Barry's Relatively Speaking: Long Live Family Legends!

Posted on Sep 22, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on Micky shares the following experience.

There was an unsubstantiated legend in our family that told of my great, great, great, great grandfather Elisha Davis, crossing the Delaware with Washington on the eve of the battle of Trenton. We all grew up hearing about it, but no one knew for sure if it was true. When I went back to college after an eighteen year hiatus, I decided to use research into this legend as a basis for a term paper in American History.

My grandfather and aunt had already done some genealogical hunting and so we knew that Elisha had joined the Connecticut militia in 1776 at the age of 16. He enlisted in a company raised by a Captain James Hall out of Mansfield. Armed with this bit of important information, I prowled the college library to no avail and finally ended up in the Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, which is a gold mine of information. It has many privately published volumes and many very old books which cross referenced the movement of militia into Continental army of many units. I followed the absorption of Captain Hall's company into one regiment and into another brigade until finally it was located on the Pennsylvania shore that Christmas eve. What a thrill! Long live family legends!

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