On August 27, 2015, the Washington Post ran a story on the restoration of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, which is located at the western base of the U.S. Capitol.  The story focuses on the sculptor, Henry Merwin Shrady and details how “the little-known but majestic sculpture — tattered, stained and corroded — is undergoing a months-long restoration by the Architect of the Capitol.”

Grant_585x585Ulysses S. Grant’s personal memoirs (1885–86) present his family history, which are rooted in Connecticut.  As he describes in the entry below, the foundation of his American branch was Mathew Grant of Windsor Connecticut.  We share that connection!  Mathew Grant is my 5th great grandfather of wife of 3rd great grandfather, this distant connection is facilitated through a line of marriages between the Grant-Humphrey-Hillyer-Eggleston and eventually the Spencer families.

Mathew (Matthew) Grant, the founder of the branch in America, of which I am a descendant, reached Dorchester, Massachusetts [now part of Boston], in May, 1630. In 1635 he moved to what is now Windsor, Connecticut, and was the surveyor for that colony for more than forty years. He was also, for many years of the time, town clerk. He was a married man when he arrived at Dorchester, but his children were all born in this country. His eldest son, Samuel, took lands on the east side of the Connecticut River, opposite Windsor, which have been held and occupied by descendants of his to this day.

I am of the eighth generation from Mathew Grant, and seventh from Samuel. Mathew Grant’s first wife died a few years after their settlement in Windsor, and he soon after married the widow Rockwell, who, with her first husband, had been fellow-passengers with him and his first wife, on the ship Mary and John, from Dorchester, England, in 1630. Mrs. Rockwell had several children by her first marriage and others by her second. By intermarriage, two or three generations later, I am descended from both the wives of Mathew Grant.

In the fifth descending generation my great grandfather, Noah Grant, and his younger brother, Solomon, held commissions in the English army, in 1756, in the war against the French and Indians. Both were killed that year. My grandfather, also named Noah, was then but nine years old. At the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, after the battles of Concord and Lexington, he went with a Connecticut company to join the Continental army, and was present at the battle of Bunker Hill. He served until the fall of Yorktown, or through the entire Revolutionary war. – –

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