Betsy Ross

1752 - 1836

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Personal Life of Betsy Ross

Betsy was born January 1st in Philidelphia, PA . She has two siblings , Sarah and William she had others too but they passed before she was born or when she was at a young age. She grew up in a household wheere the plain dress and strict discipline dominated her life. Betsy learned how to sew from her great-aunt Sarah Elizabeth Ann Grace. After she finnished schooling at a Quaker-run public school, her father apprenticed her to an upholsterer named William Webster , but at this job she fell inlove with a man named John Ross. They eloped in 1773 when she was 21, marrying at Huggs Tavern in Gloucester City, New Jersey. The marrige caused a split from her Griscin family ,and ment her expulsion from the quaker con gregation. The young couple soon started there own upholstery business and later joined Christ Church. Betsy and John Ross have no children.
The American Revolutionary War broke out when Betsy and John Ross had been married for only two years. John Ross was assigned to gaurd munitions and, according to one lengend, was killed by a gunpowder explosion, but the family sources have doubts about this claim. The 24 year old Betsy continued working in the upholstery business repairing uniforms and making tents and blankets and stuffed paper tube cartridges with musket balls for pepared packaged ammunition in 1779 for the Continental Army. On June 15,1777 she married her second husband , mariner Joseph Ashburn. in 1780 Ashburns ship was captured by british royal navy frigate and he was charged with treason and imprisoned at old Mill Prison in england were he also died here. During this time , their first daughter Zilla died at the age of nine months and their second daughter Eliza was born. Three years later, in May 1783, she married John Claypoole, who had coincidentally earlier met Joseph AShburn in the English Old Mill Prison and had informed her of her husbands circumstances and death.
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The couple had additionally five daughters: Clarissa, Susanna , Jane, Rachel, and Harriet ( who died in infancy) . with the birth of their second daughter Susanna, in 1786, they moved to a larger house on philadelpha's second street, settling down. In 1793, her mother, father, and sister Deborah died in a severe "yellow fever" epidemic. And after two decades of poor health, John CLaypoole died in 1817 , Betsy continued to upholstery the business for 10 more years. Upon retirement she moved in with her daughter Susanna. Her eldest daughter Clarissa had taken over Betsys business back in th city. Betsy by then, completely blind, spend her last three years living with her middle daughter Jane. On saturday, January 30, 1836 , sixty years later after the Declaration of Independence Betsy ross died at the age of 84 .

Betsys Burials

Betsy Ross's body was first buried at the "Free Quaker" burial grounds on North Fifth Street in Philadelphia . Twenty years later, her remains were exhumed and reburied in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in the Cobbs Creek Park section of philidelphia. In preparation for the American Bicentennail, the City ordered the remains moved to the courtyard of the now legendary "Betsy Ross House' in 1975. However, Cemetery workers found no remains under her tombstone. Bones found elsewhere in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery family plot were deemed to be hers and were re-interred in the current grave and visited by tourists at the hestoric tourist site of the "Betsy Ross House"
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