In Remembrance of Hardy Dean, Patriot

No, he is not famous. He’s not in history books, and I had to follow a trail of breadcrumbs along my family line to learn of him–thanks to Family Search, which now has some Revolutionary War records online, and to the countless individuals recording genealogy.

Here is one of the military pay vouchers for Hardy Dean. The voucher is not for being a soldier, as I had expected. I was looking for a hero of the Revolutionary War in my family line.

I got a farmer. The voucher is for selling the State of North Carolina twenty-seven pounds of bacon. I’m guessing for the army, as this is listed as a military voucher.

I’m quite certain Mr. Hardy Dean never imagined his sale of bacon 240 years ago would be saved and made available for his 5th great-granddaughter to view and pour over and imagine all about his life.

Papa Hardy was a farmer in Wake County. He was a first-generation born in this country. His father was born in Scotland and his grandfather was born and died in Scotland, and left a will mentioning him. Was his loyalty for the colonies or the Crown? I’m betting on the colonies, since his father left Britain and came to the new country, and Papa Hardy had enough invested in his farm to sell 28 pounds of bacon.

It is said an army lives or dies on it’s stomach, so Papa Hardy was a hero to the hungry soldiers and doing his part for the defense of the Declaration of Independence. Freedom for anyone to advance and be happy and prosper was the point of the revolt. And he was being enterprising to support his growing family, which would end up being a wife and nine children. He had four children at the start of the war, four more were born during the war years (Did any troops come near his house and cause his wife worry?) A last child was born after the war. Hardy was an active man.

I struggle to read the account of the sale of his estate at his death–papers that are nearly 200 years old, kept safe and able to be read today! The fancy script handwriting often requires deciphering. There is both a meticulous listing of the property sold and a last will and testament. Reading will take time, but certainly the 35 pages give evidence of prosperity. There was a bay horse ($57), a sorrel horse ($64) and a roan filly ($40); And a ‘pied’ cow. I looked that up and it means a cow with spots or blotches, as opposed to a black cow and a bell cow. Two bee hives!

I thought I would stop and not bother to read the will. But I have now discovered that his eldest son went down to Georgia (hope he wasn’t a devil) and I can see his grave on Findagrave. The writer curiosity wins out.

These are my people, as my mother would say.

2 thoughts on “In Remembrance of Hardy Dean, Patriot

  1. I so enjoy this posting as you detailed your research on your Papa Hardy. You brought him to life in the story of his bacon and the dealings with the army during the Revolutionary War. It’s stories like this that gives us insight into not only our own families, but into ourselves.
    I recently submitted two family histories for “Bicentennial Edition: History & Families in Scott County, Missouri Established 1821. My original goal was to write about the Yandell family which was my Mother’s family. As I did my research I was drawn to the story of my grandmother, Virginia Mae Walker Yandell. Her own mother died young leaving three children, two sons and one daughter, my grandmother who was 10 years old at the time. Her father kept his two sons with him in Scott County but sent his daughter (my grandmother) back to Crittenden County, Kentucky to be reared by family members. Through the years, I never understood why he didn’t keep his daughter with him and her brothers. My grandmother never really explained the actions of her father but I saw her fierce devotion to her own husband and children.
    When I did some digging, I discovered that in 1918 Scott County was a rough area where workers were busy draining the swamps that dominated the county. There were families but also many hard and rough men in the area. I understood then that her father wasn’t abandoning his daughter while keeping his two sons with him. He was protecting his 10 year daughter from such a dangerous environment.
    My research enlightened me and allowed me to understand some of the dynamics or my family. This is very important to me and actually I view the results as a gift. Again, thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How fascinating, Jenny! Thank you for sharing. I agree–I find insights into myself and others by looking at the stories of my family. I had no idea of finding letters and legal documents saved. It is great fun to share the love of research with you and others. ~CurtissAnn

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