When I began to dig into family history, the only goal I had in mind was discovering whether any of our ancestors had fought in the Civil War. Very soon, I found several men who had served. Genealogy is an addictive hobby, and once I found those Civil War ancestors, it followed naturally that I would next research Revolutionary War ancestors.
One of the first Revolutionary War ancestors I discovered was Lieutenant Jonathan Tidd (1724-1785). Jonathan was 50 years old when “the shot heard around the world” was fired at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. His name appears on the Alarm Roll of Capt. Joshua Walker’s Company, Col. David Green’s Regiment, which marched from Woburn, MA. After the Battle, he returned to Woburn to train soldiers in the Continental Army.
Looking into Jonathan’s service, I soon realized that his son, Jonathan Tidd Jr., also served in the War. After discovering these two Revolutionary War veterans in my family tree, I began to look for others. So far, I have found a total of 13 Patriots in the family:
- Amidon/Ammidown, Philip (1747-1834) Massachusetts. Capt. Ebenezer Newell’s Company, Col. Danforth Keyes’ Regiment.
- Bacheller/Batchelder, John (1745-1817) Massachusetts. Assessor and Selectman.
- Beach, Caleb (1732-1781) Massachusetts. Member of the Committee of Correspondence (“shadow government”).
- Beach, Moses Tyler (1762-1850) Massachusetts. Corporal in companies of Capts Asa Barns, Amariah Babbit and Simonds.
- Bond, William Jr (1760-1851) Massachusetts. Private, Capt Nathan Fuller’s company, Lt Col Wm Bond’s 37th regiment, MA Continental Troops. Received a pension.
- Bond, William Sr (1738-1781) Massachusetts. Private in Capt Geo. Minot’s company, Col. Samuel Bullard’s regiment.
- Bryant, Joseph (1729-1810) Massachusetts. Major in Cols Thatcher & Bullard regiments.
- Chamberlain, Jedediah (1737-1810) New Hampshire. Signed Association Test and served as Surveyor of Roads.
- Conant, Joshua (1750-1777) New Hampshire. Private in Capt Reynold’s company. Signer of the Association Test. Died at Battle of Bennington.
- Norton, John (1756-1835) Massachusetts. Sergeant, Capts Doolittle, Sparhawk and Smith. Served from 1775-1783. Received a pension.
- Thompson, Abijah (1739-1811) Massachusetts. Master armorer & clerk in Capt Belknap’s company.
- Tidd, Jonathan, Jr (1757-1842) Massachusetts. Private in Capt Walker’s company, Col David Green’s regiment. Received a pension.
- Tidd, Jonathan, Sr (1724-1785) Massachusetts. Lieutenant in Capt Walker’s company, Col David Green’s regiment.
After “collecting” all these forefathers who served in the Revolution, and having been inspired by the lifelong service in patriotic organizations of my great-great grandmother, Delia Jane (Rice) Tidd, I decided to apply for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Last September (2013), I attended a social tea for new and prospective members hosted by the local DAR chapter and was pleased to find a very welcoming group of women of all ages. The decision to apply for membership was an easy one, especially after attending my first regular meeting.
Meetings open with recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Preamble to the United States Constitution and other patriotic oaths, and a prayer. This is followed by reports from the officers and committee chairs, new & old business and an educational program, usually with a guest speaker. We close with singing of a patriotic song, the kind I haven’t sung since elementary school, and a closing prayer. I attended many meetings as my application was prepared.
The application process involved collecting all the documentation (birth, marriage and death records) necessary to link each generation from myself back to my Revolutionary War patriot: Jonathan Tidd Jr. (1757-1842). Jonathan Tidd Jr. was already an established patriot in the DAR’s Genealogical Research System. This means that his War service had already been proven.
This month, I learned that my application has been accepted. I received my member certificate. At our next member meeting (March 2014), I will take the oath and be enrolled as a full member. I’m eager to see how I may contribute toward the organization’s mission of “promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.”
Now that I am a member under Jonathan Tidd Jr., I can proceed with preparing what are called “supplemental applications” for all the other Revolutionary War heroes in the family (listed above). I think it’s important to remember them all and honor their sacrifice.
This poem captures how I feel about our Revolutionary War patriots and our country.
A Nation’s Strength
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.