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Military Monday: Henry Horn and Hessian Resources

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Henrich Horn: Military Career

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

Henry Horn (1758-1845) was a McMurray ancestor who came to this country as a Hessian soldier (or “German Auxiliary”) for the British in the Revolutionary War. Henry and about 1,000 other Hessians were captured in the December 25th, 1776 surprise attack at Trenton, New Jersey, by George Washington and his forces, after their famous crossing of the Delaware River. Henry became a Prisoner of War and was taken to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He later stated he enlisted into the American forces in Lancaster, and he served fourteen months in the War. (See Notes below for more posts about Henry.)

There are quite a lot of videos on YouTube about the Hessians, including the above. We are unsure how long Henry stayed in Lancaster as a POW (he is not well documented), so we don’t know if he actually helped build the Carlyle Barracks shown in the video, but it is a possibility since he was a strong young man- maybe only 16 or 18 years old.

Another good resource is the Journal of the American Revolution, a free online magazine that provides articles for scholars and ‘enthusiasts.’ The participants, places, economics, politics, culture, and of course, battles, of the American Revolution, are featured in pieces written by various authors who have extensively researched their topics. A recent article profiles “The Hessians: Johannes Schwalm Historial Association,” a journal that has been a leader in the American research efforts to document the “German Auxiliaries” in the Revolutionary War.

The Hessians: Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association

The editors of  “The Hessians…” are not as active as they once were, but the website is still a great resource. They do have a detailed listing of the contents of each journal issue. They told me that they are thinking about putting them online which would be great, but that it might be a while. I originally found this group through the RootsWeb Hessian board, so that too is a great website for looking for more information about a Hessian ancestor.

More to come about Henry Horn as we continue our research.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. How are we related? One of the sons of Henry HORN and Elizabeth (PRETZMAN) HORN was Frederick P. HORN (1796-1867). One of his daughters with Hepzibah (CLARK) HORN was Mary Ann HORN (1824-1891), who married Henderson McMURRAY (1819-1906). Their son Frederick Asbury McMURRAY (1850-1929) was the grandfather of Edward A. McMURRAY, SR. (1900-1992).
  2. “The Hessians: Johannes Schwalm Historial Association,” Journal of the American Revolution– https://allthingsliberty.com/2018/01/hessians-journal-johannes-schwalm-historical-association/
  3. Although we still need to finish the story of Henry Horn, you can read what we have written about his military career, starting here on the blog: “Henrich Horn: Military Career”– http://heritageramblings.net/series/henrich-horn-military-career/
  4. The RootsWeb Hessian board is currently offline due to technical problems, but hopefully Ancestry will bring it back soon. You can find it as AMREV-HESSIANS Mailing List– http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/c/cem-index.htm 

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Tombstone Tuesday: Frederick P. Horn and Hepzibah (Clarke) Horn

Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016.
Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016.

McMurray Family, Horn Family (Click for Family Tree, and see Notes below.)

Sandhill Cemetery is a “Pioneer Cemetery” in Cedar County, Iowa, a place to which our family migrated in the 1850s. Pioneer Cemeteries are often neglected as farm families moved, and they become overgrown and the stones deteriorate even faster than they would normally since they are not cleaned. There is no “perpetual care” in a pioneer cemetery as there is in urban cemeteries, and they are often a place of vandalism, being away from scrutiny out in the country. So it is important that we help to maintain the final resting places of the ancestors who came before us- after all, we carry their genetic material that helps make us who we are!

So often today families live far from the gravesite of ancestors, and care of the cemetery falls to local historical or genealogical societies, or Scout troops who go in and clean up a cemetery for a service project or even an Eagle or Gold Project.

Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016.
Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016. Note the hole/chipped base of the third pedestal- it is surprising that this stone did not fall over.

Cedar County, Iowa, has a Pioneer Cemetery Committee that is working to restore Sandhill Cemetery and others to what they respectfully should be. Sandhill had three very large evergreens in the center of the cemetery that were getting too old and needed to be removed. These trees and others have been removed so they cannot fall on headstones (or living people in the cemetery!), and the grounds are being weeded and cleaned up. Also, there are many stones like those of Frederick, AKA “F.P.,” and Hepzibah, that need attention- in fact, there are 10 Horn family members buried in Sandhill, and some of their stones need repair as well.  Some funds are provided by the county, but most of what is done is volunteer and through donations.

Headstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration.
Headstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration about 2007.

