Monday, May 6, 2013

Military Monday: Corporal George Helm Sr and Captain Leonard Helm, REVOLUTIONARY WAR, Father and Son.

              Copyright 2013, The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist (B. Harrison)

My 4th great-grandfather George Helm Sr, and his father Leonard Helm (my 5th great-grandfather) both served as officers in the Revolutionary War from Virginia. They both relocated to Kentucky after the war.  They are ancestors on the paternal side of my family tree.
George Helm Sr. was born 22 August 1747 in Virginia, the son of Leonard Helm and Elizabeth "Betty" Calmes .  He married 1st wife Mary Frances Calmes about 1767 in Virginia,  who appears to have been a relative of his mother's (possibly his cousin). After Mary Frances died in 1783, he married 2nd wife Frances "Frankie" Coppedge (who was the sister of his daughter's husband Travis Coppedge). George was a Corporal under Captain Dunmore in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted under Captain Abe Shepherd in Colonel Rawlings Rifle Regiment from Virginia.  While living in Kentucky after the war, he served in Whitaker's Battalion, Mounted Volunteers. There is also a George Helm listed as having served in the War of 1812.  His Revolutionary War pension was approved in 1826, while he was living in Tennessee. He then returned to Lincoln County, Kentucky, where he died about 1831.  The Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots indicates he is buried at McCormack Cemetery in Lincoln Co, KY. He has a memorial page posted on the Find A grave website under memorial # 11519529.



Copyright 2013, The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist (B. Harrison)

Leonard Helm Sr. was born about 1720 in Stafford, Virginia and died in June 1782 "of consumption or bad medicine" at Beargrass Creek near Louisville, Kentucky.  Leonard married Elizabeth "Betty" Calmes in 1746 in Frederick, Virginia. He served as a Captain in the Virginia State Line in the Revolutionary War under General George Rogers Clarke. A land bounty claim filed by his heirs 52 years after his death, was approved and concluded that he was "the only Leonard Helm on record" as having served in the Revolutionary War (file #S38021).  In 1779 he had received a commission as an Indian Agent from the State of Virginia. An article on his life and exploits was published by Fauquier Historical Society of Virginia, and is available online at http://www.fauquierhistory.com/UserFiles/File/Vol27No2.pdf.   In it, Leonard Helm was described as "somewhat rugged, outspoken, abounding in wit and fun, fearless, intelligent, level-headed and trustworthy". Conversely, he was also described as "an intemperant man" who ran up large tavern bills and liked his whiskey.  Leonard died poor, and had not received payment, land or pension for his military services at the time of his death in 1782.  He died while on a trail in Kentucky, apparently acting in his capacity as Indian Agent. At the time, it had been thought that he had just vanished and was probably killed by Indians.   His widow applied for but was denied a Widow's Pension (file number R14982) because Leonard had not served until the end of the Revolutionary War (as rules for a pension required) but had accepted a commission as Indian Agent instead prior to the close of the war.  A sworn deposition of Edward Parker dated 5 Feb 1833 confirmed that Captain Leonard Helm had actually died in 1782 "of consumption or some other bilgious disease. John Jones, a nephew of Leonard's daughter Sara, confirmed this story and indicated that "bad medicine" might have contributed to Leonard's death. His burial place is unknown.  Following are pages from the Veteran's Land Bounty and Widow's Pension Application files verifying the service of Captain Leonard Helm.