Pvt. Evan Holt (Drummer) by descendants Daniel Bacon SAR #186881 and Richard Dean Wright SAR #186053

Evan A. Holt (b. 2 Dec 1762, d. 28 Oct 1846 in Tilgrath, South Wales, England, d 28 Oct 1846, Chester Township., Morrow County, Ohio, buried Chester Baptist Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio), married Charity McCreary (born 14 Sep 1764, ?Armagh Province, Ulster, Ireland, died 9 March 1839, Chester Township, Knox County, Ohio, buried Chester Baptist Cemetery, Morrow County,Ohio, age 74 yr.).

On 2 December 1762, in Talgrath, Merioneth Shire (now Shropshire) South Wales, a boy was born. The boy’s name was Evan A. Holt. He inherited the Celtic traits of being a warrior, adventurer and pioneer. When Evan was a boy he was indentured for debts his parents owed. In 1776, at an age of 14, he stowed away on a sailing ship, most likely from the port town of Aberdovey, and landed at Andover, Massachusetts. He then traveled several hundred miles to the Gwynedd District of Montgomery County in Pennsylvania. The people there were predominantly of Welsh descent, and from the same area of Wales that he had come from. He may have had relatives living there.

On 24 June 1778, at age 16, Evan joined the Revolutionary Army at Valley Forge as a drummer. He served until August of 1783. In 1785 and 1786 his name appears on the muster rolls of Gwyneth District, Montgomery, County, Pennsylvania. In 1798 his name appears on the muster rolls of Eastown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Evan married Charity McCreary in New Jersey and they had 10 children; Susan, Mary, James, Charity, Evan II, Martha, John Henry, Lucy, William, and Amy. He was given a 100-acre pension grant in Knox County, Ohio for serving in the Revolution. In 1808 he moved his family to Ohio. They were the first family in that area, and Evan named it Chester township for the County where he lived in Pennsylvania. Three months later, a family named Walker moved in, but the families would not meet each other for a year and a half.

By 1812, many more settlers had arrived. One of them was Henry George, a Baptist minister who was a boyhood friend from the same village in Wales. Evan’s oldest daughter and her husband, James Irwin, a Baptist minister, had settled there also. A Welsh Baptist church was chartered in Chester Township in 1812. A log cabin church built and Henry and James became circuit preachers for central Ohio. In 1812, Evan A. Holt and Henry George became two of the first three judges in Chester Township, Knox County, Ohio. Evan and Charity lived the rest of their lives there, farming. Evan and Charity are buried in the old Chester Cemetery of Knox, now Morrow County. Buried beside Evan and Charity are daughters, Mary McClain and Charity McCreary, and two granddaughters, Malandia Holt and Margaret Ann Holt.

A old family letter tells this story of an accident that happened to Evan and some of his family. On April 4, 1840, Evan and his family were traveling through Peru Township in Knox County with a team of horses and a wagon. There was a fierce storm going on at the time. They were crossing Alum Creek on a bridge that was 10 feet above the water. The bridge collapsed and they fell into the creek. The horses and wagon were tangled with the fallen timbers. Evan stayed with the team and held their heads out of the water while his family went for help. A Mr. G.W. White and a Mr. Riley came to the rescue. Evan’s only comment was: “The contractors must not have built the bridge very well.”

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