John Fowler: Connecting to His Revolutionary War Service at the Library

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is AT THE LIBRARY.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index. 

As both a genealogist and mom of two young boys, I’m always looking for ways to integrate genealogy into our everyday lives. I want my children to have personal connections to history and identify with our ancestors in concrete ways. Clayton Library, my local genealogy center here in Houston, provided an excellent opportunity this past Saturday with DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Day. Representatives from Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) also attended and wore replica soldiers’ uniforms — a great photo op for the kids!

SAR members shared how their ancestors’ Revolutionary War service inspire the types of uniforms they wear. One member even told my four year old the story of Paul Revere’s dog retrieving his forgotten spurs before his famous midnight ride. I wish my boys would have listened more intently, but — well, they’re young boys. We’re working on it.

Seeing the uniforms led to a lunchtime discussion about the eight Patriots we have on my side of the family — four who served as soldiers and four who are recognized for civil and patriotic service. John Fowler, my 5x-great-grandfather, is one of these ancestors. Vital records are lacking for this time period, but his detailed pension records tell much about his life.

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