Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I've learned that genealogy is a process of searching for facts and
once they are found establishing the veracity of what you've

So what have I learned so far from John Ames’s pension file?

Well, while I’d already known he was said to have been a veteran
of the Revolution I hadn’t known any details nor had any actual
proof that he was indeed a veteran. Now I did.

He claims to have been at Lexington and then Cambridge and to
have often seen legendary figures of the Revolution, namely
Generals Lee, Putnam and even George Washington himself. The
details of the file in that regard raised intriguing questions for me:

Was John Ames actually at Lexington as he claimed?

Did he participate in any other actions during the siege
of Boston?

Why did John and his comrades prefer to serve under
Asa Lawrence and not Oliver Parker?

What were “six weeks men?”

One of the witnesses, William Spaulding, testifies that he knew
John Ames from childhood and that when he “was a boy I went to
school with him at his fathers house in Groton.” If John’s father,
who was also named John Ames, was a school master, this is the
first I’d seen mention of that. Was this true?

Who were these people who’d given testimony? What happened to
John’s sons and daughters, other than my ancestor Jonathan
Phelps Ames?

Lastly, was there any other proof to back up John’s claim that
he’d fought in the Revolution other than statements given by two
friends? Yes, he’d been given a pension (posthumously) but
there’s that little skeptic in me.

So even as I was transcribing the file I was googling for answers.

1 comment:

GreenmanTim said...

Colonial militia were generally called out for very limited terms of service. A six week's man would have served in a call up for that period.

New England historical societies were particularly interested in documenting the service of every resident who could be credited to the town. There may be roster lists for the six weeks men in the town from which he served on record with the local society. The Sons of the American Revolution may be able to help as well.