When working on my family tree, I came across Seth Washburn and his family. Seth was my 4th cousin 6x removed, a son of Joseph Washburn and Hannah Johnson. Seth Sr. and two of his sons Seth Jr. and Joseph all fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Seth Sr. was born on 19 May 1723, in Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts. He married twice, first to Mary Harwood on 12 Apr 1750, and they had ten children, and secondly to Sarah Sargent on 30 Apr 1788, with no children.
Children from Mary Harwood:
M a. Seth Washburn - born on 01 Feb 1751, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., was killed on 17 Aug 1776 on Governor's Island, New York in Col. James Convere's Regiment, married Susanna Rood on 02 Apr 1772, and had three children, Seth also marched to Cambridge during the alarm on 19 Apr 1775
F b. Unknown daughter - born on 30 Dec 1753, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died on 30 Dec 1753, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass.
M c. Joseph Washburn - born 18 May 1755, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died on 27 Mar 1807, in Worcester, Mass., married Ruth Davis on 06 May 1787, they had seven children, Joseph was a Lieutenant at the Battle of Saratoga, and later Deputy Sheriff of Worcester County, served in his father's Co. of Minutemen, served as a Sergeant in the 15th Mass. on 01 Jan 1777, was Ensign on 01 May 1777, 2nd Lieutenant on 02 Mar 1779, and resigned from the military on 11 Apr 1780
M d. Asa Washburn - born on 25 Jul 1757, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died on 06 Oct 1834, in Putney, Windham, Vermont, married twice, first to Sarah Upham on 16 Nov 1780, and they had ten children, he married secondly to Persis Boutell, and had one daughter, Asa served in the 6th Co. of Mass. during the Revolution from 06 Apr 1781 to 31 Dec 1782, later studied Law, and was a Judge of the County Court of Vermont
F e. Mary Washburn - born on 16 Jun 1759, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died on 03 May 1848, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., married Samuel Sargent on 11 Aug 1781, they had eleven children
F f. Hannah Washburn - born on 05 Jun 1762, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died in 1850
F g. Sarah Washburn - born on 22 Oct 1764, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died on 14 Dec 1850, married Davis Ellis on 08 Jul 1784, they had five children
F h. Amity Washburn - born on 17 Apr 1767, in Leicester, Worcester, Mass., died on 22 Jun 1794, married John Howard, children unknown
F i. Lucy Washburn - born on 11 Nov 1769, in Leicester, Mass., died on 26 Nov 1796, married Josiah Woodward on 25 Jun 1794, and had one daughter Amity Washburn
F j. Elizabeth Washburn - born on 12 Oct 1774, in Leicester, Mass., died on 30 Jun 1777
Seth Sr. was known as a forceful speaker and a successful debater. In 1749, he was a soldier in one expedition or campaign fighting against the Indians that was held in New Hampshire. He served in many different positions in the town and local Government, such as the Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts in 1779. He was first chosen as a Representative of Massachusetts in 1777, and then as Senator in 1776 to 1778.
The first of his military offices was in 1770 when he was chosen as Lieutenant of a Company of Volunteers, where William Henshaw was Captain of that Co. In Apr 1774, Seth was commissioned as Lieutenant of a Company in Leicester, where Samuel Denny was Captain. When the Leicester Company of Minutemen was formed by William Henshaw, William was an Adjutant General to Artemas Ward, where Artemas was second in command to General George Washington in the Continental Army, Seth was made as their Captain of the Leicester Co. of Minutemen.
The Leicester Co. of Minutemen marched to Cambridge on 19 Apr 1775, and were the first to fight during the conflict with British troops, what became known as the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Here are the list of men of the Leicester Co. of Minutemen:
Seth Washburn Sr. - Captain
Seth Washburn Jr.
William Watson - 1st Lieutenant
Nathan Harrod - 2nd Lieutenant
Samuel Watson - Sergeant
Ebenezer Kent - Corporal
Isaac LivermoreJonathan Sargent
On 24 Apr 1775, Captain Seth Washburn Sr. signed enlistment papers for raising a Leicester Co. which he was to command for an eight month service, and has 59 men with three officers. It was with this Company that he marched to Charleston Neck of Bunker Hill on 17 Jul 1775. The men were:
Seth Washburn - Captain
Joseph Livermore - 1st Lieutenant
Loring Lincoln - 2nd Lieutenant
Peleg Hersey - Sergeant
John Brown - Sergeant
Anthony Sprague - Sergeant
William Crossman - Sergeant
Hezekiah Saunderson - Corporal
Elijah Torrey - Fifer
Elijah ConverseElias Green
Isaac Livermore Jr.
Phineas Green Jr.
General Ward as Commander in Chief, was stationed at Cambridge, gave directions on what regiments should march to Charlestown on the occasion of occupying and maintaining Bunker Hill. When several companies including Washburn's Company were ordered to march for Charlestown Neck, in order to reach to the scene of the battle, they had already begun, a man on horseback ( was said to be of Dr. Church ), told Commander Major Barnes to halt, that no troops should go into the action. Where Captain Washburn steps out addressing his men in a loud voice, "Those are Tory orders: I shan't obey them. Who will follow me!?" Every man of his company marched towards Butler's / Dana Hill. General Wards' own regiment, under Lieutenant Col. Ward, was stationed at what was called Fort No. 2 ( Butler's Hill ), which is said to have been upon what is now known as Dana Hill. It was here at ( Butler's or Dana Hill ), where Seth Washburn's Company was stationed, though the British had also made it to the hill, where the battle started taking place. Col. Ward's regiment arrived in critical time of the battle, and with other companies arriving at the hill, tried maintaining the position. The battle lasted for about two hours, and the British took possession of Dana Hill.
Letter from Jonathan Ward to George Washington mentioning Seth Washburn's name:
10 Aug 1775
A Return of the Names of some of the Officers and Gentlemen in Genl. Ward's Regimt. who Distinguish'd themselves by Valour and Courage in the Days of Engagement: Capt. Seth Washburn, Capt. Samuel Wood, Lt. Loring Lincoln, and Lt. Joseph Livermore, all at Bunker Hill; Mr. Thomas Davidson a Volunteer in the Service, and Lieutenant in the Malitia, at Hog Island, Bunker Hill, and Light House Island. Ward requests that Davidson "may have one of the Small Arms with the Accountrements belonging to the same that was taken at the Light House Island."
My name is Ellen Rutila. Have been doing Ancestry research since 2009, and been doing it ever since. I'm also a violinist, jewelry maker and Graphic Designer.