personal for Banon and he was enthralled. He asked so many questions he actually wore me out. His teacher even told my daughter that all he talked about since then was those binders and we had to take them to school for the teacher and his class to see.

EBAY and Binders 030I have also put together binders for Ancestors who fought in the Civil War, the War of 1812, WWI and WWII. I even have a few binders about our First Ancestors that came to America. I intend to show these to Banon and his brother over the summer.

Sometimes we have to just go that extra mile to engage the younger generation in learning about History and their Genealogy. If we can start them young then they will hopefully develop an interest and excitement in finding their Ancestors and where they came from. Hopefully igniting that spark of curiosity in him will eventually burn with the same kind of passion for Genealogy and History that I have. After all, isn’t one of our goals as a Family Historian to be able to pass on what we have discovered to the generations that come after us?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, 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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May 18, 2014 · 2:57 pm

Benjamin Coffey 1747-1834 Revolutionary War Soldier

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Born October 9, 1747 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Benjamin Coffey, one of 9 children born to John and Jane (Graves) Coffey was raised on a sprawling farm filled with horses, cows, chickens and lots of hard work. The Coffey family grew tobacco and they were very prosperous.

In 1762 at the age of 15 Benjamin met Mary “Polly” Hayes aged 20 years old. They ran away to North Carolina and got married and they settled in the area which is now Burkes County, NC.

Benjamin served twice in the fight for our Countries Independence from England. He first volunteered on April 1, 1776 under the Commands of Col. Thomas Whitson and Col. Joseph McDowell and served five months. He was then sent to the North Carolina Frontier to search for the Cherokee Indians that had attacked Fort Crider on the Lower Creek. During the Revolutionary War most of the Cherokee Indians joined forces with the British against the Patriots.

The second time he served was after he moved his family to Wilkes County, NC. On April 1 1780 he joined the service of the United States as a volunteer under the Command of Captain John Barton, regiment commanded by Col. Benjamin Cleveland. He marched to several diverse places where there were embedded Tories, sometimes in Wilkes County and sometimes in Burke County. He was then dispatched to Kings Mountain where some Tories and British were held up under the Command of Major Ferguson. They marched through Lincoln County North Carolina under the Command of Col. Cleveland and Col. Benjamin Hearne and there they were joined with other soldiers under the command of Cols. Campbell, Shelby, Seviers and Williams. There large battle took place and Major Ferguson was killed and his men defeated. Col. Williams from the American side was also killed. He was then sent to guard the prisoners at Moravian Town in North Carolina. During the march Benjamin Coffey was struck by severe pain in his feet and ankles and was furloughed home for the remainder of the war. Several of his kinfolk were also in the battle like his brother-in-laws, Robert Whiteside and Mastin Durham, his nephews Reuben, Ambrose and Ely Coffey and his Colonel, Benjamin Cleveland, was his cousin.

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Benjamin Coffey and family lived in the part of Wilkes County that is now Caldwell County, North Carolina. He sold a one hundred acre tract of land on December 15, 1808 for $1,200.00 in Wilkes County. That tract of land was conveyed to him October 6, 1785 for his service to his Country. Benjamin also received a grant from the state of North Carolina dated December 24, 1789 for land on the South Fork of Yadkin River called Miller’s Creek. There were several land transactions for Benjamin in Wilkes County.

Benjamin Coffey as an overseer of the road up-keep from Buffalo Creek to the Burke County line beginning January 3, 1789 and records have him resigning as road overseer on May 2, 1793. He also served as a juror in the Wilkes County Courts.

For forty years Benjamin and Polly Coffey resided in Wilkes County, NC and raised their 8 children. They were a well respected family in this community. They grew tobacco and hemp and raised stud horses. Sometime before 1830 they moved to Hawkins County, Tennessee along with some of their grown children and their families. Benjamin was 80 years old at this time. It was here in Tennessee in1833 that he applied for and received a Military pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. He was given $100 in back payments and was awarded $20 per year going forward. Benjamin died on January 4, 1834 at the age of 84.

Benjamin Coffey is my 4th Great Grandfather.

 

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