Enjoying the Begats!

Jan 21, 2016 | 0 comments

The Tiadaggtin Elm (in 1939), site of the Fair Play Men's Declaration of Independence

The Tiadaggtin Elm (in 1939), site of the Fair Play Men’s Declaration of Independence

Alexander Hamilton, Indian killer, was my grandfather’s great-grandfather, or my father’s great-great-grandfather, or my own great-great-great-grandfather, depending on how you want to put it. His daughter Anna married Tom Espy, who… begat the first Robert Espy, who begat the second, who begat papa, who begat me.

So wrote Willard Espy in his book, Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village. If you know that my mother was Willard’s sister, it doesn’t take much to figure out where I hop into the picture in that long line of begats. Nor does it take much further reading to realize that this Alexander Hamilton isn’t the famous one. But, he had an interesting life all the same. Most importantly, he made his own contributions to the beginnings of our country as one of the signers of the Pine Tree Declaration of Independence, drawn up and dated (by extraordinary co-incidence) on July 4, 1776.

My Great Grandfather R.H. Espy (The H is for Hamilton)

My Great Grandfather R.H. Espy (The H is for Hamilton, of course!)

“Our” Alexander Hamilton and the other twenty-two signers of that remarkable document called themselves the “Fair Play Men” but have come down in history as a group of illegal settlers (squatters) who established their own system of self-rule from 1773 to 1785 in the West Branch Susquehanna River valley of Pennsylvania in what is now the United States. Or so claims the not-always-reliable Wikipedia Online Dictionary.

I’m not much of a genealogist, myself, but I sure am glad that Willard was. And I’m even gladder that he chose to write about our forebears in his marvelous book about Oysterville. I just love those begats – especially the way Willard told about them!


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