Our Patriot Ancestors
     . . . Biographical Sketches

Fred(erick) Rouser

  David I. Foster is the only source for the name of Fred Rouser as one of the Bedford County Rangers who were massacred on 16 July 1780. He never revealed how he came up with the name. One thing can be assumed, though. Foster gave the man's name as simply 'Fred' but in the Eighteenth Century the name 'Frederick' would not have been abbreviated into 'Fred'. So we can be sure that if a man by the surname Rouser did indeed serve along with the other Patriots under Captain Phillips, his name would have been fully pronounced as Frederick.

  Despite David Foster's claim that there were a number of Rouser families in the Woodcock Valley during the 1770s and 80s, the name does not appear on any of the tax assessment returns for this region of Bedford County from 1771 through 1781. A man by the name of Joseph Rouzer resided in Napier Township, and died there in 1817. That Joseph had three sons: John, Joseph Jr., and Isaac. Whether Frederick Rouser was closely related, or related at all, to that family cannot be known from available records. The name Rouser definitely did not show up in the Morrison Cove from which the majority of Captain Phillips' Rangers would have been enlisted.

  The name of Rouser did not show up on any roster for companies raised in the region during the American Revolutionary War, so the basis for Mr. Foster's claim that Frederick Rouser was one of the men massacred here in the summer of 1780 is not known. But because it is possible that Mr. Foster had evidence that proved Frederick Rouser was indeed one of the massacred Patriots, his name is included here.