16 December 2013

Non-Eligable Ancestors

     I'm sort of in a holding pattern right now with my DAR application: I'm waiting for the next meeting while the registrar works on my application.  Meanwhile, I went on a vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, a historically preserved town set in 1776.  I learned a lot about what life was like in the early days of the American Revolution.  In part, I have a better understanding of why many folks choose to remain loyal to the British Crown.  Sure, you didn't feel like you were being treated fairly by your government, but was it bad enough to go to war and face an unknown future?

     On the way home, I visited the Kings Mountain National Battlefield Park, where I learned that citizens of South Carolina were strongly divided on the issue.  Odds are, if you can trace your ancestor back to that time and place, your ancestors were Loyalists.  Mine were.

     The books "Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, Vol I, II, III" are great sources for finding Loyalist ancestors.  The first ancestor that I found was my 5th Great Grandfather, Barnet Bernard Hyler (aka Hiller, Hoiler, Hoyler, etc).  Thanks to his fairly unique name he was pretty easy to identify.  From this book, I know that he was a "prisoner with rebels" while his unit was mustered in Savannah in December of 1779.  I'd love to find out more information on where, when and how he became a prisoner.  I do know, however, that he was back serving again from February through June of 1781.


     I also might have 5th Great-Grandfather, John Meetze.  He is listed with an Orangeburgh militia, along with a Christopher Meetze, which was his father's name.   I'm still looking, but wouldn't be surprised to find more Loyalist ancestors.  I hope I might be able to find out more about them as people and understand their choice.


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