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Profiles of Patriots: A Biographical Reference of American Revolutionary War Patriots and their Descendants
El Palo Alto Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
By Moira Ann Jacobs
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Moira Ann Jacobs
All rights reserved.
Presentation of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia, PA, July 4, 1776 Artist: John Trumbull, Oil on canvas, 12' x 18' Commissioned 1817, purchased 1819, placed in the Capitol Rotunda 1826, Washington, D.C.
Many members in the DAR can trace their family heritage back to ancestors which included signers of the Declaration of Independence. Yet most members' ancestors include the many thousands of rank and file soldiers, the privates, the officers, supply and logistics supporters, who together made the founding of our country possible. Moreover, this wide variety of individual histories, when taken in full context with the biographies of their wives, children and other family members, reveals a rich tapestry of lives and personal struggles which collectively made such a great history and birth of our nation possible.
This book is a collection of the individual patriot biographies from our current active members, compiled into this one document. We hope seeing the wide ranging stories of all these patriots and their descendants can also help reveal how important it is to preserve our history and pass it on to the next generation. At the same time, we wish to illuminate how even a small collection of biographies from our one chapter provides a useful snapshot of the types of character and dedication that were needed at the founding of our country. Ours is a rich and diverse history, and as with all history we are still learning about our past so as to inform ourselves more completely in creating a better future. Perhaps current and future generations can reflect on these stories to find the unique essence of the American character that can continue to inspire us to strive in making ours a great country for current and future generations.
By Robin Alice LaCroix Kamradt and Jennifer Robin Kamradt Allen
Sias Billingsley, Private, War Committee 1775 & Association of Freemen 1776, Harford County, MD
b. 1737/38, St. Mary's County, MD, d. Dec. 1818, Monongalia Co., VA (now WV)
Summary of Sias Billingsley Biography
Sias Billingsley, Harford County, Maryland, (PS):
—Elected to War Committee, Deer Creek Upper Hundred, Harford County, Feb 10, 1775, at about age 37;
—Signer, Association of Freemen, Deer Creek Upper Hundred, Harford County, 1776, at about age 38;
—Petit Juror, Harford County, 1783, at about age 45;
—1783 Harford County, Maryland, Tax List: Assessment to raise money for the war effort against Great Britain; Deer Creek Middle Hundred, Harford County, MD, Sias's Range, 166 acres, at about age 45.
Sias Billingsley was born about 1737/38 in St. Mary's County, Maryland, the fourth son and the eighth child of William and Mary Sumner Billingsley, who had married about 1716 in Calvert County, Maryland. Sias' mother died in December 1740 when her ninth child, her fifth daughter, was born; Sias was 2-3 years old. Sias' father died before December 16, 1745, when Sias was 7-8 years old. Sias' oldest siblings were in their early 20's; I imagine that either the oldest siblings or close-by relatives took care of the younger children.
About 1758 at about age 20, Sias and his next older brother moved to Baltimore County, part of which became Harford County in 1773.
Before 1762, Sias Billingsley, about 24, and Hannah Webster, about 20, the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Dallam Webster, married. They acquired land and over the next 20 years, Sias and Hannah had eight children, four boys and four girls. Our ancestor, Francis Billingsley, the fourth son and baby of the family, was born on May 16, 1781, when Sias was about 43.
Sometime after the American Revolution had been won, about 1790, Sias and Hannah Billingsley, then about 52 and 48 years old, respectively, moved with their family to Morgantown, Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia). About 30 years later around December 1818, Sias died when he was about 80 years old. Sias Billingsley left a Will which names his wife, children and grandchildren; there is also an estate Inventory and Sale Bill.
Sias Billingsley is not a household name, but Sias Billingsley was one of the thousands of patriots who took care of business in very difficult times and contributed to the success of the American Revolution.
