A Divinely Inspired Constitution

July 5, 2014

Constitution Hall, Washington DC
NSDAR Headquarters

I suspect that there are a large number of thoughtful Americans who believe the US Constitution to be divinely inspired. It was the first written constitution in the world. Since then, most nations of the world have themselves adopted written Constitutions and our US Constitution was a model for almost all of them. Those facts alone are awe-inspiring. However, it was George Washington who described its drafting in a 1788 letter to General Lafayette, as “little short of a miracle.”

“It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the delegates from so many different states (which states you know are also different from each other in their manners, circumstances, and prejudices) should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well-founded objections.”

The First Virginia Regiment

January 13, 2012

Lee’s Stratford Landing

December 6, 2011

Revolutionary War Image

On 30 March 1781, two hundred thirty years ago, British sailors from armed vessels anchored in the Potomac River near Saint Clement’s [Blackistone] Island, and attempted to land at Stratford Landing as part of a mission to destroy and loot the plantation houses along both sides of the river. From his home Chantilly, which had a good view of the island, Richard Henry Lee, Lieutenant of the Westmoreland militia, watched the movements of the ships. The British launched smaller craft to approach the shoreline while the large ships fired cannons to cover the attack. Richard Henry Lee met them with a small, ill-armed group of local citizens. In the skirmish that followed, the Westmoreland militia repelled the attackers, killing one British sailor who was buried on Stratford beach.

Stratford Landing

The image, Lee’s Stratford Landing, is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.

Marquis de LaFayette

June 25, 2010

Revolutionary War Image

“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” ~~Marquis de Lafayette (1757 – 1834)

The bust is from The Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

The image, Marquis de LaFayette (1757 – 1834), is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.

The Man Who Changed the World

February 22, 2010

Revolutionary War Image


HAPPY 278th BIRTHDAY to the Man Who Changed the World – General George Washington of Mount Vernon, Virginia, who wrote “The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.”

George WASHINGTON (1732 – 1799) was born on February 22, 1732, at “Popes Creek,” a home that his father had built in the 1720s in Westmoreland County, Virginia. George Washington was raised there and in King George and Fairfax Counties, Virginia.

George Washington died in his bedroom at Mount Vernon on December 14th, 1799. His will directed that he be buried on the grounds of his beloved estate where he had selected a site for a new brick tomb to replace the original burial vault which was badly weathered and succumbing to the elements. However, the new tomb was not completed until more than thirty years later. It was in 1831, that the earthly remains of George Washington and his beloved consort Martha were removed there. Every day from April through October a wreath laying ceremony is performed by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, at 10 am and 2 pm, at the Tomb of Washington, in tribute to America’s greatest leader.

George Washington, America’s first and greatest president, is one of the four American presidents carved into the granite at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.

A grateful nation remembered its patriot warrior president, George Washington of Mount Vernon, Virginia, by erecting a great obelisk, the Washington Monument, to his memory in their nation’s capital. George Washington’s birthday once was celebrated in this land with great fanfare on February 22nd. Today George Washington’s birthday seems forgotten or remembered only as “Presidents’ Day,” whilst men of lesser importance to our nation’s birth and legacy are accorded a day unto themselves.

George Washington

A good moral character is the first essential in a man.” ~~George Washington

Today, 22 February 2010, few Americans appreciate the indispensable role played by George Washington in the formation of the United States of America. Without General George Washington, there probably would not be a United States of America today. George Washington was America’s First Great General. He was an indispensable leader of the American Revolution. Our forebears described him as First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.

However, not everyone has forgotten the greatness of the man. Today, at his old Virginia plantation home on the Potomac River, General George Washington will be receiving birthday greetings in person, as he did so graciously in olden times. MountVernon.org

The images of George Washington, are copyright by Edna Barney.

Colonel Edward Hand Reenactment

December 28, 2009

Citizens of Lawrence, exercise your historic rights! On Saturday, January 2, 2010 join the 48TH annual Colonel Hand Historic March. Help us reenact the day in January 1777, when right here in Lawrence (Maidenhead) Township Colonel Edward Hand and his Pennsylvania riflemen delayed over 6,000 British troops. This delay saved the day for General Washington and the entire Continental Army (the patriots). Arrive at the Lawrence Township Municipal Building (Maidenhead Court House) located at 2207 Lawrenceville Road (Route 206) at 10:00 am. Meet his excellency General George Washington, the marching Mayor, a Pennsylvania Rifleman and Colonel Edward Hand. Even if you are not quite ready to delay the British, come to the program from 10:00 am to 10:40 am. There will be a memorial tribute to march founder Bob Immordino including the canon firing by Coryell’s Militia. All marchers will enjoy cider, donuts, cookies and tricorner pastries at the end of the march. Return transportation will be provided. Learn more about the pivotal role played by Lawrence Township in molding our nation. What happened here 233 years ago changed the course American history.

The above press release is from: Township of Lawrence, Mercer County, New Jersey

American Patriot of Barboursville

October 14, 2009
Bill H.R. 1150

Bill H.R. 1150

Two years ago at “Blogsome Genealogy” I wrote the story of Private Henry PEYTON of Barboursville, Virginia who twice had his credit for Revolutionary War service voided. In the first case he fought for reinstatement until the U.S. Congress passed the bill pictured above. The second case was recently by the Daughters of the American Revolution and then it was member Cynthia Vance who came to the rescue of her ancestor by submitting papers to reopen his lineage. She did this by submitting the above U.S. Congress Bill HR 1150 from 1839, with her lineage papers. I received the following comments and press release from Keith Vance: “I have composed the following for press release and would appreciate your comments, changes or additions. Your book helped support the application tremendously.


