Need help piecing together my persona

Discussion in 'General Reenacting Discussions' started by Am Fear Liath Mòr, Apr 27, 2019.

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum by donating:

  1. May 2, 2019 #21

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Artificer said:
    ...he was very unlikely to have found a Highland Lass of high enough Social Status...

    Hi Nyck,

    I understand one should "never say never" when talking about history, as eventually a solitary example may be found, but the odds against that are as great as if he were already an Officer, if not more so. It is not totally unknown that an Enlisted Man in the British Regular Forces in the 18th century might have gotten a Commission through Merit, alone, but it was almost as rare as being struck by lightning and almost always came only during War Time.

    Further, the "Gentlemen's Club" of the Officer Class would come up with almost any excuse NOT to give a Commission from merit even when they were extremely short handed and needed competent replacements when too many Officers were lost.

    I think it is in "A Soldier Like Way" where one British Regular Regiment was in desperate need of replacement Officers from Combat Losses. They had a Sergeant Major that most all of the Officers agreed was an outstanding Soldier and would have made an excellent Subaltern/Coronet. (Period Officer Rank names for third or fourth Lieutenants and yes they had them in those days below Second Lt.) However, even though they needed Officers so badly, they finally denied his promotion. Why? Because he was such a good Tailor of Uniforms and the Regiment could not do without his expertise there!!!! Though that was the "Official Reason," I'm sure some Officer objected solely because the Sergeant Major was not of their Social Class.

    Of course, had his Father married a Scottish Lass as an Enlisted Man, that alone would have been more than enough cause/excuse not to promote him to the Officer Ranks in a Regular Regiment.

    Now, there IS a way his Father could have been an Officer and married to a Scottish Lass, but it would have been in the American Militia and not as a "True King's Officer in a Regular Regiment," and that was the only really historically likely way it would have happened. Even the "Regular Regiments" that were raised entirely in the American Colonies always had British Regular Officers, Foreign Regular Officers at times and the few Colonists who got Commissions, were always of the higher social class that Officers normally came from.

    Gus
     
    Nyckname likes this.
  2. May 4, 2019 #22

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    10,664
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Location:
    Republic mo
    Gus that was an interesting post on the riflemans shirt dice it seems more identified with the Revolution and beyond, always trust you to throw a wrench at the monkey or some such thing.
    In officers comming up from the ranks have you considered your father could have been a navy officer. More of them ‘came up the hawes pipe’ Cook Being one of the most famous. This would give him ample opportunity to meet a Scottish lass, and be in Boston. Even though many an officer was of poor or middle class background and were treated as second class both in advancement and just general attitude from brother officers, they were full fledged officers who didn’t have to buy a commission. Nelson was from a middling background, the son of a pastor.
    Then, skilled navy men could get warranted. They were treated as officers even if not ‘gentlemen’. Christian of the Bounty started as masters mate, became master, acting first Lt ( finely captain) in his young career.
     
    Artificer likes this.
  3. May 4, 2019 #23

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Hi Tenngun,

    It was not that long ago that I came to the realization of the importance of the information of the Augusta County Clerk having identified a Hunting Shirt in 1759. You are absolutely correct that the "general awakening" of the Colonies to the Hunting Shirt did not happen until the AWI, but it obviously was well known in a small part of the country during the FIW and therefore would be appropriate dress for those doing a persona in or from that area at least as far back as the FIW.

    Ooohhhh, you made a very tantalizing point about the possibility of the OP's Father could have been a Naval Officer and met his "Highland Lass" Bride in Boston. Great point about the fact the British Navy wound up with many more Officers from the "Lower Classes" and having been promoted through merit, long before it was commonplace in the British Army. Another great point on the fact they had a much tougher time getting promoted and were not seen fully as equals to many from the Officer Class, BUT it was still much more possible a sailor from a lower class to rise to middle or high rank in the Navy than in the Army. Yet such historic knowledge also would give a reason why an English Officer would decide to quit "butting his head against the wall" in the Navy, and thus look for a more prosperous career in civilian life. With the amount of sea trade that came through or from Boston, even in the very early 18th century, it would have been tempting for a Naval Officer from the lower ranks deciding that at the end of Queen Anne's War, he would have had more or better prospects around Boston.

    Not sure this would fit into the OP's Persona, but a very interesting possibility for the OP!

    Gus
     
  4. May 5, 2019 #24

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I'm not opposed to it,
     
  5. May 5, 2019 #25

    AmandaP

    AmandaP

    AmandaP

    Pilgrim MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Washington State
    You are absolutely correct that the "general awakening" of the Colonies to the Hunting Shirt did not happen until the AWI,

    ...

    ...sorry to butt in here, but what is the AWI? Following along here with this interesting discussion, thanks!
     
  6. May 5, 2019 #26

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Well then, either a Marine or Naval Officer would give you a much better historical precedence for your Dad having been an English Officer. Actually because of the number of Marine Regiments operating near/from Boston during Queen Anne's War, it would be a bit more possible your Dad would have been a Marine Officer. This because Regular Marine Regiments were formed during early wars and then usually greatly reduced in strength or disbanded near or at the end of a War, until around 1755.

