Tag Archives: American Revolution


It has been a long time since I have pulled out the records to review. An unexpected meeting of two ladies at McDonald’s who needed a calendar, got me rejuvenated about my Patriot Ancestor.

I have been invited to a meeting on October 3rd, I am very excited,. The President of the Stephen’s Chapter will review my documents for authenticity and approval.  I had been given paperwork in 1996 from my grandmother’s cousin, Dorothy Parry, who had done most of the research! Wish me luck!


He Fought For Independence



My fourth Great-Grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. I found his headstone while wandering through southwest Pennsylvania with my mom on a genealogy quest. It was a successful hunt!




Whenever I visit a cemetery, I look for those of veterans. Whether it be the American Revolution or a more recent engagement, those who served our country, deserve our gratitude. Here are some headstones of those who served from local cemeteries. Remember them today, especially on Memorial Day and every day.

Military Monday…..our family heroes

I don’t come from what you would call a ” military family “

but, we have lots of family members who have served their country.

Hershel Pickens Enlistment

In doing my family research, I was most fascinated to learn of ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. Alexander Ewing for instance, on my mothers side.He was in Pennsylvania during the Revolution. I have since found other ancestors on each side that helped establish our country. I am quite proud of that fact.

In the civil war, my third great-grandfather, Joseph McCall was an Irish Immigrant. He came to America somewhere between 1829-1849. He married in Georgia, and fought in the 46th Georgia Regiment.

My father was enlisted in the Air Force. He was a photographer while enlisted, and took photos of plane events, such as recording plane crashes. He also played on the basketball team.

My mom’s brother, Albert Dean was in the US Marines. His son,  Bill Dean, was in the US Navy.

My grandmother’s brother, Thomas E. Ewing was in the US Army, during WW II. He enlisted June 9, 1942.

Aircraft photo by Hershel Pickens

Thomas Ewing, United States Army

Hershel Pickens Air Force Collage

Albert Dean USMC


I have a new name I am researching, and yet, another Patriot. Aaron Boylan was born May 17,1749 in Bernardsville, Somerset county New Jersey and died September 20, 1824 in Sandy Creek township, Mercer county Pennsylvania. Now, I have been in Mercer county many, many times when I lived there. At that time, I was not familiar with the name Boylan, only the Ewing surname. He was the son of Aaron and Catherine Parkinson Shilton Boylan of Somerset County, New Jersey. He married Sarah McDade 06 Oct 1772 in Basking Ridge, Somerset County, New Jersey. Sarah was born 06 Dec 1755 in Somerset County, New Jersey; died in 1861 in Sandy Lake, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Patrick McDade of Bernards, Somerset County, New Jersey. He was known as a master weaver. He moved to Fayette County, PA during the early part of the Revolutionary War where he left his family while he served his country. He served under Captain Carters Company 1st Battalion, Somerset and also in the Continental Army. He also served under Captain Daniel Piatt, New Jersey. He was in the battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777. Their family home was burned by the British Army when Elizabethtown was captured and burned. His length of service was nine months as shown in the records of officers and men of NJ in the Revolutionary War. Following the war, he moved to Mercer County, PA in 1800. He came with his family to a place called Sandy Creek Township, near Deer Creek, in the year 1800. In that wilderness country, he planted some fruit trees and carried on his trade as a weaver. Was elected or appointed sheriff but it was never a source of profit for him; the pay was poor and took him away from the farm. Described as a very handsome man, tall and straight, had very curly black hair and an athlete and did not know what fear meant, was of a social kindly disposition, always had a lot of friends where ever he lived, always drank as most people did in those days, but was never intoxicated. He had such a saintly disposition that he won friends without an effort and his worst fault was his over friendliness for women. Aaron and Sarah had eleven children. Upon his death, the family farm was divided between two sons. Andrew got the improved part with 100 acres (Sarah and Betsy lived with Andrew for some years); Aaron got 200 acres of wild land worth from three to five dollars per acre; 100 acres lapsed back to the U.S. Aaron and Sarah were buried in Fairfield Cemetery, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Sources: 1. Boylan, B. L., and James D. Boylan (Co-Historians). The Boylan Family: The Descendants of Aaron Boylan and Catherine Parkinson Shilton. Ann Arbor, MI: Unpublished, 1942. 2. Boylan, John A. (Project Director). History of the Boylan Family 1710-1976. Cambridge Springs, PA: Caldwell Printing, 1976. 3. Boylan, William T. “Extracts From Pioneer Days In Deer Creek, Pennsylvania.” Published in Cochranton Times, 181. 4. Genealogical and memorial history of the state of New Jersey : a book of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1910, p. 1462. 5. Stryker, Will S., Ed. Official Register of Officers and Men of NJ in the Revolutionary War. Trenton, NJ. 1872.  . 20120505-142729.jpg

I Need and Antidote but Will Take an Anecdote

I am about to embark on an adventure. Once you get this bug, there is no cure. My addiction began about 15 years ago . This is really only my third trip to do any real research.

My first trip was with my mother in 2000. We had gone to visit her mom, Blanche Dean ( Blanche Eleanor Ewing ) and also to visit the grave of our ancestor Alexander Ewing. He is buried in Plaingrove Cemetery, Mercer county Pennsylvania. He served in the American Revolution. Most of the family remained in the western Pennsylvania region, Allegheny , Venango , Lawrence and Mercer counties. I was able to locate most of them in census records. And a distant cousin had given my grandmother paperwork validating Alexander’s service in the Revolutionary War. Also, some lineage notes and copy of his will were included. Alexander Ewing was friends with Jonathan Harlan, for whom the township of Harlansburg was named. Alexander was the son of William and Jane Ewing. He came from Cumberland County with his family in the 1780’s. They were among the first settlers of Mercer County, along with his friend Jonathan Harlan. Alexander served in the Revolutionary War. He received a pension for his services.
A revolutionary war marker was installed at the cemetery, he and Mary his wife have a double heart headstone. It was a real joy to see this headstone.

Alexander Ewing

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