Using the Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications Now Posted at Ancestry.com

On June 29, Ancestry.com posted the Sons of the American Revolution membership applications running from 1889 to 1970. These applications are of great value to genealogists, as they include actual linages starting with the applicant, and running all the way back to the patriot ancestor – and sometimes even further. Other useful information is also found in these applications. Notes about the ancestor’s service, the names of second wives, military service of the applicant, and all kinds of other family history related data can be found in the applications.

Ancestry.com got the original data from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in Louisville, Kentucky. The data was on 508 rolls of microfilm, allowing Ancestry to convert the data to digital images. The indexing of the many pages in itself is of great value to genealogists. On a personal basis, I’m very excited about the indexing and easy access that we now have available to the applications. I searched for my ancestor, Moses Crane of New Jersey, and got 8 hits on the name. Seven of them were for my guy. Of those seven, five different applicants were represented, because two applicants were applying for the service of father and son ancestors.

Beside the hits for Moses Crane, I also got hits for a number of other family members that I knew of, thanks to the online indexing of these records.

The following screen shots are from my search for Moses Crane.

Of course, I clicked on all the links to each of the eight hits for Moses Crane. As an example of the genealogical data found, I’ve used only two pages – those being for item number 6 in the list of hits. However, every one of the applications adds additional family information to my ancestral collection.

The following two pages illustrate some of the genealogical data found in the SAR applications:

The above two pages of the four-page application to the Sons of the American Revolution made by David John Crane gives you a pretty good idea of the genealogical value of the SAR applications now found at Ancestry.com.

The following is directly from the search page for the SAR applications found at Ancestry.com:

About U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970

This database contains applications for membership in the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution approved between 1889 and 31 December 1970. The applications are arranged in packets. It may be helpful to scroll through the images to find all information relating to the applicant.

As the Sons of the American Revolution website explains:
“The SAR is a ‘lineage’ society. This means that each member has traced their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1775–1783.”

Applications require a pedigree and accompanying information to demonstrate a generation-by-generation link to a patriot ancestor. Genealogical information submitted may include references to Revolutionary War pension files, baptismal records, marriage records, cemetery records, census records, family Bible records, deeds, court records, documented family and local histories, and copies of applications to other lineage societies. Applications also typically include a short summary of the ancestor’s service.

These records can be an excellent source for names, dates, locations, and family relationships. Applications can be searched by name, place and date of birth and death, and application year.

If you wish to submit an application for membership in the SAR based on an old SAR application, please be advised that the SAR will require a ‘record copy’ of the old application. To obtain a record copy, please click here. Also, please be advised that many older SAR applications are not sufficiently documented pursuant to current SAR genealogy standards. You may need to supplement the old SAR application with additional documentation. Please review the SAR’s genealogy standards and procedures on its website.

Now go do your own search.

Military Bounty Land 1776-1855

Military Bounty Land 1776-1855, by Christine Rose, was published in March. The 176 page book is without a doubt one of the best genealogical research guides published this year.

Bounty land was often awarded to those who served in American wars, starting with the American Revolution in 1776, with the last act passed in 1855. Millions of acres of land were awarded by the government for service to the country. A plethora of records were generated, many of them providing important family information which genealogists can use to fill out the family story. This fantastic new guidebook details what records are available, and how to locate and use them. The volume also includes an appendix of the laws and subsequent acts which generated the awards of public land.

The following is from the book’s Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 The Revolution: Federal Bounty

AN INCENTIVE TO JOIN

  • Responsibilities For Issuing Warrants
  • Federal Offices Handling Claims

THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING LAND
LOCATION OF FEDERAL LANDS

  • 1785 Land Ordinance
  • 1787 Northwest Ordinance
  • Two Planned Military Tracts Abandoned
  • Seven Ranges Survey
  • The Ohio Company Associates
  • Collection at the Ohio Historical Society
  • The Symmes Purchases (The Miami Purchase)
  • United States Military District (USMD)
  • Distribution of Lands in the USMD

THE APPLICATION FILES

  • NARA’s M804 Applications
  • Descriptive Pamphlets
  • Officers
  • Finding Aids for M804

ISSUING OF WARRANTS

  • NARA’s M829 Warrants
  • Scrip Act: Continental Line and Virginia State Line
  • Scrip Records of Virginia Warrants

FINDING AIDS: REVOUTIONARY WAR

  • RG49 – Land Entry
  • Smith’s Federal Land Series
  • Preliminary Inventory 22
  • The Trans-Mississippi West 1804-1912
  • Research in the Land Entry Files of the General Land Office
  • The Official Ohio Lands Book

