Land records are often a "source of last resort" for genealogists. Rarely fully indexed, they require us locating and accessing a separate index book (called a grantor/grantee index); copying down the volumes and pages that apply to our ancestor; and then going into each volume to copy the appropriate pages. It's time consuming and often… Continue reading Land records: an underused source in lineage research
First of all, what's mitochondrial DNA testing? Mitochondrial DNA testing (mtDNA testing) compares the mitochondrial DNA of a tester with that of anyone taking the same test. As with other tests, the tests compare only certain regions of the DNA in order to estimate an approximate relationship. As of right now, only FamilyTree DNA offers… Continue reading Can I use mitochondrial DNA testing in a lineage society application?
Relevant laws and policies: 1776: The Hulks Act allowed the use of decommissioned ships as prisons. March 1777: "North's Act" suspended habeas corpus and allowed Americans to be prosecuted for treason/privacy. 1778: A policy set out the requirement that prisoners taken from a privateer were immediately to be jailed. 1779: Continental Congress moves to hold… Continue reading The HMS Jersey and the other Revolutionary War prison ships
You're working on an application to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants ("Mayflower Society"). Someone asks if you've checked the "Silver Books" yet. What do they mean? The "Silver Books" is a term used to describe a series of publications called "Mayflower Families through Five Generations." Each publication - which has a silver cover -… Continue reading What’s a “Silver Book”?
I have an update to this 2021 post... Died at Groton Heights? Descendants of Benjamin Graves, baptized in 1734 in East Haddam, Connecticut, have long claimed he died from wounds received in battle at the Battle of Groton Heights. Yet, he is not included among those listed as killed and wounded. Where and when… Continue reading Did Benjamin Graves die at the Battle of Groton Heights?
The British government didn't only transport prisoners to Australia - they also sent prisoners to what was to become the United States in colonial period, particularly to Maryland and Virginia. The American Revolution closed off that option. In May 1776, the British government created another option: prisoners could be placed on ships. This act, commonly… Continue reading What’s the Hulks Act – and why did it matter to my Revolutionary ancestor?
The white marble military headstone is a powerful symbol of service and sacrifice. However, it doesn't date to the period of the American Revolution. The marble headstone came into being in 1873, as a way to mark the graves of the dead of the Civil War. As noted by the National Cemetery Administration, it was… Continue reading Can I use my Revolutionary War ancestor’s military headstone as “proof” of their service?
An ancestor who loaned money to the Continental government during the American Revolution would be considered to have "patriotic service" by the Sons of the American Revolution or the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Daughters of the American Revolution has begun digitizing records of the loans made from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.… Continue reading My ancestor supposedly loaned money to the Continental government. How do I find evidence?
Lineage society research has its own terminology. While some of the terms appear in popular culture, the meaning may be different in the lineage society world. What's a gateway ancestor? A gateway ancestor is an entry point to a line that's already been established to a qualifying ancestor for a specific lineage society. This term… Continue reading What’s a gateway ancestor?
If you're interested in joining a Revolutionary War lineage society, it's recommended that you use an ancestor already on file. However, with the exception of the Society of the Cincinnati, the recommendation is not a requirement. Most Revolutionary War lineage societies allow you to add new ancestors - provided that the ancestor meets their requirements.… Continue reading How do I document a new Revolutionary War ancestor?