Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thomas Griggs -- Revolutionary Patriot -- 1774/1775

Since I first began doing genealogical research I have looked for proof of Revolutionary War service for Thomas Griggs. He lived in SW Pennsylvania and NW Virginia during this time. These folks were quite patriotic and quite tough, so it only made sense that he would have joined his neighbors in supporting the war and its cause. I had found that he was paid in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania for service -- but when and for what service? It has been a mystery to me. Finally, when assisting a prospective DAR member I found the answer. A book was published in 2002 that lists the militia companies for that time period ------ and yes, listed there was Thomas Griggs. He served in the company of Captain Zackquill Morgan of Monongalia County Virginia. Also in the company were the Pricket brothers, who founded Pricket's Fort in 1774. I will be sending in a supplemental to DAR soon for Thomas Griggs.
This project also taught me what the region was like in the 1760/1770/1780's. These were backwoods Virginians, many of whom settled amid great danger west of the Alleghenies in open defiance of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. No white men were to settle west of the mountains. Such men were not easily intimidated. They were among the first to risk treason in declaring the "first declaration of independence". This little known document was published six months before the Battle of Concord/Lexington. It was deliberated and passed by the officers of Dunmore's force (including Zackquill Morgan) and "Signed by order and in behalf of the whole corps, Benjamin Ashby, Clerk"
The author of the book, "Lord Dunmore's Little War", Warren Skidmore, has an interesting paragraph in the introduction to the book. I will repeat it for you.
"The senior author has introduced several thousand people to their ancestors. Many of them, given the opportunity, might not have been quite so happy to meet them live and in person. The frontiersmen documented in this book, were frequently hard drinkers, not overly concerned with personal hygiene (cleanliness came late in the next century), and possibly of the sort that would not be welcomed as residents in their suburban neighborhood today. The local worthy sent up yo Wiliamsburg by the electorate might dress there in knee breeches and a powdered wig, but there were no fine tailors or wig makers to outfit him on the frontier"
I am afraid I am an exception to the statement that I would not like to meet Thomas Griggs live and in person. I know he was a tough man because he survived in a dangerous and volatile time and place, but I like him and I am proud to be his descendant.
Thomas Griggs & Louise had Phebe Griggs who married Nathan Stansbury 1815.
Phebe Griggs Stansbury had Elizabeth Stansbury who married Abel Cary 1844.
Elizabeth Stansbury Cary had Ezra Cary who married Margaret Forrest 1870.
Ezra Cary had Francis Marion Cary who married Olive Sanford 1890.
Francis Cary had Ralph O Cary who married Hazel Windle 1917.
Ralph Cary had Dorothy Olive Cary who married Gerald Vuhr Craig 1934.
Dorothy Cary Craig had Patricia A Craig.
Only eight generations from the backwoods of Virginia to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It looks rather short when dispalyed as above, but think of the stories and the history contained in these eight generations. This is why I love to do genealogy!!

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