RELATED RECORDS

  • Ohio Historical Society Library
  • Other Revolutionary War Warrants
  • Treasury Certificates
  • Canadian Refugee Warrants 1802-11
  • Points to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 2: Revolutionary War: Virginia

UNDERSTANDING SOME BASICS

  • Process of Claims

MILITARY CERTIFICATES

  • Military Certificates at the Library of Virginia

LOCATING THE WARRANTS

  • Virginia Warrants in Kentucky
  • South of the Green River
  • The Jackson Purchase
  • Virginia Military District in Ohio (VMD)

VIRGINIA’S WARRANT FILES

  • National Archives Series of Virginia Warrants
  • Kendrick Cases
  • Virginia Resolution Warrants
  • Richard Clough Anderson Papers
  • George Rogers Clark Bounty Land Tract

FINDING AIDS

  • Smith’s Federal Land Series
  • Other Collections
  • Points to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 3: Revolutionary State Bounty

GEORGIA

  • Georgia’s Process
  • Finding Aids

MARYLAND

  • Finding Aids

MASSACHUSETTS/MAINE

  • Finding Aids

NEW YORK

  • Finding Aids

NORTH CAROLINA/TENNESSEE

  • Finding Aids

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Other Pennsylvania Records
  • Finding Aids

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Finding Aids
  • Points to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 4: War of 1812 Bounty Land

THE ACTS
LOCATING THE WARRANT

  • War of 1812 Military Tracts
  • Act of 1842 Lifts Restriction of Locations
  • Act of 1852 Removes Restriction on Assignment
  • Opening of Tracts
  • Michigan Tract
  • Illinois Tract
  • Finding Aids
  • Arkansas Tract
  • Finding Aids
  • Missouri Tract
  • Finding Aids

THE WAR OF 1812 APPLICATION FILES

  • Applications Not in the Same Series

THE WARRANTS

  • The Early War of 1812 Warrants (M848)

RELATED RECORDS

  • Canadian Volunteer Warrants
  • Points to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 5: Unindexed Bounty, etc.

  • Important to Genealogists
  • The 1847-1855 Acts
  • The Act of 1847: The Mexican War
  • Scrip Offered
  • The Act of 1850
  • The Act of 1852
  • The Act of 1855

THE APPLICATIONS

  • Rejected Applications
  • Arrangement of Files
  • Index in Preparation
  • Rich in Family Details
  • Title of File

SURRENDERED WARRANT FILES
INDIAN BOUNTIES

  • Indian Bounty Land Applications
  • No Bounty Land For Service Rendered after 1855
  • Point to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 6: Federal Land Patents

THE SEARCH

  • Following an Example
  • Finding Neighbors
  • All Roses Listed in the Plattsburg Land Office
  • Search by Authority, Etc.
  • Plotting the Land
  • Locating an Address
  • Michigan Survey Search
  • Experiment With Searches
  • Points to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 7: Finding Aids, etc.

ARCHIVAL RESEARCH CATALOG (ARC)
PRELIMINARY INVENTORY 22 (PI 22)
KVASNICKA TRANSMISSIPPI WEST 1804-1912
COMPILED MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS
AMERICAN STATE PAPERS
LEGISLATIVE CLAIMS (PRIVATE ACTS)
SUNDRY OTHER AIDS

  • Other Congressional Records
  • State Legislatures
  • State Archives and State Libraries
  • National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)
  • Additional Reading Material
  • Points to Remember in this Chapter

Chapter 8: Windup

THE INCREDIBLE TALE OF THE O’FLYING FAMILY

Appendix A – the Laws

Bibliography

Index

This volume is without a doubt one of the very best genealogy research guides published in 2011. I recommend it to all genealogists doing American research.

Purchase your copy today.

Revolutionary War Veteran Titus Hoisington

A chance meeting of history buffs at the Plymouth Historical Museum last summer has led to a campaign to mark what is thought to be the burial site of a man who served in the American Revolution.

Titus Hoisington, a teenager when he joined local militias in Vermont during the war years of 1778 and 1780, settled later in life in Panama (now Salem) Township with his wife and two of their sons, according to genealogical researcher Mike Roberts. He was buried, in an unmarked grave, at “The Hill,” a cemetery that was adjacent to what is now the First Presbyterian Church, said Garry Packard, who has been researching Plymouth-area cemeteries.

Hoisington, who died in 1841 in his late 70s, is the sixth great-grandfather of Patty Roberts, Mike’s wife, on her father’s side. Mike Roberts began his research, studying both sides of their family, in order to pass it on to their children, Katherine, 4, and Nicholas, 2. The family lives in East Lansing, and Mike is a firefighter paramedic in a neighboring community.

