Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Jeremiah Hart 1746 – 1822, Revolutionary War Patriot
I suppose that finding Jeremiah Hart and my four other Revolutionary War patriot ancestors was the original impetus for getting involved in family history. I made an offhanded remark to my husband, when I was watching a documentary on Abraham Lincoln, that I knew I had a great grandfather who fought in the Civil War, but wondered if I had anyone on my tree who fought in the Revolutionary War. My husband then suggested that he give me a subscription to Ancestry for my birthday. (He had already given me the John Adams HBO DVDs for Christmas). Voila. There was Jeremiah and so much more. Well, it wasn’t quite as simple as that, but I eventually found him.
Jeremiah Hart, also known as Jeremy, my four times great grandfather, was born on April 5, 1746 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Captain Richard Hart and Mary Taber Hart. He appears to have been the ninth child in a family of ten children, his siblings being John, Hannah, William, Phoebe, Richard, Mary, Lombard, Susannah, and Philip. His mother was the great granddaughter of John Cooke, who had been on the Mayflower, and the great great granddaughter of Francis Cooke and Richard Warren, also Mayflower passengers, who were signers of the Mayflower Compact.
Jeremiah married Abigail Pearsall in 1768 in Dutchess County, according to family records, having moved there the same year. He had an interest in a farm owned jointly with his brothers Richard and Philip in Hart’s Village, Dutchess County. Abigail has become one of the “brick walls” on my tree. When I explored the parentage ascribed to her by other members on Ancestry, it became clear to me that she was not the same Abigail everyone had thought. That is, she was not the daughter of Samuel Pearsall and Mary Elizabeth Doughty. There was a clue to her descent in the book, Irish Pedigrees or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, in which it was stated that she was “nee Macomber”. This seemed to be a help, considering that other Harts had married Macombers, but I could not find a fitting Abigail Macomber or Pearsall, for that matter, either as a maiden or married name. I am thinking that “Macomber” could also be a middle name, or that the authors of Irish Pedigrees could have been mistaken, as I can find no other reference to Abigail being a Macomber. (By the way, the authors of the book decided that the Harts must have been Irish due to their coat of arms. I have discovered that this line of Harts seems to be English, at least going back to the first of these Harts in America, Nicholas). I would be much obliged if anyone reading this has evidence of Abigail’s parentage and is willing to share this with me.
In 1775, in the midst of the American Revolution, Jeremiah and Abigail settled in Stillwater, Saratoga, New York, down by the bank of the east or west side of Saratoga lake, where they built a log cabin. It seems that they lived here for the rest of their lives, and had a large farm. They had eight children, Stephen, Philip, John H., Reuben, Phebe, Jeremiah Jr., Sarah and Hannah. During the American Revolution, Jeremiah was in the New York Militia, Albany County, 13th Regiment, under Lt. Col. Cornelius Van Veghten. Jeremiah also seems to have done some “scouting service”. On January 7, 1784, he sold his interest in the Dutchess County farm to his brother Philip. There is one reference to Jeremiah being a Quaker in a Sons of the American Revolution application form, but other than his having been born in Rhode Island, known for its Quaker population, I have yet to find any other evidence that he was a Quaker. Also, many Quakers chose not to fight, but Jeremiah did.
He died on July 4, 1822 at the age of seventy-six on the “old farm” in Stillwater. He is buried in the Hart Cemetery in Stillwater with his wife, who died four years later at the age of seventy-five on February 3, 1826.