The Pioneer Cemetery Committee is trying to prioritize their expenditures to the headstones that need the most help right now.

Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in August of 2015. Note deterioration of stone.
Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in August of 2015. Note deterioration of stone.

Currently, for 3 of our Horn family stones- Hepzibah’s, F. P.’s, and a stone for “Henry” which is next to Hepzibah’s (he may be their son)- the Committee has found a gentleman who will repair them all for $400-425 and will clean them. He will also put new 4′ foundations under them, to help preserve them (hopefully) for another 100+ years. (Hepzibah died in 1882, Henry in 1885, and F.P. in 1887.)

Headstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration, about 2007.
Headstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration, about 2007, with inscription chalked.

It would be very helpful for our family to donate to the group as they care for the memorials to our ancestors, since the county does not provide enough to totally restore this cemetery.

Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in September of 2015 after some restoration.
Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in September of 2015 after some restoration.

All donations are tax-deductible, and checks can be sent to:

Cedar County Pioneer Cemetery Commission

c/o Cedar County Historical Museum

Attention: Sandy Harmel

1094 Hwy 38

Tipton, IA 52772

Thank you for honoring the memory of our ancestors!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. How are the McMurrays related to the Horn family?  

    Edw. A., Maude Lynette “Midge”, and Herbert C. McMurray =>
    William Elmer McMurray =>Frederick Asbury McMurray =>
    Henderson McMURRAY + Mary Ann HORN (married 1845) [daughter of Frederick P. Horn and Hepzibah (Clark) Horn]

  2. See our previous post, “Headstones of Frederick P. Horn and Hepzibah (Clark) Horn- Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar Co., Iowa” at http://heritageramblings.net/2013/11/16/headstones-of-frederick-p-horn-and-hepzibah-clark-horn-sandhill-cemetery-cedar-co-iowa/
  3. Daisy Wingert has taken the wonderful pictures for Find A Grave for the Horn family, given us permission to use them, and has communicated with us about the need for headstone repair. Daisy has also done some searching in local records to help us learn more about F.P. and Hepzibah- more to come on them later. Thanks, Daisy, who isn’t even related to us!!
  4. The images from ~2007 were paid for by the author so many years ago, and permission given to use.
  5. Please contact us through the blog if you have questions about donating, and we will forward them on to Daisy or Sandy.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Sibling Saturday: Cynthia Maria Pomeroy and Her Sisters

Daughters born to William Pomeroy and Rachel (Edwards) Pomeroy. Massachusetts Town & Vital records,
Daughters born to William Pomeroy and Rachel (Edwards) Pomeroy. Massachusetts Town & Vital records, via Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

They say that folks can only remember the stories of three generations these days- that would be you, your parents, and grandparents; maybe we can leave “you” out and go to great-grandparents, especially if you were lucky enough to actually know them. That may be why the name “Cynthia Maria Pomeroy” is unfamiliar to many McMurrays- she is more than 3 generations back from all of us.

Most of our McMurray readers know who Dr. Edward A. McMurray (1900-1992) was, and their relationship to him. His mother was Lynette (Payne) McMurray, her mother Nanie Maria (Burnell) Payne, and Nanie’s mother was Cynthia Maria (Pomeroy) Burnell, married to Kingsley Abner “K.A.” Burnell. So C. Maria, or Maria, as she was known,  was Dr. McMurray’s great-grandmother (3 generations). Add the number of generations you are from the Doctor, and that will tell you how many times to put ‘great’ in front of ‘great-grandmother’ to know your relationship to Maria. Easy to see how her name might be forgotten, and the story of her life, since she was born in February of 1824.

I don’t remember Dr. McMurray ever talking about her, and he definitely would never have met her since she died in 1862. (I do believe he knew her name though and shared that many many years ago to help in our genealogical search.) Sadly he would not have met his maternal grandmother, Nanie M. Burnell Payne either, as she died just two years before he was born.

Maria’s parent were William Pomeroy (1785-1867) and Rachel (Edwards) Pomeroy (1785-1860). The family lived in Williamsburg, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, where William had been born. Rachel was from Chesterfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, where they were married.

The above record is from the Massachusetts Town and Vital records of Williamsburg. Here is my transcription of the record:

137

Joulian Daught to William and Rachal Pomory
born _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 14 June 1811
Nancy Parsons _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 22 April 1813
Elizabeth _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _30 Novmbr 1816
Synthia Maria daughter born               Feb. 1824
Adaughter still born _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2nd Nov. 1826

“Jouian” was Julia Ann Pomeroy, daughter to William and Rachel Pomeroy.

