It was Friday, August 2, 1776 the famous Declaration of Independence was actually signed, as many historians believe. The delegates actually unanimously approved of declaring independence on July 2nd and the wording and writing of the document was finished on Thursday, July 4th. The signing of the document by 56 delegates at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia came a month later. John Hancock signed first, with a large hand right in the middle because he was the President of the Congress. The others signed by state delegation, beginning in the upper right in one column, and then proceeding in five other columns, arranged from the northernmost state (New Hampshire) to the southernmost (Georgia). Not all the delegates signed even on August 2nd. Thomas McKean of Delaware was the last person to sign and that wasn’t until early 1777.
Many of these 56 individuals you may have never heard of and there is the possibility you are related to them. For example there was George Walton from Georgia. There are many Walton family branches in numerous southern colonies / states, but if by chance you had a Walton in your family tree from Virginia or Georgia in the late 1700s into the early 1800s, there just might be a connection through one of Walton’s descendants.
Walton was born 1741 in Virginia, by 1760s he had moved to Savannah, Georgia where he studied law. After the signing of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, George served as a Colonel of the First Regiment of the Georgia Militia. He would later serve briefly as Governor of Georgia, a chief justice and in the national Congress. George did marry and had two sons and one daughter. He also had two brothers and two sisters. So with such a family lineage, there is a possibly you could have this signer, George Walton or his siblings on your family tree. He died Feb. 2, 1804 in Augusta, GA.
The List of Signers, check the names and do some comparisons.
Photo: Declaration of Independence< Return To Blog