Jonathan Latimer was a descendant of the English Robert Latimer, who arrived in Boston in 1635 on the ship “Hopewell” as part of the Great Migration. Jonathan’s father (also named Jonathan Latimer) was married to Borodell Denison, Captain George Denison‘s great-granddaughter.
Jonathan Latimer II was born in New London, Connecticut in 1724.The Latimers were by that time a wealthy family, having made their fortune in shipping and ship-building. He married Lucretia Griswold, who was supposedly a descendant of Charlemagne ( but I really don’t know about that). They had fourteen children, including ten very tall boys for the time. He once bragged that himself and six of them measured forty-two feet, which meant they were all six feet tall.
He fought in the French and Indian wars, and during the Revolutionary War, he was a Colonel in the Connecticut militia. His regiment fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and he was counted as some sort of aide to General George Washington.
Four of his sons also served with the Continental Army, including Jonathan III, whose lieutenant was Nathan Hale. Benedict Arnold was an old family friend. When he turned coat and burned New London under British command, many Latimer family properties were destroyed.
In 1790, Jonathan Latimer, by then an old man, and six of his sons and their families, left for Tennessee. I imagine this had something to do with having so many sons to divide his property among. Revolutionary soldiers received free land in the Cumberland Territory. They traveled by ox-cart to present-day Sumner County and settled on Station Camp Creek. This was right on the frontier, and battles with Indians were common. Jonathan’s son, Nathaniel, our ancestor, was killed by Cherokee Indians in 1793 at the Battle of Caney Fork.
Jonathan Latimer eventually acquired several hundred acres of land and in 1797, divided it up among his sons and Nathaniel’s children. He made a will in 1802, died in 1806 and is buried near present-day Hendersonville, TN.Mama Kelly‘s 3rd great-grandparents and the first in her line to arrive in the Cumberland Territory.