The Search For Lt. Jeremiah Greenman: A Genealogists Journey
Story by Randi Bowles-Meentzen 2006
Two Hundred and twenty five years ago Lt. Jeremiah Greenman fought for the independence of the United States against the Britons. He recorded the following in his journal after the battle of Englishtown. " Under the command of General Lee we advanced towards the enemy, they being so much superior to ours in Number we retreated. We formed again under a fence where the light horse advanced on us. We left the ground with about a thousand killed and wounded and dead from heat. I had taken a ball in the thigh. In the morning we went back to Englishtown where we buried some of our officers." After serving eight years in the Revolutionary War, and then 15 years as a sea captain,Rhode Island native, Jeremiah Greenman settled a farm with his wife Mary Eddy Greenman in Washington County Ohio. He would eventually be buried on the highest hill in this rolling farmland where he would be forgotten for a time.
While Lt. Greenman lay peacefully at rest ,Lorraine Hamann Chandler , his 4xgreat grandaughter, was aggressively trying to find information about his life ,death and whereabouts. What began as a moderate interest in joing the Daughters of The American Revolution lineage society , quickling became an obsession for this novice genealogist. She began her research by using one of the great free resources for genealogists, i.e. talking to relatives. She soon discovered an Aunt who knew of a cousin whose deceased mother had researched the same soldier. She called the cousin and he generously forwarded his mothers paperwork to Lorraine. She was delighted to find that the soldier was buried in the town of Beverly, Washington County ,Ohio. At her husbands urging, they took a trip to Ohio in 2005 and stopped by the village of Beverly. The Chandlers visited the town library and were rewarded by finding a booklet which listed the burial place as being on the farm of Neil Davis. Its not difficult to guess where the couple headed next,. In small town fashion, they knocked on the door of the Davis home and were warmly received. Neil Davis told Lorraine that he had been born and raised on the farm where her Jeremiah was buried and for many of his 80 years, he had wondered about the story behind the grave. That is until two professors from Wesleyan University ,Robert Bray and Paul Bushnell stopped by his farm in 1978. They told Neil that the Liutenent had kept a journal for the 8 years of his soldiering career and they were writing an edited version of it. The book is titled Jeremiah Greenman: Diary of a Common Soldier in The Revolutionary War 1775-1783. The high point of the Chandler's day was when Neil Davis took them to the gravesite and Lorraine was able to stand next to her gggggrandfathers' grave and contemplate the legacy of his life. The tombstone ,which was carved by his sons,read "Revolutionary Soldier- In Memory of Jeremiah Greenman an Active Officer in that army which bid defiance to Britons power and established the independence of the United States."
Lorainne can now pass this information on to future generations and she can proudly display next to her name the DAR National # 830211.
photo submitted by L.H.Chandler
Paraphrasing from the diary of Jeremiah Greenman
Email interveiw with Lorraine H.Chandler