52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Handed Down

Well, it was certainly no surprise…no surprise at all. Professional genealogists had warned that this could happen with handing down family stories. In fact, one professional listed types of stories that are often just that…stories. Well, my Boultinghouse family has one of those handed down myths. Time to lay this story to rest. So here it is…

One story that genealogists warn about is the story that three brothers came from Europe. One went north, one went south, one went west. The handed down story relates that the three Boultinghouse brothers, George, Joseph, and Bedford, came to America through the port of Boston on 16 December 1773. That is the date of the Boston Tea Party. In the story, the brothers witness the protest and jump off the ship to help the Colonists throw the tea in the harbor. Hold your pen…this is historical fiction. The brothers were born in the Colony of New Jersey in the 1740s to their parents John Boltenhous and Mary Elizabeth Bedford.

Brothers Boultinghouse: Not Present At Boston Tea Party

During the American Revolution, brother Joseph did join the 3rd Regiment of the New Jersey Militia. He would show his allegiance to the Patriot cause in that way. Alas, he deserted for unknown reasons. Was it the lack of pay, supplies, and clothing? Was it the harsh winter spent with Washington? Was it an emergency at home? That part of his history is not known.

Boultinghouse Brother: 3rd New Jersey Regiment

I feel compelled to amend the handed down story of the Boultinghouse brothers. I have seen that story repeated in several Boultinghouse genealogy books. I found a copy of it among my mother’s family history papers. I have seen it surface on a Boultinghouse family group page. When possible, I have refuted the handed down story so cousins may know the real story to hand down. My main message is simple: research documents for answers rather than repeat stories.

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