Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Heritage and Independence Day

It's the perfect occasion to fire up the grill, watch a parade, and enjoy fireworks. But beyond the fun with friends and family, have you ever wondered about the 4th of July, its meaning and historical roots? Get ready for your patriotic celebration with this brief 4th of July history.
Also known as Independence Day, the federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the culmination of the decades-long American Revolution. The actual vote to sever ties between the 13 colonies and the Kingdom of Great Britain took place two days earlier. But it was on July 4 that Congress approved the formal statement explaining its decision to break free and form a new nation. That document, the Declaration of Independence, was prepared by a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson.
Contrary to popular belief, the congressional delegates did not sign the Declaration on July 4, but several weeks later. Still, because the statement was adopted on July 4, that date became forever associated with the Unites States' independence from the British Empire.
The 4th of July's history as a holiday is one of long-standing tradition. As early as 1777, Americans celebrated their independence on the 4th. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1938 it became a paid federal holiday. Over the years, not much has changed in the ways Americans celebrate their country's birthday. Early festivities featured 13-gun salutes, speeches, music, parades, fireworks, and red-white-and-blue bunting.
The second day of July, 1776, will be a very memorable part of history of America. 
Part of my genealogy goes back, to John Hart, who signed the Declaration of Independence. My mothers great, great, great... etc... grandfather is John Hart.
Looking at John Hart's biography, is very interesting! He was a God-fearing man, and a great example to look up to. His life verse is 1st Thessalonians 4:11-12, "...that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing." 
John Hart was considered to be an Honest Patriot, and was Self-taught. Young John was raised to work the farm with his father. 
He was self-taught in his spare time and grew rich enough to acquire a 380-acre farm in 1739. Over the years, by diligence and good character, he won the reputation as "the most considerable man in his community." At the age of 29 he married Deborah Scudder of Ewing, New Jersey. The couple had 13 children, and with hard work become rather well-to-do.
John Hart was a wonderful God-fearing man in my genealogy, and I am so blessed to know some History on him. So, what's your favorite part of 4th of July? What are some traditions your family does?


  1. Wow! That is *so* neat that John Hart, a signer of the Declaration, is one of your ancestors! My ancestors had just come to the U.S. from Scotland right before the Revolution, so they weren't instrumental in the founding of the nation; however, my great great great grandfather fought in the Civil War and 2 of my great great great granduncles died in the war (one at the Battle of Shiloh). Happy Independence Day!

    1. Wow! That's neat Bethany! :) Learning about ancestors is really neat!
      Have a great Independence Day!

  2. Thank you for sharing this bit of history concerning your family, Caitlin! It would be so interesting to be related to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Hoping your family enjoys a wonderful 4th!


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