Common DAR + SAR Questions: Find A Grave

That Find A Grave entry seems perfect for your Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution application. It lists parents, siblings, spouses and more. But can you actually use it?


Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The “extra data” typed into the profile is not accepted, as it’s usually not sourced. If an obituary or other source is included, go find the original.
  2. The tombstone photo needs to be readable. If you can’t read the stone, find another source. Perhaps a genealogy society did a gravestone inscription book a few decades ago?
  3. The tombstone needs to be from the period. They weren’t using marble in the 1600s. A non-period stone was probably added later and may contain errors.

If you can meet all these conditions, give it a go! But remember, all sources are accepted at the discretion of the verifying genealogist.

Have questions or need help with the application? Contact us.

Common DAR + SAR application questions: DNA

Your Ancestry DNA profile says you’re related to a Revolutionary War patriot.
Can you use it for an application to the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Sons of the American Revolution? What do you need to know about DNA and DAR and SAR?

  1. The Sons of the American Revolution officially allows the use of DNA evidence as part of a proof argument along with other “conventional proof of lineage.” This could mean using DNA as a piece of evidence alongside a land record or probate file that names a child and a parent but does not state their relationship. Be it noted: the file is dated 2019 and may be in the process of review.
  2. The Daughters of the American Revolution allows only the use of y-DNA for applications. It can only be used to “prove” one link. DAR requires a comparison between the DNA of a male who is closely related to the applicant and shares her surname or that of her mother with the DNA of a close male relative of an previous applicant on the same line who has been considered “proven.”

What does that mean for you? In short, you can’t use your Ancestry profile by itself. Consider it a wonderful hint – and go find the paperwork to support the connection.

Questions? Need help with the documents? Contact us!

How do I document Revolutionary War service for ancestors from New Hampshire?

Do you need to document service for an ancestor from New Hampshire to complete a Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution application?

Deb Duay’s “Sources of Revolutionary War Service“, as always needs to be your first stop. She has sources listed covering military, patriotic, and civil service.

Not finding your ancestor? Start with the area’s town historian. They are often incredible resources on local history and may know a resource you’ve missed. Check neighboring states. The closest regiment at the time may now be across a border. The family papers collection at the New Hampshire Historical Society may provide some hints.

Have more questions or still not finding what you need? Contact us.

How do I document Revolutionary War service from Vermont?

Deb Duay’s made it really easy for you! Begin with her “Sources of Revolutionary War Service.” The Vermont section is excellent and includes direct links to many of the military and civil service sources.

If you’re looking for patriotic service, be sure to review the available archival collections. The Vermont Historical Society or the Vermont State Archives may have appropriate manuscripts.

If you’re sure your ancestor served and you’re not find a record, think about the geography of their area. Are they near a state border? If so, check the neighboring state. Was it a recently settled area? Check where the settlers originated. (Hint, hint – many late 18th century arrivals in Vermont served in the Revolutionary War from Connecticut…)

Have questions? Need help? Contact Charter Oak Genealogy.

How do you document Revolutionary era service in Massachusetts?

Are you working on your Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) application while in quarantine and looking to document service for a Massachusetts ancestor?

As always, Deb Duay’s “Sources of Revolutionary War Service” is a great place to start.

If you think your ancestor might have had civil service, don’t forget to check the Massachusetts town meeting records. Many have been digitized and are available on FamilySearch. Go to the catalog, and search by location.

Where else can you look for service? The Massachusetts Historical Society has manuscript collections which might offer details of service. Remember if you use an ancestor’s personal statement, such as a letter or diary, it must be supported by a second source. The Massachusetts State Archives has Revolutionary War orderly books. Don’t forget the American Antiquarian Society’s newspaper collection, which might include sermons and other forms of patriotic service.

Questions? Contact Charter Oak Genealogy.

How do I document Revolutionary era service in New York?

Are you looking to document Revolutionary War era service for a DAR or SAR patriot from New York?

First all, realize it might be a challenge. New York City and Long Island were both occupied during the War. As a result, New Yorkers were supported the American cause were sometimes forced to swear allegiance to the British.

