52 Ancestors 2015 #8: Henry Trefethen – Warrior

Week 8 (Feb 19-25) – Good Deeds. Does this mean a generous ancestor or one you found through land records? You decide 🙂

The ancestor I had a breakthrough with using land records was David Reynolds – using his Revolutionary war land grant information – but I’ve already written about him.  Henry Trefethen did the ultimate ‘good deed’ by giving his life in war.

Henry Trefethen was born in 1695 in New Castle, New Hampshire – the first born child to Foster and Martha (Paine) Trefethen.

He was my 7th great grandfather. He married Mary Robinson in 1721 and they had their first son, Robinson Trefethen, in April of that year. They had Abraham in 1725, my 6th great grandmother, Sarah in 1728, Elizabeth and John in 1730 and Henry in 1734.

Both Abraham and Henry earned the rank of Captain in the Revolutionary War…following in their father’s footsteps.

Henry died in June 1745 in Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Canada, during the Siege of Louisbourg.

The Siege of Louisbourg took place in 1745 when a British force captured Louisbourg on the island of Île-Royale (now called Cape Breton Island) from its French defenders during the War of the Austrian Succession. Military operations in North America between French and British forces were referred to as King George’s War.

While the Fortress of Louisbourg’s construction and layout was acknowledged as having superior seaward defences, its landward defences were vulnerable to siege batteries as they were overlooked by a series of low rises. In the years before the siege the seaport had thrived. As a major shipping area, it was a key target of the British once war with France broke out.

The mutual declarations of war between France and Britain in 1744 were seen as an opportunity by British colonists in New England who were increasingly wary of the threat Louisbourg posed to their fishing fleets working the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The wariness bordered on an almost fanatical paranoia or a religious fervour, stirred by false accounts of the size and scale of Louisbourg’s fortifications and the general anti-French sentiment shared among most British colonists at the time.

New Englanders’ paranoia increased after a small French force sailed from Louisbourg in the summer of 1744 to the nearby British fishing port of Canso, attacking a small fort on Grassy Island and burning it to the ground. This port was used by the New England fishing fleet as it was the closest mainland North American British port to the fishing grounds, however the Canso Islands offshore (including Grassy Island) were contested by both Britain and France. (From here)


About T.K. Eldridge

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