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Events that Affected Ancestors on July 2nd

It was 236 years ago that things in the colonial America changed forever.  Those events in turn changed the lives of so many of our ancestors.  Not just those who lived the times of 1776, but the thousands who were born afterwards in a new country, the United States.  Even greater were those ancestors living in another country who would themselves or their children, or grandchildren, or great-great grandchildren would immigrate to America.

A history lesson, it was July 2, 1776, the delegates from all the American Colonies met as the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, PA, and they actually approved the writing and what was stated on the Declaration of Independence. Together they resolved that “these United Colonies are and of right ought to be Free & Independent States.”  Those written words appeared in the  Pennsylvania Evening Post being published the evening of July 2nd.  The actual document would be finalized and signed beginning on August 2nd.  Yet, the news spread and the celebrations started. The City of Philadelphia had a big celebration on July 8th. Of course the British in London did not learn of these events until August 30th. So those actions by the delegates had a major contribution on what would happen to future generations.

Also occurring on July 2, 1776 was the action of the leaders in the colony of New Jersey. They stated all adults (only males) who could show a net worth of 50 pounds had the right to vote.  A year later in 1777 on July 2nd, it was Vermont, an American republic, who first abolished slavery.

The dates of July 1-2-3 in 1863 would always hold permanent memories and scars for that was the three-day Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. With the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia having 75,000 men and the Union Army of the Potomac with 97,000 soldiers, it would prove to be the bloodiest. Some 51,000 men died total from both sides. Even the horses of the soldiers were not safe, 5,000 horses died over those three days.

So the date of July 2nd is significant and did have a direct affect on one or more of our ancestors, either directly or indirectly. Make sure you include a few historical events with information you place about an ancestor.

What becomes historical events can set future life changing events.

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