Heart of a Southern Woman

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Present at the Birth of the Our Country, William Langhorne, 1721-1797, –52 Ancestors in 52 weeks, #25

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St. Johns Church, Richmond, Virginia

St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia

Newspaper archives make genealogy come alive! They make history come alive! That’s one reason I love my subscription to genealogybank.com. The articles I have found there have made my ancestors real for me! Normally searching the archives for specific relatives, the other day, on a whim, I opened genealogybank .com and entered the family name I was currently researching, Langhorne, then entered “oldest” to search for the oldest articles they had on the family. Bingo! Several small things from 1771–came up, but then I found this– the first real newspaper article. It came from the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg Virginia, Issue 1234, pages 2 and 3, Saturday, April 1, 1775.  It is an article about the gathering  of the Delegates of the counties in the Colony of Virginia at a Convention held at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia,from March 20, 1775-March 27, 1775. During this meeting the Delegates chose their representatives to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More about the Second Continental Congress itself in a minute, but let’s look at this local, Virginia meeting first.

Second Continental Congress

A depiction of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775 from Wikimedia commons.

Look who was present just among the  Virginians — George Washington (my fourth cousin), Thomas Jefferson, Peyton Randolph, John Tabb, Robert Lawson, John Nicholas, Bartholomew Dandridge, Thomas Walker, Richard Bland, James Mercer, Carters, John Harvie, Thomas Mann Randolph, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Henry Taylor, Archibald Cary (my first cousin), James Scott, Henry Lee, Richard Lee, Thomas Nelson, Patrick Henry, and many more.  Most important to me in this moment, is that my  fifth  great-grandfather, William Langhorne was present at this immensely important meeting with all these august leaders of our colony of Virginia, where they charted a course for our future! He had actually been present at all of the Conventions in Virginia so far.  This one however, is when Patrick Henry gave his famous speech saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The delegates  not only elected Virginia’s representatives to the Second Continental Congress at this meeting, but they laid out a plan for Virginia to fight the Revolutionary War, how it would raise the armies, organize them, arm them, and how the citizens would help with everything from ammunition, to conserving wool to make clothes for the soldiers! The detailed plans they made are clearly laid out in the newspaper article below. Chosen to represent the Colony of Virginia at the Second Continental Congress were the Hon. Peyton Randolph, Esq. George Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Edmund Pendleton, Benjamin Harrison, and Richard Bland, Esquires. (this can be seen in the write-up from Saturday, March 25, 1775)

 

Screenshot 2014-06-23 13.23.32 Screenshot 2014-06-23 13.24.18  Screenshot 2014-06-23 13.25.00

 

This explanation from Wikipedia about the Second continental congress explains it much better than my paraphrasing could do:  The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the summer of 1775, in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met between September 5, 1774 and October 25, 1774, also in Philadelphia. The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. By raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties, the Congress acted as the de facto national government of what became the United States.

When the Second Continental Congress came together on May 10, 1775 it was, in effect, a reconvening of the First Continental Congress. Many of the same 56 delegates who attended the first meeting were in attendance at the second, and the delegates appointed the same president (Peyton Randolph) and secretary (Charles Thomson).[2]Notable new arrivals included Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and John Hancock of Massachusetts. Within two weeks, Randolph was summoned back to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses; he was replaced in the Virginia delegation by Thomas Jefferson, who arrived several weeks later. Henry Middleton was elected as president to replace Randolph, but he declined. Hancock was elected president on May 24″

 This is not a story about the Revolutionary War, but about getting ready for war, getting ready for independence and the amazing feeling we can get when we realize this was not just statesmen and their rhetoric, but our grandfathers, our cousins. You might want to read a former post Genealogical Find of the Day where I wrote about this same William Langhorne and his service as the Aide-De- Camp to Marquis De Lafayette. He was a busy man in those years, yet he married Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook and had  nine children to carry on his legacy, a legacy of service and leadership. I may never experience a July 4th celebration again without thinking of our grandfather William Langhorne, and all the men who were brave enough to declare our independence, craft our Constitution, and fight for our independence! Thanks to all of them! 

 

Maj. William Langhorne

Birth 1721 in Gambell, Warwick, Virginia, United States
Death Sep 1797 in Gambell, Warwick, Virginia, United States

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William Langhorne,1721-1797, Aide de Camp to Marquis de Lafayette, 52 ancestors in 52 weeks #19

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Marquis de Lafayette

This is a story about our fifth great-grandfather William Langhorne that I actually found on ancestry.com, unfortunately without an author identified! I have blogged about him before, but not for this challenge. I personally think having a grandfather who served with Lafayette, is simply amazing!

“The younger son of Capt. John Langhorne, Maj. William Langhorne (1721-1797) held possession of the Warwick County, Virginia, estates and became the most prominent of the sons. He married Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook, a cousin of George Washington and Thomas Nelson, and daughter of the wealthy Yorktown merchant Col. Henry Scarsbrook and his wife Martha Cary (of the illustrious Cary family, for which the town of Cary, North Carolina is named). Henry Scarsbrook was the great-grandson of Capt. Nicholas Martiau, the man whose plantation was later turned into Yorktown.

