Wednesday, July 4, 2007

For Independence Day: our Revolutionary Ancestors

I have already outlined how Joseph Henry Ludwig fought in the Revolutionary war. That's on my mother's side.

But there may be Revolutionary roots on my father's side as well.

What We Know:

I can firmly establish our line back to James McDermond (b 1818) of Chester County, PA. He first appears on the 1840 Census for West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania. I can follow him to the 1880 census, and show that Ulysses Simpson Grant McDermond is listed as his son in the 1870 and 1880 census. James was born in Pennsylvania to parents born in Pennsylvania. His wife was Hannah Thomas, of West Narntreal, Chester County, PA.

What I believe:
The 1850 census ALSO shows another James McDermond living in Chester County. This older James was born in 1798 in Pennsylvania, to parents born in Pennsylvania. This James lived in West Narntreal; the same place the younger' James' wife is from.

To recap:
  • We have two James McDermonds living in Chester County.
  • We have an older James McDermond living in West Narntreal.
  • We have a younger James McDermond living in West Vincent.
  • James McDermond of West Vincent is married to a woman from West Narntreal.
While this isn't conclusive evidence, the circumstantial evidence is pretty convincing.

Pushing Back Further:
In the 1800 census of Chester County, there were two McDermond households: only John McDermond had children; the other, Joel, may have been the eldest son (male was born between 1775 and 1785).

John McDermond was born sometime before 1756, his household had four boys born between 1790 and 1800, four boys born between 1785 and 1790, one male born between 1775 and 1785. There were two women born between 1775 and 1785, and another born between 1756 and 1774.

  • John is the oldest male, his wife the oldest female.
  • The second oldest male is his son or SIL, one of the secondary women is his DIL and the other his daughter.
  • The youngest boys may be his grandsons, the slightly older boys may be a combination of grandson and sons.

  • We have a McDermond household in Chester County, there is a boy in that household who was born in the right frame of time; there is a high probability that one of those four boys is the elder James.
  • We have a McDermond old enough to have fought in the Revolution; if John was born in 1756, he'd have been 20 years old when the Revolutionary War started.
That just leaves the question, "Was there a McDermond who fought in the Revolution?"

And the answer is "yes."

There is a pension for John McDermond of PA for fighting in the Revolution. His pension started 4 September 1791, per a law enacted 7 June, 1785. He died 25 April, 1809.

Not enough to file a DAR claim, but it leaves some solid avenues to explore.