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.

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