Celebrities in this season’s latest installment of Who Do You Think You Are? aren’t the only ones getting genealogy gems. Thanks to the show’s sponsor, ancestry.com and my cousin Monique, who seems to find our far-flung relatives as easily as I breath, this week, I met, via email two new cousins from my Stuart line.
Not only did cousins Ginny and Anne come to our virtual family table with great information, like the fabulous but false family legend that our ancestor, Dr. Alexander Stuart was George Washington’s physician. They also connected me with a picture of that same ancestor. The sketch of ” Col Alexander. Stuart / of Washington’s Army” as once labeled on the painting is archived at the Baltimore Museum of Art and attributed to French portraitist, Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin (1770–1852) . Saint-Mémin fled France during the revolution, and worked as a portrait engraver in the United States creating portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson among other luminaries.
Dr. Alexander Stuart was my fourth great-grandfather and, according to his son’s obituary, he did fight in the Revolutionary War. He was in the Battle of Long Island, my new cousins say, and was taken prisoner by the British. As a member of the Delaware Continental line, Dr. Stuart would have been in Washington’s Army, but no evidence suggests that he was the “old general’s” doctor.
But then again, there was no evidence supporting my grandfather’s story that his grandparents were a slave and her master until I went looking for it and found it with the help of my distant cousin and a team of virtual friends. So, I guess I’ve got some new hunting to do.
I’ll be starting with the published Delaware State Archives’ volume on military matters which my new cousins say well document our ancestor’s Revolutionary War Service.