Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Samuel Greeley Supported Independence ~ 52 Ancestors #27

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Independence.

My 4th and 5th great grandfathers, both named Samuel Greeley, served in the Revolutionary War from Nottingham West (now Hudson), New Hampshire.

Samuel Greeley (1752-1798), who was "suddenly killed by the fall of a tree," was known as Samuel Greeley Jr to distinguish him from his father, Samuel Greeley Sr (1721-1802).

The History of Hudson, N.H. by Kimball Webster (Manchester, N.H.: Granite State Publishing Co., 1913) is a great resource for the history of this community and includes transcriptions of many old town records in addition to sketches for Samuel Greeley and other men of its early history. (A digitized copy of the book can be found at Google Books and at FamilySearch Books.) This book is considered a DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) source for the service of Samuel Greeley Sr, probably because it notes (on page 252) that the old military records of Nottingham West were lost or destroyed. Much of the following information is from this book, as well as from vital records sources in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Samuel Greeley Sr (DAR Patriot #A047894), responded to the Lexington Alarm on April 19, 1775, leading sixty-two men from Nottingham West, New Hampshire, to Lexington, Massachusetts. On their way, they were met by a courier who informed them that the British had retreated, so the men returned home. Many went on to fight in the Revolution, though not Samuel Greeley Sr, probably due to his age; he was in his 50s. It also appears that Samuel Greeley Jr didn't fight, but he did pledge his support for the Patriot cause. Both Samuel Greeleys are found to have signed the "Revolutionary War Association Test" which men were required to sign if they were supporting the Patriot cause:

WE, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American COLONIES.

Samuel Greeley Sr was born on 10 May 1721 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts, the oldest child of Samuel Greeley and Rachel Robenson. He moved, with his parents and younger siblings, from Haverhill to Nottingham West, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, in 1740.

Both Haverhill, Massachusetts, and present-day Hudson, New Hampshire, are on the Merrimack River, making the move easier than if it were over land. Nottingham West became known as Hudson in 1830 to avoid confusion with another New Hampshire town by the name of Nottingham. The history of the area is summarized at Wikipedia.

This Samuel Greeley married Abigail Blodgett (one of my longest-lived ancestors) on 27 May 1744 in Nottingham West, New Hampshire. Between 1744 and 1760, he fathered six children: Nathaniel, Hannah, Abigail, Samuel, Joseph, and Mary, all born in Nottingham West.

He served Nottingham West as Town Clerk in 1775, 1776, and 1778, as well as Selectman in 1779. At some point after the war, he moved west, to Wilton, where he died on 19 March 1802. He is buried near family in Vale End Cemetery. See his FindAGrave memorial here.

See Surname Saturday ~ Greeley of Massachusetts for my Greeley ancestry. A summary of my descent from this Patriot is:

Samuel Greeley (1721-1802)
Samuel Greeley (1752-1798)
Samuel Greeley (1783-1861)
Samuel Sewall Greeley (1824-1916)
Ethel May Greeley (1875-1931)
Lowell Townsend Copeland (1900-1974)
My mother

Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy shared this same information for Patriots Day 2016.


  1. Someday I'm going to concentrate and get my patriot ancestor added in DAR. What great detail you have about Samuel(s).

    1. Yes, there's quite a bit of information available about my Greeley ancestors.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.