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The Hunt for Revolutionary War Ancestors

My search for another Revolutionary War ancestor continues. So far, I have documented two: Gershom Hall, Private, Massachusetts militia; and Robert Kirkham, Private, Virginia militia who served at Boonesborough, KY. The other candidates in my family lines are much tougher to prove:

  1. Dunbar. Benjamin Dunbar (1749-bef. 1779) was perhaps living during the early years of the War. His name is not on the DAR patriot list, and I do not know whether this Massachusetts man contributed to the independence effort in some way. The Dunbar family history has few details about him.
  2. Reed. Caleb Reed (1756-abt. 1835) was the right age to enlist during the war. His brother Joshua did, and Joshua’s name appears on the DAR roster of known patriot ancestors. Caleb’s name does not. I have not found a record of military service for him prior to his move from Pennsylvania to Kentucky well after the Revolution. There he served as a Captain in the Kentucky militia. Did he serve the Revolutionary cause in some other way? Perhaps selling supplies to the troops or taking the oath of allegiance? The hunt for evidence continues.
  3. Carter. Family lore tells me that John Carter (1790-1841) was the grandson of Levi Carter, Sr. whose name appears on the DAR patriot list. So far, I have found no evidence to prove John’s parentage. Other researchers disagree on whether John is descended from Levi or some other Carter. This was a numerous family in east Tennessee when John was born.
  4. Templeton. John Carter’s wife was Mary/Polly Templeton (1792-1857). Her parentage, too, is uncertain. Some claim she was also a grandchild of Levi Carter, Sr. through her mother Susanna and Absalom Templeton, but that lineage would mean she was born 7 years before her parents’ marriage. I think that is unlikely. Others claim her father was Robert Templeton. A South Carolina man by that name appears on the DAR patriot list. He did have a daughter Mary, but there is good evidence that she was not the woman who married John Carter.

My search to document all these claims has begun with reviewing what others have already done. I have collected many family group sheets; read family and county histories; and reviewed the online family trees at Ancestry, Family Search, and My Heritage.

Nothing solid has turned up. Now I must formulate a research plan to dig for primary evidence that might lead me to another elusive Revolutionary War ancestor.

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