Would receipt of property in the suffers’ lands be considered evidence of qualifying service for the Sons or the Daughters of the American Revolution?

Maybe, with many caveats, including that acceptance of service is at the discretion of the organization.

First of all, what were the Suffers’ Lands? In 1792, the state of Connecticut acquiesced to repeated petitions from those who had lost property due to damage by the British and granted them a share of the Connecticut Western Reserve. This area became known as the Suffers’ Lands or Fire Lands and is now known as the Firelands. A list of those eligible for shares appears in the Public Records of the State of Connecticut volume covering that year.

Why the caveats?

First, it’s not entirely clear under which category this service would fall. The Daughters of the American Revolution lists “refugees from occupying forces” on its list of accepted service. Those who lost property to the British were refugees, but very temporary ones. British incursions into Connecticut were very short lived. Although they resulted in significant damage, they typically only lasted a day or two. An opinion would be required as to whether damage from raids would fall under this category.

Second, the person named on the Suffers’ Lands list may not be the actual property owner. By 1792, some had died and the state considered their heir/heirs to be entitled to damages instead. Some research would be required to confirm whether the qualifying individual was the owner or the heir.

In short, the Suffers’ Lands applicants may qualify for Revolutionary War service, provided that it can be documented that the applicant was the one living during the American Revolution – but the decision will rest in the hands of the Society.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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