Tale of a Discovery: Paul Flick and the Pennsylvania Associators

While doing some research on an ancestor I came across this valuable bit of information from the Historical Magazine and Notes of Queries Concerning the Antiquities, History, and Biography of America (cir. 1865):

For the unsuspecting reader, this may appear to be little more than a random note in a journal capturing an event that occurred 89 years earlier, on June 6th, 1776.  But for me, this is a significant find.  I have poured over dozens of rosters and details of the Northampton County Associators (or ‘Military Association’–volunteer militia called up in Pennsylvania prior to the Militia Act of 1777) to locate some shred of evidence that my ancestor, Paul Flick, had been a member.  It appeared to be a reasonable assumption, as he was elected Captain of the militia for his company in 1777 and was called to action in the Philadelphia Campaign and later in the wilderness as a Ranger.  However it seemed only realistic that he was elected for having had previous combat and leadership experience (since the men voted their officers in the militia, rather than receiving a commission from the Continentals), but I couldn’t find a record of his service.  Until just today–there he is, listed plain as day, Ensign Paul Flick from Moor(e) Township.  Talk about a serendipitous find!

This roll being taken in early June is an important one as an officer he would have been called up–with the rest of the County Associators–to participate in the New York campaign in mid-July, 1776.  He would have fought at the battles of Long Island and again at Fort Washington.  He clearly survived though engagements, which is fascinating since many of his fellow Associators were massacred at Long Island and Fort Washington–only more than a handful returned the next day following Fort Washington’s fall to the British.  Less than a year later, the Militia Act ensured that Paul Flick would see service again and this time as a Captain–he would serve throughout the rest of the war.

It just goes to show you, that sometimes you can still be surprised by what information is available out there–even when you are sure you’ve found it all.


One response to “Tale of a Discovery: Paul Flick and the Pennsylvania Associators

  1. Pingback: The Woes of Ancestry Research: That Awkward Moment When You Lose a Cherished Ancestor | American History and Ancestry·

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