i. ABOUT SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION / GARRETT IRONS AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR / THE JEFFERY FAMILY’S REVOLUTIONARY WAR ANCESTRY / OTHER REBELLIOUS ANCESTORS
I joined The Sons Of The American Revolution in 1989 by descent from Garret Irons. It was the first major genealogical line I documented and still my favorite, a personal connection to the most important event in our nation’s history. I am a member-at-large of Missouri Society Sons of the American Revolution (MOSSAR). I support SAR to honor the memory of our ancestors who risked their lives to make real the democratic ideals by which we are still ruled today. SAR was granted a Congressional Charter on 9 June 1906 under Title 36 Part B Chapter 1533 United States Code. The act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a member. SAR numbers among its members several ex-Presidents and royalty.
The following story illustrates what a patriot militiaman might encounter in the ordinary circumstances of conflict:
“Garret Irons applied for a pension, 31 July 1832, and his wife Hester (sic) for a widow’s pension, 4 Jan. 1839. (N.J. #2377) These applications state that while residing in Dover Township Garret Irons volunteered at Toms River in the spring of 1776 and served as a private at various times in monthly tours in the N.J. Militia under Captains John Cook; Jenkins; Bigelow, and Tilton in Col. Samuel Forman’s Regiment. He was in several scouting parties, Monmouth Co. being infested with the British; was in a skirmish at Homerstown, and in a skirmish at Pennsylvania Salt Works while on guard there. He served until the end of the war.
“The Proceedings of New Jersey Historical Society, Vol. 14, p. 431, tells of a tradition to the effect that ‘Garrett Irons and Bart Applegate, two Toms River men who volunteered to help defend the Toms River Block House, 24 March 1782, were captured by the Tories who took them a mile or two to sea and set them adrift in a small boat without sail or oars. They tore the thwarts out of the boat and paddled ashore. Isaiah Weeks, who is buried in the old burying ground at Cedar Grove Church along with Applegate and Irons, killed the captain in the head boat of the attacking party.’
“Ocean County, then a part of Monmouth Co., suffered two attacks of note in the Revolutionary War. The Block House at Toms River above referred to was stormed by a band of Loyalists in April 1782. The garrison, under Captain Joshua Huddy, defended it until their ammunition was gone, then surrendered. The cannon of the block house was spiked and thrown into the river, the town and block house burned and Capt. Huddy taken away and eventually hanged by the Loyalists at Gravelly Point. The second engagement took place at Cedar Creek Bridge south of Toms River between the Burlington County Lighthorse [sic], under Captains Shreve and Bacon, and a band of Loyalists who escaped under the protection of local inhabitants. Capt. Bacon later died in an engagement at Egg Harbor.”
Hook, James W. (no pub. date) Smith, Grant and Irons Families Of New Jersey’s Shore Counties Including the Related Families of Willets and Birdsall. New Haven, Conn., pp. 221-223. (Book was purchased on microfilm from The Newberry Library, Chicago.)
Tombstone of Garrett Irons at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Ocean Co., NJ. Garret Irons m. Hester Applegate, daughter of Jacob Applegate. This charming old bird below is their daughter Eleanor (Irons) Jeffery (1785-1856), my 4th great-grandmother:
[My great-grandparents: Earnest Ervin Jeffery (1882--1950) and Effie Viola Huffman (1881--1910), wedding photo 25 Dec 1901. Earnest Ervin Jeffery was the great-grandson of Eleanor (Irons) Jeffery. Effie was the daughter of Tyler and Mary Ann (Black) Huffman. Tyler Huffman served in the Union Army during the Civil War. As you can see, Effie was a beanpole. She has German influence in her dress and appearance. Click on photo to enlarge it.]
[Ca. 1912: Mary Ann (Black) Huffman, seated, mother of Effie Viola (Huffman) Jeffery. Shown here with her grandchildren. Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff is front row, second from right. This is a visual document of a typical Iowa farm family a century ago.]
[My maternal grandfather: Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff (1904--1990), looking rakish in a wool cap. Taken ca. 1920. Son of Earnest Ervin and Effie Viola (Huffman) Jeffery. After the death of his mother in 1910, Jesse was adopted by Effie's sister Emma, who had married John Scarff. John and Emma Scarff changed Jesse's name, which greatly angered his father. I'm named after the Jeffery family. In addition to Garrett Irons, Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff was also descended from Revolutionary War patriots Johann Georg (George) Rothrock and Henry George Hanawalt, and Revolutionary War militia-men George Rothrock and Jacob Applegate. Click on image to enlarge it.]
The following is my first attempt to list all Revolutionary War ancestors from whom I descend, grouped by each of my four grandparents. NSDAR Ancestor Numbers are followed by type of service and the state in which service was rendered. Miscellaneous notes in parentheses.
