Our Family in the Revolutionary War – Patriots and Loyalists



We have many ancestors who performed military service during the Revolutionary War. Most fought on the side of secession from England, one was neutral, and two were Loyalists to the Crown.

In general, colonists who lived in coastal areas, and earned their living from maritime commerce, were most in favor of secession, because of the burden of English taxes on trade. Among these were our direct ancestors John Hawkins, George Walker, and John Holcombe. Southern colonists who lived inland relied on the British Army for protection from Indians, and were more likely to be Loyalists: among these was our ancestor, Rev. Joseph Camp of South Carolina, who preached neutrality, but two of his brothers fought for the British.

Our North Carolina Piedmont ancestors, Patrick Mullins and Rev. Thomas Mullins, were both ardent secessionists, and were both on the Colonial Army payroll.

Finally, two of our Bonner ancestors were Loyalists in the Revolution: Benjamin Willson in New Jersey, and Hannah Sypes in Pennsylvania. After the war, Britain offered Loyalists land grants in Canada. Because Loyalists faced persecution in the new United States, the move to Canada was an attractive option. The Willson and Sypes families permanently resettled to Canada, in the Niagara Falls area.

Our family has proven our lineage to Rev. Thomas Mullins, Col. George Walker, Commissary John Hawkins, Capt. John Holcombe, and Philomene Holcombe for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. We have proven our lineage to Benjamin Willson for membership in the Canadian organization, the United Empire Loyalists.