In the beginnings of our great republic, the capitol building in Washington, DC, housing the congress, was called the “people’s house.” Citizens could bring grievances with their government, no matter their station in life, for a hearing.

Such was the case of Private Henry Peyton, born January 19, 1760 in Culpepper, Virginia. As did many adventuresome youth of his day, Henry joined forces with country cousins, brothers, uncles and fathers, rebels all, to attend the front line and watch the defeat of King George and his superior forces. After the war, Henry Peyton and his family were some of the first settlers of Cabell County, West Virginia, responsible for many local descendants.

In the 1830s provision was made to grant pensions to all that gave evidence of service in the “Great American Revolution.” Henry submitted his statement of service and was given recognition and pension, as a veteran of the war.

All appeared well, until claims of fraudulent petitions were filed with the government office and investigations took place. Henry seems to have been a colorful character at the local tavern in Barboursville and perhaps a bit boisterous concerning his war exploits. Loud talk of one’s heroism was considered the rudest of manners. Stiff necked neighbors gave a bad report to the investigator and Henry’s submission as a Revolutionary War patriot was stamped fraudulent.

Henry, understanding the rights for which he had fought and for which many had died, began petitioning recognition and justice from the government. With the help of an affidavit from magistrate W McComas and other good citizens’ recommendations, the government was finally convinced of the injustice toward Private Henry Peyton and on February 16, 1839 HR 1150 was passed by the House of Representatives. A history of Henry and his letters may be found in the “Lambert Collection” housed in the old library building on the campus of Marshall University.

More recently Edna Barney, a genealogist of the Peyton family, has published the following:

During his lifetime, Henry Peyton petitioned several times to restore his good name, and finally on 16 February 1839, an act of the U.S. Congress reinstated his pension and made it retroactive to 1831. To add further insult to the soldier’s memory, the death date of 1836, on his grave marker that was placed by a Revolutionary War lineage society, was wrong. Henry Peyton was alive in 1839 and still writing letters to Washington as late as 1842.

Henry‘s resting place is Henry Peyton Cemetery in Barboursville, West Virginia.

Edna Barney continues:

“As of today, even though a number of descendants of three different children of Henry Peyton had joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) under his Revolutionary War Service, his line has been closed, as the statement of fraud has been ‘rediscovered’ in his pension record. Once again as genealogists, we see how difficult it is to correct errors of many years ago that were put in ‘official’ writings.

“It will now be necessary for a descendant of patriot Henry Peyton to join the DAR under his lineage and include a copy of HR Bill 1150 as proof of his service..…hopefully, someone will be able to once again reinstate the good “Patriot” name of Henry Lindsey Peyton of Amherst and Cabell Counties, Virginia.”The family and descendants of Private Henry Peyton are very pleased to announce that on October 3, 2009 the DAR reopened Henry’s line through application by Cynthia Alexandra Vance and her presentation of HR Bill 1150. Cynthia is the sixth great granddaughter of Henry Peyton. Cynthia is a 19-year-old college student in San Diego, California and now the newest member of the Cahuilla Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, in Palm Springs, California. Cynthia’s grandmother Louella Vance, great aunt Rheabel Vance and cousin Aimee Vance Cartwright all reside in Barboursville. 

Cynthia’s first application to the DAR was by way of her fifth great grandfather Abner Vance. Unjustly hanged for murder in 1819, versions of Abner’s story may be found on the internet.

To become a member of the DAR, documentation of relationships has become critical. There are thousands of local and family histories which have been used for membership. These histories are no longer acceptable by the DAR without proper sources.

Cynthia Moody Parnell, accredited genealogist, and member of the Cahuilla Chapter of the DAR assisted Miss Vance in preparation of her application(s) and comments:

To become a DAR member, any woman age 18 years old or older must prove lineal descent, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, from a patriot of the American Revolution. The patriot might have been a soldier, sailor, or civil servant. The DAR was incorporated in 1890 as a service organization to promote patriotism, historic preservation, and education. More than 860,000 women have joined DAR since its inception. In the almost 120 years since it began, DAR has become tougher on its admission standards in terms of what makes up valid proof of lineage. There is so much misinformation swirling around on the internet, and in family histories in general, that DAR is currently not only in the process of proving new connections, but also in correcting misinformation.

Cynthia Vance’s lineage to her 6th great-grandfather, Henry Lindsey Peyton, was proven through a variety of source documents. Census records dating back to 1860 proved many parent-child relationships. Birth, marriage and death records provided dates and places of residence, as well as family connections. Records prior to 1850 were harder to come by, because census records pre-1850 only show heads-of –households, not the names of other family members. So, the use of West Virginia church and cemetery records helped to connect Peyton family members together.

Finally, if not already proven, DAR must have proof of a patriot’s service to the American cause. This can be found through the military records maintained by the National Archives. Pension and bounty records are also useful, as they often give the names of other family members, and show where patriots lived after the Revolutionary War. We used a Bill of Congress, written in 1839, that found Henry Peyton to still be alive, and deserving to receive a reinstated pension that same year.

Cynthia Vance, proud as ever of her American and West Virginian heritage wonders, “What did they do before the internet. I’ve learned so much about West Virginia and the fighting, wars, revolutions, feuds and massacres. It is a miracle that any of us are here today.”

**The lineage of Henry Lindsey PEYTON is included in my genealogy book, pages 140-142 of PEYTONs Along the Aquia, Second Edition.