Friday, July 06, 2007


I mentioned the other night I had found some Revolutionary
War Records over on for some of my ancestors,
including James Dunham.

Well, I was half right. I found records for James Dunham but
he isn’t my ancestor.

I think I mentioned before that some of my ancestors had very
common names. Dunham is one of them. To make matters worse,
they often lived in the same area with other families who had the
same last name, and they even later moved to the same area!

So, I searched Footnotes for surnames of ancestors who lived at
the time of the Revolution and was excited to find James Dunham
of Hebron, Maine on three different petitions as a witness for three
pension applicants. I downloaded them and moved on to search
for others intending to come back to more closely examine the
records afterwards.

Tonight I opened the files and read them. James gave his
testimony in 1832 and stated he was 78 yrs old.

Something struck me as not right. I looked up James (Thomas)
Dunham in my genealogy records and saw what was wrong. James
Dunham…my James Dunham…was born in 1775. Obviously, he
couldn’t have fought in the Revolution unless he was a VERY
mature infant.

So who was this James Dunham?

I went to Rootsweb’s World Connect Project, entered James
Dunham and then Hebron as a place of death, and voila!, two hits:
my James Dunham and another, both of whom died in Hebron,
Oxford County, Maine within a few years of each other. The
James of my downloaded records was born in Bridgewater,
Plymouth County, Mass. in 1754 which would indeed have made
him 78 at the time of his testimonies. My ancestor had been born
less than twenty miles away in Carver, Ma.

Ah well. Good thing I reread these things!

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