Following The Twists And Turns Of Family History Research

My recent post listing ancestors who served our country included an incredible error. For the past few years I have tried to collect information on Gideon Squires, born March 19, 1739 in Woodbury, Connecticut and died in 1820 in Caldwell, Warren County, New York. I know his birth and death records are correct. The Barbour Collection ‘proves’ the birth and his death was listed in Universalist church papers when his widow remarried.

I have read and re-read the information I have on Gideon Squires but the words didn’t sink in to my brain until today when I read an article about the meaning of patriot. I thought Gideon was a patriot in the War for Independence more commonly referred to as the American Revolution, but the research information clearly identifies him as a loyalist. The source for naming Gideon Squires a loyalist is “American Loyalist Claims” by Peter Wilson Coldham. I noticed when I typed the source book title I had spelled loyalist incorrectly. Like a flash of lightening it hit me – patriot and loyalist were two different kinds of Americans. Gideon was not a patriot, but a loyalist. He fought with the British not against the British.

Here is what got me in trouble:

“Gideon was the son of David Squire and Margaret Warner and grandson of Thomas and Hannah (Welton) Squire. He left Woodbury about 1769 and went to Arlington, Vermont. About 1772 he moved from Arlington, Vermont, to Grandville,  Albany County, New York. He is said to have been a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War.

According to “American Loyalist Claims” by Peter Wilson Coldham: Gideon Squire of Grandville, Albany County, New York, joined the army at Skeenesborough and was taken prisoner when in a low state of health. After being in gaol a month at Bennington, returned home, but was forced off farm with wife and five children and obliged to go 150 miles to Woodbury, Connecticut.”
– From the book American Loyalist Claims, Peter Wilson Coldham

Memorial 25 Feb 1786 Arlington< NY
Claim removal expenses and cattle
Evidence Deposition 25 Feb 1786 Arlington by Reuben Green, Zardock Hard, and Elisha Hard of Arlington that claims is just

Rejected (AO13.25.464-465).

Had I continued to do research to match records with the statements made in this paragraph it would have been clear Gideon was not fighting on the side of independence but rather for the British. In addition the information that he was forced off his farm with his wife and five children was clear evidence that he was a loyalist and paid the price for opposing his neighbors by losing his farm and having to move back to Connecticut, probably to seek help from family members or other loyalists to support his family.

To sort all this out will take hours and hours of research. A challenge I love.

There is yet another family member that I have not included as a participant in the War for Independence or American Revolution and that is David Foreman (Fuhrman). I have spent hours at the Denver library reading books and going over lists of names looking for David Fuhrman.

David came to America about the time as the beginning of the war, and several people who have done extensive research on the Foreman family indicate he probably was a Hessian soldier from Germany. The British were a little short of trained troops and so paid German soldiers to come to America and fight. After the war the newly formed American government allowed the Hessian soldiers to stay in America if they did not want to go back to Germany.

Two challenges I have yet to overcome on the research of David is that ‘David’ is not typically a German name. Perhaps he changed it when he decided to stay, if that was the case. The books available listing all of the names of Hessian soldiers that fought for the British lists only a few Furhman’s. The book listing names of soldiers who did elect to stay in America only lists about three Furhman’s, none of them David.

The home town of the Furhman’s that are listed in these books do not match the home town listed by Foreman researcher’s and even the family researchers haven’t agreed on a home town. Four are possibilities Elgerhausen Hessen-Kessel; Kessel Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalin; Elgerhausen Hesson Kasse. I don’t speak German so my research starts with learning the regions of Germany and how the names came about and the history of the families of the region.

As you can tell, many questions have to be asked, all the answers have to be proven to stay on the right path. 







4 comments on “Following The Twists And Turns Of Family History Research

  1. Jim Gresham says:

    I found this very interesting. Something else that is interesting: Gideon Squires and George Washington were third cousins.

  2. westernlady says:

    Very interesting! I haven’t gone that far in the research I have done. We need to talk!

    Were you aware that Edwin Squires wife Mary Salina Kenyon is a descendant of George Soule who was a passenger on the Mayflower?

  3. Jim Gresham says:

    Yes, although I have made all the connections. Edwin descends from William and Mary Brewster who also came over on the Mayflower. I’ve been meaning to put that information together but I’ve been distracted by another project for a while.

  4. Jim Gresham says:

    I meant to say haven’t made all the connections!

Comments are closed.