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

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Thomas Griggs To Washington, DC -- Again

For the third time I am sending Thomas Griggs to the DAR in Washington, DC. The genealogists there are very careful in accepting a new Revolutionary Patriot. That is what Thomas Griggs is. No one has attempted to establish him as a patriot. Why? Because he is so hard to prove. Because he is hard to prove he has become one of my favorites.

Of course, the one I am working on at the time is always my favorite. Some ask why I do the supplementals at DAR. I wonder myself sometimes. They are expensive to process at DAR and they are expensive to do the research necessary to verify them. Expensive in money, as well as, anxiety in trying to solve a puzzle. At any rate, Thomas Griggs is finally going to be recognized as a patriot. I am certain I have met the challenge this time.

To recap Thomas' story, I sent him in originally one year ago this month, in March 2009. I knew it was a precarious service that I was submitting. It was in 1775 and it was near the end of the frontier war under Lord Dunmore. It was also just barely at the beginning of the American Revolution. DAR didn't buy my premise that this was a service that should be accepted. My next offering was sent in August 2009 and I had proof of a payment to Thomas Griggs in September 1783 that was paid in Augusta County Court. This payment was for supplying flour to the Army. Again, DAR didn't accept that as it didn't say anything about Monongalia Co Virginia and that is where Thomas Griggs lived during the American Revolution. My choice was to forget it and lose $75.00 or keep digging and see that Thomas Griggs is honored for his unfailing loyalty to the American cause. I am sure you can guess which choice won out.

Did I mention that Thomas Griggs was a very illusive man? What other kind could have settled in the western Virginia frontier in the 1770's? This was very primitive and rugged and dangerous territory. It makes me love and respect him all that much more. I think he may have been a Harley rider in modern times. (g)

I wasn't quite sure what to look for to get Thomas and me out of trouble. One evening I found “The Statutes at Large of all the Laws of Virginia Since 1619”. This is quite a lengthy collection of laws of Virginia and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. If you are a psychiatrist, please don't tell me what THAT means.

I sent these five excerpts to DAR:

1. On 5 May 1777 the law was passed that states all males between ages of sixteen and fifty be enrolled in the militia of their county. Thomas Griggs definitely falls into this group of males so it can be assumed he was in the militia.

2. In May 1777 the law was passed that states that all free born males above the age of sixteen shall take the oath of allegiance. Thomas Griggs again falls in this category so it can be assumed he did take the oath of allegiance.

3. In May 1777 the law was passed that states the males refusing to take the oath of allegiance can not buy land, tenements or hereditaments.

4. In May 1779 the law was passed that states that Monongalia County Virginia is one of the nine counties included in the entitlement of preemption of previously settled land.

5. In May 1779 The law was passed that states that part of Augusta County is added to Monongalia County Virginia. This area is near Thomas Griggs' land and could explain his being paid in the Augusta Court in 1783.

As I read these fascinating laws I began to see that there was hope for our case. I reviewed material I had found many years ago and applied it to excerpt #4 above. I had a page from a book that said Thomas Griggs was entitled to 400 hundred acres of unpatented land in Monongalia County. Next I went to DAR's own booklet "Is That Service Right?". It clearly states that men that received a certificate for unpatented ladnd in the western nine counties of Virginia were patriots as they had to take the Oath of Allegiance at the time the certificate was issued. BINGO!!

I had the page from the book, but I wanted more, of course. I called the Monongalia County Clerk and they said to fax a request to them and they would do a search in their records and call me back to tell me if they found it and how much a copy of the certificate would be. The next day they called and said $1.50 would cover it. Needless to say, a money order for $1.50 was in the mail that afternoon. I received the certificate from Monongalia County today and Thomas was on his way within the hour!!

Hopefully, next week will conclude the Thomas Griggs case. I will let you know the outcome as soon as it happens. Hopefully, it will be a postive outcome.

Oh yes, I neglected to tell you, I have another challenge waiting in the wings -- Mathias Morton. 2009 was my "reckless" year when it comes to DAR supplementals. I took unprecedented risks and now I must face the consequences. Wish me luck on Mathias. His is a totally different kind of challenge. I need to prove that Hannah Morton (Mathias's granddaughter) is the same Hannah Morton that married Thomas Sankey. Hmmmm I wonder where to start? I think I will take a break and do something else for awhile.

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