15. A Cornucopia of Revolutionary Soldier Ancestors

The ancestral lines associated with these soldiers appear in The Omnibus Ancestry (referenced as OA). It updates and corrects, in brief form, a number of previous works, also referenced below. Each is available for download either through Lulu.com, or through Bolesbooks.

The Fourth of July is the quintessential Revolutionary War holiday, celebrating the mid-war decision to declare the independence of the United States.

Somewhat over half of resident males of fighting age during the war (1775-1783) were American Revolutionary soldiers in one capacity or another [12], principally as army regulars or militia. I have a large number in my background because all of my known immigrant ancestors came to America before or during the war. My wife, while predominantly descended from 19th-century immigrants, nevertheless has a few as well. The following is a full listing; each is a direct ancestor. It seems appropriate to recognize them this Fourth of July.

Known RegulInfantry,_Continental_Army,_1779-1783ars

James Barber (ca 1734?-ca 1786), served as Capt. of 1st Co.
of the militia of Hempfield township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1775. In 1776 he was a Capt. in Col. Bartram Galbraith’s Battalion of Lancaster county militia. He commanded a company in the battle of Long Island in the same year, and was commissioned a Capt. in the Continental Army in 1780 [2, OA].

Peter Dick, Jr. (1748-1806), served in 1776-7 in Capt. Alexander Lawson Smith’s Co., Rawling’s Regiment, Continental Troops, under the famous Col. Daniel Morgan; and in Capt. Gabriel Long’s Co., Morgan’s Rifle Regiment, Continental Troops, from Frederick county, Virginia [5, OA].

Connelly McFadden (1753-1840), between 1775 and 1779 served in Capt. Stephen Bayard’s Co. of Col. St. Clair’s Pennsylvania Regiment; Capt. James Morgan’s Co., 2nd Regiment, Middlesex county, New Jersey militia; and Capt. Longstreet’s First Regiment, New Jersey Continental Line. He was at the battle of Monmouth in 1778 [6, OA].

Thomas McIntire, Sr. (1744-1820) served as an Ens. in the 3rd Pennsylvania Battalion, Continental Army, was promoted to Lt., and was wounded at the battle of Fort Washington in 1776, where he was captured. He was exchanged in 1777 and became Lt. and then Capt. of an independent company in western Pennsylvania, 1777-1782. For extensive discussion of his service, including his distinguished participation in Capt. James Willing’s raid down the Mississippi aboard the U.S.S. Rattletrap in 1778, and in Brodhead’s Expedition in 1779, see the blog entry “7. Thomas McIntire, Revolutionary Hero” [5, 11, OA].

Thomas McMurtrie (ca 1734?-aft 1784), served in the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Establishment of the New Jersey Continental Army in 1776; the 1st Battalion of Somerset county, New Jersey militia in 1778; the Eastern Battalion of Morris county, New Jersey militia in 1780; and the 1st and 3rd Regiments of the New Jersey Line [3, OA].

Henrich Printzhausen or Henry Princehouse (1761-aft 1829) served in 1st and 2nd Companies, von Bose Regiment of Hessian mercenaries fighting alongside the British, 1781-1782. He was captured with Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781 and deserted in 1782, settling in America as did many other Hessian prisoners. He is our only known ancestor to have fought on the British side [5, OA].

Elijah Russell (1758-ca 1837?), served as a private in the Virginia Continental Line, perhaps ca 1777? [8, OA].

Jacob Stake (1756/7-1801) was 3rd Lt. of Miles’ Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment in 1776, serving under Gen. George Washington during the retreat from Manhattan. He was a 1st Lt. in the 10th Pennsylvania Jacob Stake locket labeledRegiment, Continental Line, 1776-7; and was a Capt. in the Light Corp of the same in 1777. His assignments are uncertain 1778-1779, but he clearly served. Thus in 1778 he captained a company in the battle of Monmouth, and he participated in the storming of Stony Point in 1779. He was again in the 10th Regiment in 1781 when he was wounded at Greenspring Farm, and he was probably present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in the same year. He transferred to the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment in 1783 [2, OA].

