Person:Elizabeth Griscom (3)

Elizabeth "Betsy Ross" Griscom
m. 06 Feb 1741
  1. Deborah Griscom1743 - 1793
  2. Susan Griscom1744 - 1788
  3. Sarah Griscom1745 - 1747
  4. Rebecca Griscom1746/47 -
  5. William Griscom1748 - 1749
  6. Sarah Griscom1749 - 1785
  7. Mary Griscom1750 - 1794
  8. Elizabeth "Betsy Ross" Griscom1752 - 1836
  9. Samuel Griscom1753 - 1756
  10. Martha Griscom1754 - 1757
  11. Hannah Griscom1755 - 1836
  12. Ann Griscom1757 - 1759
  13. Samuel Griscom1758 - 1761
  14. Abigail GriscomAbt 1759 - 1762
  15. Joseph Griscom1759 - 1762
  16. George Griscom1761 - 1835
  17. Rachael Griscom1762 - 1825
  • HJohn Ross
  • WElizabeth "Betsy Ross" Griscom1752 - 1836
m. 04 Nov 1773
m. 15 Jun 1777
  1. Zilla Ashburn1779 -
  2. Eliza Ashburn1781 -
  • HJohn Claypoole1752 - 1817
  • WElizabeth "Betsy Ross" Griscom1752 - 1836
m. May 1783
  1. Clarrisa Sidney Claypoole1785 - 1864
  2. Sussana Claypoole1786 - 1875
  3. Rachel Claypoole1789 - 1873
  4. Jane Claypoole1792 - 1873
Facts and Events
Name[3][4] Elizabeth "Betsy Ross" Griscom
Married Name[3][4] Betsy Ross
Married Name[6][13][14] Betsey Ross
Married Name[15] Betsy Ross Claypoole
Gender Female
Birth[1][2][3][4][17] 1 Jan 1752 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Marriage 04 Nov 1773 Gloucester, New Jersey, United Statesto John Ross
Occupation[4][5][16] 1776-1777 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States89 Arch Street, seamstress, upholsterer, and flag maker (later the street number was changed to 239)
Religion[5][15] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesQuaker, later a Free Quaker, joining no Friends' Meeting after breaking with the formal group
Reference Number[17] Wikidata #Q234952?
Marriage 15 Jun 1777 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesto Captain Joseph Ashburn
Marriage May 1783 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesto John Claypoole
Death[1][2][3][17] 30 Jan 1836 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Betsy Ross, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Betsy Ross, in Find A Grave, Memorial# 904, Jan 01, 2001 .

    Birth: Jan. 1, 1752, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County,Pennsylvania, USA
    Death: Jan. 30, 1836, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
    Burial: Betsy Ross House Grounds, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
    Betsy Ross
    Elizabeth Griscom Claypoole
    January 1, 1752 - January 20, 1836
    and her husband John Claypoole
    August 15, 1752 - August 3, 1817

    Betsy Ross
    Elizabeth Griscom Claypoole
    January 1, 1752 - January 20, 1836
    and her husband John Claypoole
    August 15, 1752 - August 3, 1817

    Revolutionary War Figure. Born Elizabeth Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she has gained legendary status for her role as a seamstress in the creation of the Flag of the United States. In May 1776 she was commissioned by Continental Congressmen Robert Morris and George Ross (the uncle of her late husband) and General George Washington to sew the first standardized American flag with thirteen stripes and a blue field with thirteen stars in it. The flag she created would be adopted by the Continental legislature in June 1777, who resolved "that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Originally married to John Ross, she was widowed in January 1777 when he was killed in an ammunition storehouse explosion while serving in the Pennsylvania Militia. She later married John Claypoole, and had five children with him. In 1975 the remains of her and her husband were removed from Philadelphia's Mount Moriah Cemetery, and re-interred at the Betsy Ross House. 

  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 McKnight, William James. Jefferson County, Pennsylvania; her pioneers and people, 1800-1915. (Tucson, Arizona: W.C. Cox Co., 1974), volume II, pages 289-290, 1917.

    This is from the original 1917 printing which is out of copyright and available on Google books.

