After nearly giving up on MyHeritage.com’s free military records week-end, early yesterday morning I had some success. Evidently the trick for my relatives was to look back as far as I could.
At the beginning of my search process, I started with the Viet Nam War and moved backwards from there. Was back practically to the Civil War and nothing new was surfacing.
So I gave up….but after one day I was back at it again! And in the wee hours of a dark thundery Memorial Day morning, I found not one, not two, but three 4th-g-grandfathers who fought in the Revolutionary War. I ended up with 14 different records or documents or transcripts for these three ancestors.
The first one I found was David Jepson, born 5 Sep 1762 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts. I had “heard” he served more than three years in the Revolutionary War, but hadn’t gotten around to searching very hard for records to verify that.
Now I have evidence that he actually did serve in the Revolutionary War. The first record that came up was a pension file. The Pension Roll of 1835, Volume 1. It is listed as the most complete roll of Revolutionary War pensioners ever published.
I still have to look for column titles so I have some idea of what the info means. Their viewer didn’t allow me to enter a specific page to go to, just scroll forward or back one. That’s a lot of clicks from page 895 back to the beginning.
There was also this record: Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, a Compilation From the Archives, Volume 8, published 1896.
Jepson, David. Descriptive list dated Northampton, Sept. 14, 1790, of men detached from Col. Israel Chapin’s (2d Hampshire Co.) regt. for the term of 3 months, agreeable to resolve of June 22, 1780; Capt. White’s Co.; age, 17 yrs.; stature 5 ft.; complexion, light; engaged for town of Chesterfield; mustered July 5, 1780; also, Private, Capt. Ebenezer Sheldon’s co., Col. Seth Murray’s regt.; enlisted July 14, 1780; discharged Oct. 10, 1780; service, 3 mos. 4 days, including 7 days (132 miles) travel home; company raised to reinforce Continental Army for 3 months; also receipt dated Springfield, May 10, 1782, for bounty paid said Jepson by Moses Dresser, Chairman of Class No. 3 of the town of Chesterfield, to serve in the Continental Army for the term of 3 years.
There’s evidence he signed up for the war for three years. I was also thrilled to find a short description of him. Seeing him described as 5 foot tall and light complexion gives me a little idea of what he looked like.
I also found another record of registration and two records about his burial in Vermont.
Searching in Find-A-Grave, I found him buried in Pownal Center Cemetery in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont.
Using My Heritage’s free military records search week-end, I was able to find out more about my 4-g-grandfather. Could these records have been found elsewhere? Perhaps. Maybe even probably. Obviously with Find-A-Grave, it should have been easy to find, had I been looking. But it wasn’t a branch I was working on.
Because My Heritage gave access to military records over Memorial Day week-end, it prompted me to work on that branch of my family, and learn more about my 4th g-grandfather. For that I am happy and grateful.
Thanks, Grandpa David, for your service to our fledgling, forming country back in the late 1700s. You and your service are not forgotten.