Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Williamson in the Revolutionary War, Army and Navy.

The Uniform of a Virginia Naval Marine (Revolutionary War)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

I'm raising a tall glass of ice cold lemonade to salute our family members living in the Eastern United States. They've suffered a record heat wave over the last few weeks. Yet another reason why I enjoy living in the dry desert like climate found here in the Great Basin of Utah. I barely handle our dry heat (the Fortress is air conditioned) but I'd be in a right foul mood if I had to deal with the humidity, and considering I work with approximately 500 kids a week, I can't afford to be any fouler than I already am :)

Today I return to the enigma of the Williamson family line. I still haven't discovered with absolute certainty who Matthew Williamson's father was (Matthew Williamson to George Matthew Williamson to William Jonathan Williamson and then down to us) but after spending weeks studying, pacing back and forth (creating a noticeable path in the living room's carpet) and calling out for supernatural assistance (online Psychics) I found enough evidence to convince me that we descend from the following individuals

Cuthbert had 17 children between his two wives. I believe our Matthew descends from Susannah, with whom he had 14 of his 17 children. I believe Matthew was either the son of this Cuthbert (and he did have a son named Matthew) or this Cuthbert was his grandfather or great uncle. The reasoning was outlined in a previous post from months ago (I refer you to the Blog's directory down the right side bar). This branch of the Williamson family settled and farmed in the same area (Charlotte Co.,VA) as our 3rd Great Grandparents Matthew and Selina Williamson.

If my reasoning is proven correct (and again I believe this is our line), then this Cuthbert is the first Williamson along our line who fought in the Revolutionary War.

This Cuthbert was a soldier and later an Ensign in the Revolutionary War. He fought in the battles of Guilford Courthouse, Camden, and the Siege of Yorktown. His widow, Susanna White Williamson, received a pension after his death. Her residence at the time was Charlotte Co.,VA. He was born in 1741 and died in Nov. 1812. I believe his parent were Cuthbert and Elizabeth Allen Williamson but I have no concrete proof. His son Cuthbert Williamson, Jr. moved to Franklin Co.,MO.. His daughter Mary Ann M. Williamson married his sisters (Susanna Price Williamson) son, Samuel Williamson Jeffries.

I draw your attention to Samuel's last name "Jeffries". Remember, our 3rd Great Grandmother's maiden name was Selina Dandridge Jeffries. The Jeffries and Williamson families were well known to each other in Charlotte Co. Virginia as proven by this marriage.

I think there were several Cuthbert Williamson's in Virginia in the 1700's. I believe we are descended from the Cuthbert Williamson b1710-d1751, who married Elizabeth Allen. They had 3 children, Cuthbert (b1741-d1812), Mary Price (b1737) and Susanna (bAug. 28, 1735) Williamson.

This Cuthbert Williamson (b1741) had 17 children by 2 wives including another Cuthbert Williamson (born in 1780's who married Obedience Green Baily). I have many names of all these children and their descendants, but it is of course not complete. The first Cuthbert Williamson b.1710 was the son of John Williamson born in 1687 in Kent, England and who emigrated to Virginia near Jamestown. This Cuthbert (b1710) had a brother Thomas Williamson born in 1708. Thomas who married Judith Fleming, and they had a son named Robert who married his first cousin Susanna Williamson (daughter of Robert's uncle Cuthbert Williamson b1710 and Elizabeth Allen).

Our Cuthbert Williamson was a soldier early on then an Ensign in the Navy. This was discovered by another Williamson researcher who found this through the Daughters of the American Revolution. Cuthberts daughter Susanna Price Williamson married Achilles Jeffries.

Again we discover our family's deep involvement in America's history. Many of our ancestors left of their native lands because of religious persecution. Our ancestors fought to free themselves from the English Crown. Our ancestors fought and died in the War of 1812 (Bennett Willis). Many of our ancestors found and died in the Civil War, World Wars I and II. Today we have family members proudly serving in our armed forces. Our history is rich and our love of country runs deep.

In closing I find it interesting that this Cuthbert Williamson served time in the early American navy. I'd like to add a few paragraphs I found on the history of the American navy during the Revolutionary War to get a flavor of our what it was like to serve.

A Virginia Naval ship during the Revolutionary War

The Navy: The Continental Period, 1775-1890

by Michael A. Palmer

The record of the Continental navy was mixed during the revolutionary war. Its cruisers ranged far and wide and demonstrated that British commerce was nowhere safe, not even in British home waters. Few of the navy's larger ships ever put to sea, however, because most of the frigates Congress authorized to be built were either destroyed by British forces or burned by the Americans to prevent capture. There were occasional triumphs in single-ship engagements--for example, the capture by Captain John Paul Jones's Ranger of the British sloop of war Drake in April 1778. Jones gained international notoriety for his operations against the British in the North Sea and raided the coast of Great Britain itself. The navy was somewhat less successful in small-squadron actions. Its successes included the 1776 amphibious raid against New Providence in the Bahamas, but there were even more failures, most notably the ill-fated Penobscot expedition of 1779. While the Continental navy had its share of tactical triumphs, not once did its efforts cause the British an operational or strategic check.

Many of the failures of the Continental navy were directly attributable to the uneven and uncertain quality of the highly politicized officer corps. Mediocre officers vied for rank and privilege. Many commanders lacked drive, and others, while perhaps excellent seamen, were simply incompetent warriors. Even highly successful officers, such as Jones, labored under marked character deficiencies. Nevertheless, whatever the shortcomings of the Continental navy, the course of the war demonstrated to Americans the importance of sea power. The control of the Atlantic by the Royal Navy allowed Great Britain to transport a large army to North America and to sustain it there. French sea power, allied with the American cause after 1778, enabled General George Washington to isolate and destroy the British army of Lord Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. One of the decisive battles of the war, it ended Great Britain's hope of crushing the rebellion.

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