    Mrs. McClelland is a great-granddaughter of Jonas and Susan (Claypoole) Cowan, and through the latter a descendant of Betsy Ross, whose third husband was John Claypoole, Susan Claypoole being the daughter of John and Betsy (Ross) Claypoole. The following "Story of Our Flag," by C. L. Chapman, will be of interest in this connection:
    "With the celebration of Flag Day on June 14, a story of our first flag and its maker comes to my mind, for the first flag was made in May, shortly before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776,'and whose maker was Betsy Ross—but the design not being adopted by Congress until June 14, 1777, that is the day we celebrate. And you will be interested, I am sure, in the beautiful girl whose ability was rewarded by Washington, in his search for someone who could plan and execute the work he needed accomplished, in an emblem so arranged that it would show thirteen five pointed stars in a circle upon a blue field, and the thirteen red and white stripes to show the unity of the thirteen colonies. And to Betsy Ross came this great honor. Beautiful to look at, with dark auburn hair and sparkling eyes, carefully trained to all things domestic, an expert with her needle and able to do the most exquisite handwork, it was no great wonder that fame came to her. Her name was Elizabeth Griscom and she was born Jan. 1, 1752, and was the seventh daughter. The little house in Arch street, Philadelphia, was used also as an upholstery shop, for her husband, John Ross, plied his trade there and had the skillful help of Betsy's fingers. At the time of the Revolution, her husband was called upon to guard some government stores for the Continental army. One day a terrific explosion occurred and John was killed and poor Betsy was left a widow at twenty-four. It was John's uncle, the Hon. Robert Morris, who, feeling sorry for his nephew's widow, brought the great Washington to the little shop in Arch street, and here after many plans and designs were talked over the first flag was decided upon. Well, the next day after the flag was officially adopted, June 15, 1777, Betsy Ross was married to Capt. Joseph Ashburn. But he, like John Ross, was a hero, and was captured by the British and died in prison, leaving his wife a widow with two little daughters. A comrade of Joseph Ashburn, John Claypoole, was also a prisoner of war, and nursed his friend until his death. Later, upon John Claypoole's release, he brought home to his friend's widow the last messages and the diary of Ashburn. He was at once captivated with the young widow, so after a time he became the third husband of Elizabeth Ashburn (Betsy Ross) at Christ Church the eighth of May, 1783. They had four daughters—all clever needlewomen. Betsy Ross was eighty-four when she died in 1836, and her great-granddaughter, Sarah Wilson, is a business woman, and for many years has occupied a room in the east wing of Independence Hall making and selling as souvenirs models of the first flag of Betsy Ross. And here in Philadelphia, you may visit Christ Church and see the pews there which were occupied by Gen. Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross, the latter bearing on a brass plate the inscription:
    "Pew No. 12.
    "In this pew worshipped Betsy Ross, who made the first flag. In Arch street still stands the little shop."

  5. 5.0 5.1 Evolution of the American Flag by George Canby and Lloyd Balderston published by Ferris & Leach, copyright 1909, pp. 120, 123, 124, 125, 1909.

    picture of Betsy Ross and George Washington by Charles H. Weisgerber

  6. Journal of the Friends Historical Society, Supplement Volume 14 copyright 1917 page 22 letter to the editor by John W. Jordan.
  7.   Our Nation's Flag: From the Standard of Spain in 1492 Up to the Flag of 48 Stars in 1917.

    Our Nation's Flag: From the Standard of Spain in 1492 Up to the Flag of 48 Stars in 1917, Also Laws and Usages of the American Standard by Mrs. Anne Lydia (Russell) Vance, Jacob S. Bletcher Press of J. S. Bletcher, 1917

  8.   Betsy Ross and the United States flag by Parry, Oliver Randolph Published 1909.

    Full text available on

  9.   Harpers Magazine June 1873 - image of Mrs. Ross and the flag committee.
  10.   United States. National Archives. Prologue (National Archives) : the journal of the National Archives. (Washington, District of Columbia: National Archives. Central Plains Region, 1969-).

    National Archives Prologue Magazine Summer 2007 volume 39 number 2 American Mysteries, Riddles, and Controversies!
    It is generally believed, but not proven, that Betsy Ross made the first flag of the United States for General George Washington. accessed 7 June 2017

  11.   .

