George Belcher: Founder of Belcher, Kentucky


 

    There is a lot of history associated with the place name Belcher. The original Belcher to move into this area from Virginia was descended from an English family whose other American descendants included Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757), royal colonial governor of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, and the Founder of Princeton University. The name Belcher itself is Old French in origin:

Bel * Cher

("Good * Cheer")

(The name Belcher is composed of the English/French words "bel" and "cher", which means "good cheer".)

    The name Belcher dates back to a member of William the Conqueror's army who was listed on "The Roll of the Battle Abbey" and who was the ancestor of a soldier who became historic to the Belcher, Kentucky region: a soldier in the American Revolution named George Belcher, who came from Virginia and was the original Belcher settler in this area of Kentucky.

    George Belcher (born in 1760 in Virginia) enlisted on January 20, 1777 in Captain James Foster's Company of the 15th Virginia Regiment (Continental Line), commanded by Lt. Col. James Innes. During George's term of enlistment in the American army he served in the following regiments: 15th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line; 5th and 11th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line; 2nd Virginia Brigade; 11th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line; and Col. Daniel Morgan's 11th and 15th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line (Company No. 11). In 1778 George held the rank of Private. By the end of his years of service he held the rank of Sergeant. Places where his companies were located from 1777-1779 included Morristown, Reading, Valley Forge, White Plains, and Newark. Therefore, George endured the bitter hardships of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. His three-year term of enlistment in the American army ended in 1780. He soon enlisted in the Virginia militia and fought in the Battle of Cowpens (one of a series of battles in the Carolinas now made famous by the movie The Patriot [2000]). The Cowpens was the site of the battle fought on January 17, 1781, between American forces, led by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, and the British forces led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton. There, the Americans defeated and nearly decimated the British.

    George survived the battle, and not long thereafter, sometime during the 1790's, he came to this region of Kentucky. Patriot George Belcher is among the first settlers and founders of this Kentucky region. Now, the town of Belcher, Kentucky bears his name and the name of all the members of his family (including his relative Governor Jonathan Belcher and George's descendants John Belcher, George W. Belcher, and William Kerry Belcher.)

    George Belcher is listed in the "Ancestor Roll" published by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. 

 



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