Saturday, June 10, 2017

THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD 

Written to my descendants:

 Where were our direct ancestors when the single shot was fired that ignited the war of the American Colonies against England? April 18, 1775 someone fired a shot on the village green of Lexington, Massachusetts when there were 70 American Minutemen and hundreds of British troops lined up or milling around. I’m not sure anyone still knows how they were arranged, but the shot was fired, and from that point on, the Revolution that has changed the world had begun. After the skirmish, or riot, or demonstration was over eight Americans were dead, one British Redcoat was wounded, and forces were put into motion that created the United States of America.
Lexington Green - 18 April 1775

Most of our ancestors were somewhere in the American Colonies at that time. In this little book, I will show you where some of them were, and how they were involved in the war, and how you are related to them. I will only briefly touch on the history. For that you can listen in your American History Classes, and try to place your own ancestors in the scenes as you learn about them. Grandma Stark and I have relatives on both sides of this conflict, just as we do in the American Civil War.

 Our grandchildren will have other ancestors also involved in history at this time period from 1775, when the American Congress declared that there was a new independent nation, to 1783 when the peace treaty with England recognized the reality of the United States of America. These ancestors listed are not all of the ancestors who were soldiers in the Revolutionary War, but only those I have found and feel pretty sure are correct. I know there are more because I haven’t found where some were at that time.

 STARK 

There have been families with the name Stark on American soil for many years before the Revolution, and some of them were directly involved in the war.

Everyone recognizes General John Stark of New Hampshire, the General at Bunker Hill. He was a cousin, but not a direct ancestor. His cousin was also named John and lived in Stafford County, Virginia.

 This John of Stafford County had two wives, Hawson Porter and Hannah Eves. This John was probably too old to be much involved in the war and died before the peace treaty in 1881, when he was 64. (the colonial Starks named many of their sons John, which makes it difficult to identify the correct ones).

Our ancestor Thomas Stark (b. 1759) was a son of the Stafford County John and his second wife, Hannah Eves. Hanna had been hired by John Stark to take care of his first wife’s children. She was their governess, but when Hawson, the children’s mother, died John married Hanna, the governess.

Hannah and John Stark had from 10 to 14 children, but that is difficult to be certain of, because of their desire to use similar names in all of the Stark families of New England. (There were dozens of John Starks, Thomas Starks, William Starks and James Starks. )

Thomas was their second son. His brother James was two years older.

 James did participate in the war.  He  left home when he was fourteen and went to his uncle {or cousin}, General John Stark (the John Stark). James was made a captain in the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and participated in the Battle of Bennington, according to family members.

I cannot yet find any evidence that our ancestor Thomas Stark, the brother of James, was involved in the war, but he may have been, as he was 12 years old when the war began and 22 in 1883 when the war was over. 


So..... it looks to me like we do not have a documented ancestor with the name of Stark directly involved in the American Revolutionary War. 

However we do have an interesting story during the war.

On October 17, 1780 there was a double wedding in Stafford County, Virginia. James and Thomas Stark, the two brothers I have been talking about, married sisters, Jane and Sarah Fristoe. 

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