    OUR FLAG Joint Committee on Printing United States Congress accessed 7 June 2017
    During the Revolutionary War, several patriots made flags for our new Nation. Among them were Cornelia Bridges, Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross, and Rebecca Young, all of Pennsylvania, and John Shaw of Annapolis, Maryland. Although Betsy Ross, the best known of these persons, made flags for 50 years, there is no proof that she made the first Stars and Stripes. It is known that she made flags for the Pennsylvania State Navy in 1777. The flag popularly known as the "Betsy Ross flag," which arranged the stars in a circle, did not appear until the early 1790's.

    The claims of Betsy Ross were first brought to the attention of the public in 1870 by one of her grandsons, William J. Canby. In a paper he read before the meeting of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Canby stated:

    "It is not tradition, it is report from the lips of the principal participator in the transaction, directly told not to one or two, but a dozen or more living witnesses, of which I myself am one, though but a little boy when I heard it. . . . Colonel Ross with Robert Morris and General Washington, called on Mrs. Ross and told her they were a committee of Congress, and wanted her to make a flag from the drawing, a rough one, which, upon her suggestions, was redrawn by General Washington in pencil in her back parlor. This was prior to the Declaration of Independence. I fix the date to be during Washington's visit to Congress from New York in June, 1776 when he came to confer upon the affairs of the Army, the flag being no doubt, one of these affairs."

  12.   American Genealogical - Biographical Index. (Middletown, Middlesex, Connecticut, United States|Middletown, Connecticut: Godfrey Memorial Library).

    Name: Elizabeth Griscom
    Birth Date: 1752
    Birthplace: Pennsylvania
    Volume: 68
    Page Number: 154
    Reference: Gen. Column of the " Boston Transcript". 1906-1941.( The greatest single source of material for gen. Data for the N.E. area and for the period 1600-1800. Completely indexed in the Index.): 8 Apr 1907, 9207; 27 May 1907, 9207; 3 Jun 1907, 9207; 3 Sep 1907, 9207
    Source Information
    Godfrey Memorial Library, comp.. American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 1999.
    Original data: Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, CT, USA: Godfrey Memorial Library.

  13. National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970.

    Name: Betsey Ross
    Birth Date: 1752
    Death Date: 1836
    SAR Membership: 33770
    Role: Ancestor
    Application Date: 20 Feb 1920
    Spouse: John Claypole
    Children: Rebecca Claypole
    Source Citation Volume: 169
    Source Information U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
    Original data: Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls.

