January 1st, Elizabeth (Betsy) Griscom came into this world as the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Griscom. She was the eighth child of 17 in a conservative Quaker family.
During her schooling years, she attended a Quaker institution where she learned reading, writing and sewing.
After completing her schooling, Betsy's father apprenticed her to a local upholsterer.
In November, at the age of 21, Betsy eloped with John Ross, the son of an Episcopal assistant rector. They had to elope because Quakers did not believe that people should marry outside of their religion. However, Betsy fell deeply in love with her fellow apprentice at an upholstery shop. After crossing the Delaware River and getting married in New Jersey, Betsy was cut off from communication with her family.
John and Betsy returned to Philadelphia and started their own upholstery business.
Their business was suffering during the American Revolution. Since money was tight and the other effects of war were in play, they could not find the fabrics that they needed in order to keep up their shop. Their business had less customers and orders.
In January John was injured in an explosion after joining the Pennsylvania militia. Betsy tried to nurse him back to health; but, shortly after, he passed away due to his injuries.
Betsy returned to the Quakers after the death of her husband John by joining the Fighting Quakers who supported the war.
In late spring, Betsy met with George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris. This meeting was the one that led to the sewing of the first flag of the United States of America by Betsy Ross.
In June Betsy remarried to a sea captain named Joseph Ashburn.
During the winter, Betsy and Joseph and their two daughters were forced to share their home with British soldiers.
Captain Ashburn was on a trip to the West Indies, when he was captured by the British. He was sent to the brutal Old Mill Prison in England.
In March Captain Ashburn passed away. Within such a short period of time, Ross became a widow for the second time in her life.
In May Betsy married John Claypoole, a sailor who had also been in the Old Mill Prison with Captain Asburn. This ceremony was the first of her marriages to be performed at Christ Church, which was her hometown church from the days of her childhood.
Betsy convinced John Claypoole to stop sailing and to join her in the upholstery business.
Betsy and John had five daughters together and Betsy had two daughters from the past, although one of them had passed away when she was very young.
John Claypoole passed away after years of illness.
At the age of 75, Betsy stopped working. Throughout the years, she had brought many of her family members into the business with her including her daughter. Betsy moved to Abington, Pennsylvania to live with her daughter Susannah for the rest of her days.
On January 30, she passed away at the age of 84 years old. She was first buried at the Free Quaker burial ground.
Her body was exhumed and moved to Mount Moriah Cemetery.
Her remains were once again moved to the Betsy Ross House.
As with so many of these famous people from the past, rumors abound that the house is visited by the spirits of Betsy Ross and others from that time period.
Facts and information are courtesy of United States History.org.
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