Monday, July 5, 2021

52 Ancestors - FREE: My Patriots

Independence Day always gets me thinking about my patriot ancestors. In 2015, my sister and I were able to join the Daughters of the American Revolution through William Jordan of Albemarle County, Virginia. He was a private in the Virginia Militia, and for a short while he was a sergeant. I wrote about his service HERE and HERE.

Just about this time last year, our Virtual District I Virginia meeting included a workshop on how to find our patriots. The presenter threw down a challenge: find at least 5 more patriots in our direct line and submit supplemental applications.

What does that mean? Everyone who joins DAR must prove her bloodline to just one patriot, male OR female, who helped achieve independence for America. After an applicant is verified, she may then submit “supplemental” applications for other direct line patriot ancestors. Finding those extra patriots does not make anyone a “super member” or afford any privileges. While claiming numerous patriots is a source of pride for the member herself, her research might help future applicants prove their own lineage.

Before the presentation, I had never been much interested in submitting supplementals. But I do love a challenge. I didn’t find 5. I found 7. Here they are:

Elizabeth Rennolds Rucker

Yes, a woman. A patriot was not necessarily a soldier. Female patriots were typically widows or single women who were head of a household, probably inherited from their father. DAR credits Elizabeth with Patriotic Service for supplying beef to the army. She was born in Essex County, Virginia about 1708. She married Thomas Rucker in 1726, and the two moved to Culpeper County. He died prior to the Revolutionary War, leaving Elizabeth to run the household, which is why her name is recorded as the donor of beef. She died in 1788.

Thomas Rucker

This is Elizabeth Rennolds Rucker’s son. Like his mother, Thomas supplied beef. He was born about 1739 and died in 1808.

Public Claims, Culpeper County (VA) Court Booklet 1, p 31
"Do" means "Ditto"

William Herndon

William Herndon (1764 – before 1847) married Mary Rucker (1763-1835), daughter of Thomas Rucker and granddaughter of Elizabeth Rennolds Rucker. I wrote about his service as a private in the Virginia Militia HERE. He had a rough time collecting a pension. 

Edward Herndon

Edward Herndon (1738 – 1831) is the father of William Herndon. Not only was he a soldier in the Culpeper Militia, but also he was credited with Patriotic Service for supplying beef. Edward was married to Mary Ann Gaines (1742-1829). They both died in Madison County, which was formed from Culpeper County in 1792.

James Gaines

James Gaines (1719-1786) is the father of Mary Ann Gaines and thus father-in-law of Edward Herndon and grandfather of William Herndon. He was too old to serve, but he was still a patriot who provided beef, hay, wheat, a gun, and transportation in a carriage. 

Culpeper Co Court Booklet 1, p 19

Culpeper Co Court Booklet 1, p 26

Culpeper Co Court Booklet 1, p 37

Leonard Davis

Leonard Davis was the patriot that my sister and I tried to join through, but we could not find appropriate documentation that would meet the DAR standards. Now that I have been my chapter’s registrar for several years, I have learned enough that I might be able to prove our lineage. He was just a teenager when he volunteered in the Virginia Militia. I wrote about his march to Jamestown and Hot Water HERE. An interesting side note is that his daughter-in-law Frances Wyant was the daughter of a Hessian soldier, Peter Wyant. Peter will never become a DAR patriot since he supported the other side, but he must have liked it in America. He bought land and settled in Albemarle County.

Peter Wyant's spring house Sep 2013
photo courtesy Jan Hensley

Samuel Hosier

So far, Samuel Hosier is the only patriot on my father’s side, and he is through Daddy's paternal grandmother. There are just too many problems in searching Daddy’s other lines, for now anyway. Samuel was born about 1755. He lived in both Nansemond County (now Suffolk) and Princess Anne County, Virginia, and he died before 1833. His application for a pension was rejected for failure to provide proof of service, but eventually his son or grandson was able to satisfy the War Board that Samuel had indeed been a private in the militia. Samuel’s heirs received bounty land. Samuel also paid the supply tax, so even without adequate proof of service, he still would have been deemed a patriot by the DAR.

So far I have submitted 2 supplemental applications, but I intend to send in others, a few at a time.  

Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.


© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

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