2018-07-12 / News

Hammett descendants discover where ancestors farmed, fought


Hammett descendants (front, l-r) Lizette, Kathleen, (back) Sharel, Alyssa, and Tom Welch stand at the Hammett homestead near War Hill. It was in this area that the first shots were fired at the start of the Revolutionary War battle at Kettle Creek. Hammett descendants (front, l-r) Lizette, Kathleen, (back) Sharel, Alyssa, and Tom Welch stand at the Hammett homestead near War Hill. It was in this area that the first shots were fired at the start of the Revolutionary War battle at Kettle Creek. A family with descendants of Robert and Sitha Hammett recently visited the Kettle Creek Battlefield area. Sharel Welch, her husband, Tom, and their three daughters stopped at Kettle Creek to visit her family’s Georgia homestead and explore their heritage on their way home from a family vacation in Charleston, S.C.

Sharel’s maternal grandfather was Roy Hammett, born 1917 in Oklahoma. She and Tom have been exploring her Hammett history, and wanted their girls to stand on the same land her ancestors farmed and defended during the Revolutionary War. It is likely that it was on Hammett land that Loyalists were “killing some beefs,” according to Patriot Col. John Dooly, on the morning of February 14, 1779, when the first shots were fired by the Patriots.

Georgian Biddy Hammett, who has done much research into Hammett history, introduced the Welches to Joe and Dot Harris. The Welches stopped by the Harris’ home for a visit before leaving with Joe for the Kettle Creek Battleground site. After the Welches visited the family cemetery and paid their respects, Joe gave them a review of the historic battle at the interpretive sign on Settlement Road.

On the ridge location of Liberty Church they learned of the meeting place of the first Presbytery in Georgia. Harris then led them about a mile to the large building stones which identified the Hammett homestead. Seeing foundation stones laid by their forefathers and mothers was a poignant moment of their visit. At the site, Tom shared several old family pictures, including one of Sharel’s third great-grandfather, John Robert Hammett, born 1817 in Wilkes County. It is possible that he was born on that site.

During a brief tour of War Hill they found the name of William Hammett listed on a monument as having fought with the Wilkes Militia in the Kettle Creek battle.

“We’re grateful that Joe took the time to give us a guided tour of the area,” said Sharel. “The land is beautiful and we had a great time exploring our Georgia connection.”

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