Colonial America Betsy Ross

Besty Ross

Betsy Ross’s was born on January 1, 1752. Betsy Ross’s great-grandfather, was Andrew Griscom, a Quaker carpenter. He had emigrated from England to New Jersey in 1680.

Betsy’s father apprenticed her to a upholsterer. She learned how to make sofas. Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross. John Ross was the son of Episcopal. In November 1773, 21 year-old Betsy eloped with John Ross. She could no longer go to the Quaker Church since she married an Episcopal.

When John was 21 years old, he was injured by an explosion. Betsy tried to help him get better, but he died. Betsy remarried in June 1777. She married a sea captain named Joseph Ashburn. Betsy had two daughters. They were named Zillah, who died in youth, and Elizabeth. Joseph went to West Indies to get war supplies for the Revolutionary War. Joseph was captured by the British and sent to the Old Mill Prison in England. Joseph died in March 1782.

In May 1783 Betsy remarried. He new husband’s name was John Claypoole. They had 5 daughters. John passed away in 1817. Betsy never married again.

Betsy made the first American flag. George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris came to her house. They were part of a secret committee in the Continental Congress. They asked her to make the flag. They gave her a sketch of the flag. Betsy did not like the six pointed star. She told them she could make a five pointed star with one snip of the scissors. Betsy cut thirteen stars to stand for the thirteen colonies.


Return to the Colonial America Index Page.