Summary of Lineage:
1) Sias & Hannah Webster Billingsley (m. Before 1762, Baltimore Co., MD; moved to Monongalia Co., VA (now WV) about 1790)
2) Sias Billingsley (b. 1737/38, St. Mary's Co., MD; d. Dec. 1818, Monongalia Co., VA (now WV))
3) Hannah Webster (b. Feb. 25, 1741/42, St. George's Parish, Baltimore Co., MD; d. Abt. 1819, Monongalia Co., VA (now WV))
4) Francis & Mary Clark Billingsley (m. Feb. 3, 1805, Monongalia Co., VA (now WV); moved to MO about 1840)
5) Francis Billingsley (b. May 16, 1781, Harford Co., MD; d. Oct. 28 1865, Howard Co., MO)
6) Mary Clark (b. Bet. 1781-1782, MD; d. July 29, 1844, Cooper Co., MD)
7) Norval & Angeline Carter Billingsley (m. Jan. 14, 1844, Morgan Co., MO)
8) Norval Billingsley (b. April 9, 1807, Monongalia Co., VA (now WV); d. July 2, 1859, Moniteau Co., MO; moved to MO about 1840)
9) Angeline Carter (b. Abt. 1818, Prob. Fauquier Co., VA; d. Oct. 1844, MO)
10) Urban Clark Sr. & Mary Frances Trafton Billingsley (m. Nov. 13, 1872, Sacramento, Sacramento Co., CA)
11) Urban Clark Billingsley Sr. (b. Oct. 18, 1844, Cooper Co., MO; d. April 22, 1925, Sacramento, Sacramento Co., CA; moved to CA 1867)
12) Mary Frances Trafton (b. March 31, 1851, Nr Placerville, El Dorado Co., CA; d. Sept. 22, 1933, Hayward, Alameda Co., CA)
13) Urban Clark Jr. & Florence Tootell Billingsley (m. Nov. 1, 1906, Florin, Sacramento Co., CA; lived in San Francisco, CA; moved to Hayward, Alameda Co., CA about 1910)
14) Urban Clark Billingsley, Jr. MD (b. July 11, 1875, Sacramento, Sacramento Co., CA; d. Nov. 15, 1942, Gold Run, Placer Co., CA)
15) Florence Harrison Tootell (b. April 11, 1883, Florin, Sacramento Co., CA; d. Jan. 12, 1977, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., CA)
16) Alice Christelle Billingsley LaCroix Taylor (b. June 21, 1912, Hayward, Alameda Co., CA; d. Feb. 11, 1985, Carmel, Monterey Co., CA)
17) Mother of Robin Alice LaCroix Kamradt (b. Jan. 5, 1935, San Francisco, CA); and Grandmother of Jennifer Robin Kamradt Allen (b. Dec. 9, 1961, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., CA).
References and Documentation for Sias Billingsley:
Davis, Harry Alexander, "The Billingsley Family in America", (Washington, D.C. 1936; Copyright 1936; The Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc.; Rutland, Vermont). #22: p. 29-31.
Davis, Harry Alexander, "The Billingsley Family in America", (Washington, D.C. 1936; Copyright 1936; The Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc.; Rutland, Vermont). #22: p. 38-44.
Davis, John, "Baltimore County, Maryland: Deed Records", Volume Three: 1755-1767. (Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Maryland 20716. 1996.), p. 241.
Baltimore County, Maryland, Land Records, Book L, Folio 481.
Coldham, Peter Wilson, "Settlers of Maryland: 1766-1783". (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, Maryland 21202. 1996.), p. 13.
Harford County, Maryland, Land Records, Liber AL, No. 1, Folio 85.
"Maryland Calendar of Wills: 1772-1774, Volume 15", (Family Line Publications, Westminster, Maryland, 1994.), p. 158.
Abstracted by Morgan, Ralph H. Jr., "Harford County Wills, 1774-1800, Harford County, Maryland", (Family Line Publications, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1990.), p. 66.
Preston, Walter W., A.M., Bel Air, Maryland, "History of Harford County, Maryland: From 1608 (The Year of Smith's Expedition) To The Close of the War of 1812", (Press of Sun Book Office, Baltimore, Maryland, 1901), p. 77, 286, 295.
