What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?

Used in whaling, a whale boat was a small vessel of about 30 ft with a crew of 6. The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an excellent description. During the American Revolution, they were used not for whaling but for raiding. The best know examples occurred between Connecticut and Long Island. Sometimes called the WhaleboatContinue reading “What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?”

Militia or Continental Line?

Land was the biggest driver behind your (non-officer) ancestor’s decision to serve in the militia versus on the Continental Line. In the colonies, land ownership was heavily tied to agriculture. Farming requires oversight, especially New England’s smaller farms. A farm owner would have wanted to onsite as much as possible. Militia service demanded – atContinue reading “Militia or Continental Line?”

What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?

Privateers played a major role in American naval activities during the American Revolution. With permission from the government, privately owned ships could attempt to capture an enemy ship. If the capture was judged to be legal, the contents and ship would be sold – and the profits redistributed to the crew. At the start ofContinue reading “What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?”

Can the Connecticut freeman’s oath be considered an oath of allegiance for a Revolutionary War lineage society?

To vote in colonial and early Republican Connecticut, you had to be a “freeman” (typically a white male, over the age of 21, holding land) and to have taken the freeman’s oath to uphold local government. In October 1776, the state changed the wording on the oath, making it a clear statement of loyalty: YouContinue reading “Can the Connecticut freeman’s oath be considered an oath of allegiance for a Revolutionary War lineage society?”

Would receipt of property in the suffers’ lands be considered evidence of qualifying service for the Sons or the Daughters of the American Revolution?

Maybe, with many caveats, including that acceptance of service is at the discretion of the organization. First of all, what were the Suffers’ Lands? In 1792, the state of Connecticut acquiesced to repeated petitions from those who had lost property due to damage by the British and granted them a share of the Connecticut WesternContinue reading “Would receipt of property in the suffers’ lands be considered evidence of qualifying service for the Sons or the Daughters of the American Revolution?”

What was the Ladies’ Association of Philadelphia?

Founded in 1780 by Esther de Berdt Reed, the Ladies’ Association of Philadelphia raised money for the Continental Army through door to door fundraising. The organization raised over $7,000, which was used to clothe soldiers. Although heavily critiqued, the Association was one of the first American examples of organized political action by women. The family’sContinue reading “What was the Ladies’ Association of Philadelphia?”

Did Benjamin Graves die at the Battle of Groton Heights?

I have an update to this 2021 post… Died at Groton Heights?               Descendants of Benjamin Graves, baptized in 1734 in East Haddam, Connecticut, have long claimed he died from wounds received in battle at the Battle of Groton Heights.[1] Yet, he is not included among those listed as killed and wounded.[2] Where and whenContinue reading “Did Benjamin Graves die at the Battle of Groton Heights?”