Jewell Winifred Bailey:
Bankston, Lawrence. A005748. Soldier, Georgia. *
Bankston, Peter. A205944. Patriotic Service, North Carolina. (Father of Lawrence Bankston above.) *
Branch Sr., William. A013745. Patriotic Service, North Carolina.
Henderson, John. A054722. Patriotic Service, Virginia. (Father of Joseph Henderson below.) *
Henderson, Joseph. A054755. Patriotic Service, North Carolina. (Father-in-Law of Lawrence Bankston above. Because the maternity of Lawrence Bankston’s wife Nancy Henderson has yet to be conclusively established, any connection to the muddled Lea family of Caswell Co., North Carolina, is moot.) *
Slayden, Arthur. A105173. Patriotic Service, Virginia. (Grandfather of Susannah Slayden, who m. Hiram Bankston, son of Lawrence Bankston above.) *
Beecher Edgar Chipman:
Hale, Joseph. A206522. Soldier, Virginia.
Hargis, Shadrach. A050610. Soldier, North Carolina. **
Standifer, Benjamin. A108368. Soldier, North Carolina.
Turman, Benjamin. A117005. Patriotic Service, Virginia.
Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff:
Applegate, Jacob. A208665. Soldier, New Jersey. (Father-in-Law of Garrett Irons below. Although Jacob Applegate didn’t leave a will, his children are established by a deed recorded in Monmouth Co., New Jersey Deed Book Z, p. 176.)
Hanawalt, Henry [Henry George]. A050781. Patriotic Service, Pennsylvania.
Irons, Garrett. A060429. Soldier, New Jersey.
Rothrock, George. A098782. Soldier, Pennsylvania.
Rothrock, Johann Georg [George]. A098781. Patriotic Service, Pennsylvania. (Father of George Rothrock above.)
Hillary Lillian Vaughan:
Fulkerson, Abraham. A043186. Soldier, Virginia.
Mahurin, Samuel. Soldier, Virginia. (Served in Capt. Flower Swift’s Montgomery County, Virginia Militia. Although Samuel Mahurin’s military service is proved, and he has a number of documented descendants, evidently no one has applied for DAR membership on this line. James A. Quinn has extensively researched Flower Swift and the men who served under him. See: http://www.newrivernotes.com/va/swift/swiftbio.html)
* Line valid but needs additional documentation. Lawrence Bankston’s will made 10 Apr 1834, proved 22 Nov 1844 in Wilkes Co., Georgia, contains this language:
“6th item. I will that the rest of my Property both real and personal be sold and equally divided between my four daughters Isabella Irvin, Priscilla Mathis, Elizabeth Mosely & Martha Sappington and the Lawful Heirs of Hyram Bankston deceased, with this exception, I will that my grandson Welden L. Bankston draw one half of the distributive share coming to the said orphans, and the other half to be equally divided between the rest of the children of the said Hyram Bankston deceased, which will be the one fifth part of the above named property including Welden L. Bankston and the other four fifths to be equally divided between my four daughters.”
Welden L. Bankston was to receive in effect one tenth of Lawrence Bankston’s estate, with one tenth of the estate to be shared by the remaining children of Hiram (Hyram) Bankston. So we know that Hiram Bankston, who died in Wilkes Co. in 1815, had at least three children who were living in 1834. Mary Bankston is recorded as marrying Daniel Harkey on 17 Dec 1822 in Wilkes Co. Since Lawrence Bankston didn’t have a daughter named Mary, and Hiram Bankston was his only son, we may presume that this 1822 marriage is for a daughter of Hiram Bankston. Nonetheless, I’d like more documentation for this line.
These deeds recorded in Wilkes Co., GA show that Daniel David and Mary Ann (Bankston) Harkey lived on Kettle Creek in the vicinity of Lawrence Bankston:
** Line valid but needs additional documentation. Leitha Caroline (Hargis) Miller is presumably a great-granddaughter of Shadrach Hargis. For more information, see the column: ”HARGIS bible & census records.”
Two recent histories of the Amercan Revolution bear mention:
Axelrod, Alan. (2007). The Real History Of The Amercian Revolution A New Look At The Past. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
Middlekauff, Robert. (2005). The Glorious Cause The American Revolution, 1763-1789 Revised and Expanded Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Opinions expressed on ACME NUKLEAR BLIMP are solely my own and don’t reflect opinions of Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). Because I belong to a state society but not a local chapter, I’m not eligible for office in SAR.
SAR carries out various patriotic and social activities. Membership is open to anyone who can prove descent from a Revolutionary War soldier or Patriot who gave material aid to the Revolutionary cause.
According to the “NSSAR CHAPLAINS COMMITTEE MANUAL MISSION: A Chaplain in the National Society Sons of the American Revolution is to serve the many religious or spiritual needs of its membership at Chapter, State, or National level. He provides pastoral care to individuals and serves as advisor to the Leadership at all levels. The Chaplain works with personnel of all faiths and those who claim no faith or religious affiliation.” Over the years, clergy of all denominations have served as NSSAR Chaplain.