John Wolcott (1759-1835), served in Capt. James Wilson’s Co., First Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, Continental Line, 1777-1780. He was captured at the battle of Fort Muncy in 1779, and was held captive in New York until exchanged in 1780. (His brother Silas Wolcot fought in the Battle of Long Island in 1776, and was one of Gen. George Washington’s bodyguards at Valley Forge in 1776-1777.) [3, OA]

Stand Your Ground.bKnown Militia

Harman Arrants (1746-1815), served from Cecil county, Maryland, as a 2nd Lt. in the 4th Maryland Battalion of the Flying Camp, under Capt. Walter Alexander, in 1776. In 1778 he was commissioned an Ens. in the 2nd or Elk Battalion of Cecil County Militia [1, OA].

James Atwood (ca 1748?-ca 1789), served in the militia of Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1781 [1, OA].

Joshua Burnett (1751-1846), served in the militia from Wilkes county, Georgia, under Capt. Richard Herd and Col. John Dooly, 1779-1781, fighting in battle at Augusta, Georgia, in 1779 [3, OA].

John Buster (1737-1820), served from Albemarle county, Virginia, against the Indians, ca 1778 [1, OA].

Jacob Coons (1740-1807), served as a Lt. in the militia of Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1781 [1, OA].

Nathaniel Davis (1751-1819?), served in Capt. William Witherow’s Co., 8th Battalion, Chester county, Pennsylvania militia, ca 1779? [4, OA].

Samuel Dickason or Dickinson (ca 1757-1846), served as a private and teamster in Capt. Cole’s Co., Col. Allen McLane’s Regiment, Kent county, Delaware, militia 1777-1780. That unit helped provision the army at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-8, was in the action at Barren Hill in 1778, and was the first on the scene when the British abandoned Philadelphia later that year. It reconnoitered prior to the battle of Stony Point in 1779. Samuel also served in Capt. Ross’ Co., Fayette county, Pennsylvania, militia in 1780, and was in the Virginia military at some point during the war [6, OA].

John Downing (1749-1826), served from Washington county, Pennsylvania, in Capt. Timothy Downing’s Co., 3rd Battalion of Pennsylvania militia, in 1782. At some point he also served in Capt. Basil Williams’ Co. of Washington county militia [7, OA].

Johan Georg Ermentraudt or Armentrout (ca 1731?-aft 1805), served in Capt. Baxter’s Co. of Virginia Militia, from Rockingham county. He was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781 [8, OA].

Joel Harbour (1750-1814), served from Henry county, Virginia, in Thomas Henderson’s Co. of militia, in 1781, and was in the battle of Guilford Courthouse that year [9, OA].

Martin Holman (ca 1748?-aft 1811), served from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in Capt. James Watson’s Sixth Co., 10th Battalion of militia, in 1777-8, and was himself Capt. of 8th Co., 5th Battalion of same in 1780 [7, OA].

Adam Housh (1756?-1829), served as a 7th class private in Capt. Sweney’s Co., 5th Battalion, Washington county, Pennsylvania militia, in 1782 [OA].

Joseph Lazear (ca 1756?-1825), served in Capt. Griffith Johnson’s Co., 3rd Western Battalion of Western Maryland militia, ca 1779 [6, OA].

Thomas Price (ca 1729?-1788), was a 2nd and then 1st Lt. in the Elk Battalion of Cecil County, Maryland, militia in 1778 [1, OA].

James Roberson or Robertson (ca 1754?-1803), served as a private in Capt. Wm. Nesbit’s Co. of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania militia, ca 1778 [OA].

Ralph Robinson (1740/1-1802), served in Capt. Griffiths Co. of the 2nd Battalion of Chester county, Pennsylvania militia, in 1781 [5, OA].

Zebulon Daniel Smith (1758-1836), served in the Tennessee (then North Carolina) militia from Sullivan county, under Capts. Wallace, Jonathan Webb, William Asher, McKelvey, and John Scott, 1778-1782. He fought against the Cherokee and Chickamauga Indians, and was in the battle of King’s Mountain in 1780 [1, OA].

George Stake (1729/30-1789) served as a private in Capt. Michael Hahn’s Co., 1st Battalion of York county, Pennsylvania militia ca 1778 [2, OA].

Samuel Withers (ca 1752 -p 1809?), served in Capt. Through’s 7th Co., 8th Battalion of Chester county, Pennsylvania militia, ca 1780 [4, OA].

