Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sounds of the Revolution!

Back on the last Friday in April, the 27th to be exact, Rob Lowe was featured on Who Do You Think You Are. I had jotted down some thoughts about the show and set them aside because I knew during the following week I would be busy getting ready for the NGS Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, and some research in nearby Clermont County. That all seems so long ago now as I sit down at my computer and get ready to take up where I left off almost three weeks ago when my world came to a complete standstill.

Rob Lowe's adventure into his mother's family history took an interesting turn when it came to finding a Revolutionary War soldier he had only a few clues about. He found the name John Christopher East in his mother's scrapbook. In true WDYTYA fashion, he headed to Washington D. C. and the headquarters of the Daughters of The Revolution. Don't worry though, you won't have to make a trip to the nation's capitol to research your patriot! (More about that later.)

Rob's Revolutionary soldier turned out to be a German Hessian soldier. I have some ancestors yet to be seriously researched who were in this country at the time of the Revolution. For some reason they just don't seem to want to make themselves known in any Revolutionary War indexes or county histories so far. Maybe I am missing something here. Maybe it is time to go hunting for a Hessian or two!

However, I do have a Revolutionary War soldier in my family tree. His name is Philip Rice and I found an amazing amount of information about him from his pension records. Pension records are not that difficult to find, but they can be hard to read. Just have patience because you may have to read them several times before you start to recognize the words. Don't let that scare you though, eventually you will begin to see the story unfold before your very eyes.

From the pension papers: Philip Rice was born in 1760 in Virginia. He first served as a fifer with the Militia of King William Co, Virginia. Actually Philip served 6 different times during the war. He volunteered twice, was drafted twice, was a substitue for William Hancock, and a substitute for James Rice. At one point he served under Col. Robert Radford carrying a cannon and supplies on a vessel from Cumberland to Taylor's Ferry, Hancock Co., Virginia. He was 73 years old when he applied for his pension and had been living in Bracken Co. Kentucky since 1774 or 1775. I found the names of several of his neighbors and a clergyman named Robert Elrod. Philip married Martha Vaughn in Goochland Co. Virginia on January 28,1791.(to be continued)

Next: I discovered a bit of information about Philip Rice at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati which let to a huge surprise about my patriot ancestor.

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