No one can claim to be a direct descendant of General George Washington, since he had no children of his own. Instead, in one family was the tale for generations that an ancestor had been the personal aide and confident to General George Washington throughout the American Revolutionary War. That ancestor’s name was Sgt. Lawrence Everhart from Maryland.
The Everhart family dates back to the 1740s in America and does have a rich, documented family tree. However, the Sgt. Everhart tale of being General Washington’s aide was always the major source of pride and accomplishment mentioned during any family gatherings.
When one family member started researching the family history in the 1990s, they were seeking out information about Sgt. Everhart to learn what actually happened. By requesting and then receiving a complete copy of Sgt. Everhart’s military and pension records on file with the National Archives in Washington, D. C., the researcher discovered the actual family history as it related to Everhart. There were numerous documents and handwritten accounts provided by Sgt. Everhart himself of his service, along with the people and events he encountered.
Sgt. Everhart did serve nearly the entire length of the American Revolution. He enlisted as a private (age 21) on August 1, 1776 at Taneytown in Maryland with the Militia Company, The Flying Camp, headed by Capt. Jacob Goode. He served at Ft. Washington and then Ft. Lee before having the opportunity to go to Hackensack, New Jersey. That was when Lawrence met with General George Washington on a front porch. The General was extremely upset with the lack of trained soldiers and supplies provided by the Continental Congress. Lawrence stated that Washington was to the point of tears. Lawrence could see how personally concerned the General was in getting the necessary military troops and provisions if the rebellion from Britain was to be successful.
Everhart later served under Captain Swan with the Cavalry Regiment commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William Washington (a cousin of General George Washington) in Fredericktown, Maryland. By March 1779, he was marching with Lt. Col. William Washington as a Sergeant of the Cavalry and as an aide to William Washington towards Fredericksburg then to Petersburg.
In the military pension records, as dictated by Sgt. Everhart in April 1834, he described all his military assignments, including who his superior officers were during his enlistment. Repeated throughout his account was the fact he served as the personal aide of Lt. Colonel William Washington. After reading his firsthand recollections, Sgt. Everhart was never a personal aide to General George Washington.
There was additional unknown information about Sgt. Everhart that was provided by the pension records. He stated he had the opportunity to meet General Marquis de LaFayette from France and was at Yorktown during the surrender period between General George Washington and General Cornwallis on October 18, 1781.
It took careful reading to follow the many handwritten pages, but it proved worthwhile. Doing further research on some of the various militia companies, commanders and battles he wrote of backed up his written version.
The lesson learned is that there can be some facts in family tales and with locating as many varied sources the actual full truth can be achieved.< Return To Blog Actually this story could be true. I am researching Catherine Everhart married to Hunter John Myers. Some records suggest Hunter John Myers could be related to General Lafayette through the Brunot family of Pittsburgh. Dr Felix Brunot was General Lafayette's foster brother. For sure General Lafayette was an aid to General George Washington