Read the full article by Matt Jachman in the January 16, 2010 edition of Hometownlife.com.

Revolutionary War Records FREE at Footnote.com Until July 7

Footnote is once again making some of their most important documents available FREE online for a limited time. Check this out!

Revolutionary War Documents at Footnote.com

In recognition of America’s Independence Day, Footnote is opening their Revolutionary War collection free to the public. This unique collection features millions of original records found nowhere else on the internet.

Whether you are a genealogist or a history buff, you can discover new details about the Revolutionary War in records that include:

  • Soldier Service Records
  • Original letters written by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers
  • Revolutionary War Pension Files
  • Payment Vouchers for Military Pensions
  • George Washington Correspondence
  • and more

Visit the Revolutionary War Collection today.

Hurry, this free access ends July 7, 2010.

Thanks to Jim Roberts for the above announcement.

Forgotten Patriots, by Eric Grundset, gets the 2009 Jacobus Award

At its meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 10 October 2009, the American Society of Genealogists voted to Forgotten Patriots give their annual Donald Lines Jacobus Award to Forgotten Patriots, African American and African Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War: A Guide to Service, Sources, and Studies, edited by Eric Grundset, Director of the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and published by the DAR in 2008.

From the NEHGS eNews Vol. 12, No. 47, Whole Number 454, November 25, 2009.

How Newspapers Facilitated the Winning of the Revolutionary War

The editorial board of the Kalamazoo Gazette write an excellent editorial for National Newspaper Week entitled “Newspapers helped win Revolutionary War” I recommend it. Following is a teaser.

During the current National Newspaper Week, it’s especially appropriate to examine the impact that newspapers A 1780 Pennsylvania Journal Newspaperhad on the success of the rebellion against the British.

Although there were only 13 colonial newspapers operating on the eve of the war, they reported about and reflected the colonists’ anger over the oppressive measures imposed by King George III and his Parliament.

Pamphlets also were important, especially one written by patriot Thomas Paine and titled, “Common Sense.” With passion, Paine presented the case for revolution. The pamphlet was wildly successful. It changed the hearts and minds of many colonists who had opposed the rebellion. Paine’s work was described by one historian as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.”

Collectively, however, newspapers did the most thorough job — up to and throughout the conflict.

Articles by revolutionary propagandists were a major factor in turning public opinion from reconciliation with England to full political independence.

Read the full editorial.

The Tinmouth Murder Trial – 232 Years Too Late…

TINMOUTH [Vermont] — The jury was hung Saturday in a Tinmouth murder trial 232 years in the making, leaving a cloud of mystery hanging over the 1777 death of resident John Irish.

Twelve members of the public crowd of about 80 who attended Saturday’s trial inside the town’s firehouse were deadlocked, as they openly debated the more than centuries-old question lingering in town — Was the killer justified under the articles of war or was he undeniable guilty?

The jury’s decision was split, 9 to 3, and they could not convict Lt. Isaac Clark, who shot Irish as witnessed by his fellow Vermont Rangers who took the stand Saturday, ironically, in his defense.

The jury wasn’t asked to decide if Clark did it – that fact was known — but whether he was justified in rooting out Irish or not, believed by the militia to be a Tory who pledged allegiance to the invading British.

To an outside observer, the trial, with attorneys and witnesses who took the stand in historic garb of the time, was a reenactment.

But it wasn’t — the trial of Clark versus Irish never took place.

Read the full article in the June 15, 2009 edition of the Rutland Herald.

Military Desertions During the American Revolution

Book Review:

I just finished reading through the new two-volume set of “He loves a good deal of rum…” – Military Desertions during the American Revolution 1775-1783, by Joseph Lee Boyle. Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t read these books word-for-word. They are not that kind of books. However, I spent several hours between the indexes and the interesting text found in each of the two volumes. These books document desertions from the American Army during the Revolution. Since I’m always looking for a bit of scandal in the family, these volumes seemed as good a place to look as any. And guess what? I found some! Not all my ancestors were as patriotic as I’d come to imagine.

The data for the books came from 38 newspapers published from as far north as Massachusetts to as far south as North Carolina between the years 1775 to 1783. Since enlistments were short, soldiers were often rather casual about their service. The officers were often louts, and had no idea how to motive their men other than by exacting extreme punishments for the slightest of offenses. Naturally, this didn’t go over well, and the guys often up and left. Food and clothing were not always available, paydays were skipped, the men were afraid of combat, homesick, and disease was rampant. So they often decided that going home was better than Army life.

