Monday, March 25, 2013

Military Monday : Adam Upperman of Philadelphia, a Hessian Soldier who became a Patriot.


       Adam Upperman ( Opperman ) is listed among the Hessians who signed the Oath of Allegiance in the State of Pennsylvania between 1777 and 1789. This list was taken from the book by Thompson Westcott, “Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the Years 1777 and 1789, with A History of the “Test Laws” of Pennsylvania.”3

The Hessian soldiers were mercenary soldiers that were employed by the English to fight for the British's goal of squashing the spirit of American independence. They were hired in units, not as individuals and deployed by their princes in Germany. They received wages, but the prince of their respective states received most of the funds; Britain found it easier to borrow money to pay for their service than to recruit its own soldiers 7

A mercenary soldier usually have no ties to any country. Wikipedia defines them as " soldier who fights, or engages in warfare primarily for private gain, usually with little regard for ideological, national or political considerations. However, when the term is used to refer to a soldier in a regular national army, it is usually considered an insult, epithet or pejorative."  A response from a moderator5  on the genealogy mailing list at roots web ( AMREV-HESSIANS-L) said that the term as used in the Declaration of Independence, WAS USED AS AN INSULT. It did not correctly name these soldiers, and it was because of this insult that some families hid their Hessian ancestors
After the war ended in 1783, 17,313 Hessians returned to their homelands with about 5000 remaining in America.

Adam Opperman , born in 1757 in Hachborn, Hesse-Kassel,Germany, did not go back. Four years previously, he served in the Hesse-Kassel J├Ąger Corps and while marching through with his troop through New Jersey, he fled and deserted them. He married an American girl, pledge allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania and became a Patriot.
A "Patriot" was someone in the Colonies who fought for our independence from the King of England. (There is an addition to this, which was a person who assisted in some other way can also be considered a patriot.) Taken from Hessians who signed the Oath of Allegiance in the State of Pennsylvania 1

Pg. 77
Aug. 6, 1782
Francis Otto, deserted the Brittish Service about 4 years, a Hessian; by trade a book-binder.
Johannes Parkmann, deserted the Brittish Service & Hessian Line about one year; by trade a tanner & currier.
Johann Bishop, deserted the Brittish Service & Hessian Line about one year; by trade a Shoemaker.
Adam Opperman, deserted the enemy & Hessian line about 4 years; by trade a Weaver.
William Garman (his mark), a Hessian deserter from New York; Labourer.
 
Merz, Johannes Helmut. Guide to help you find your Hessian soldier of the American revolution [Hamilton, Ont. : J.H. Merz, 2001]
 

His surname was Americanized to " Upperman" shortly after he swore allegiance to Pennsylvania in 1782.
  1. http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bonsteinandgilpin/oath.htm
  2. http://www.staatsarchiv-marburg.hessen.de/irj/HStAM_Internet
  3. Thompson Westcott, “Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the Years 1777 and 1789, with A History of the “Test Laws” of Pennsylvania.”.
  4. Merz, Johannes Helmut. Guide to help you find your Hessian soldier of the American revolution [Hamilton, Ont. : J.H. Merz, 2001]
  5. Nelda Percival is the web moderator of  the AMREV-HESSIAN MAILING LIST WEBSITE.
  6. Merz,Johannes Helmut Deserters of the Hesse-Kassel Fields- Jaeger Corps, in Hessian Guide:Hessians remaining in America [Johannes Helmut Merz, 72 , 2005, Secondary quality].
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hessian_(soldiers)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Military Monday: Private William Doll

NewYorkCivilWarMusterRollAbstracts1863WilliamDoll
Source: New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts.1

       William Doll was born on 15 January 1841, and baptized at St. Louis Church at 35 Edward Street in Buffalo, New York . His godparents were Joseph Fougeron ( his maternal Uncle ) and Mary Ann Fougeron. He was the first child of Michael Doll, a grocer from Baden, and his wife, Mary Francoise Fougeron .2  They lived in the Black Rock section of Buffalo by 1850 and then moved to Washington Street. His parents, and a little sister named Hattie Doll, were deceased by the cholera epidemic by 1857.2,4

      William worked as a butcher in Buffalo, most likely at his maternal Uncle's grocer on 127 Niagara Street, Buffalo. His physical description was described as black hair, black eyes, dark complexion and he was 5 feet, 8 3/4 inches in height when he enlisted.
Doll,Williamb.1841_Bull_Run_2_moreSource:Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War

      William Doll enlisted on the 9 MAY 1861 in Elmira, Chemung, New York. He was with the B 21st Infantry 3.

      Private William Doll fought at Rappahannock Crossing, Cross Keys, Cedar Mountains, Fords of the Rappahannock, Sulphur Springs  and Groveton . At the age of 21 years old, he was killed in action at the  "Second Bull Run" on 30 August 1862. 3,

       His burial location is cited as being buried at the site of battle, according to this record here :

Doll,Willian b. 1841_Bull_Run_2

 Unless further research proves differently, he was buried at the Monument of Unknown Soldiers in Arlington, Virginia  :http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/visitorinformation/MonumentMemorials/CivilWar.aspx

UPDATE : In looking for him in the Soldiers and Sailors Database,  he is definitely in the index but under the wrong spelling for his surname.



  1. .Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops [ca. 1861-1900].(microfilm, 1185 rolls). Albany, New York: New York State Archives.
  2. St. Louis Church Records (Church Rectory,1985 ).Baptisms.Buffalo,New York.
  3. Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War,[ ca 1865–1867] (microfilm , 37 rolls). New York State Archives. Albany, New York.
  4. 1850 United States Federal Census . Buffalo Ward 4, Erie, New York;(Images, Roll: M432_502); Page: 350A

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 1 - Favorite Female Ancestor


Note : Lisa Alzo from The Accidental Genealogist has a blogging prompt series dedicated to Women History in the month of March. I decided to use these prompts to train me to get back into the habit of blogging while researching a brick wall ancestor . More about Lisa's series here :
http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com/2013/02/back-for-fourth-year-fearless-females.html.

Annie Jones

 My 1st of March prompt for favorite female ancestor will be on my Grandmother's mother, Anna Loretta Jones. I dedicated this months' research to working on my Jones family so it will be all about Annie. The reasons why :

1) She was a fearless female ancestor who was brave enough to have 12 children. She died with her 13th pregnancy.

2) She has been my brick wall ever since my Grandmother died. Her death certificate, according to the records, is lost in a courthouse fire. Her place of birth in earlier records says "Ireland"; the latter records say ' USA".

3) I did not think to ask my Grandmother about her but my great-Aunt May thought the Jones were from Athlone.

4) Her death date is March 6th so every time I see that death date, I reinvigorate that search for her family roots in Ireland.

5) Megan Smolenyak has a great research story for the true identity of Ellis Island's Annie Moore It always inspire me look under some more stones for my Annie mystery.

6) I have a sister named Annie , after this Great-Grandmother, so I feel a need to complete this namesake ancestor for her !
    The link to Megan Smolenyak's story about her hunt for Annie Moore is here : http://www.honoringourancestors.com/annie-moore-resources.html.