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Jonathan Ingraham (1760-1847) and Mary/MOLLY Howard/HAWARD (c. 1770-BEF 1840)
The Future Soldier
Jonathan Ingraham was born 4 April 1760 in Berkely, Bristol County, Massachusetts. His presence in this world is well-documented, especially since he was a Revolutionary War soldier. He was the son of Timothy Ingraham and Abigail Eddy. Jonathan’s father died when he was only about eight years old.
Jonathan can be found in the Censuses for 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840. Names of the head of the household were the only names given, so his wife, Mary (or Molly) is never named, just identified as a female of a certain age. As a result, it is much harder to determine her presence. She appears to be in the 1800 and 1810 Censuses, but there is no female over the age of 45 in the 1820 Census. Then in 1830, a 60-70 year old female is present, which could be Mary if she was born in 1770. By 1840, Jonathan is living alone.
Fighting for a New Country
Jonathan joined the American Revolution when he was not more than 15 years old. In 1780, Jonathan enlisted for a 16-month period of service with the Continental Army. The war was a struggle by the thirteen British colonies on the North American continent to be free of Great Britain’s rule. Jonathan’s story is in the National Archives in his own words, as he told it when he was an old man applying for a military pension. He was involved in numerous campaigns, including:
- The Battle of Long Island (27 Aug 1776). This was the first major battle of the war, the largest of the entire conflict and the first battle for the United States army. During this battle, the British captured New York City and held it for the entire war; nearly a quarter of the city’s buildings were burned. This was a close call for the Americans, but General George Washington and his men escaped capture.
- The Battle of Harlem Heights (16 Sep 1776). Fought in the New York Campaign, the action of this battle took place in what is now the Morningside Heights and West Harlem neighborhoods of Manhatten in New York City. About 2000 Americans — under the command of Generals Washington, Nathanial Green, and Israel Putnam — held their ground in upper Manhattan for some time and then began an orderly retreat. The British division of around 5000 men — under the command of General Alexander Leslie — made a tactical error by sounding a fox hunt bugle call while following the Americans. It was meant to insult them, but it only infuriated them and they held their ground.
- The Battle of White Plains (28 Oct 1776). General William Howe was occupying New York while Washington had withdrawn to the village of White Plains. It is considered a British victory because, with the help of the Germans, the British outflanked the Americans. However, Howe might have been able to destroy Washington’s army but instead chose a lighter tactic. After taking the high ground, he paused to set up camp and artillery batteries and then waited for something to happen. The Americans, however, perhaps realizing they were outnumbered, slipped away in the night and headed north; they took their wounded and their supplies with them. Casualties were light on both sides, especially considering what the British Army might have done. The Continental Army lost 300 killed and wounded, while British losses came to about 313.
- The Battle of Hubbardton (7 July 1777). This battle was part of the Saratoga compaign under the command of Major General Arthur St. Clair. After evacuating Fort Ticonderoga, American forces retreated to the southeast. A small group of Green Mountain Boys, led by Colonel Seth Warner, 11th Massachusetts Regiment under Colonel Nathan Hale, remained behind as a rear guard. The British forces — under General Simon Fraser — caught up with the small group of Green Mountain Boys as they were withdrawing from the fort. It was the only battle fought on Vermont soil.
After Jonathan’s service, he moved to Pelham, Massachusetts and, in 1787, he signed a petition for the release of a prisoner at the time of the Shay’s Rebellion, which was an armed uprising, mostly by small farmers, in Western Massachusetts in 1786. The men were led by Daniel Shays and were angry at their excessive debts and high taxes and the fact that men were often imprisoned if they couldn’t pay. The rebellion began in 1786 but the Massachusetts militia defeated the rebels in February of 1787.
After war — Marriage and a Family
At the age of 28, after his service in the military, Jonathan married Mary Howard (or perhaps Molly Haward?) in Pelham, Hampshire County. It was 11 July 1788. He was 28 years old and an experienced soldier. As already mentioned, not a great deal is known about Jonathan’s wife; it is thought that she was born on 16 Nov 1760 in Mendon, Massachusetts. There are limited resources that identify Jonathan’s wife, but some say Mary Howard, others say Molly Haward. They did name a daughter Mary Howard, and a son named David Howard, so this would suggest that her name was more likely Mary Howard. It would seem after a lot of military and political activism, Jonathan settled down, farmed, and had a family.
Jonathan and Mary had at least eight children, all of them born in New Asford, Berkshire, Massachusetts:
- Sarah b. 9 Jun 1789
- John Eddy b. 22 Jul 1791 d. 6 June 1871
- Elihu b. 28 Feb 1792 d. 29 Jul 1867
- Mary Howard b. 27 Jul 1794 d. 23 May 1847
- Hepsibeth Hepsy b. 28 Jun 1796 d. 29 Aug 1857
- Abigail b, 2 July 1798 d. 12 Feb 1854
- Perly J. b. 11 Aug 1800 d. 20 Jun 1844
- David Howard b. 5 Jul 1803 d. after 1870 2
Settling Down in New Ashford
Jonathan and Mary moved to far northeast Massachusetts to a small town named New Ashford in the beautiful Berkshire Hills before 1800. Here, they raised their family and both died in the area. At least one son, David, is known to have remained in the area for his lifetime as well.
Berkshire County is located on the western edge of the state of Massachusetts. Its county seat is Pittsfield and the Berkshire hills are in the centre of the county. New Ashford is located in the northwestern region of the county, close to the border with New York. 3 It remains mostly rural today, so it was undoubtedly a rural area then. Today, however, it is considered part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. New Ashford was first settled in 1762 (just two years after Jonathan was born) and incorporated in 1835 (which was before Jonathan’s death).
Jonathan died of “internal cancer” on 26 April 1847 in New Ashford, Massachusetts. He was 87 years old. It is not known when Mary died, but there is some evidence to suggest that it was after 1847.
This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, wife of Robert Philip Ingraham, a descendant of Jonathan Ingraham and Mary Howard. This page last updated on April 20, 2019.