Sunday, July 19, 2015

Types of Military Service Accepted by the DAR

This is the final installment of my series on the types of acceptable service for Patriots in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Military service accepted by the DAR, in general, began with the Battle of Lexington on 19 April 1775 and ended with the date the British evacuated New York on 26 November 1783. The DAR approves military service which may include the following:
  • Participation in the Army, Marines, or Navy of the Continental Establishment
  • Participation in the State Navy
  • Participation in the State and Local Militia
  • Privateers
  • Military or Naval Service performed by French nationals in the American theater of War
There are many ways to prove military service. Often the easiest way is to find federal records that mention your ancestor. These types of records have often been digitized and are often available on websites or through microfilm at your local Family History Center. They may include:
  • Military service records (available on Fold3)
  • Pension records (available on Fold3)
    • Survivor's Pensions
    • Widow's Pensions
  • Bounty Land Grants (available on Ancestry)
Beware of pension records that are classified as "R(number)." These denote "rejected" pensions. Pension applications had to be very specific. If a soldier did not remember the dates he served or the names of his officers (perhaps he only had vague recollections of them), the pension request was often rejected. It may be a good clue as to where to look for further proof, or it may even give you clues as to where he was living or who his children are, but a rejected pension can not be used as proof of service. You would need to prove his service some other way. *CORRECTION: You CAN use rejected pensions as a source of service IF it describes a valid service. For a pension, the soldier had to serve at least a six month term, so if the service was valid but was not for a six-month term, the application for the pension may have been rejected. These types of rejections are still valid sources of military service for the Revolutionary War.*

There are also a bunch of various records that are state or region specific. They range from books to articles to state-archived records and many, many more.  See Debbie Duay's website for a full list of current Revolutionary War Service Sources.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

239th Anniversary of American Independence

Today is an American holiday. We celebrate today as the birth of our country. Today is not the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, or even when the Continental Congress began meeting to discuss our breaking free from England. Today is merely the day Continental Congress finalized the wording of the Declaration as shown by the date printed on the final copy. Even still, this is the day we celebrate America's birthday.

Continuing with my recent posts about what is considered acceptable service with the DAR, Signers of the Declaration of Independence are all accepted Patriots of the Daughters of the American Revolution. They are:

From Connecticut:
From Delaware:
From Georgia:
From Maryland:
From Massachusetts:
From New Hampshire:
From New Jersey:
From New York:
From North Carolina:
From Pennsylvania:
From South Carolina:
From Virginia:
I have not followed out the lines of most of these families. I do know at least some of them do still have living descendants. (One of Benjamin Franklin descendants came to a recent DAR Chapter Meeting of mine to teach us about the life of his ancestor.)

The DAR tags a few of them as having no living descendants, and as you can tell from the list above, not all of the signers appear in the DAR database. While it is possible some of the unlinked signers had descendants, I would imagine the likelihood of that would be extremely low given the fact that women have had 125 years to declare their lineage in the society.

While no DAR Patriot is "better" or "worse" than another, or more or less "worthy" because of the type of service he or she did, I have to say signing the Declaration of Independence has to be one of the "coolest" forms of service!