Important Dates in the History of the Navy 26 Aug 1775: Creation of the Rhode Island State Navy. 5 Sep 1775: Commissioning of the Hanna, officially under the control of the Army. 13 Oct 1775: The Continental Congress authorized the outfitting of two ships, for "intercepting vessels coming out with stores and ammunition." This date… Continue reading The Continental Navy: a timeline
Did an ancestor serve in the Continental Navy? This is a partial list of the known Navy ships: Alfred Columbus Andrew Doria Cabot Providence (built in RI) Hornet Wasp Fly Hancock (built in MA) Boston (built in MA) Warren (built in RI) Trumbull (built in CT, spent two years trapped on the sandbar in the… Continue reading Ships of the Continental Navy
Do you have ancestors who served in Continental Navy? These books can help you learn more about their experience: References: John Lehman, On Seas of Glory: Heroic Men, Great Ships, and Epic Battles of the American Navy (New York: The Free Press, 2001), 14, 32-33. Craig L. Symonds, The U.S. Navy: A Concise History (New… Continue reading Resources on the Continental Navy
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 of… Continue reading What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?
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 New… Continue reading My ancestors are from Fairfield County, Connecticut. Do I have Mayflower ancestors?
To vote in colonial and early Republican Connecticut, you had to be a "freeman" (typically a white male, over the age of 21, holding land) and to have taken the freeman's oath to uphold local government. In October 1776, the state changed the wording on the oath, making it a clear statement of loyalty: You… Continue reading Can the Connecticut freeman’s oath be considered an oath of allegiance for a Revolutionary War lineage society?
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… Continue reading Would receipt of property in the suffers’ lands be considered evidence of qualifying service for the Sons or the Daughters of the American Revolution?
You've gotten your ancestor back to the 1820s - and gotten stuck. You're pretty sure the family had ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. How do you find them? Pay attention to migration patterns. While it's little discussed in our study of American history, your ancestors weren't settling randomly. Instead, they were following others… Continue reading Common Migration Patterns
"Shouldn't you be listing the county on the lineage society application?" This question has been coming up a lot recently as I've been preparing applications. Under the current guidelines for most societies, the answer is yes - but only if the document lists the county. Here's the reasoning. The listing of counties was standard up… Continue reading County or no county?
The answer to this one is straightforward: no. Some states require you to purchase a certified copy every time you want to request a certificate. However, it's not required by any lineage society of which I'm aware. If an information copy is offered, go ahead and get it... And before you order anything, be sure… Continue reading I’m ordering vital records for my lineage society application. Do I need a certified copy?