What does this mean for your research? Pay significant attention to the ancestor’s “last act.” An ancestor who joined the militia in early 1776 will be disqualified from being considered a DAR or SAR patriot if they later swore allegiance to the British – simply because there was no way to verify their true sentiments.

Still ready to dive in? Begin with Deb Duay’s “Sources of Revolutionary War Service”. And keep your eyes on a new project from the DAR library documenting service in British occupied areas.

Happy hunting! Questions? Contact us.

How do you document Revolutionary War service for a Rhode Island ancestor?

If you’re in the process of completing an application for the Colonial Dames of America, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the Society of the Cincinnati, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the American Revolution or one of the other lineage societies for whom an ancestor’s service in the Revolutionary period for qualifying, you may need to document that the service. So, how do you begin with an ancestor from Rhode Island?

Keep in mind that you’ll need to check a variety of sources and not every ancestor will qualify for every society.

DAR’s extensive resources may provide some hints as what’s available. Review their files at Most societies will not accept DAR’s files – DAR and SAR will provided they meet certain standards – so plan to locate the original source of the documents and provide copies to your society as part of an application.

Starting from scratch? Deb Duay has a wonderful bibliography as part of her “Sources of Revolutionary War Service.” The Rhode Island State Archives and the Rhode Island Historical Society have some manuscript collections. And there’s a new publication in the works, as Jolene Mullen works to expand her town meeting series.

A word of warning: Southern Rhode Island was on a migration or trade route that included New London County, Connecticut and Long Island, NY. You may need to check all locations to full document your ancestor’s service.

Questions? Contact Charter Oak Genealogy.

Are there other Quebec families that might have Revolutionary War service?

The English families who moved to southern Quebec after the Revolutionary War were loyalists, right? Not all of them.

Late Loyalists, as this group were known, were economic refugees who came to southern Quebec to take advantage of low-priced land. Some were in fact, loyalists. A significant number were not. They were, instead, former members of the colonial militia who had fought in the Revolutionary War for the Americans. They kept that allegiance through the War and only moved north for land. As such, these families do qualify their descendants for the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

To document their lines, the same process used to document “new patriots” must be employed. You’ll need to rely on the record keeping system of Quebec, which had no civil registration until the 20th century. Focus on church and notarial records to document birth, marriage, and death and relationships.

For more information on Late Loyalists, see our article in NGS Magazine.

Questions? Contact us.

How do I document Revolutionary War service for an ancestor from Quebec?

Two societies – the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution – permit applications from prospective members whose ancestors did not live in the (now) United States, provided those ancestors demonstrated support for the American cause. This includes ancestors from Quebec, some of whom sided with the Americans during the attempted invasion of Quebec City. If your ancestor is among those individuals, be prepared to document their residence and service, as many are new ancestors.

Deb Duay has provided an index that can help you find the documentation you need to support your ancestor’s service. Alphabetical by ancestor’s last name, it includes the individual’s name, date and location of birth, residence during the War, spouse, and the source of service. Some sources can be submitted directly, while others are really indexes for which you’ll need to find the original documentation.

Be aware: it’s best to confirm the translation of any entries in French language sources about your ancestor. In at least one instance, we found that the French language record and the English translation did not agree – and that the difference would cause at least one of the societies to disallow descendants of this ancestor based on the society’s “last act” policy.

For more on French-Canadian patriots and the “Last Act” policy, see our articles on the subject in the NGS Magazine.

Questions? Contact Charter Oak Genealogy.

How do I document Revolutionary era service for ancestors from Maine?

Do you need to document service for the Daughters of the American Revolution, Society of the Cincinnati, or another lineage society covering the Revolutionary War era? If your ancestor was from Maine, there’s one important factor you need to consider: Maine was not its own colony!

Maine was a part of Massachusetts until becoming a state in 1820. While town meeting records and some other local records are stored in Maine, many of the “colony wide” records – such as military files – are stored in Massachusetts. Deb Duay’s Sources of Revolutionary War Service can provide a good starting point for your research.

Happy hunting!