Tuesday, February 15, 2011

George Washington, Tim McGraw, and Historical Connections

I watched the TV show Who Do You Think You are? with interest because I was curious how Tim McGraw was connected to George Washington.  I knew our first president had no children of his own, so just how was Tim McGraw connected?

Turns out that when George Washington was 16, he surveyed Tim McGraw’s ancestor,Jost Hite’s land in the Shanadoah Valley and wrote about this in his journal. 

It reminded me that I also had connection to George Washington where a member of my family crossed paths with him, and I wondered how many can find this type of connection to him.  If you can trace your ancestors back to pre-Revolution history, then I'm thinking there is probably a fair chance that George might have crossed paths with a member of your family. After all, George Washington was a surveyor of frontier land, was a Colonel of the Virginia regiment in the French and Indian War, then was the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

My own family’s connection to George Washington was that my 5th great-uncle, Harmon Aughe of Chester county, Pennsylvania, was an Revolutionary War soldier who wintered in Valley Forge with General George Washington.  In Harmon’s Revolutionary War pension application, he stated that he personally knew General Washington, as well as General Anthony Wayne, because he drove a wagon that brought supplies to the Valley Forge encampment.

I know George Washington was proud of the courage of his soldiers that wintered in the terrible conditions at Valley Forge.

I found Harmon Aughe’s 35 handwritten page Revolutionary War pension application on Footnote.com.  If you want to browse the pension files at Footnote, you can get a 7 day Free Trial

More About Harmon Aughe's Revolutionary War pension application

Did your family have a connection with George Washington?  Is a family member crossing paths with George Washington as “shocking” as the TV show WDYTYA? made it sound, or are there many of us in the U.S. that have an ancestor with some type of connection to George Washington?  Let me know in the comments.

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1 comment:

Deborah Hite Clark said...

I also watched the episode and found it shocking...but mainly because my ancestor IS Jost Hite so not only was the mention a surprise but the connection to George Washington as well. I do know from my own ancestry research that there are many families that link to Jost Hite....so I'd expect you'll receive more posts.