Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mystery Monday - Native American or White Man

William P Conant is my 5th great grandfather.  What I do know is that he was a soldier from Wareham, Massachusetts who served in the Revolutionary War. He was honorably discharged according to the records that I have.  It also appears that he had two names,   William Conant, the other Solsbury Hitchman.

I believe that William was a ative American, hence the difficulty finding his parentage. I believe this for a couple of reasons:

1)Conant Hill in Wareham was discovered to be a native ceremonial site. Records indicate it was owned by a William Conant.

(2) At the Fearing Tavern Museum a document was discovered stating William Conant's service in the revolutionary war as a "Salisbury/Solsbury Hitchman" , his pay of $20 and calling him a Native; the second paragraph states that he owned land that was sold to a Mr. Lothrop and he received pay for said land.

William Conant and Bethiah Lothrop married March 31, 1768 by Rev. Roland Thatcher in Wareham, Ma. I have them having a daughter Sarah Conant nine months later on Dec. 24, 1768 in Wareham, Ma.
It looks like he served (pvt) in Rufus Lincoln's company (John Brook's regiment), MA Continental Line, Wareham, MA.

(3)Footnote has Salisbury Hitchman applying for Revolutionary War Pension.

Could it be that William Conant's Native American name was Salisbury Hitchman?

It is somewhat of a mystery.  It is my understanding that he was born Solsbury Hitchman, an Indian.  However, it was not uncommon during this period that the Conant men were taking on a white mans name, so I am told. It would be exciting to discover that I have an American Native as an ancestor.

 If anyone can help in deciphering I would appreciate the help. 

His military records is as follows:
Hitchman, Solsbury (also given Solomon), Wareham. Private, Capt. Nathaniel Hammond's co.; enlisted July 17, 1775; service, 5 mos. 20 days; company stationed at Wareham and Rochester for defence of seacoast and was discharged Dec. 23, 1775; also, list of men mustered between May 7 and May 14, 1777, by James Hatch, Muster Master for Plymouth Co.; Col. Bradford's regt.; age, 20 yrs.; residence, Wareham; enlisted by Capt. Eddy; enlistment, 3 years; also, Corporal, Capt. Rufus Lincoln's co., Lieut. Col. John Brooks's (7th) regt.; muster rolls for Jan.-March, 1781, dated West Point; reported deserted Jan. 1, 1781; also, Private, same co. and regt.; muster roll for May, 1781, sworn to at West Point; also, muster rolls for Sept.-Nov., 1781; enlistment, during war; also, list of men entitled to $20 or 200 acres of land, agreeable to resolve of March 5, 1801; 14th Mass. regt.; residence, Wareham.


  1. How do you know that Salisbury Hitchman was his alias and not a completely different man who he paid to fulfill his service? This was common through the Civil War, to pay another man to serve your call to the military or to pay men from other towns to help fulfill the first town's required amount of men. This will be difficult to sort out.

  2. I took those photos! :) this is such a frustrating mystery. I didn't realize they hired men to fulfill their service. That would make it all make sense!


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