Thomas Withers (ca 1727?-ca 1795?), served as 1st Lt. in Capt. Through’s 7th Co., 8th Battalion of Chester county, Pennsylvania militia, ca 1780 [4, OA].

Johann Friderich (Frederick) Yerian (1762-1840), is said to have served as a private on the Continental Line, from Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in 1777, and as a Ranger on the Frontier from that county 1778-83. But in any case he certainly was in Capt. John McClelland’s Co. of Westmoreland county militia in 1782 [8, OA].

Possible Regular

Jacob Massey (ca 1760?-1796), reputedly served under Capt. John Morrison in the Continental Line of North Carolina, in 1781. However, no clear evidence of it has been found [6, OA].

Possible Militia

Henry Bowman (1735/6-ca 1829), may have been a Capt. during the Revolutionary War, presumably in the militia, but primary evidence is lacking [OA].

Ignatius Brown, Sr. (ca 1733?-aft 1789), or possibly his namesake son, served from St. Mary’s county, Maryland, under Col. J. Jordan, at some point during the Revolutionary War [3, OA].

Isaac Linton (bef 1761-1835/6), claimed to have served from Frederick county in the Maryland militia under Capts. Ralph Hillery, John Burkat, and Moses Chapline, in 1777-80. However, for reasons to doubt this service, see the blog entry ” 5. Isaac Linton, Revolutionary Fraud?” [6, 10, OA].

James Martin (ca 1760?-1827), may have served in the militia from Morris co, New Jersey, ca 1779. However, identity with the known ancestor of the name is not certain [3, OA].


[1] Boles, H.W., & Boles, D.B. (1990). Foster Ancestors: Some Europeans, Immigrants, Colonists, and Pioneers. Decorah, Iowa: The Anundsen Publishing Co., and Lulu.com.

[2] Boles, D.B., & Boles, H.W. (2000). Stayman-McCrosky Ancestry. Tuscaloosa, AL: private print, and Lulu.com.

[3] Boles, D.B. (1993). Barth-Hickey Ancestry. Troy, NY: Private print. Available at Bolesbooks.

[4] Boles, D.B., & Boles, H.W. (1998). Withers-Davis Ancestry. Decorah, Iowa: The Anundsen Publishing Co. Available at Bolesbooks.

[5] Boles, D.B., & Boles, H.W. (1997). Speece-Robinson Ancestry. Ozark, Mo: Dogwood Printing. Available at Bolesbooks.

[6] Boles, H.W., & Boles, D.B. (1986). Some Earlier Americans: Boles-Linton Ancestors. Decorah, Iowa: The Anundsen Publishing Co., and Lulu.com.

[7] Boles, H.W., & Boles, D.B. (1994). Ellis Ancestors: Some Immigrants, Colonists, and Pioneers. Kalamazoo, Mich: Private print, and Lulu.com.

[8] Boles, D.B. (2008). Bowers-Russell Ancestry. Tuscaloosa, AL: private print, and Lulu.com.

[9] Boles, D.B. (2005). Snyder-Harbour Ancestry. Tuscaloosa, AL: private print, and Lulu.com.

[10] Blog entry at https://bolesbooksblog.wordpress.com/2015/01.

[11] Blog entry at https://bolesbooksblog.wordpress.com/2015/02.

[12] There were about 700,000 males of fighting age (Jameson, J.F. The American Revolution Considered As a Social Movement. Princeton University Press, 1926/1967). About 231,000 served in the Continental Army, and “upwards of” 145,000 in the militias (information retrieved from http://www.campaign1776.org/revolutionary-war/facts-of-the-american.html, 2015). Although as in the present case, lists of Revolutionary soldier ancestors often show a preponderance of militia, this may be an identification artifact. It is much easier to identify an ancestor among a county’s militia, than among similarly named men in a colony-wide list of regulars in which no residences are stated.

Picture attributions (in display order):

“Infantry: Continental Army, 1779-1783, IV” by H.A. Ogden, public domain.

Jacob Stake miniature: Photo courtesy of Herman Leuty Stayman (2014). Best available resolution.

“Stand Your Ground” by Don Troiani, retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/4100353271 (2015), used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.