Monday, April 7, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 Rosanna Austin (1737-?)

Rosanna Austin, my sixth great grand aunt, was born on this date in 1737 in Brunswick, Maine, the third of five children born to Benoni Austin and Mercy/Marcy Thompson, and their second daughter.

Her older brother John, my sixth great grandfather, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was honored in 2013 with a marker in the Austin Old Burial Ground Cemetery in West Farmington, placed there by the Colonial Daughters Chapter of the DAR.

Re-dedication of John Austin's Grave Site

Her younger brother Benoni took part in 1775's Thompson's War, a skirmish between a Patriot militia from Brunswick and the Loyalists aboard the HMS Canceaux anchored off Falmouth, now Portland. The episode ultimately provoked the retaliatory "Burning of Falmouth" five months later.

Spruce sprigs were worn in the caps of the
 men who were part of Samuel Thompson's militia

By contrast, there is very little known about Rosanna. At eighteen years old, she supposedly married Samuel Allen of nearby Topsham. There was a Samuel Allen from Topsham who fought in the Revolution, so perhaps this was Rosanna's husband. It is unknown whether she had any children, or when she died, although she probably lived most of her life and died in Topsham.

Sources: Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War (Images Online)[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

“Colonial Daughters rededicate ancient cemetery, Revolutionary War veteran’s grave,” Daily Bulldog, August 31, 2013 (

Wheeler, George Augustus, M.D., and Henry Warren Wheeler.  History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, including the ancient territory known as Pejepscot (Boston: Alfred Mudge and Son, 1878), pp.681-683, 811-816, 857, 880.

Woodard, Colin. The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier (Penguin Books, 2004), pp.136-137.


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