July 4, 2011

Revolutionary War and Colonel Robert Johnston

Dear Family,
Happy Independence Day!  We spent a part of this morning looking up ancestors to see if we had a connection with the Revolutionary War.  I wanted to forward to you the excerpt below from Ancestry.com about Colonel Robert Johnston of Newbury, Vermont.  Colonel Johnston was my multiple great grandfather.  I thought this was pretty cool and wanted you all to have a chance to read this!
Have a great holiday!

History of Newbury, Vermont

Colonel Robert Johnston "built the first two story house in town in which he kept tavern. This building, which is now a barn at the south end of Newbury village, stood a little above Mr. Laing's house, and was surrounded by a stockade during the Revolutionary War. He is mentioned as keeping tavern in 1769. Later, (a family tradition says in 1775), he built the house, now very much altered, where Robert J. Hibbard now lives. The first spirits sold at his bar were brought up from Concord in square kegs on horseback, says Rev. Clark Perry. Besides his service with his brother (Colonel Charles Johnston) in the Old French war, he served twenty days in Capt. Thomas Johnson's Co. of minute men in 1775. He also served as minute man in Peter Olcot's Regiment in 1776; Capt. Thomas Johnson's Co., guarding and scouting, 57 days. In Oct. 1778, he was commissioned Lieut.-Col. of the 4th Regiment, and is later spoken of as Colonel. He was also recruiting officer, and his house was the rendezvous several times for troops. Col. Frye Bayley's diary for 1776 states that the training field was behind Col. Johnston's house and from that place the company under Col. Bayley started for Saratoga. He was chosen constable in 1769, and was one of the representatives from Newbury to the Constitutional Convention at Windsor, June 4, 1777. He seems to have declined to serve as Assistant Judge for Orange County in 1781, being elected Sheriff of the County. In 1787, he was chosen one of a committee of five to build the meeting house. In 1788, he was one of a committee to build a parsonage. Some years before his death he relinquished his fine farm to his sons, Charles and Robert, and removed to the farm long owned by the late John E. Chamberlain. Col. Robert Johnston was one of those who opposed the course taken by Rev. Peter Powers in the last year of his ministry, and when the Rev. Grant Powers prepared his historical sketches he avenged his uncle by entirely neglecting him, with others. Col. Robert Johnston was four times married; 1st to Abigail Hadlock (Hadley), who died May 25, 1771; 2d, Abigail Way, who died July 25, 1772; 3d, Jane (Jean) Bell, died in 1780; 4th, Hepzibah (Tyler), widow of James Bell; born Dec. 5, 1754 at Pembroke, N.H.; died July 8, 1846. He had sixteen children, six by the first, one by the second, two by the thrid, and seven by the fourth."

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