I didn’t have to think twice about this one. The most deserving ancestor to sit on the Iron Throne is my husband’s Revolutionary War ancestor, John Stufflebean.
John Stoppelbein was born on 28 February 1757 in Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York. In 1776, at the start of the War for Independence, John was living along the Neversink River in New York, about ten miles from the New Jersey and Pennsylvania borders. He was married and had two small children, although I have not found any clues as to their names.
John and his family likely lived in what is today Orange County, New York, but it is possible that they lived in Ulster County, as the county lines were cut through this area.
John enlisted, according to his pension declaration, about 1775 or 1776 and served under Captain James (Frontiers?) and was stationed in Hackensack and Paramus, both in New Jersey, and at New Windsor, New York.
He further stated that about two years later, his captain sent men, including John, to spy and guard the area around the Delaware River in New York against the Indians. However, he was surprised at the house of one Cajau(?) Indian and taken prisoner by Colonel Brant, who commanded the Indians. Note: This was Chief Joseph Brant of the Mohawk tribe, who sided with the British during the Revolution.
The prisoners traveled with the Indians up the Delaware on logs and rafts. Later, they crossed the Susquehanna River and taken to a Mohawk settlement about eighteen miles from Niagara Falls.
While held prisoner there over the course of about eight months, he and the other men were forced to run the gauntlet.
John was held there about 8 months and then taken to Detroit for about two years. He and five other men ran away down the “Lake of Water” for one hundred+ miles, through wilderness, until they reached the Muskingum River, which they traveled until they reached the Ohio River. The men met up with James Garrard’s company and headed into Kentucky.
James Garrard was a farmer, a minister and the second governor of Kentucky. Towards the close of the Revolution, he migrated to Bourbon County, Kentucky, which is where John Stufflebean married and settled down.
John’s capture by the British took him a couple hundred miles from home to Niagara Falls, five hundred more miles from there to Detroit and another 200-300 hundred down into Kentucky.
He left a wife and two children behind in New York and they likely never knew what happened to him. He endured harsh treatment while in captivity, which lasted for years and included running and surviving a gauntlet challenge. Finally, he settled on the frontier in a dangerous area and raised a family of ten children.
Yep, he definitely gets my vote as the ancestor most deserving of the Iron Throne!