“Synthia Maria” was later spelled as “Cynthia Maria”- the ‘S’ was common for this name early on, but was changed to a ‘C’ in later years. (We have a few other ‘Synthia’ relatives who became ‘Cynthia.’)

 

Both the Pomeroy and Edwards families have very old roots in New England- back to “the Great Migration” of the mid-1600s. We will tell more of their stories in upcoming posts.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Image per caption.
  2. Oral family history, verified with censuses, vital records, etc.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Wedding Wednesday: Eltweed Pomeroy’s 3 Marriages

Record of Eltweed Pomeroy's first marriage to Johana KEECH in Beamister, Dorset, England. Unknown source, likely one of the Pomeroy compiled genealogies.
Record of Eltweed Pomeroy’s first marriage 4 May 1617 to Johana Keech in Beamister, Dorset, England. Unknown source for this church record, likely one of the Pomeroy compiled genealogies.

McMurray FamilyBurnell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Our ancestors married many times, in some cases- it’s not (necessarily) that they had itchy feet, but that their life expectancies were much lower than those of today. It was really challenging for a man, and especially for a woman, to make ends meet and accomplish all the tasks of daily life without a domestic partner. Thus a deceased spouse was generally replaced very quickly, especially if there were young children in the family. There were religious aspects to consider too- many of these early immigrant families were Puritans, as the Pomeroys may have been (more research needed), and their church felt a person should be married to prevent, well, too much sexual tension in the community, shall we say?

Eltweed Pomeroy (sometimes called ‘Eldad,’ as was his son) was one of our English immigrant ancestors. He was the fourth great-grandfather of Cynthia Marie Pomeroy, who married Kingsley Abner Burnell. Cynthia was the mother of Nanie Burnell and grandmother of Lynette Payne McMurray. Cynthia died in 1865 at the age of 39, so Lynette would not have known her; she would have known her grandfather Kingsley, however. Eltweed was the seventh great-grandfather of Dr. Edward A. McMurray, so you can figure your generation from there.

Eltweed was born and lived in Beamister, Dorset, England when he first married. Johana Keech, daughter of “John Kiche,” had been baptized at Beamister 15 May 1586. Eltweed and Johana married on 4 May 1617 and had two children. Their first daughter, Dinah, was born 6 Aug 1617, and some authors have stated she died young, although no death or burial records have been found. (Note that Dinah was born ‘prematurely’- just 3 months after they married if these dates are correct. She may have truly been premature, which may be why she died young.) Daughter Elizabeth was born in Beamister 28 Nov 1619, but sadly her mother Johana died and was buried in Beamister one year later, on 27 Nov 1620. Little Elizabeth died the next year, and was buried there 13 Jul 1621; she was just 1 year, 8 months old at her death.

Eltwidus PUMERY-Johana KEECH marriage record, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers, via Ancestry.com.
Eltwidus Pumery-Johana Keech marriage record, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers, via Ancestry.com. Probably recopied. (Click to enlarge.)

Latin was used in the church register, translated as:

Marriages

1617

4 May    Eltwidus Pumery & Johana Keech

 

Margery (or Mary) Rockett was Eltweed’s second wife, and they married 7 May 1629, in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England. Eltweed was identified as being “of Bemister.” Eltweed was 44, Margery just 24 at their marriage.  The family migrated to the American Colonies, sometime between 1632 when their son Eldad was born in England, and about 1634, when son John was born in Windsor, Connecticut. Margery was the mother of the remainder of Eltweed’s children, but she died 5 July 1655 in Windsor.

We will discuss Eltweed’s eight children with Margery Rockett in an upcoming post.

Eltweed Pomeroy's Marriages in Torrey's "New England Marriages before 1700." via Ancestry.com
Eltweed Pomeroy’s Marriages in Torrey’s “New England Marriages before 1700.” via Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)

Eltweed married third Lydia Brown, who was the widow of Thomas Parsons. (Thomas and Lydia had married in 1641, in Connecticut; he died 23 Sep 1661.) Eltweed married the Widow Parsons in Windsor, Connecticut 30 Nov 1660/1. He was 75, she was 47. They did not have any children together.

