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Provincetown Revolutionary War Soldiers Project

by Amy Whorf McGuiggan, Project Coordinator
The Weekly Genealogist
Vol. 19, No. 78, July 5, 2017

During the Revolutionary War, Provincetown, Massachusetts (founded in 1727), was little more than a fishing station — and many of the town’s earliest records, almost no information about Provincetown’s role in the war survived into the modern era.

While undertaking research for Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, recently published by the Cemetery Commission, we found that a number of early residents buried in the historic Winthrop Street Cemetery were the right age to have served in the Revolutionary War.

Intrigued by the notion that Provincetown might be able to reclaim some long-lost history, members of the Cape Cod-based Captain Joshua Gray-Jonathan Hatch Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution took up the challenge, with assistance from the Research Services team at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. NEHGS Researcher Zachary Garceau delved into vital records, family genealogies, muster rolls, and pension records, and prepared the necessary DAR applications. To date, the DAR Historian General has confirmed the service of five Provincetown men:

Stephen Atwood (1733-1802), Solomon Cook (1737-1819), Alexander Gross (1757-1828), Joshua Atkins Mayo (1758-1816), Seth Smith (1743-1802).

The Provincetown Cemetery Commission and the Captain Joshua Gray-Jonathan Hatch Chapter have been authorized by the Historian General to appropriately mark the existing graves of these five previously unrecognized Provincetown Soldiers and Patriots. A dedication is being planned for Veterans Day, November 11, 2017.

For more information about the project, email

Massachusetts Society, Post Office Box 890235, Weymouth, MA 02189-0004, (508) 229-1776
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