Visiting My DAR Patriot

devoll4Aside from the lovely church & cemetery at Archers Ridge that I posted a picture of yesterday, I also went further down the road a bit to Devoll Cemetery, also in Noble County, in search of my DAR patriot, John Wickham. I’d seen the picture & an article about it before but visiting it in person was just important to me. I proudly wear his name on my DAR bar so I felt it was only right to find his resting place to pay proper homage to him.

To recap in case you missed my earlier posts on him and you’re wondering who John Wickham was, he was a soldier in the French & Indian War before being asked to come train militia men during the Revolutionary War.  The DAR acknowledges him as a non-commissioned officer.  John was 99 years old when he applied for his pension before dying at 100 years old, 8 months.  His pension application follows his journey all over New York from Fort Montgomery to the second battle for Saratoga (also known as Bemis Heights) with Generals Gates & Arnold.  He was even sent to spy on British ships in the Hudson River near what is now the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Somewhere around 1818, John and many of his descendants moved from New York to Ohio.  

DAR Induction

13256551_10206007133404336_7324882476059906557_nI was officially inducted on Tuesday night into the Quassaick Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  My excitement is only dampened by the fact my eyes are closed in the picture and it was much, much too hot that day to wear my patriotic scarf.  So much for posterity! Oh, the lament!

In any event, I am so very proud to have John Wickham as my ancestor. John was a drill sergeant and served in both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War.  I am thrilled to be able to honor him and his contributions to our nation’s cause. He passed along his skills, teaching others how to fight for our freedom and in my book, that is definitely something to be proud of.

Got a Loafer in Your Tree?

1870census

1870 US Census

While researching my great-grandfather Jesse Archer, I found the 1870 Federal Census and got a bit of a giggle at his occupation that was listed as “loafer”.  I mean, I’ve read about several silly occupations on the censuses but I’d never come across “loafer” so it brought up a bit of a mystery for me and brought debate between friends and relatives but nobody was quite sure.

My relative Suzanne thought perhaps it was a baker, referring to the loaves of bread.  Another, thought perhaps a person working on a farm, rolling bales of hay, which could have made sense because he was a farmer nearly all his life.  Personally, I thought it meant more like our modern meaning – a slacker.  However, as Suzanne pointed out, how does a slacker have personal property in 1870 in the amount of $1000?  That was a lot of value then!  (I’ll discuss that below later….)