So Aunt Sally or Grandpa Joe shares a story at the latest family gathering that your late great great ancestor was a American Revolutionary War patriot.
What does one do to take the next step?
Here are some basic tools you have available, which can be free to help you do some detective work to confirm or deny the truth in these family history stories.
The Sons of the American Revolution is an organization comprised of members whom have been able to prove that they have ancestral lineage back to a patriot who either was a soldier or provided resources in the war.
The verification process is very exacting and can take some time.
However if you want to do some basic work to verify whether your ancestor may have patriotic roots, there are some tools at your disposal which are free to get started.
My wife is experienced genealogist and was responsible for the work that went into proving my ancestral past.
She suggested the following tools to seek to capture military records to support military service for the American Revolutionary War:
- Local Historical Societies – determine where he lived and reach out to that area historical society. They are usually really interested in helping out. Call them, stop in, reach out and ask for help. That is what they are there for. They can get as excited and curious as you are. Take the next step!
- Family Search – typically there are local Family Search locations in most major metro areas. You can visit there local locations (often in churches or historical society locations) and they will help identify records on your ancestor. You can also visit the Family Search website to do a bit of sleuthing yourself or identify locations in your area https://www.familysearch.org/en/
- Fold3 is a resource of www.ancestry.com which focuses on the military genealogy. This is a paid site, however you can typically access for free via the local library. This is a very helpful resource. Link is: https://www.fold3.com/?group=1
- Ancestry.com – paid service, however you can typically access for free via most local libraries
Recommendation – before you reach out, it will make sense to identify any information you can to help you zero your search. Examples include: birth date, birth location, death date, death location, parents names, siblings, Sometimes when you are doing research on 250 year old individuals, any info can be really helpful in narrowing down and honing in on the correct ancestor. Sometimes figuring this out is like a puzzle with some of the pieces missing. Any info you have may be the missing piece to fill in the blanks.
If you have strong evidence you are a direct descendant, you can join the on of two American Revolution groups.
If you are a male descendant, you can apply for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.
If you are a female descendant, you can apply for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Both these groups will require you to prepare and submit an application. This membership application process includes proving your ancestral lineage, at each level going back to the participant in the American Revolution.
Best of luck on your search!
If you are interested in joining, please reach out via the “Contact Us”page of our website. We will help you with completing the research and preparing the application process.