Sunday, September 7, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks -- Week 1

Saw this challenge at NoStoryTooSmall,, to blog about an ancestor each week, for a total of 52 during the year. I'm kind of slow getting started, but better late than never.  I thought I would begin the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge with the ancestor who first got me into DAR, my 4th great grandfather, John See.

John was taken hostage at age six by Shawnee Indians as part of the Muddy Creek Massacre. I'll delve into this story more next week.  

An agreement was reached where all the prisoners were to be released. The three sons of Frederick See were taken to Ft. Pitt, Virginia. However, the youngest, John, escaped the first night of his release, rejoining his captors. John See spent several more months with his captors until his Uncle Adam could again secure his release. Tradition is that John's behavior caused his aunt to throw her hands up in despair during her attempts to civilize him. John was raised by his uncle Adam See after his father was killed in the Muddy Creek area. 

Reaching manhood he fought in and around Greenbrier County in 1775-76 against the Indians. Then in August 1776 he enlisted in the regular army for a term of one year. John See was a dedicated Revolutionary soldier. After he had served his year he re-enlisted again. This time he began serving three years under a Capt. Lapsely in the 12th Regiment of General Scott's troop which was later to join General Washington's army. General George Washington met the forces of the British led by a general named "Howe" who had the Americans far outnumbered. This was known as the famous Battle of Brandywine. During this battle John See was wounded in the chest. How he managed to continue is unknown, but he remained with the troops while recovering. When Washington took his 11,000 men, ragged and tired, to make winter quarters at Valley Forge, John was with him and he and many fellow soldiers remained loyal to Washington in spite of the many hardships. There were only about 1,000 blankets for 11,000 men to keep warm. Half the troops were without shoes, and the supply of food was always scarce. Malnutrition, pneumonia, inadequate clothing, and lack of the medical supplies needed for the wounded killed hundreds of men. John See survived through such difficulties and went on to fight in the "Battle of Germantown" near Philadelphia; he was in the "Battle of Stony Point" near Monmouth, New Jersey; and the last battle he served in, "Battle of Camden." These were very important engagements of the war. After Camden he was discharged after fighting for five years for his country. 

Returning from the war, John See married Margaret Jarrett. After their marriage John and Margaret was to settle down in Greenbrier County where they began raising their family. They had nine known children. About 1790 John See became a Baptist minister in Virginia but continued to farm as well, owning land in different areas. In 1809 he deeded 60 acres of land to Peter Likens. In 1818 he deeded 60 acres on the Kanawha River to John Nugen, his son-in-law. And its been told that he gave each of his nine children property. He assigned a land warrant that he had received in the service to a James Galloway, which was used in Hardin County, Ohio. Documents indicated John and Margaret See left Virginia going to Indiana in 1814. But son Michael See said in a county history they went when he was two years of age; this seems unlikely but it is possible they went there and returned. They positively were in Indiana for several years thereafter but where this couple passed away has a log of Sees wondering. According to Linda Nixon, she read where Margaret See died in 1836; as well she has read that John See died in 1837, others saying he died in 1845. Some say Peoria, Illinois is where he died, and others say Decatur County, Illinois, while others think Indiana. A document on file at the War Office Department states that John See of Koscuiski County, Indiana, appointed John Nugen to be his lawful attorney. But it didn't say how long if, John See lived there. Pension papers state that he received his last pension payment in January 1837. This is most cases an indication the pensioner had died. But when Linda Nixon wrote a letter to the Henry County Genealogy Association, they sent a letter back which stated John See was buried on a farm once his in Henry County, Indiana. She believes this is correct. John was born in Hardy, West Virginia on 10 October 1757.  He was the son of Michael Frederick Zaharias and Catherine Vanderpool. He married Margaret Garrett at Greenbrier zcounty, West Virginia on 3 September 1780.

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