Family Lore

Summertime Activities of Captain John Minor–1777

Summer has not always been the season of horse shows, family picnics and riding roller coasters.  For John Minor, my great ^5^ uncle, summer was a harrowing time of enemy movements and secret attacks.  Captain Minor was stationed during the summer of 1777  at Fort Stadler on the western frontier where Pennsylvania and West Virginia now meet.  The men of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment were part of the Continental Army, charged with keeping the region safe from Indians and settlers sympathetic to the Crown.

On the 14th July at 8 o’clock, Captain Minor wrote to his commanding officer, Colonel Morgan, the following:

Dr Colonel

This minute Alex’r Clegg came in great haste, who escaped the shot of a number of Indians while we were getting ready to go after them John March and Jacob Jones came in and say that they think they saw at least 20 and followed them, but they escaped. The Indians fired at Jacob Farmers House. Two men and a boy were kill’d, a young woman and two children missing. It is supposed that he is killed, and Nathan Winley and two of Jacob Jones’ Children and a Daughter of Farmer’s, we shall march after them in less than an hour.  The truth may be relied on.

John Minor, Captain

Directed to

Colonel Morgan

Source: Pennsylvania Archives , Series 1, Volume V, pg. 444.

As our summer is blown into fall, I have to work hard to imagine the tension these early settlers and soldiers  felt that 1777 season.  The exercise helps me keep life real–see the good, grab the love, endure the fear–its all part of life and the opportunities we have in a democratic experiment. Fort Stadler
Family Lore

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy–DAR Challenge UPDATE

The database hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution has provided some keystone information–that set of facts which helps to confirm the identity of ancestors.  With that information I have gone back to another favorite site,, and reassessed some saved items for a certain Israel Sayles, great-grandfather to Ira Sayles, who was great-grandfather to my father.

The soldiers of the Revolution did not serve in one year tours; in many instances regular army, the privates of the units, were called up for a few weeks or months at a time.  The Genealogy Research System indicated that Israel Sayles had served under at least two different captains, which would indicate at least two different tours of duty.  My Footnote search of their digitized National Archives had yielded several items, Military rolls and roster cards for an Israel Sayles from a Lippet’s Rhode Island Regiment and a Burlingame Rhode Island regiment.  The DAR data lends credibility to my conclusion that this is one and the same Israel Sayles of Glocester, Rhode Island.

So another branch of my family served in the Revolution!