  14. Encyclopedia Americana. (Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier, c1989).

    The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge, Encyclopedia Americana Corporation, 1919, volume 11, page 309, 1919.
    FLAG DAY. The 100th anniversary of the birth of the American flag was on 14 June 1877, the Continental Congress having adopted the stars and stripes on 14 June 1777, and the government at Washington requested that all public buildings float the flag in honor of the day. A like respect was shown for the natal day of the flag in New York, where all government and municipal buildings hoisted the colors; Boston, too, observed the day' by exercises and display of American flags; Philadelphia was equally eager to show reverence and at Independence Hall a program was given as also at the old home of Betsey Ross, where the first American flag was constructed. At the celebration in South Church, Boston, the centre of attraction was the original Fort McHenry flag which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the 'Star Spangled Banner.' The earliest effort to make the day into an annual and national holiday was when Dr. B. J. Cigrand wrote in the June issue of the Chicago Argus an article entitled, "The Fourteenth of June," in which he advocated a national holiday for every month of the year; while teaching school at Fredonia, Wis. in 1886, he directed attention to the memorable event and the pupils wrote essays on the theme, he having furnished the item from the Youths' Companion of 1883. In many magazine and newspaper articles he advocated recognition of this memorable day in the history of the American flag — calling it "Flag-Birth-Day," notably The Home, School and Nation (Vol. Ill, No. I, 1891); The Student (Vol. II, No. 7, page 396); 'Heraldic History of United States Flag' (Vol. II, 1st ed., 1889) ; Our Country, June 1889. In an address to the Sons of America, June 1888, he emphasized the good that would come from such a flag holiday, which resulted in the Sons organizing a corporation and publishing monthly a magazine, The American Standard, to inculcate reverence for American emblems, and he was its editor-in-chief. The outgrowth of this patriotic work was that his efforts along these lines brought much encouragement.
    A similar flag respect was shown by George Balch, teacher in a free kindergarten of New York city, where he, on 14 June 1889, observed the natal day of the U. S. flag. The Betsey Ross home at Philadelphia, on 14 June 1890, likewise, celebrated the day; the New York Society, Sons of the Revolution, celebrated 14 June (to commemorate 14 June 1777) in 1891 and have ever since observed the day, by erecting a monument on some spot of historic
    interest. Col. George A. Cantine of Newburg, N. Y., a veteran of the Civil War, conducted a patriotic flag celebration 14 June 1891, and in 1893 Le Roy Van Horn, of Chicago, a veteran of the Civil War, conducted with the aid of G. A. R. men a flag drill and exercise at Douglas Park, Chicago, on the third Saturday of June, and in 1893 Le Roy Van Horn and Dr. B. J. Cigrand were brought together and the latter issued a newspaper call reading "All persons who desire to commemorate the birthday of the American flag, adopted 14 June 1777, are invited to meet at 8 P.m. in the assembly hall of the Grand Pacific Hotel." This was in 1894 and was the origin of the Illinois Corporation known as The American Flag-Day Association, whose purpose was to celebrate the third Saturday in June and to conduct the exercises in the interest of public school children. The officers were Gen. Theodore F. Brown, president; Dr. B. J. Cigrand, secretary; Blanch E. Reynolds, vice-president (authoress of the "Living Flag" in which people formed the stripes and stars at the World's Fair 1893); Capt. E. R. Lewis, treasurer; LeRoy Van Horn, musical director. Annually this organization held celebrations in the five large parks of Chicago, but always on the third Saturday of June; but in 1896 when Dr. B. J. Cigrand became the State president, he directed that the actual date, 14 June, be observed and on that date celebrated the day at Humboldt Park, Chicago. Because of the great success of the actual date celebration a national organization was effected of which Dr. Cigrand became the president and the directing spirit; and to this National Society, 36 governors, scores of mayors and five Presidents of the United States have sent delegates and approving credentials that "Flag Day" be observed on the actual date (not third Saturday of June) in all States of the Union. This National Flag Day Society, aside from having established the actual day (14 June), labors in the interest of the entire population — all classes are invited
    — the pupils of the parochial, private and public schools, academies, colleges, universities, clubs and industrial institutions to join annually and participate in Flag Day; and by this liberal policy exemplify the broad and tolerant spirit of the Flag itself, so well expressed by President Wilson at the Flag Day celebration at Washington, D. C, 14 June 1914:
    "This flag for the future is meant to stand for the just use of undisputed national power. No nation is ever going to doubt our power to assert its rights, and we should lay it to heart that no nation shall ever henceforth doubt our purpose to put it to the highest uses to which a great emblem of justice and government can be put.
    "It is henceforth to stand for self-possession, for dignity, for the assertion of the right of one nation to serve the other nations of the world
    — an emblem that will not condescend to be used for purposes of aggression and self-aggrandizement; that is too great to be debased by selfishness; that has vindicated its right to be honored by all nations of the world and feared by none who do righteousness."
    On 14 June 1916 President Wilson issued the "Flag Day" proclamation calling for a nation-wide Flag Day observance on 14 June.

  15. 15.0 15.1 John and Betsy Ross Claypoole, in The Story of Our Flag: colonial and national, with historical sketch of the Quakeress, Betsy Ross, Page 47, 1898.
  16. Betsy Ross and the American Flag, in, 31 July 1871.

