The Liberty Bell Patriots

The Liberty Bell Patriots

In 1776, the Liberty Bell at the State House in Philadelphia, was allegedly rung at the reading of the Declaration of Independence (some historians believe that this did not happen due to the poor condition that the steeple was in where the bell was hanging at the time). Over a year later, in September of 1777, when the British were about to overtake Philadelphia, patriots living there, swept through the city, removing any items that would have been of use to the British, including anything made of metal, which could be melted down and poured and cast into cannon balls. One item in particular the British could have used were bells. Then, city officials sought out German farmers and wagoneers, who had the means to transport items out of the city, including large bells. The final destination for the Liberty Bell was Allentown, Pennsylvania, hidden with other bells under the floorboards of the Zion’s Reformed Church, which still exists to this day. In 1778, the bell was returned to Philadelphia after the British left. Due to the poor condition of the steeple, the bell was placed in storage until 1785, when it was once again put in place for ringing. Between 1885 and 1915, the Liberty Bell was placed on exhibition across the country at various expositions. After WWII, the City of Philadelphia transferred custody of the bell over to the National Park Service. The NPS maintains the three blocks north of Independence Hall that was developed into a park called Independence Mall. The Liberty Bell now resides across from Independence Hall. A link to the history of the Liberty Bell is below:

History of the Liberty Bell and Its Destiny

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) have a chapter in Allentown, PA. and it is known as the Liberty Bell Chapter. This chapter of the DAR recognizes those individuals that helped protect the Liberty Bell during its arduous journey to its secret location. The Liberty Bell Chapter has a list of those patriots that participated in this mission of secrecy and protection. There are 182 patriots on this list, hailing from the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. Perhaps one of your ancestors is listed. The link to the list on the chapter’s website is below:

The Liberty Bell Patriots

Just a clarification here…Barb Mann Januscheitis of another chapter of the DAR made mention that the list of patriots may not have had anything to do with the protection of the Liberty Bell. With that said, you can contact the Liberty Bell Chapter of the DAR to possibly find out if your ancestor did participate or is merely listed for their service.

Quite by accident, I found that I have three of my ancestors on this list while researching Bernhardt Zimmerman:

Lt. Col. Philip Boehm (1747-1816), Northampton Co., Pa. – 1st cousins, 7x removed

Lt. Bernhardt Zimmerman (1744-1818), Pine Grove, Pa. – 6x great-grandfather

Pvt. George Adam Zerbe (1753-1828) Pine Grove, Pa. – 6x great-grandfather


Special thanks to the Liberty Bell Chapter (Allentown, Pennsylvania) of the DAR

Images courtesy of the Library of Congress

History of the Liberty Bell and Its Destiny – Wikipedia

2 thoughts on “The Liberty Bell Patriots

    • Cathy,
      Another reader of the blog left a comment that took me by surprise. She is a member of the DAR and is a member of the Chester Co., PA Genealogy Group. Those patriots that are listed didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the Liberty Bell. Here’s the rub…the name of the DAR Chapter is the Liberty Bell Chapter. On the Chapter’s website, they gave the list of names of the patriots the Liberty Bell Patriots, naming the group after the chapter, and my understanding is that the descendant members of the Liberty Bell Chapter are the ones that submitted their ancestor’s name to add to the list. Now, there are a few names on the list that did have something to do with the bell. Still, my ancestor’s names are on the list because they did serve.


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