After watching “The Crossing” last night on television, we looked in our new American & European Family Forest Millennium Edition for more information about Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River.
Of course the Founders & Patriots section of the A&E Family Forest contained soldiers who were there, but the two people I found of most interest were in the Mid-Atlantic section of the A&E Family Forest. They were Dr. Nathaniel Luff (PIN 2713) and Major John Hazzard (PIN 918).
According to volume III of “Delaware: A History of the First State” Major John Hazzard was a Revolutionary War hero who “piloted” Washington across the Delaware River. It might be that “piloted” is a bit of exaggeration, since Colonel John Glover’s Marblehead fishermen appeared to have had complete control of Washington’s crossing. But then again, Major Hazzard was from nearby Delaware, and could have been much more familiar with the territory and the river than those from Marblehead, MA.
Whatever the particulars, his descendants can be justly proud that he was there. Major Hazzard married three times, was the father of a Delaware governor, and had numerous other descendants. In addition to those named Hazzard, his descendants (and families they married into) who are included in the Mid-Atlantic section of the A&E Family Forest had surnames of Clark, Coates, Davis, Fisher, Hafleigh, McCurdy, Wolf, and Wolfe.
Dr. Nathaniel Luff, only twenty when he crossed the Delaware with General Washington, was a surgeon in the First Battalion of Philadelphia. Twenty-three years later, he was a founder of the Delaware Medical Society. He was married twice and had at least eight children. In addition to those named Luff, his descendants (and families they married into) who are included in the Mid-Atlantic section of the A&E Family Forest had surnames of Atkins, Buckingham, Camper, Clancey, Coverdale, Cohee, Elliott, Green, Harrington, Jarrell, Kruger, Lord, Miller, Reoch, Ross, Southard, Tucker, Valentine, Voshell, Warren, Warrington, Wassman, and Wharton.
After more than two centuries, there can be a very large number of descendants from those hundreds of young soldiers who crossed the Delaware River with Washington at that pivotal point in American history. I can’t help but wonder how many people who watched “The Crossing” had ancestors who were actually there in December 1776, but are unaware of the fact.