Patriot Ancestor: Elijah Hungerford

Patriot Ancestor / Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Elijah Hungerford                      SAR Patriot # P-188035

Elijah Hungerford was born on November 10, 1756, in East Haddam, Connecticut, to Grace Holmes, age 39, and Robert Hungerford, age 41, the youngest of four brothers, all of whom served in the Continental Army. The Hungerfords were a distinguished family in Connecticut with ties to English nobility. His oldest brother, John, died of smallpox contracted in the French and Indian Wars and his older brothers, Zachariah and Robert, were officers at the start of the Revolution.

At the age of 19, Elijah enlisted as a private in Capt. Eliphalet Balkeley’s company, Col Woolcott’s Regt in June 1776 for seven months, then enlisted under Capt. John Willey, Col. Dyar Throop’s Regt on 1 Jan 1777, stationed at Ft Trumbull, New London CT. He also served as a minuteman.

He lived the rest of his life in East Haddam, ten years later marrying Rhoda Harvey in 1787 when he was 31 years old. They had four daughters; Silence (Palmes) born May 5, 1791, Orris (Harvey) born in 1793, Azubah (Phelps) born on April 7, 1797, and Charlotte (Phelps) born in 1800.

At the age of 53 Hungerford again served as a private in a New York regiment during the War of 1812. He applied for and received a pension for his service in 1832.

His wife Rhoda passed away on January 20, 1835, at the age of 76 after 48 years of marriage. He died on December 9, 1839, in East Haddam, Connecticut, at the age of 83.

Despite his modest role in the Revolution, Elijah Hungerford seems to have been an enormous influence on his descendants, the first name Elijah appearing often, most notably with Col. Elijah Hungerford Phelps, Union Army during the Civil War, who made sure that “Hungerford” was spelt out whenever possible.


  1. Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution, 1889 p 611
  2. DAR states: Pension application file number S13494
  3. Revolutionary War Graves Register. Clovis H. Brakebill, compiler. 672pp. SAR. 1993
  4. SAR Revolutionary War Graves Register CD. Progeny Publishing Co: Buffalo, NY. 1998
  5. SAR Patriot Index Edition III (CD: PP2210, Progeny Publ., 2002) plus data to 2004