Prompt: Dish the dirt on your celebrity ancestors. Don’t have a movie star in the tree? Then talk about ancestors famous for other reasons. This is your chance to be an historical gossip columnist!
Who is Robert Treat PAINE? First, he is my third cousin nine time removed; our common ancestors are Richard TREAT and Alice GAYLORD (my tenth great-grandparents, his second great-grandparents). He was born on 11 March 1731 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Rev. Thomas PAINE and Eunice TREAT. Robert died on 11 May 1814, likely in Boston.
Robert was a lawyer and heavily involved in politics. To his credit:
- State convention delegate at Boston in 1768
- Member of the colonial house of representative in 1773
- Member of Massachusetts Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1775
- Massachusetts delegate to Continental Congress from 1774 to 1778
- Massachusetts attorney general from 1777-1790
- Constitutional convention delegate in 1779
- Massachusetts supreme court judge from 1790-1804
But I think most importantly, Robert was a signer of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776.
His signature is located in the right-most column, in the fifth position, just under John Adams.
How cool is that? ;)
1. Portrait of Robert Treat Paine, (permission granted under the GNU Free Documentation License).
2. Facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, public domain.
3. Robert Treat Paine’s signature from the Declaration of Independence, public domain.
1. Robert Treat Paine biography, Biographical Directory of the United State Congress, accessed 2 June 2009.