Peden, Henry C., Jr., "Revolutionary Patriots of Harford County, Maryland 1775-1783", (Bel Air Copy Center, Bel Air, Maryland. 1985.), p. 19.
Wright, C. Milton, "Our Harford Heritage: A History of Harford County, Maryland", (French-Bray Printing Company, Glen Burnie, Maryland, 1967), p. 358-359.
Submitted by Rowe, Ella, & Hopkins, Joseph Carroll, "Maryland Genealogical Bulletin", Volume 25, Number 3, Summer 1984: Article Pages 312-329,
Citation Page 322, Signer, Association of the Freemen of Maryland, Deer Creek Upper Hundred, Harford County, Maryland, 1776.
Compiled by Carothers, Bettie, "1783 Tax List of Maryland, Part I, Cecil, Talbot, Harford & Calvert Counties", (Lutherville, Maryland 21093, 1977), p. 161, 166.
Harford County, Maryland, Land Records, Liber HD, No. 9, Folio 141.
Monongalia County, VA (WV), Index to Marriage Bonds, 31 Jan 1805, p. 7. Marriage Bond, Volume 1, Page 182.
Compiled by Johnston, Ross B., "West Virginia Estate Settlements", (Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 1977), p. 69.
By Yvonne Russell
Ezekiel Billington, Private, New Jersey Militia, enlisted Spring, 1776, at Elizabeth Town Point, NJ; b. 22 Mar 1759, New Ark of the Covenant (Newark), NJ; d. 26 Sep 1848, Marshall County, TN
Ezekiel was born in 1759 in what is now Newark, Essex County, NJ, to parents James Billington, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Anna America (Garner) Billington. According to my ancestor's declaration of service given in order to receive a military pension in Bedford County, TN, in 1832, he entered the service as a private under Captain Thomas Segler, Lieutenant Abram Garrabrant, and Col. Joseph Allen in the Spring of 1776 at Elizabeth Town Point, NJ, as a volunteer. General Washington came to their camp in November from White Plains and informed Capt. Segler that the British Army was after them and the balance of the New Jersey Militia, whereupon they were dismissed and sent home.
Ezekiel again volunteered in December under the leadership of Capt. Bill Camp of Newark, and was taken prisoner after a heated exchange of fire with British cavalry near the Passaic River. He and several others, including his captain, were marched to New York City, where they were imprisoned in a sugar house without food or heat. Many of his companions died. In April of 1777, he was removed to one of the prison ships that were anchored in the Bay, where the prisoners were given a choice by the British; to remain a prisoner or join the British and be located on Staten Island. He decided to join them, planning to desert and swim across the Bay, but was betrayed by a fellow captive. He was then put on the British man-o-war Experience as a British soldier, then the Badger, then to a transport named the William, sailing to Savannah, GA.
The ship was blown off course and separated from the fleet in a severe storm, landing in the West Indies. From there he was sent to Cape Augustine, where the British general sailed to Savannah. While in Savannah, British General Prevost was able to fend off attacks by the French who had come to the aid of Savannah. Ezekiel was then marched to Augusta, then to District 96 in South Carolina where the Continental Army's Major General Nathanael Greene had just won an important engagement at the Battle of Cowpens.
While on a foraging expedition under guard by a British light horse detail, Ezekiel made his escape under fire. He ran to where General Greene's men were patrolling and one of them took him up behind him on his horse and effected his escape from the British. One of Greene's officers, Major William Burnett, knew Ezekiel from Newark days, and vouched for him. He joined General Greene's men and served with them until April 1781, when he fought in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.
In the Spring of 1782, Ezekiel desired a discharge, which was granted, and headed home to Newark. He stopped in Cumberland County, North Carolina, to work as a plantation overseer because he had no money or supplies, liked what he found, and remained in North Carolina for about 28 years, marrying Elizabeth Penny in Johnston County when he was 26 years old. After this time he sold his land and other property and, with many of his large family, moved to Bedford (Marshall) County, TN, about 1810, where he resided until his death in 1848.
