Sunday, May 24, 2009

a brave defender of his country's rights

Capt. Robert "Robin" Hanna, my sixth Great-Grandfather, defended
our country in the American Revolution. Born in Prince Edward Co.,
Virginia, December 10, 1744, he attended William and Mary College
and had a close and enduring friendship with Thomas Jefferson.
Capt. Hanna represented Little River District, South Carolina in the
Fifth General Assembly (1783-1784). He was also a deputy for the
surveyor general and surveyed a great deal of acreage on the North
and South Carolina border.

His tombstone, Sims Cemetery, Franklin Co, IN, inscription reads:

In Memory of
Was born Decr 10th 1744
And departed this life
The 24th of January 1821
He was A brave defender
Of his Country's Rights
And lived and died an honest Man

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right
and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which
isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide
against your conviction is to be an unqualified and
excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country,
let men label you as they may. ~Mark Twain

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend, dear bloggy friends~x~


  1. I always enjoy your posts connecting your family history to some other topic. Interesting Mark Twain quote.

    Have a good holiday weekend!


  2. a tombstone of character for a man of character. How appropriate.

  3. hope you have a great memorial weekend! nice family tie as well. love the twin quote...and having decided be must be willing to stand for our convictions...

  4. The land you are talking about is around Flat Rock! Flat Rock is about 8 miles over the line into NC!
    Are you a member of DAR?

  5. Carol, I really need to get my documentation together and submit it to DAR. Are you a member?

  6. Willow, this was most appropriate and deeply touching. Thank you for your usual deft pen.

  7. Yes, here's to the memory of all the brave people
    who defended our freedom and died before their time.
    Here's to all people who are struggling to find ways for us to live together in peace.
    We should all take moment to remember.

  8. Here's to my Dad, who just turned 87. He flew many missions as a Navigator during WW II and lived to tell the tale. Here's to those like him, who defend our world.



  9. Hello Willow,

    Just one more glimpse into your rich personal heritage. And a lovely tribute to all those who have fallen.

  10. hallo willow
    Lovely photo, I always enjoy bits of the past~ and, your Emma, can it be that she had such a sad fate and was unable to break out of it! I have a gg grandmother Mary Emma (Francis)Edelen in my background, she was the belle of San Francisco and was divorced at age 21! I wish I could post her photo, I'll have to figure out a way to tie it to GS!!!! :-)

  11. I like this post a lot. I also like the Decoration Day memories. I don't like that it was changed to Memorial
    Day. ANyway I wrote about it on my Hamlet of Gordon blog for Monday.

  12. You have such a rich family history with family members held in high esteem. Nice to know the tomestone has family still connected. My family goes way back as well but we have both honorable relatives and some with checkered pasts.

  13. As a lover of genealogy I have to say Great Post.

    Is that a mock-up of the original gravestone? I've never seen such a thing.

  14. It's so wonderful that you have so much valuable information on your family history. And the photos, too!

    Wishing you a lovely holiday weekend...and I adore the new teal colour!!

  15. With a multiple great- as a Revolutionary veteran, and at least two who served in Civil War, your family has decided in favor of its convictions in many ways. Thank you for sharing the story, and the Twain quotation. Happy Memorial Day.

  16. the info you shared was so amazing, and it makes me want to find out if any of my relatives were certain wars, instead of the mafia...

  17. Lovely post willow - having just returned from the US - I really find the patriotism there very heartening.

  18. And to be a woman, is to not have to chose at all, for there would be no war, but family, safe at home in a Mother's arms...

    You are so very fortunate to know your family history, this is something that I simply must do. Love this post!

  19. I also have several great, greats, etc that fought in the Revolutionary War. One with Washington. Hooray for those men who fought, died and suffered so that we may live in self-determination. Not a member of the DAR, just not a joiner.

  20. I have been able to "see" and read several letters between George Washington and my GX Grandfather by way of the National Archives online.

    I was invited to join DAR a couple years ago but haven't since that was the same time mother's Alzheimer's really kicked in and took every second of "me" for the last two years.

    I really hope that life calms enough so I can go back to quilting and joining DAR. Yeah right! ha

  21. What a wonderful epitaph to have on his tombstone - a real testament to how he lived his life. I don't even know where any of my family beyond my mother's parents are buried. It would be interesting to look it up sometime. Thanks for the great post! ~Lori

  22. You, too, have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend. I loved this post a lot because just today I was reading an interview with Desmond Tutu where he made a similar comment to he quote by Twain. 'If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.'

    Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  23. I love cemeteries and old tombstones. You have such an interesting family history.


