Master Surname Index

John Pitcairn

Ancestry of Major
John Pitcairn

British Commander at Battle of Lexington

Who was John Pitcairn?

Major John Pitcairn was a British Marine officer who took part in some of the American Revolution's most famous battles. He was in command of the advance party when the first shot (i.e. “shot heard 'round the world”) rang out at the Battle of Lexington. This is considered by many as the first shot of the American Revolution.

Just two months later, Major John Pitcairn was mortally wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The moment was immortalized in American artist John Trumbull's painting titled The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Major Pitcairn is seen at right center falling into the arms of his son, also a Royal Marine, after receiving the fatal blow. He was carried back to Boston where he died within a few hours.

Famous Kin

Although Major Pitcairn was a Redcoat, he has a number of connections to American patriots who fought against the British during the war. He has kinships to signers of the American Declaration of Independence including Philip Livingston, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Harrison V, and Button Gwinnett. He also has a number of U.S. presidential connections including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams. Other patriots include Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Prescott (the rider who completed Paul Revere's midnight ride), and the author of the The Star Spangled Banner Francis Scott Key.

However Major Pitcairn is a Redcoat so it's only fitting to point out his kinship to the current royal family including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Prince William, and Catherine Middleton. He's even a cousin to Sir Winston Churchill.

Please note: The ancestor reports on this website have been compiled from thousands of different sources, many over 100 years old. These sources are attached to each ancestor so that you can personally judge their reliability. As with any good genealogical research, if you discover a link to your own family tree, consider it a starting point for further research. It is always preferable to locate primary records where possible. cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy and reliability of these sources.