Tuesday, August 7, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Independence

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of July 2, 2018, is Independence.

I thought I’d write about one of my Revolutionary War ancestors, my maternal 5th great grandfather George Wyche, to learn his role in the war. 

According to an approved Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) application submitted by one of my Pendleton/Young cousins (digital copy on ancestry.com), George Wyche was “one of 45 deputies assembled in Provincial Congress at Savannah, Jan. 18, 1775.” George was elected as a field officer of the Lower Battalion for Richmond County and Augusta District. He was a Colonel, and his commission was dated June 15, 1779. 

The SAR application notes that two months later, on August 14, 1779, the Lower Battalion was ordered to join Col. Few and “proceed to the Western frontier (where George Wyche was placed in command).” I looked up Col. Few online to see if I could find what George may have participated. There were two Few brothers in the Revolution, Benjamin and William. According to the Georgia Encyclopedia, Col. William Few fought in the Battle of Burke County Jail, but that battle took place on January 26, 1779, several months before George joined "Col. Few." Benjamin Few commanded the Richmond County regiment. I don't know what Benjamin's rank was in the regiment, but perhaps higher than a colonel? 

The SAR application also says: “The name of George Wyche, officer of Richmond Co. appears on the roll of honor among a list of 42 leading men of Georgia, after the capture of Savannah.” The British had overrun Savannah in December 1778. Colonial forces fought to retake the city from September to December 1779 but failed. I wonder if George fought in this battle. The British held onto to Savannah until 1782 just before the war ended.

I wasn’t able to find any records of George’s service on fold3.com. There may not be any original records left, and I know not everything has been digitized.

I usually go more in depth than this when figuring out an ancestor's role in a war, but I will have to leave this research about George for another day.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Black Sheep

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of June 25, 2018, is Black Sheep.

I hate to call anyone in my family a black sheep. We’ve all made mistakes and have our own failings. But if I were to pick a person, I suppose it’d be my paternal great uncle Hoyt Henry Brown. Actually, I don’t think of him as a black sheep (unless I find out otherwise). I think of him as a rouge for leaving behind a wife and daughter in England. My dad mentions this in his memoirs, and that Hoyt's wife had written to Hoyt's mother Hattie looking for him. Then I found out recently from Hoyt's grandson that he also had son with his English wife. (This grandson is the son of Hoyt's son.)

Hoyt was my grandmother Helen’s twin brother. He was a merchant marine, which says to me that he was adventurous, while his whole family stayed close to home in north Florida and south Georgia. I get the impression from my dad’s memoirs that my great uncle was fun-loving, loud, physically strong, a drinker, and life of the party, and I think he was probably very charming. My dad wrote that Hoyt "always seemed a rebel" and was "always the topic of hushed conversation." I’ve wondered if there were other women and children elsewhere in the world, near the ports where he stopped. 

My paternal great uncle Hoyt Henry Brown.
I don't know where or when this photo was taken.
And I don't remember which cousin sent it to me!
 I apologize to that cousin for my faulty memory.

I've wondered if Hoyt and Helen and their siblings (Lucy Belle, Lavada, and Elliot) had a very stable home life growing up in Pensacola, Florida. Traveling as a merchant marine may have been Hoyt's method of getting away from whatever was going on. Although, he did end up settling in Pensacola.

I’ve written about the death of Hoyt's mother (my great grandmother): Fearless Females: The Tragic Death of Hattie Finney Brown, and about their father: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #23 Henry Washington Brown

All families have their issues and dysfunctions. I don't care how "perfect" they appear on the outside. I believe that how we’re nurtured (as well as our nature) shapes our lives. And sometimes in families there's at least one child who has trouble finding their way (to put it nicely). Out of Hoyt and his siblings, he seems to be the one.