May 16, 2009

The Irish in my blood

Posted in Daughters of the American Revolution, genealogy, Laughlin at 12:41 PM by Kris P

From Born Fighting: How the Scots Irish Shaped America by James H Webb:

Who are we? We are the molten core at the very center of the unbridled, raw, rebellious spirit of America. We helped build this nation, from the bottom up. We face the world on our feet and not on our knees. We were born fighting. And if the cause is right, we will never reteat.

It seems almost every generation of the Laughlins and Sharps were in a war for our county. John Sharp Sr came over from Scotland, in about 1740, made his way to Washington County, Virginia where he and his wife, Jane Hamilton Sharp settled down. John fought in the Revolutionary War at King’s Mountain.

His son in law, Alexander Laughlin, could have been, perhaps was, a surveyor. There’s still question about that because the dates the DAR have for Alex are different han the ones I’ve been able to pull from my research. However, I’ve only found one Alexander Laughlin in Washington County, VA at the time of the Revolution. Personally, I think this was the only one, and they are one in the same. As soon as I’m a member, I’ll have their dates perhaps changed. Let’s also not forget how many Sharps, Laughlins and Berrys were taken as prisoners of war during the Revolutionary War.

Alexander’s son, John would have been old enough to fight in the War of 1812. However, if my theory about Phebe’s death in or near childbirth is correct, who would have taken care of his children? His oldest one, a daughter, Adalaid or Sophia, I don’t have my notes in front of me, would have been about 17, so she could have. But I have yet to find any records for his service.

John’s son, Granville was luckily spared a generation of fighting….of sorts. Unfortunately, he was old enough and still alive to watch the land he bought and toiled on be taken by the Northern forces after the Civil War. Granville’s son, William, died April 8, 1864, at the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana. For some reason, it grieves me to know that one of my ancestors, a young man of 22, died in the Civil War. I know, its war, and its to be expected, but it really doesn’t make it any easier.

Granville’s son Francis (William’s younger brother) was too old for any of the World Wars, but perhaps his sons, my grand uncles, would have been old enough to fight in one of them, either one.

The next generation is my father’s generation, and god knows how many wars have been fought during that generation….Vietnam, our own war for integration when the military was called in to “keep the peace”.

And then my generation….Desert Storm, Operation Freedom, Afghanistan, etc etc etc. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of it for my generation. My cousins can fight the wars this generation, I wouldn’t do that unless my family were threatened.



  1. What a wonderful post and superb quote from Webb! I, too, am captivated by my ancestors’ involvement in making our American history. Did you happen to watch the History Channel’s documentary on King’s Mountain a couple of weekends ago? It was very good.


  2. Kris P said,

    No, I wasn’t, its a shame, I really would have loved to see it!

  3. Elizabeth Hollman said,

    Sounds like you’re writing about my family! I’m a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Patriot ancestor through whose service I am registered, Samuel Ferguson, came to Montgomery County, VA from Ulster, Ireland (Ulster-Scots). He was born in 1744 and was a Major in the British Army. He eventually got his wits about him, moved here and switched loyalties. He was an Ensign in Capt. James Moore’s Montgomery County Militia. He marched to the Battle of King’s Mountain (and is related to both the famous Major Patrick Ferguson – probably a cousin although no one knows for sure, and Rees/Reece Bowen, whom I am also descended from), Whitzell’s Mill, Guilford Courthouse, and Alamance.

    There have been many soldiers down through the generations, to include my great-grandfather (who is reputed to have been imprisoned in Andersonville, although I have not found any record of that), my grandfather who was in the Air Force (he also wrote the Air Force Academy fight song, “Falcon Fight”). His 4th or 5th g-grandfather also, coincidentally is listed as a purchaser of an item from the above-mentioned Samuel Ferguson’s estate after his death (Samuel is on mom’s mom’s side and this grandfather is, obviously, mom’s dad’s side). My father served in Vietnam and Desert Storm; and my brother served two tours in Iraq (he was wounded 4/18/2008 in Taji).

    I have one son and am expecting twins in the winter. I am a proud Patriot and hope they all serve their country to the extent that their conscience and own patriotism allow. I, of course, do not want them to go to war, but will support them completely if they ever did or chose not to. We’re still proud Ulster-Scots!

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