With Independence Day coming soon I figured I would do a little in-depth research as to who in my family served in the American Revolution. I know there were some on my Mother’s PELTON side because I’ve come across an application for both “Sons of the American Revolution” and “Daughters of the American Revolution.” I’d love some more details about who they were and where they fought!
Ancestry.com and Fold3 are the websites that I used for the information I’ve gathered. I will cite the actual sources later in the post. The easiest way to start your own research is to figure out which relatives lived in the general time period of the war. In the case of the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence) the years of the war were 1775–1783. The average age of the soldier’s varied according to this demographics survey – but generally speaking it was around the early to mid-twenties.
The colonies required militia service, generally, of males between sixteen and sixty, excepting clergy, college students, slaves, and, often, free blacks. In Virginia, service by Catholics was forbidden. [source] There were a few outliers of course - Israel Trask, son of a Lieutenant who volunteered and served as a cook’s helper and messenger was 10 years old and Samuel Whittemore was 78 years old.
So, one could assume that, if an ancestor was in between the ages ~16 to ~60 between 1775 and 1783, there was a very high chance they were in the military and therefore, fought in the Revolutionary War.
My Personal Revolutionary War Ancestry
Ithamar PELTON (my 5th great grandfather)
Birth 22 Nov 1740 in Saybrook, Essex, Connecticut
Death 16 Mar 1826 in Middlefield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
According to the D.A.R. Lineage Book (vol. 5) “Ithamar Pelton turned out at the Lexington Alarm and was a sea captain commanding privateers and taking many prizes during the struggle for independence.”
Do you have a Revolutionary War ancestor? Please share!