Like his father, William Langhorne served as a Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, and as a Burgess. He was also a magistrate for forty years. During the Revolutionary War, William Langhorne served as aide-de-camp to Marquis de Lafayette, was a member of the Committee of Safety, and was the only representative of Warwick County for the first four out of five Revolutionary Conventions. His service has been commemorated on a memorial in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Just what is an “aide-de-camp”? According to this article in Wikipedia, “An aide-de-camp (French for field assistant) is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state. The first aide-de-camp is typically the foremost personal aide.

In some countries, the aide-de-camp is considered to be a title of honor (which confers the post-nominal letters ADC or A de C), and participates at ceremonial functions.The badge of office for an aide-de-camp is usually the aiguillette, a braided cord in gold or other colors, worn on the shoulder of a uniform. Whether it is worn on the left or the right shoulder is dictated by protocol.”

Of William Langhorne’s nine children, two sons were the most prominent. Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne (1760-1797) married Elizabeth Langhorne, daughter of his Uncle Maj. Maurice Langhorne of Cumberland, thus uniting two lines of family inheritance. Marrying of cousins, a common practice among the wealthy families of Virginia and other colonies likewise, helped to keep money in the family. John Scarsbrook Langhorne’s younger brother, another Maurice Langhorne (1769-1818) married Martha Holladay of “Indian Fields”, and their grandson Maurice Finney Langhorne married Lillian Isabelle Blair Polk, a close relative of President James K. Polk, a native of North Carolina..” (source unknown)

My husband and daughter Annie are native North Carolinians, my older daughter Ali has three children born in North Carolina. and although Virginia will always be home to me, I have now lived in North Carolina longer than I lived in Virginia and am proud of my family’s North Carolina heritage. Having these connections certainly makes history come alive. Below i show my descendancy chart from William Langhorne. It’s just astounding to me what you find when you start digging around in your family tree!

Maj. William Langhorne (1721 – 1797)
is your 5th great grandfather
son of Maj. William Langhorne
son of Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne
son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne
daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

 

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Genealogical Find of the Day–William Langhorne and Marquis de Lafayette


~~~Family Connection to Marquis de Lafayette ~~~










“On this day in 1825 French military leader Marquis de Lafayette is honored in Murfreesboro, NC for helping the Patriot cause in the American Revolution.”  Bill Leslie from WRAL TV News in Raleigh, North Carolina posted this on his facebook page today, February, 26, 2013. It made me think of another very interesting bit of information I learned while researching for our family tree. I remembered a story I had discovered about our fifth great grandfather, William Langhorne, who served as the aide-de-camp for Lafayette! I found this story that I had posted to our family tree a couple years ago:  


                                                 
“Major William Langhorne-
  • –         The younger son of Capt. John Langhorne, Maj. William Langhorne (1721-1797) held possession of the Warwick County, Virginia, estates and became the most prominent of the sons. He married Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook, a cousin of George Washington and Thomas Nelson, and daughter of the wealthy Yorktown merchant Col. Henry Scarsbrook and his wife Martha Cary (of the illustrious Cary family, for which the town of Cary, North Carolina is named). Henry Scarsbrook was the great-grandson of Capt. Nicholas Martiau, the man whose plantation was later turned into Yorktown.

           Like his father, William Langhorne served as a Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, and as a Burgess. He was also a magistrate for forty years. During the Revolutionary War, William Langhorne served as aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, was a member of the Committee of Safety, and was the only representative of Warwick County for the first four out of five Revolutionary Conventions. His service has been commemorated on a memorial in Williamsburg, Virginia.
         Of his nine children, two sons were the most prominent. Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne (1760-1797) married the daughter of his Uncle Maj. Maurice Langhorne of Cumberland, thus uniting two lines of family inheritance. Marrying of cousins, a common practice among the wealthy families of Virginia and other colonies likewise, helped to keep money in the family. John Scarsbrook Langhorne’s younger brother, another Maurice Langhorne (1769-1818) married Martha Holladay of “Indian Fields”, and their grandson Maurice Finney Langhorne married Lillian Isabelle Blair Polk, a close relative of President James K. Polk.” (source unknown)


        Just what is an “aide-de-camp”? According to  wikipedia, “An aide-de-camp (French for field assistant) is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state. The first aide-de-camp is typically the foremost personal aide.
    In some countries, the aide-de-camp is considered to be a title of honor (which confers the post-nominal letters ADC or A de C), and participates at ceremonial functions.
    The badge of office for an aide-de-camp is usually the aiguillette, a braided cord in gold or other colors, worn on the shoulder of a uniform. Whether it is worn on the left or the right shoulder is dictated by protocol.”

       I wanted to include the Cary’s in this blog post,because the town of Cary is very close to where we live in North Carolina, and I used to work there. President Polk is a native North Carolinian also. My husband and second child are native North Carolinians, and although Virginia will always be home to me, I have now lived in North Carolina longer than I lived in Virginia! 

          This is pretty cool, I think. It certainly makes history come alive!  It’s just amazing to me what you find when you start digging in your family tree! 

        By the way, if you are unable to leave a comment on this blog, would you please let me know at helenholshouser@gmail.com. 

         Until we meet again, have a wonderful day!         Helen