Saturday, May 16, 2015

John Upshaw

The following is a repost of my Patriots Remembered post on another of my ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. His name was John Upshaw.

John Upshaw is another verified Patriot in the DAR database. He is also another one of my ancestors. In the Daughters of the American Revolution, after you join under your first Patriot, you can submit "supplemental" applications for any other ancestor in your lineage who was also a Patriot. While I have not submitted any supplemental applications yet for myself (they can get costly quickly at $75 a piece), John Upshaw is another person in my lineage that I could use to submit a supplemental application. This is his story.

John was born 22 February 1755 in Essex County, Virginia.
Taken from his Pension Application.
John states he was born in Essex County, VA on 22 February 1755
John married Amy Gatewood on 5 March 1776.

According to his pension application, John served under a number of officers in his time in the Revolutionary War. First, he was drafted and served for three months as a Private with Captain William Tucker and Colonel Dabney. (His father-in-law, Larkin Gatewood, was a Sergeant with Captain William Tucker. I am curious if that had anything to do with his being drafted.)
Taken from Pension Application
During that three months in 1780, he marched from Amherst County, Virginia to Hampton under the Command of Marquis de Lafayette before being discharged.
Taken from Pension Application
Later, he was drafted again and served another two months as a Private under Captain Woodruff, who was under the command of Colonel Merriwether. In 1781, he marched, yet again from Amherst to Hampton, and after having only served for one month, he was discharged again.
Taken from Pension Application
Later in 1781, he was drafted to serve another two months, this time with Captain Dawson. He marched from Amherst to the Albemarle Barracks where he was stationed to Guard the British prisoners being held there. He served in this position for only a month before being discharged again. (As far as I can tell, the Albemarle Barracks ceased to function in the end of 1780. I wonder if John was mistaken on the time he served there.)
Sketch of the Albemarle Barracks
Artist unknown
John was later drafted a fourth time! This time, still being in 1781, he was drafted under Captain Burrows. Under Captain Burrows, he marched from Amherst County to a place near Yorktown. He was in service for one additional month during this term before being discharged.

I find John Upshaw's story to be very different from the story of my other ancestor, John Threadgill. John Threadgill enlisted before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He also fought for the American cause for a consecutive year.

John Upshaw, on the other hand, did not voluntarily enlist. He was drafted, not once, but four times. And his service wasn't until the later half of the War. Also, he only served for periods of a month or two before heading back home to his family. I wonder if the differences in their family lives influenced their different stories.

John Upshaw got married before his service. John Threadgill didn't seem to get married until after he served. Perhaps John Upshaw felt more of a duty to being home caring for his new bride than serving on the battlefield, whereas John Threadgill did not yet have a family waiting for him at home.

I also find it interesting that John Upshaw could not sign his name on his application like John Threadgill could. The following is a copy of his "mark" which served as his signature on his Pension Application.
John's mark as found in his Pension Application
In regards to the DAR, so far 19 Daughters have successfully filed under this Patriot. As of this writing, Daughters have successfully shown lineage under the following children of John and Amy:
  • Sarah R. Upshaw
  • George L. Upshaw
  • James Upshaw
  • John Upshaw
I have yet to uncover any additional children for this couple, but I have not investigated this family very deeply. If I find any other children born to this union, I will post their names, if not here on this post, on a future post.

  • John Upshaw's Pension Application (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Sketch of the Albemarle Barracks is currently unsourced. Found in a Google Search as being present on several blogs also unsourced.

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