My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Was it a Revolutionary War Red Coat, or Made Before?



The Revolutionary War Red Coat Worn by my Ancestor Blog has received a large number of hits over the two years since I posted it. When I recently received my copy of a newsletter From Missisquoi Heritage News, the Missisquoi Historical Society, Fall 2011 issue, I immediately noticed an article about my ancestor's coat. (Missisquoi County is in Quebec, Canada, just over the Vermont border, the area is referred to as The Eastern Townships.)


"Restoration Granted
Earlier this year an application was sent to the Centre de conservation du Quebec (CCQ) requesting restoration for the red wool Ten Eyck coat housed in our museum. The coat was donated by the Ten Eyck family many years ago and dates from the pre-Revolutionary War period (circa 1760s) and was brought into Missisquoi County by United Empire Loyalists Andres Ten Eyck in the 1790s. The coat is one of the artefacts in our collection which serves to represent our museum on a national scale.


The application to the CCQ was successful and before the end of 2011 the coat will be leaving our museum and will travel to the CCQ in Quebec for the many months it will take to have the coat restored to an excellent condition."


I then wrote the curator at the Museum to ask a few questions. Heather Darch, wrote back with quite a bit of additional information. I include some of her information below:


"Thank you for your interest in the Ten Eyck Red Coat. It is a fascinating artefact and over the years since the museum obtained it from Mrs. Ellis, there has been a lot of study on it by myself and Revolutionary War experts. The cut of the coat is what makes it a particular mystery as it reflects an earlier time period than the late 1770s era. It is also free of any accessories such as cuffs and collars very typical of the Revolutionary War coats. A great deal of searching has been done on the first owner Andres Ten Eyck as well and his military records are a little unclear. So the provenance of the coat and its date of fabrication was widened to allow me and researchers other avenues of study and possibility. Andres Ten Eyck appears in earlier records than the Revolutionary War so there is a very strong possibility that the coat was made during the French-Indian Wars of the late 1750s -1760s a decade earlier. The style of the coat suggests this is a possibility. I have dismissed the oral legend that was attached to the coat for many years that Andres Ten Eyck wore the coat to avoid being pressed into military service by the British Navy. The military records that have been uncovered reveal that he was very much in favour of the King's army and served in good faith in the King's service and did not avoid active service. His true story is much more fascinating than the "press-gang" story."  She wrote more, which I will share in another blog.


The above two articles were written by Heather Darch, Curator of the Missisquoi Historical Society/Missisquoi Museum, and were used with permission. The photo is from the Society / Museum and permission was granted two years ago.

13 comments:

Carol said...

Red coat envy! I do not remember the first article. That said, what a great bit of family lore and history! WOW. Envy! LOL

Heather Rojo said...

I remember your first post, and it is fun to hear more about it. This additional information is extremely interesting, since it seems to deepen the mystery instead of answering the question! How exciting!

Barbara Poole said...

My first post had two photos and a few lines, I doubt many would remember. Thanks Carol and Heather, I'm glad you both read it. I'm very excited about this, and saw the original coat in 2000. I'll be doing a follow-up, once the coat is returned.

Apple said...

From the photo it appears to be in amazingly good condition now! It will be interesting to see what they determine about its age.

Nancy said...

How beautiful! I am impressed that the coat is in such good condition after more than 200 years. How did they keep the moths away and did your ancestor rarely wear it?!!! It seems that you're not the only one searching the history of your ancestor. How fun to have help!

Barbara Poole said...

Apple and Nancy, thank you for your comments. The coat was under the care of my first cousin, once removed, also the archivist at that museum, so she understood about caring for it.

I don't know abt. the moths, but this was up in Canada, a much colder climate. And, I can't wait for the results...you'll find out as soon as I do!

BDM said...

How interesting! A real museum piece!
- Brenda

Susan Clark said...

What a thrill, Barb! And how wonderful that it is in the hands of expert preservationists. Thanks for sharing this.

Barbara Poole said...

Brenda and Susan, I'm glad you also appreciate the history and story of the coat. Thanks for commenting.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I missed the original post as I wasn't into blogging quite yet but you have a fascinating story here. I am amazed at the condition!

Looking forward to an update down the road!

Barbara Poole said...

Michelle, I appreciate your comment. I think we are all amazed at the condition of the coat; whether it was made in 1760 or shortly thereafter. Can't wait to read the expert's report!

Cheri Hopkins aka You Go Genealogy Girl #2 said...

Very interesting, the genealogical aspect as well as the historical significance of the coat is unique. Looking forward to more reports!

Barbara Poole said...

Cheri, Your comment reminds me that I should contact the curator to see if they've received a report on the coat. It's been about a year. Thanks for writing.