Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jabez Burchard: An American Patriot

Have you ever watched the television programs Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots with Dr.Henry Louis Gates? These two programs have inspired me to research my own family history. I've always been curious as to who my ancestors are, where they came from and what reason they had for coming to this great country, my beloved United States of America. When did they come to Tennessee? And did my ancestors stay faithful to Old Glory during the Civil War? Or did they pledge allegiance to the Stars and Bars? Yes, I do come from Southern Appalachian coal miners, farmers, laborers, and Native Americans, but I've also discovered roots in New England and the Eastern Coastal states. With each new discovery I realize I have been born into a very interesting pot of human soup!  

 Since this is Independence Day, the birthday of the United States of America, I'd like to introduce you to my Patriot ancestor Jabez Burchard.  My maternal grandfather's family was featured in a genealogical article in the local newspaper a few years ago, so I took the information from the article and began my search.

Jabez Burchard is my fifth great-grandfather. He was born on May 17, 1765 in Granby, Massachusetts Bay Colony. He married Lucina Barton, born April 2, 1768, also in Granby, Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Burchard and Barton families were well established in the American colonies by the middle of the century. Both families appear on page one of the1790 census, so I imagine Jabez and Lucina probably knew each other all their lives. 

When Jabez was sixteen years old the Revolutionary War was being fought and it was decided that Jabez's father, John Birchard, (who spelled Birchard with an "i") would stay at the family farm in Granby and Jabez would go off to war. Can you imagine sending your sixteen year old boy to war? Jabez military record states: Jabez Burchard (1765-1844) served, 1780 as a private at the age of 16 in Captain Barton's company, Col. Porter's Massachusetts regiment.  I don't have a picture of Jabez, but I did find a picture of a Massachusetts Minuteman.  This is what Jabez might have looked like when he went away to fight for freedom. So, Jabez left with the Continental Army and marched with them to Boston, Massachusetts.

Jabez's commanding officer was David Barton, his long-time neighbor and future father-in-law. Since Jabez and Lucina Barton did indeed marry after the war was over (and had a large family), David Barton becomes my 6th great-grandfather and my second Revolutionary War patriot. David's military service record states: David Barton (1739-1833) was a minuteman from Granby at the Lexington and Bennington Alarms. He served as captain in the Fourth Hampshire county regiment, 1780.

There is another story concerning Jabez's military service that I really like: One day while General George Washington was reviewing the troops, "he noticed at the end of the line a tall, handsome ruddy-faced boy.  Washington asked his orderly who the boy was and he answered he did not know.  Washington said, "Go and tell him to come here.' He [Jabez] left the ranks and went with the officer out onto the commons, where Washington sat on his horse.  The General asked him his age, which he gave; then he asked him why he was in the army, and he told him the condition of the family and the circumstances.  When Washington came in, he told him he wanted just such a boy as he was to bring out and hold his horse and carry his letters and dispatches, and do various odd jobs." Jabez thus became General Washington's orderly, and afterwards fought with his Regiment.

Jabez returned from the war and he and Lucina married on December 27, 1786. I haven't found their church membership records yet, but I do know the Congregational Church in Granby has existed since 1762.  Since Jabez and Lucina come from Puritan ancestry, and Puritans were Congregationalists, it is likely they married in the Granby Congregational church.

Puritans believed in large families. Jabez and Lucina had twelve children. Cynthia, Seneca Barton, Sylvester, Jabez Jr., John, Lucina, Theodore, Seneca II (their first Seneca died as an infant and it was custom in those days to name a sibling after a sibling who had passed away), Roxanna, Horace Seaver, Hannah, and Charles Austin. Most of these children grew up to have children of their own. They also grew up to be college administrators, pastors, preachers, educators, judges, businessmen, and government officials.

In 1810 Jabez and Lucina moved their large family to Steuben (or Madison), Oneida County, New York and settled near his brother-in-law, David Barton, Jr., on land originally granted to Baron von Steuben* by the State of New York. Here, in addition to running his farm, he owned and operated a furnace, a plow factory and a blacksmith shop. Jabez was an entrepreneur!  He was also a member of the Baptist church.

Jabez died on 2 January 1844 at 78 years of age. He is buried in the Madison Street Cemetery and his grave is marked not only with his tombstone, but also with a Daughters of the American Revolution marker to commemorate his service as an American Patriot in the Continental Army. The 1850 census shows that Lucina lived with her daughter and namesake, Lucina (and her husband Ichabod) Miller until her death at the age of 85 on 9 March 1854. She is also buried in the Madison Street Cemetery.

Captain David Barton, Lucina's father and my 6th great-grandfather, died in Granby, Massachusetts at the age of 94. His grave is also marked with a Daughters of the American Revolution marker.

I am proud to be the 5th and 6th generation granddaughter of two American Patriots, Private Jabez Burchard and Captain David Barton.
Since I have no personal diaries of either of these men, I do not know their thoughts or feelings. But I do know that they took great risk in joining the Continental Army. Jabez's and Lucina's children and grandchildren went on to become productive and outstanding citizens. Most of them received higher education, so evidently education was important to them. Jabez was obviously industrious. They attended church. It is my hope that their life together was a happy one.
Here's the ancestry lineup: Jabez b.1765 
                                            Horace b. 1801
                                             Hamilton b.1826
                                          Henry b.1864
                                         Grant b.1893
                                        Thurston (my Papaw) b.1913
                                      My Sweet Little Momma b.1935
                                           Me b.1958
 *While writing this post I was curious about General von Steuben. Here's what I discovered:
Baron von Steuben was a Prussian born military officer who served as the inspector general and Major General of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.  He is credited with being one of the fathers of the Continental Army in teaching them military drills, tactics and disciplines.  He wrote the Revolutionary War Drill Manual, the book that served as the standard United States drill manual until the War of 1812.  He served as General George Washington's Chief of Staff during the final years of the Revolutionary War.  
Baron von Steuben did not speak much English and traveled with a translator. It is said when disciplining and training his troops he would motion to his translator and yell "Over here! Swear at him for me!"

Happy Independence Day to my Beloved UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
Thank you for reading my blog,

1 comment:

  1. Why all of the Burchard Boys are tall and handsome]
    Mark Burchard :)