    Affidavit of Rachel Fletcher, a daughter of Elizabeth Claypoole (Betsy Ross)

    I remember having heard my mother Elizabeth Claypoole say frequently that she, with her own hands, (while she was the widow of John Ross,) made the first Star-spangled Banner that ever was made. I remember to have heard her also say that it was made on the order of a Committee, of whom Col. Ross was one, and that Robert Morris was also one of the Committee. That General Washington, acting in conference with the committee, called with them at her house. This house was on the North side of Arch Street a few doors below Third Street, above Bread Street, a two story house, with attic and a dormer window, now standing, the only one of the row left, the old number being 89; it was formerly occupied by Daniel Niles, Shoemaker. Mother at first lived in the house next East, and when the war came, she moved into the house of Daniel Niles. That it was in the month of June 1776, or shortly before the Declaration of Independence that the committee called on her. That the member of the committee named Ross was an uncle of her deceased husband. That she was previously well acquainted with Washington, and that he had often been in her house in friendly visits, as well as on business. That she had embroidered ruffles for his shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it was partly owing to his friendship for her that she was chosen to make the flag. That when the committee (with General Washington) came into her store she showed them into her parlor, back of her store; and one of them asked her if she could make a flag and that she replied that she did not know but she could try. That they then showed her a drawing roughly executed, of the flag as it was proposed to be made by the committee, and that she saw in it some defects in its proportions and the arrangement and shape of the stars. That she said it was square and a flag should be one third longer than its width, that the stars were scattered promiscuously over the field, and she said they should be either in lines or in some adopted form as a circle, or a star, and that the stars were six-pointed in the drawing, and she said they should be five pointed. That the gentlemen of the committee and General Washington very respectfully considered the suggestions and acted upon them, General Washington seating himself at a table with a pencil and paper, altered the drawing and then made a new one according to the suggestions of my mother. That General Washington seemed to her to be the active one in making the design, the others having little or nothing to do with it. That the committee then requested her to call on one of their number, a shipping merchant on the wharf, and then adjourned. That she was punctual to her appointment, and then the gentleman drew out of a chest an old ship's color which he loaned her to show her how the sewing was done; and also gave her the drawing finished according to her suggestions. That this drawing was done in water colors by William Barrett, an artist, who lived on the North side of Cherry Street above Third Street, a large three story brick house on the West side of an alley which ran back to the Pennsylvania Academy for Young Ladies," [note missing open quotation mark, probably meant before "Pennsylvania Academy" --Webmaster] kept by James A. Neal, the best school of the kind in the city at that time. That Barrett only did the painting, and had nothing to do with the design. He was often employed by mother afterwards to paint the coats of arms of the United States and of the States on silk flags. That other designs had also been made by the committee and given to other seamstresses to make, but that they were not approved. That mother went diligently to work upon her flag and soon finished it, and returned it, the first star-spangled banner that ever was made, to her employers, that it was run up to the peak of one of the vessels belonging to one of the committee then lying at the wharf, and was received with shouts of applause by the few bystanders who happened to be looking on. That the committee on the same day carried the flag into the Congress sitting in the State House, and made a report presenting the flag and the drawing and that Congress unanimously approved and accepted the report. That the next day Col. Ross called upon my mother and informed her that her work had been approved and her flag adopted, and he gave orders for the purchase of all the materials and the manufacture of as many flags as she could make. And that from that time forward, for over fifty years she continued to make flags for the United States Government.

    I believe the facts stated in the foregoing Article entitled "The First American Flag and Who Made It," are all strictly true. This affidavit having been signed by Rachel Fletcher with violet ink, the signature has faded, but is at this time, Seventh Month 24th, 1908, still plainly legible.
    Rachel Fletcher

    I, Mary Fletcher Wigert, daughter of the said Rachel Fletcher, recognize the signature in the rectangular space outlined in black above, as the signature of my mother Rachel Fletcher.
    Mary Fletcher Wigert

    Signed in the presence of Mary W. Miller Philadelphia Seventh Mo. 24th, 1908
    State of New York
    City of New York SS
    On the 31st day of July A.D. 1871. Before me the subscriber a Notary Public in and for the Commonwealth of New York, duly commissioned, residing in the said City of New York, personally appeared the above named Rachel Fletcher, who being duly affirmed did depose and say that the statements above certified to by her are all strictly true according to the best of her knowledge and belief, and that she is a daughter of Elizabeth Claypoole. Affirmed and subscribed before me the day and year aforesaid. Witness my hand and Notarial Seal.
    Th. J. McEvily
    Notary Public City & Co. New York

  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Betsy Ross, in Wikidata, (URL:

    date of birth: 1 January 1752
    place of birth: Philadelphia
    date of death: 30 January 1836
    place of death: Philadelphia