Step #4: DAR and Family Links
The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) organization has a tremendous amount of information available on patriots already accepted for inclusion.
The DAR Library in Washington, DC is incredibly extensive and can be accessed by anyone for a small fee.
However, as most of us do not live in DC, we must rely on what we can access either locally, or by computer.
The Patriot Index Look-up Service is a fantastic source for already proven ancestor-linkage to a known or suspected patriot.
If you are truly looking to join DAR, you may also try connecting with a local chapter.
Often, the local chapter registrar may be able to assist you in simple research methods to find your patriot.
Keep in mind that an individual did not have to serve in the military to be eligible for patriotic recognition: if the person paid taxes, provided aid or supplies, or even served on a jury, this was all considered as service done for the cause of the American colonies, and thus actively patriotic in nature.
You might also check with SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) but be warned: DAR does not accept SAR sources, and vice-versa. Dunno why, but apparently it is a rift that goes way back. Just keep it in mind.
When on this step of the process I also take a moment to consider how family links work within the system of a family.
What I mean is, how do the grandparents relate to the child?
I don’t mean family heritage, here: I mean in geographic relation.
If I cannot locate where the grandparents are buried, I always start poking around where the grandchildren were born.
Don’t just check the birthplace of your direct relation…check where siblings were born, and cousins, too.
Sometimes, you’ll be surprised who all was buried in that area. In one case, I found both sets of grandparents buried in the town where the oldest grandchild was born and raised.
Another often overlooked possibility when trying to identify parents is to check marriage records.
For ALL marriages.
So, you may already have a marriage certificate for your great-grandparents, but does it list the parents, too?
Were either of them married before, or did either re-marry?
I could not locate my great-great-great grandparent’s names.
They were not listed on my great-great grandfather’s marriage certificate…for the first marriage.
Checked the second marriage, and there they were!
Try it out!