A Case of Information Overload: The Patriotic Oversight of William Nimmo Sr

When you partake in years of genealogical research, it’s likely you’ll miss something or, in this case, completely overlook something. After spending years searching family documents, probate records, birth and death certificates and newspaper articles, you’re bound to miss a blatantly obvious family detail.  I argue that it is a case of information overload.  This is that case.

Because this is a personal endeavor and not a professional one, I forgave myself for the oversight.  Although it is a fairly major one since I’ve been searching for this particular connection for some time.  Nevertheless, I take great pride in my family research and missing such a glaring detail in my family tree does give me cause for a genealogical butt kicking.

In any case, I have been searching for patriot ancestors for years.  I have cause to believe that some ancestors on my family tree are indeed Revolutionary patriots that are written about in militia records and genealogical books.  Their linkage to me, however, would probably not pass the evidentiary standard of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  For example, Dutchess County militia men Isaac Teller and Benjamin Thorne are definitely my ancestors but whether SAR would consider them the same patriots as are written into history is the question.

These men from New York weren’t the oversight.  It was two patriots from Virginia whom I overlooked.  William Nimmo Sr. and Dr. Christopher Wright have been on my family tree for years.  In fact, I was introduced to the Nimmo family well over a decade ago.  I received a well-researched family tree given to me by my grand-uncle, James Tagg.  The information established the genealogical connnection between myself and William Nimmo Sr., making him my sixth great-grandfather.  Christopher Wright’s family information is relatively new research on my part and virtually establishes a genealogical link as my sixth great-grandfather as well.  In fact, the men are in-laws by virtue of their children’s marriage to one another.

Mr. Nimmo and Dr. Wright were both named to the Committee of Safety for Princess Anne County in 1775.  These committees were formed to act as “shadow” governments, keeping a close watch on the provincial governments controlled by the British.  Eventually, when the British royal governments were expelled at the start of the war, these Committees became essential institutions during the early days of revolution when they were expected to organize local militia.

How I missed such an obvious family linkage to our revolutionary past is completely beyond me?  Despite my slip-up in research, it begs the question: should I apply for SAR membership?  There is a well-documented line from William Nimmo Sr. to myself.  It is fact and a virtually certainty that this man is my direct ancestor.

Is anyone out there a SAR member?

  • William Nimmo Sr. (Bef 1712 – 1791) – Patriot Ancestor
  • his son, William Nimmo Jr. (1763 – 1799)
  • his son, Rev. Joseph Nimmo Sr. (1798 – 1865)
  • his son, William Henry Dickson Nimmo (1830 – 1909)
  • his daughter, Florence Nimmo Peck (1870 – 1945)
  • her daughter, Edythe Augusta Peck Tagg (1892 – 1983)
  • her son, John Ernest Tagg (1920 – 1983)
  • his son, my father (living)
  • his son, Me.

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