Newspaper Research Just Keeps on Giving
Don’t despair if your ancestor is not listed in the DAR annals or the Pension files at NARA. Those are the easy paths. Most of those men were either lucky enough to have descendants who stayed in one place long enough to establsih roots and daughters or granddaughters who wanted to be in the Daughters of the American Revolution – DAR. The men who had pensions were not lucky enough to be self-supporting as they aged, so they needed the money. Either way they left records. Revolutionary War ancestors may be hard to find especially if you haven’t found one yet. If you had ancestors the right age in the colonies during the war, it’s likely some of them fought, some didn’t and some were Tories. If you find one who fought, chances are there are more, as families with similar political ideas in any given area, may have known each other. Some men fought for just one session or when the fighting came close to their homefront.
An article in an 1870 issue of the Reading Eagle describes:
“Pay Roll of a Detachment of the 6th Battalion of Berks County Militia guarding the Convention — of War at Reading in the year 1781.”
Gen. John M. Bickel of Philadelphia had the original parchment in his possession in 1870, it came to him from his Berks County grandfather, the Lieutenant, Philip Miller of the Detachment. He showed it to the editor of the Reading Eagle and he transcribed it right there and then for his newspaper. What follows is my transcription of his transcription of the 37 men in the detachment.