Ezekiel's son, James, married Sally Walker, whose father was also a Patriot. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Hiram Hogue, whose family migrating west from York County, South Carolina. About 1845, Hiram and Elizabeth and their family moved to Saline County, AR, where succeeding generations of my ancestors were born. All ancestors in this line were farmers, and were active in rural community affairs. Each generation also participated as soldiers in the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I and my father in World War II and Korea, which renewed the mobility of earlier generations. Yvonne (Smith) Russell settled and married in Cupertino, California, and joined the El Palo Alto DAR Chapter in 2008.
By Lynn Eisberg
Richard Brandon, South Carolina, 1775-1781, Private in Capt. Jolly's Co, Sgt in his brother Col. Thomas Brandon's Regiment. b. circa 1752 d. 25 Jun 1781 Ninety Six Dist, South Carolina
According to the Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statement, Richard Brandon was an officer and private soldier in the Army of the Revolution from the commencement of hostilities until he was killed in June 1781. He entered service as a private horseman in Capt. Jolly's Company, Col. Brandon's Regiment and was afterwards promoted to rank of Sergeant or Quartermaster in his brother Col. Brandon's Regiment until he was killed at Brandon's defeat in Union Dist, SC. He was in the battles of Blackstock's, Kings Mountain, Cowpens, the Snow Campaign and the Florida Campaign.
Editor's note: Below is a summary of two battles Sgt. Brandon participated in during the War.
Battle of Blackstock's (Reference: South Carolina Department of Archives and History) http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/union/ S10817744013/index.htmolina
(Blackstock's Plantation) At Blackstock's tobacco barn on the Tyger River, British troops under Colonel Banastre Tarleton battled with American militiamen under General Thomas Sumter on November 20, 1780. The Americans drove off the attacking British infantry and cavalry. Although the Americans dispersed and were unable to attack the British post at Ninety-Six as originally planned, they did serious damage to the morale of Tarleton's Legion, as well as inflicting heavy casualties, demonstrating that the British did not have as firm a hold in South Carolina as believed.
The Blackstock's battlefield is located south of the Tyger River, immediately east of the Spartanburg County line, in a hilly, wooded region. In the eighteenth century much of the land of the battlefield was cleared, but has since overgrown with small pines and brush. No above-the-surface evidence remains of Blackstock's barn or house, which were located in the area of the historical marker that designates the battle site, and there are no modern buildings in the area of the battlefield. Listed in the National Register December 16, 1974.
Further background on the Siege of Ninety Six
The Siege of Ninety Six was a siege late in the American Revolutionary War. From May 22 to June 18, 1781, Continental Army Major General Nathanael Greene led 1,000 troops in a siege against the 550 Loyalists in the fortified village of Ninety Six, South Carolina. The 28-day siege centered on an earthen fortification known as Star Fort. Despite having more troops, Greene was unsuccessful in taking the town, and was forced to lift the siege when Lord Rawdon approached from Charleston with British troops.
Greene's losses amounted to 150 men, while Cruger's were under 100. Greene retreated toward Charlotte, North Carolina, allowing Rawdon to join forces with Cruger. Rawdon sent a sizable force after Greene, but heat and the toll of the long forced marches took their toll. The force was recalled to Ninety Six, which Rawdon then abandoned.
Aftermath of the Battle of Ninety Six
General Greene blamed the failure of the operations against Ninety Six in part on Sumter and Marion, who failed to act in support of his operations in a timely manner. Later, other officers blamed Greene and Lee for failing to cut off the defenders' water supply at the Spring Branch.
Lee, writing in his memoirs, singled out Col. Kosciuszko for much of the defeat. This may be due to the engineer's mistake of beginning the first parallel too close to the Star Fort, as well as underestimating the lengthy amount of time his undermanned and ill-equipped sappers needed to excavate the rock-hard soil enough for the siege to work. Though these issues did indeed contribute to the failure of the operation as a whole, Greene commended Kosciuszko's efforts in carrying out his orders, noting that given more time, his chief engineer's plan may well have succeeded.
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