Although a soldier could be hung for desertion, and a few actually were, in most cases the soldiers were pardoned or reprieved in one way or another. Others were flogged for leaving. However, the system in place to get soldiers to enlist was such that many soldiers would join the service, get their state bounty (money for joining), then desert, and rejoin from another state that was also offering a bounty for enlistment. The state bounty system actually encouraged desertion.

Both the Americans and the British encouraged soldiers of the opposing side to desert and come over to their side. Although it wasn’t supposed to happen, even prisoners of war often became soldiers of opposing forces.

The following is from the GPC website:

One expert estimates that as many as 25 percent of the men who enlisted in the cause of American Independence ultimately deserted the he-loves-rum-booksranks… Soldiers deserted from all theaters of the Revolution, although roughly as many deserted during the first two years of the war as in the period after June 1777, as the Patriot army became more professionalized. When soldiers ran away, a designated officer placed an advertisement in the local newspaper describing the deserter in considerable detail and offering a reward for his capture. Those advertisements comprise the basis for Mr.Boyle’s new two-volume series, which is nothing less than a complete transcription of all the desertion notices found in 38 newspapers published from Massachusetts to North Carolina from 1775 to 1783.

Each notice in “He Loves a Good Deal of Rum” describes the individual by physical features, his place of birth or last residence, occupation, company served in, date missing, and other characteristics. The index at the back of each volume lists every full name given in the notices, or roughly 7,500 names in all. Following is a notice that may be considered representative for the work as a whole:

“Deserted from my company, in Col. Craft’s battalion of colony train of artillery, Michael Carrick, 31 years of age, about 5 foot 8 inches high, with a cut over his right eye brow, well set, black hair, and buck skin breeches. He had on a grey out side jacket and striped waist coat, a new cotton shirt, and carried away with him a French musket and bayonet.–Any person who shall stop said deserter and thief, shall have a reward of FOUR DOLLARS, and all charges paid by JOSEPH BALCH.” The Boston Gazette and Country Journal, July 22, 1776; July 29, 1776.

“He loves a good deal of run…” – Military Desertions during the American Revolution 1775-1783; Volume One, 1775-June 30, 1777; by Joseph Lee Boyle; 2009, Soft Cover; Perfect Bound; 5.5×8; 385 pp; ISBN: 9780806354033; Item #CF9946; $39.50 plus $5 p&h (media mail); Order from Genealogical.com.

“He loves a good deal of run…” – Military Desertions during the American Revolution 1775-1783; Volume Two, June 30, 1777-1783; by Joseph Lee Boyle; 2009, Soft Cover; Perfect Bound; 5.5×8; 347 pp; ISBN: 9780806354040; Item #CF9947; $39.50 plus $5 p&h (media mail); Order from Genealogical.com.

NSDAR to Place Markers on Revolutionary War Veteran Graves in the Vaughan Hill Cemetery, Wood River Twp, Madison Co., Illinois

vaughanhillcemetery1It is planned that the NSDAR will honor two Revolutionary War soldiers by marking gravesites at the Vaughn Hill Cemetery in Wood River Twp, Madison Co., Illinois.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will place commemorative markers in the cemetery for the unmarked graves of two soldiers, Pvt. Anthony Alexander Harrison of Virginia and Pvt. John Cornelison of North Carolina.

Stones will also be placed on those of the wives of soldiers John Ratton and Martin Pruitt.

Wood River declared the cemetery an historic site in 2004. One of the oldest cemeteries in the Illinois, a number of the area’s first settlers are buried in the historic Vaughan Hill Cemetery, which lies along Vaughn Road/Illinois Route 111.

Early pioneers buried in the cemetery include those by the name of Vaughn, Haller, Starkey, Jones, Kendall, Berry and Lawrence. The oldest gravesite in the cemetery dates is that of Sarah Pruitt, dating to 1806. The victims from the Wood River Massacre are also buried there in a common grave.

According to information from the Madison County Genealogical Society, there are about 125 burial sites in the cemetery. However, it is reported that volunteers have plotted as many as 158 graves.

Read more about it in the February 5, 2009 edition of the Telegraph.

Ancestry.com Adds About 300 New Online Resources from GPC

On August 24, Ancestry.com posted 301 new items, including many books that I’m familiar with. In running through the list, I find that the books seem to all be those published by Genealogical Publishing Company. These books cover many topics including: Irish, Germanic, Revolutionary War, and various countywide and statewide titles (including many for New York State). This is a major expansion of digitized books at Ancestry.com. Previously, the majority of digitized books at Ancestry.com were duplicates of those available at HeritageQuest Online.