What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?

Used in whaling, a whale boat was a small vessel of about 30 ft with a crew of 6. The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an excellent description. During the American Revolution, they were used not for whaling but for raiding. The best know examples occurred between Connecticut and Long Island. Sometimes called the WhaleboatContinue reading “What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?”

What was the Loyalists Claims Commission?

The American Loyalists Claim Commission was a commission created by the British government to address claims of property damage by loyalists during the American Revolution. Established by act of parliament in July 1783, the commission paid out its final claims in 1789 ( Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Albert A.Continue reading “What was the Loyalists Claims Commission?”

Militia or Continental Line?

Land was the biggest driver behind your (non-officer) ancestor’s decision to serve in the militia versus on the Continental Line. In the colonies, land ownership was heavily tied to agriculture. Farming requires oversight, especially New England’s smaller farms. A farm owner would have wanted to onsite as much as possible. Militia service demanded – atContinue reading “Militia or Continental Line?”

Danbury, the American Revolution, and missing Connecticut records…

If you go to review the Danbury, Connecticut records on FamilySearch , you’ll note that many of the records seem to begin in the late 18th century even though the town was settled by Europeans in 1685. There is records loss in records typically held by the town clerk. Why? According to the town clerk’sContinue reading “Danbury, the American Revolution, and missing Connecticut records…”

I’d like to apply to the Mayflower Society – but I have a budget. Is there anything I can do to save money?

Mayflower Society applications can get expensive. I get it. Not only are you dealing with the application fees, you may have certificate costs of several hundred dollars – and that’s before you decided to hire help from a professional genealogist. If you have a budget, there are a few things you can do to makeContinue reading “I’d like to apply to the Mayflower Society – but I have a budget. Is there anything I can do to save money?”

What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?

Privateers played a major role in American naval activities during the American Revolution. With permission from the government, privately owned ships could attempt to capture an enemy ship. If the capture was judged to be legal, the contents and ship would be sold – and the profits redistributed to the crew. At the start ofContinue reading “What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?”

My ancestors are from Fairfield County, Connecticut. Do I have Mayflower ancestors?

This question comes up far more frequently then I would have expected – and the answer is, unfortunately, generally no. Why? In the 1600s, there were many more colonies in New England than states existing today. Much of Fairfield County fell under the political jurisdiction of New Haven Colony and the commercial realm of NewContinue reading “My ancestors are from Fairfield County, Connecticut. Do I have Mayflower ancestors?”