Our State Genealogist and Membership Coordinator has found a new patriot ancestor: Christena Reichard of Pennsylvania. Attached is documentation he collected to prove her patriotic service. In 1991, a researcher published a comprehensive list of patriot women of the Revolution. It listed over 5,000 individuals, and the list does not include Reichard. Nor does she appear on either the SAR or DAR online patriot databases. No doubt there are countless other unrecognized patriot ancestors, both men and women.
The documentation contains eight pages:
- Last will of husband Casper Reichard filed in Berks County, PA, in 1774. It shows that he left is wife Christena his plantation in Colebrookdale until her own death.
- First page of the published Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Volume 18, which lists property owners and taxpayers. Here are pages copied from it:
- P 87, cover page for Berks County listings in 1768.
- P 115, first page of 1768 tax records for Colebrookdale Township.
- P 116, page listing tax paid by husband Casper Richard (anglicized name).
- P 175, cover page for Berks County listings in 1779 (patriotic supply tax).
- P 214 first page of 1779 tax records Colebrookdale Township.
- P 215 listing for “Reichard, Widow.”
Why are there so many pages? Here is what they show:
- The will links the husband’s name and the wife’s name.
- The will also shows that she inherits his property in Colebrookdale.
- The SAR genealogy staff requires that book excerpts provide the book’s cover page.
- The first page of each Colebrookdale tax listing clearly shows the year the tax was levied.
- The 1768 tax record shows that Casper R(e)ichard owned land and paid tax on it in Colebrookdale.
- In 1768, there is exactly one taxpayer named “R(e)ichard” in Colebrookdale.
- The first page of the 1779 Colebrookdale tax listing clearly indicates that the tax was a “supply tax” whose payment is considered patriotic service during the Revolution.
- The 1779 tax record shows that “the widow Reichard” paid the patriotic supply tax on land, also in Colebrookdale.
Pennsylvania’s land-oriented “supply taxes” were created to help fund the Revolution, so tax payment is considered a patriotic act. Click here for another example of recently-found Pennsylvania taxpayers who qualify as patriots. The SAR has published guidance on finding and using tax payment as evidence of patriotic service; examples are listed below.
- Claghorn, Charles E., Women Patriots of the American Revolution: A Biographical Dictionary, (Scarecrow Press, 1991). available for loan online at archive.org.
- Egle, William H, Pennsylvania Archives: Third Series, Volume XVIII, William Stanley Ray, Harrisburg, 1897.
- Sinks, Ford, and McCabe, “Inventory of Revolutionary Tax Records in the Pennsylvania State Archives,” National Society, SAR, 12 May 2016. Online at https://members.sar.org/media/uploads/pages/228/OFrXSKYbYSNp.pdf.
- John D. Sinks, “Revolutionary Taxes as Evidence of Patriotic Service,” National Society, SAR, 6 March 2016. Online at https://members.sar.org/media/uploads/pages/334/Kgp5Cc7oCj3D.pdf.