Posted by: Debra LaValley | July 4, 2018

July 4, 2018

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The River Lady

Happy Independence Day!

Uncle Ralph recently asked me if we had any relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War. I know of one off hand – Lemuel Ross – and there could be others. Lemuel was my 5th Great Grandfather (maternal side of my family).

Lemuel was the son of Jesse Ross and Ruth Rugg. He was born January 5, 1760 in Lancaster, MA.

Lemuel – fought in the Revolutionary War in Capt. Joshua Bayley’s Company under Col. Thomas Stickney’s Regiment and Gen. John Stark’s Brigade of NH Militia. He was one of the soldiers who fought under Gen. Stark in the Battle of Bennington, VT (08/16/1777). Lemuel served for 2 or 3 months. According to the NEW HAMPSHIRE REVOLUTIONARY WAR ROLES, Lemuel served for two months but another record I found noted that he enlisted for three months. He would have been 17 years old. I would imagine it was both an exciting time and frightening time for a 17 year old. I will have to see if I can find out more information on his service.

On August 21, 1783, Lemuel married Kesiah Kemp.  (Kezia is the spelling on marriage license.)  Their marriage license states they were married by William Kelly, clergyman, who resided in Warner, NH. The clerk of Warner signed the marriage record. Warner and Henniker are side-by-side. Hard to tell if were married in Warner or Henniker. I will keep Warner as the place of marriage, unless I find proof that states otherwise.  Lemuel and Kesiah lived in Henniker, NH. There is much genealogy on he Kemp family – but that will be for another day. One teaser: It is via Kesiah’s branch of the family tree that we are related to Ann Foster who died in jail on December 3, 1692 in Salem, MA. She was condemned as a witch. There is much about her – you just have to Google her name and the Salem Witch Trials.

On December 17, 1785 in Henniker – Lemuel’s dad, Jesse, burned to death when the house caught on fire. According to a letter dated 1960 that I came across at the Henniker Historical Society, the cellar hole could still be found on the land that the Rosses owned. Also noted was after Jesse died,  his brother Timothy divided the lot and gave most of the lot to his brother Jonathan.  Jesse and Timothy were part of the original thirty one families living in Henniker at the time of incorporation  in 1768.  The Henniker Historical Society has a file on our Ross ancestors, and they are mentioned in the town’s history.  It is likely that the Rosses lived a hardworking and simple farming life there.  Most of the settlers lived in log cabins with straw roofs, and travel was limited since there were few roads.  Travel was mostly over paths cut through the woods and fields.  Families grew crops, fished, and hunted for their food.  Records note that some of the Rosses signed by making a mark … which would reflect a lack of education.  The community held square dances and corn  huskings for entertainment.  Both Jesse and Timothy signed the petition to incorporate the town of Henniker on 3/17/1768.

In 1776, Jesse and Timothy signed the Association Test for Independence which read:

“We the subscribers do hereby solemnly engage and promise that we will, to the utmost of our power, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, with arms oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets and armies against the United American Colonies.”

February 1, 1786 – part of the lot was deeded to Lemuel. Lemuel farmed the land until May 5, 1788 when he sold the land to Abel Gordon. Lemuel and family then moved to Tunbridge, VT.

Lemuel and Kesiah had ten children:
Sarah born 3/2/1784
Reuben born 9/8/1786
Levi born 10/6/1787
Daniel born 8/23/1789
Sewall born 5/8/1791 * My direct line
Lydia born 9/28/1792
Rebecca born 2/17/1793
Mary born 6/27/1795
Olive born 11/23/1799
Ira born 4/4/1801

Tunbridge is a very old New England town. It has many farms and covered bridges. It is also where the Tunbridge World’s Fair is held. My mother and her family spent much time in Tunbridge when they were young. My grandfather, Ken Ross, was raised in Tunbridge.

I am sure that Lemuel continued a farming life. Lemuel died on November 30, 1825 and Kesiah on March 7, 1826. They are both buried in the Button Cemetery in Tunbridge. Many of their family members are also buried there. Some years ago – I found Lemuel’s and Kesiah’s gravestones. They were slate and are very old and worn.  I took the photos below in 2004 and the lighting was terrible.  I need to go back and try and get better photos of their gravestones.

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