[Note: Due to the change from Gregorian to Julian calendar, years and months may be off. Dual dating (such as 1640/1) was often used and the abbreviation O.S. for Old Style, N.S. for New Style calendar used. Unfortunately today’s genealogical sources are not that precise, so there may be an adjustment needed for these dates. More research…]

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Pomeroy-Keech marriage: Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/BE:RE1/1. Ancestry.com. Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Dorset Parish Registers. Dorchester, England: Dorset History Centre.

 

2. Eltwidus Pumery-Johana Keech marriage record, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers, via Ancestry.com. Probably recopied.

3. Eltweed Pomeroy’s 3rd Marriage in Torrey’s “New England Marriages before 1700.” via Ancestry.com.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Our Kingsley Ancestors and Shays’s Rebellion

"Shays's Rebellion." The portraits of Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck, leaders of the Massachusetts "Regulators, from "Bickerstaff's Boston Almanack of 1787, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. via Wikimedia, public domain.
“Shays’s Rebellion.” The portraits of Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck, leaders of the Massachusetts “Regulators,” from “Bickerstaff’s Boston Almanack of 1787, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. via Wikimedia, public domain.

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

If you are a McMurray, Payne, or Burnell descendant, you might be interested to know that today, 29 August, is the anniversary of the beginning of Shays’s [sic] Rebellion.

Dr. Edward A. McMurray, Dr. Herbert C. McMurray, and Maude Lynette “Midge” McMurray Cook  were the third-great grandchildren of Ebenezer Kingsley (1769-1855), and fourth-great grandchildren of Ebenezer’s father, Deacon Moses Kingsley (1744-1829), so you can figure your relationship from them.

Ebenezer Kingsley and his father (and family) were living in Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in 1786, the epicenter of Shays’s Rebellion. Northampton is in the western part of the state, which was very rural, with subsistence farming its primary economic base in the rolling hills of the valley. About 85% of the population was living on small farms in the backcountry in 1786, trying to eke out a spare living for their family.

Connecticut Valley, MA_from History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Louis. H. Everts,1879, frontispiece, Vol II, via archive.org.
Connecticut Valley, MA, from History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Louis. H. Everts, 1879, frontispiece, Vol II, via archive.org.

So what was Shays’s Rebellion about, if you have forgotten high school history?

First, a bit of background on the times:

The Revolutionary War was over and the Articles of Confederation were the weak glue holding the thirteen ex-colonies together. The fledgling government did not have enough money to pay soldiers for their service or the promised bounties, so many returned home penniless, and in debt for their farms or businesses, whether it be a mortgage, supplies and livestock bought on credit, or taxes while they were off fighting for our freedom. Businesses were in great distress because of the disruption of commerce due to the war, plus they could not pay their bills since their customers could not make good on what they owed. There was no demand for labor since there was no money to pay workers, and the towns, states, and country were all in debt due to the war. The lost income to individuals, businesses, and thus tax revenues due to the war, overall must have been staggering, and triggered the first post-war depression of the new United States of America’s economy.

The states and the federal government, of course, levied taxes to pay their debts, but the citizens did not have the money to pay. Some estimated that the state of Massachusetts had debt equal to almost $200 for every family in the state; they levied an additional property tax to pay this debt. Prior to the war, the barter system had been used as hard money was scarce, but the government would not take livestock or crops- if a farmer even had some to spare- in lieu of cash to pay taxes. The laws of the time required property to be seized from debtors, and unjustly allowed the first of the creditors to take all the property, not giving proportionate amounts to other creditors, who then would not be able to pay their own loans. Debtors were thrown into prison with felons, and “families left to want and poverty.”

“Heavier than the people can bear” was the comment made by John Adams when describing the economic situation and tax burden of the people, even though he was normally a conservative.

President John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd president of the United States, by Asher B. Durand (1767-1845). via Wikimedia, public domain.
President John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd president of the United States, by Asher B. Durand (1767-1845). via Wikimedia, public domain.

Law-abiding citizens wrote petition after petition for relief to the state government in Boston, with no reply and no decrease in taxes.

Our Kingsley ancestors would have felt this burden keenly, as it appears that they were not very well-to-do. The 1820 US Federal Census indicates that Moses Kingsley was still working in agriculture at age 76, and at least two of his sons, Ebenezer and Asahel, were also farmers.

Describing Shay’s rebellion, the Gazetteer of Hampshire County, Mass., 1654-1887, states:

“This uprising in Western Massachusetts against the authorities of the state, in 1786, was not, however, strickly [sic] speaking, a rebellion; that is, it was not prompted by any spirit of disloyalty, nor was it designed or plotted with the wish to overturn the government. It was the wild and lawless expression of discontent with harsh circumstances; the natural outbreak of those who were suffering and oppressed.

