Betsy Ross was born on January 1, 1752 in Philadelphia under the name Elizabeth Griscom into a Quaker family. She is the daughter of Samuel Griscom, a building contractor, and Rebecca James 2 . Following his schooling, she was placed in a learning tapestry she had met John Ross, another Anglican Apprentice 3. She married the latter in 1773, which led to his being excluded from the Quaker community for marrying outside her faith 2.
John Ross, owner of a tapestry shop on Arch Street in Philadelphia, died in January 1776 following a gunpowder explosion during his service in the state militia, leaving his young widow the property of his wife. 'business. It is shortly thereafter, in June 1776, that is located the legendary episode which would have seen George Washington ask Betsy Ross to realize the first flag of the United States 4 . In fact, the legend was born in 1870 after a letter from his grand-son, William Canby, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania where he recounts the episode he had from the family tradition 1. Unfortunately, no historical evidence to support this story, and George Washington was in New York with his troops when the episode is supposed to take place 4. A document, however, mentioned that she made flags for the Navy during the conflict 5.
In 1777, she remarried with Joseph Ashburn, a sailor, who was taken prisoner by the British and died in captivity in 1782. It was in May 1783 that his third marriage with John Claypoole took place, which lasted until the death of the latter in 1817. It died on January 30, 1836 in his city of birth 4 .