    However, if your Dad was a Navy Officer, historically that would have allowed him to have been in/near Boston to have met your Mom later than Queen Anne's War and closer to the date your persona was born. This was due to tradewinds and navigation during the period, where even ships operating primarily in the Carribean would sail north to Boston before making the voyage back to England.

    If your Dad and Mom got less expensive land on the western frontier of Connecticut, you would have most likely grown up on a farm and had the opportunity to hunt much more often than had you been raised back east. That also would have given you early experience at woods lore and the use of firearms.

    Gus
     
    Nyckname likes this.
  7. May 5, 2019 #27

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Hi Amanda,

    I had to ask the same thing when I first came on the forum.

    "AWI" is the common abbreviation for the "American War for Independence" or Revolutionary War 1775-1783. "FIW" is the common abbreviation for the French and Indian War/Seven Years War 1756-1763. We use these abbreviations on this forum more commonly than some other places.

    Gus
     
  8. May 5, 2019 #28

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    BTW, the old Romantic in me has to state that having been an English Officer, your Dad would have been more likely to have been able to pay off the Indentured Servant contract of your Highland Lass Mom, IF the person holding her contract would have allowed it and legally they did not have to allow it.

    How your Mom and Dad might have met opens interesting possibilities for your persona. Your Dad may or may not have had the full amount to pay off your Mom's Indentured Servant Contract when they met. He may have had to work for some time to do it or they may have had to wait until her contract was fulfilled. He may even have worked with or for the person who held her contract.

    My own Ancestor came to Virginia after the Uprising of the '15. He was wounded badly, left on the battlefield, but somehow survived and was later caught by the British. He was given the option of "forced colonization" or hanging. Of course we are glad he chose forced colonization, even though he spent the rest of his life as a forced Indentured Servant. Oral family history from his Grandson says he married a Lass who had also been an Indentured Servant, but it is probable she had to serve out her time before they were married, though we don't know for sure. We do know that once she married my Ancestor, she was forced to share his life with no hope he would ever be free. That tells us lot about how much she must have loved him. Their children were free from birth, though.

    Gus
     
    Nyckname likes this.
  9. May 5, 2019 #29

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    10,664
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Location:
    Republic mo
    Might be more of a reason to think navy. An army or a marine officer normally had to purchase his commission. And was limited in advancement till he had the funds to buy his next rank.
    A navy officer started as a ‘gentleman volunteer’ ie:midshipmen. Wealth could get you a berth in the midshipmen’s quarters, but many lower middle class boys got there from dad asking a captain to take his boy to sea.
    After a few years a boy could meet all the requirements to face a examination board. Only after passing the board could he get a commission. Wealth couldn’t buy a commission in the navy except for some non command secretary positions like Flag Lt or the busy officers of the admiralties.
    A navel officer might have little more then his pay, reduced to half pay tween wars. He just might not have the funds to but out an indentured servant, or after he did may have little left to put in to a farm.
     
  10. May 6, 2019 #30

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Normally I would agree with you, but.....

    With virtually all the British Land forces that fought in New England during Queen Anne's War having been Marines, and due to the fact Marine Units were normally disbanded near the end or the end of the conflict: in this case there was a much larger number of Marine Officers who may have decided to advance their fortunes here after the War, than almost any other time.

    However, if the OP's Dad came over after Queen Anne's War, then I would agree he more likely would have been a Junior Naval Officer.

    One thing about having been a Naval Officer, he would not have had great difficulty getting work in or around Boston, whether aboard civilian ships or for businesses that were Ships' Chandlers/Outfitters. That also would have given him funds to purchase his Highland Lass's Indentured Servant Contract sooner than in other trades.

    Gus
     
    tenngun likes this.
  11. May 6, 2019 #31

    nagantino

    nagantino

    nagantino

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2019
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    11
    Great idea for a thread.
    Your father and mother lived in Ayrshire where your father was a blacksmith proffessing to be a good Presbyterian but everyone could see he was a drinker and ner'do well. They moved to the north of Ireland where, they knew there were opportunities for those prepared to take the land of the Gaelic people and work them. They moved to Derry again proffesing to be a good Presbyterian. His bad habits and violent temper made him a person living on the edge of respectability. When you were born you grew up to be your fathers son, dishonest and violent. You associated with the Gaelic boys outside of the city walls, who had acquired smooth bore guns that were falling apart, but, could fire. You were good at it. Eventually you dishonoured a local catholic girl and the were forced to consider emigration to the New World. Your father was glad to see the back of you.
    In the new world you grew in the school of hard knocks and again gravitated to the Indian people's living in the woods. They didn't ask who your mother and father were. You found acceptance with the degraded Indians and accepted their morals and not the morals of Scotland and Ireland. You left all that behind. After a confrontation with some armed militia, seeking to punish the local Indians for some perceived crime, you take musket from a well punished lad and make off into the woods.
     
    tenngun and Nyckname like this.
  12. May 7, 2019 #32

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tennessee
    That would be an interesting persona.

