Thursday, May 1, 2008

Poll: HAM Revolutionary War Veterans

Poll: HAM Revolutionary War Veterans

May, 2008

Out of all of my research in Virginia, I have to admit that nothing nothing is more interesting than to read the Revolutionary War Pension papers. With Memorial Day coming up, I thought this might be a good topic for this month's HAM Country Blog Poll.

Susan Bullock is the co-author that can claim descent from a Revolutionary War Veteran. Also, the HAM DNA Project participant Linzey Ham descends from a Revolutionary War veteran. They de
scend from Mordecai Ham, who participated in one of the most important battles of the War.

Mordecai HAM Pension papers

In fact, there were HAM's in nearly all of the major battles that are considered to be among the turning points of the American R
evolution. Do you know who they were, and which battles they participated in?

This was one of the areas that we covered in our book, but this is also a subject that has never had comprehensive coverage by genealogy books on the HAM surname.
Organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) hold a good library of records, but they do not publish genealogy books on the HAM surname.

We didn't explain the battles, show much in the way of on site battlefield pictures, or show maps of the battle campaigns. We didn't show existing pictures of the generals, or soldiers in uniform. We didn't show ships on the ocean in battle formation, or explain how the War played out. That type of information would probably require a separate book in itself. However, we did include a number of existing records on Revolutionary War Veterans, and some information about their residence and family, when possible.

One of my favorite pension papers to read has to include that of Drury Ham, who had also participated in the Revolutionary War.

There has never been a video documentary on HAM's in the Revolutionary War. There have been no books on the campaigns that our HAM ancestors fought during that war. This isn't because the stories are not there, it is simply because it has never been done. These stories are not often told. The Revolution has been told elsewhere, but only in general terms of the commanding officers or the battles. Research on the HAM name in the Revolutionary War has been poor, at best.

Yorktown Battlefield

You might recall Mel Gibson in the movie "The Patriot," a dramatization of one of the battles that a Ham participated in. Of course, the name "Ham" does not appear in this movie as one of the characters, and the ending is entirely fictional. In that regard, the movie does little more than call to mind a more romantic version of the actual events, and does little to address the history behind "Ham" Revolutionary War veterans. It does, however, give you an impression of the conflicts that families may have experienced during the war.

Which might say something about the sorry state of affairs when it comes to genealogy work on the HAM name. I would say that not near enough has been completed. And again, unfortunately, even the Revolutionary War Veterans have some bad information listed on the internet. HAM genealogists from Virginia still have a lot more work to do. This month we are having another poll at the HAM Country blog for the HAM researchers. This time, I would like to know how well we know our Revolutionary War Veterans from Virginia. As in the previous poll, the answers can be found in (or figured out from) our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC."

Yorktown battlefield

The questions are:

- What HAM's fought at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse?

- Which HAM wa
s a Lieutenant in the Navy during the Revolutionary War?

- What was the name of the ship commanded by a HAM during the siege of Y

- Which HAM was an Indian Spy during the Revolutionary War?

- Which HAM Received a severe head wound during a skirmish with the Tories during the Revolutionary War?

- When was Mordecai HAM finally discharged from the service?

- Who was most likely to be Drury HAM's father, based upon the County land survey?

- Who served
under Captain Daniel Sparks?

- Who was denied a pension (due to lack of records) after serving under General Sumpter?

- Who served as a surgeon during the Revolutionary War?

You will find the poll at the HAM Country blog.

The poll questions close on May 31st at 11:59 PM.

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