… As the courts and lawyers were instrumental in the foreclosure of mortgages, the distraining [seizure to pay off debt] of personal property and the imprisonment of debtors, the popular outcry and rage was largely directed against the officials of law and justice.”

An earlier mob outbreak had disturbed the court session in Northampton in April of 1782, when Ebenezer was just 13, and his father, Moses Kingsley, 38 years old and a pillar of his community. The mob leader was arrested, then broken out of jail in another city by his comrades, who were then arrested in Northampton. A mob came to Northampton demanding their release, which did occur. This must have been a scary time for the local population, though likely exciting to a 13 year old boy like Ebenezer Kingsley!

Four years later, conventions were convened in the state to rectify these same problems in August of 1786. It was, however, too late: 1500 people mobbed the Northampton Courthouse  and grounds on August 29th to prevent any cases against debtors proceeding. Daniel Shays and Luke Day, both who served admirably in the Revolutionary War, became the leaders of the rebellion. (Many other rebels had served honorably in the Revolutionary War as well.) When peaceful means did not work, they issued a call to arms and violent protest by the citizenry, which did happen that fall in other towns. The rebels were able to stop courts before they could convict debtors, and moved from town to town, inciting revolt. They saw themselves as “Regulators,” trying to make taxation fair and reducing official corruption, not rebels.

Fearful of the economic and possible political effects of this revolt, a private militia was raised by wealthy merchants and land owners, since the state of Massachusetts did not have the funds to pay a militia to put down the rebellion. Forty-five hundred men were enlisted, 1200 to be raised from Western Massachusetts in December.

Ebenezer Kingsley was 18, his brother Asahel Kingsley (1771-1864) was 16, and brother Moses Kingsley (1772-1828) was 15 at this time- perhaps they participated in the militia, or possibly even in the rebellion? What if one felt the rebellion necessary, and another felt it important to put it down? Young men of that age are often eager to test their mettle in battle, and they had been just children during the Revolution so could not serve then. Their father Moses Kingsley was 44 and had become the 21st Deacon of First Church in Northampton. It must have been a difficult time for him- as a Deacon and a farmer himself, he likely would understand the pain of the people concerning their inability to pay their debts in such challenging economic times, yet as a man of the church he would want the law to be obeyed.

As Shays’ men needed arms, they decided to attack the US Arsenal in Springfield, MA. They were stopped by the militia, and the “Shaysites” as they were called, retreated after 3 were killed and one severely wounded. The militia pursued the rebels up the hills in the snow and cold winds of a Massachusetts January, and rebels deserted the cause in droves; the rebellion was essentially over. Over four thousand men signed confessions of wrong-doing, and were required to swear an oath of allegiance to the state and those who governed.

Elections brought a new, more responsive group into power and they placed a moratorium on debts collected by the state, plus cut taxes.

Some have called Shays’s Rebellion the last battle of the Revolutionary War, as the citizens were rebelling against an elite group in far away (Boston) levying taxes that were much too high for the average person to pay. George Washington came out of retirement to help the government determine what to do about the rebels, and he went on to become President in 1789. The Rebellion revealed the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation, thus a Constitutional Convention was convened, resulting in the Constitution we still use today.

Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution. via Wikipedia, public domain.
Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution. via Wikipedia, public domain.

Thomas Jefferson, French Ambassador at the time, was not concerned that Shays’s Rebellion would destroy the new country he had worked so hard to build. One of his most famous quotes comes from a letter he wrote about Shays’s Rebellion: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” [fertilizer]

Hopefully, the positive political aftermath of Shays’s Rebellion helped our Kingsley ancestors in their pursuit of liberty, success, and happiness.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Gazetteer of Hampshire County, Mass., 1654-1887, page 100, via Archive.org. https://archive.org/stream/gazetteerofhamps00ingayw#page/n113/mode/2up
  2. Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle, by Leonard L. Richards, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.
  3. 1820 US Federal Census for Moses Kingsley in Hampshire, Massachusetts: Detail: Year: 1820; Census Place: Hampshire, Massachusetts; Roll: M33_50, via Ancestry.com.
  4. Further research into the newspapers of the time in Northampton, researching court documents that might include a confessions, diaries, militia lists, etc., might give us more insight into exactly how the Kingsley family fit into Northampton in 1786, and how they were affected by Shays’s Rebellion.

 

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