  24. This post is very touching and the tombstones are remarkable.

  25. How cool that you can trace your family lineage back so far. He sounds like a very powerful person. Bravo!

  26. Willow - We are definitely on the same historical page today! BTW, I've got a LOT of ancestors who were living in Virgina between 1620 and 1740. I wonder if we share any? THANK YOU SO MUCH for telling me about

    Do any of these names sound familiar? John Cox. Richard Pace. Augustine Rowland. Andrew Harrison. There are a bunch of women, too, obviously. You are my genealogical guru!

  27. again I am such amazement of your knowledge of your ancestors, what an honor to know these people that came before and did so much to put us where we are today. What a great post and quote for this Memorial Weekend.
    On another note, made your berry pies for a family gathering last weekend, big hit & such a time savor for me, posted a link back to your recipe on my blog today, thanks again

  28. what a wonderful, rich history you come from. so interesting. have a great holiday.

  29. How wonderful to have such family history!

    Have a lovely weekend, Willow!

  30. There's just something about old tombstones! "...he was an honest man."...I love that.

    The color is a nice change over here...and we had burgers on the patio today, too!

    Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  31. such interesting tombstones! impressive that they are still standing and in such good shape. your post is an apt way to commemorate this memorial weekend, willow!

  32. What a fitting Memorial Day post, Willow. I enjoyed the Mark Twain words of wisdom too. I read in an earlier post that someone criticized your life choices...unbelievable! As if education stops with a piece of paper! Love to you <3

  33. Willow! How great to have that picture of his tombstone. I'd love to visit where some of my relatives are buried back there from the Revolutionary War. I bet you are a DAR member. I am, too!

  34. Okay, just read comments and see that you want to get your documentation together. I so encourage you to do it.

    My grandmother was a member so I really got off easy. (Some people have to get every piece of documentation back to the war - hard copies!) I just had to trace back to the war through a list, which I did through (mind you, it has to match what the DAR already has on record), submit my g.mother's documentation and member number (copies) for verification against their records, get my father's birth certificate naming his connection to her, my parent's marriage license, my birth certificate, and our marriage license.

    There's some paperwork to fill out and you have to go to a local meeting and get nominated (a breeze for YOU!), and then someone will usually be more than happy to help you. I love it because I can now pass this on to my daughter and son as there is a "Sons of the American Revolution" as well.

    (You also might get interested in Colonial Dames and the Mayflower Society but I never finished that out.)

    I am not active right now as I don't have time for the meetings and it isn't nearly as big here on the West Coast as it is in the East. But I think the historical value is wonderful and the research is fascinating. THEY WOULD NOMINATE YOU FOR THEIR PRESIDENT!

  35. I'm jealous. Whenever I asked my folks who my ancestors were my dad and uncle always looked at each other then said, "Horse thieves." For a long time I didn't know they were joking.

    I'll be celebrating the holiday with your coconut pie. The bag of organic coconut sits on the counter taunting me.

    Happy holiday to all and to all a good night...oh wait, wrong holiday. Go ahead, stay up and party.

  36. Your sixth Great Grandfather! How fantastic to go back so far and learn so much about him.

  37. Hi Willow

    I have an award for your lovely blog. If you would like, please come and pick it up at

    All the very best,
    Helen - The Machinist's Wife

  38. Also love posts of your ancestors and love the way the abbreciated December back then!

    Mark Twain rocks!

  39. It is just lovely how you keep the flag of your family's history flying. You come from a fabulous line of true people, willow

  40. What a wonderful image and sentiment here. Sounds like he was a fascinating individual. You come from good stock, Willow, what can I say!? Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

  41. lovely post.

    have a good memorial day weekend.
    & your forefathers will be in my thoughts.


  42. How great to have that heritage. I can find one of my grandfather's graves but that's as far as it goes. Not far at all.

  43. Great post Willlow. I really liked the message at the end. Each man must decide...

  44. I just got in from a long day of shooting, and am going to open a bottle of wine and relax. I will lift my glass in a toast to Capt. Robert "Robin" Hanna.

    Great post, Willow. I have been so busy the past few days, and more to come tomorrow. I am trying to pop in on some of my favorite bloggers. And you "is" right up there at the top.

  45. Thanks to all who have served and continue to serve to protect us all

  46. Hi! Willow,
    What was a very interesting post about your sixth Great-Grandfather.(His tombstone just about sums up his bravery!)

    "Willow said,....and had a close and enduring friendship with Thomas Jefferson."I hope that they corresponded with each other...and the Mark Twain, quote, is that a throwing down the gauntlet or what?!?
    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)