    I'm not outspoken, I'm not good at conversations, and I prefer to stay to myself, how can I play this into my persona, I've decided to leave the parents out and focus the person in the persona
     
  13. May 7, 2019 #33

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    10,664
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Location:
    Republic mo
    I’m very taciturn myself. It was considered an admirable quality. ‘He’s a closed mouth man,’was a common thing said of someone. Things we might say today was often considered airing family business then.
     
  14. May 8, 2019 #34

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I've been doing some research, and my mom's ancestors came over to the Carolinas, mostly from the Highlands and a couple from the the Lowlands. I've decided to do a later persona based in the late 1760's somewhere in the Carolina frontier.
     
  15. May 8, 2019 #35

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Well, that opens the possibility of you having a Rifle, if you are so inclined. Rifle usage was well established in both Carolina's by that time. Even the Moravians at "Old Salem" or Winston-Salem, NC, were making Rifles for their use and for sale by that time.

    Gus
     
  16. May 8, 2019 #36

    45man

    45man

    45man

    32 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    140
    My family came from eastern Europe and my grandfather might have been an SS troop. But I have always felt I was an American Indian spirit in my body. The way I hunted and the feelings for the Indians was and is strong. I could not stand anything tight to my neck and felt I was hung by whites when an Indian. You do not know what you were before born again.
     
  17. May 9, 2019 #37

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    Am Fear Liath Mòr,

    I have done a number of different personae from different time periods over the years, but in each case I found it enjoyable to put as much as my own and my family's background into it as possible. Actually, I joke that made it easier to remember things.

    Back in the late 70's a group of us in Fort Wayne, IN decided to form a club of people who did or wanted to do living history or just add this to our enjoyment of the hobby. We did not require any particular time period, but most of us were doing FIW through War of 1812 at the time. (Having the then recently reconstructed Historic War of 1812 period Fort to play in was a huge draw, of course.) Our only requirement for voting membership was each person get up in front of the group, in his or her period clothing and accoutrements and talk a little about his/her persona. This was never a "third degree interrogation," but instead each person was welcomed and helped during their talk. We all learned more, including the person doing the talk.

    One of the most unusual persona's was a Lady who portrayed a Soldier's Wife at the Fort. She joked that she brought period cooking pots and pans and equipment, as she would not have had a gun or things like that. There was a great deal of original documentation on her persona in the original ledgers, journals and diaries the Fort had and in her case, a good deal on the personality of her persona as well. Though she mentioned her own character was not nearly as outgoing and bombastic as her persona, she enjoyed doing that when portraying her persona and even considered it a bit of "stress relief" from her modern life. She was a bit surprised how well her presentation was received and she got the most applause of any member who had done it up to that time.

    I suggest one of the most important things for a good persona is picking the trade of your persona and it is a lot more fun if it is something close to what one actually does. In my case as a standard and NM Military Armorer and as a hobby worked on period firearms, I naturally gravitated to a period Aritificer/Military Armorer. Since most of those men were civilians hired by the Military, I could portray either a civiian or a Soldier, depending on what I wanted to do. If I was portraying a civilian or a Militia Man, I usually included prior military service into my persona and had to come up with a way to explain that. This can lead you into interesting research into the trade of your persona that most folks find enjoyable, even if your trade is not something you do in modern life.

    Now farming on the frontier was probably the most common trade, but they also did other things to supplement their incomes or just plain survive, as in hunting. Though of course there were other trades on the frontier as well. Men who had completed their apprenticeship and were now Journeymen in different trades, had to decide to remain in their Masters' Shop and work for wages or go somewhere else to work or even set up their own shop. Because land was cheap or sometimes free on the frontier, journeymen sometimes chose to go there, even if their trade was not all that common on the frontier. Of course, they may also have wound up working for someone else in a different trade.

    So while the possibilities are not endless for your persona, there may be more than you may think of when you first start out.

    Gus
     
  18. May 9, 2019 #38

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    Am Fear Liath Mòr

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I feel like its missing something but here's what I've come up with so far, this is loosely based off of one of my ancestors, I've recently discovered more info on.

    My name is Angus Jamieson, I was but a wee lad when my parents moved to a settlement in the South Carolina colony. I worked the land growing crops to sell and raising goats and cows, when time allowed I would make for the woods to hunt and explore.

    When I was about 16 I started my apprenticeship in a blacksmith's shop where I worked until the war with the British broke out. Now I find myself in the militia fighting with General Marion
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    Loyalist Dave likes this.
  19. May 9, 2019 #39

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    10,664
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Location:
    Republic mo
    Wonderful
     
  20. May 10, 2019 #40

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    867
    That's a great start. BTW, you might want to suggest the General take his sword out of the scabbard every so often and oil it and the scabbard.;):D

    Gus
     

Share This Page



arrow_white