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Lineage Society, Sources of Service

Why is it so challenging to document a female patriot?

Women supported the American cause during the Revolutionary War. Yet, most of the available records address men. Why - and how does it impact our research? In a word: coverture. Wikipedia's explanation of the legal principal is quite clear (and detailed, for those interested in the history). As the listing indicates, coverture is "a legal… Continue reading Why is it so challenging to document a female patriot?

Lineage Society, Sources of Service

Wyoming Valley PA records during the American Revolution…

...may not be where you'd expect. Between 1750s and 1782, both Connecticut and Pennsylvania attempted to claim the area. The conflict resulted in a war prior to the American Revolution, referred to as the Yankee-Pennamite War. By 1776, Connecticut had control of the region. Appointments and commissions to Revolutionary era positions can be found in… Continue reading Wyoming Valley PA records during the American Revolution…

Sources of Service

How do I find a Connecticut privateer’s commission?

At it's most basic level, privateering could be considered legalized piracy. Privateers were given a commission by the state government or Continental Congress to search for and attack merchant ships. This action benefited both the authorizing government, as it weakened the enemy's supply chain, and the privateer, who received a portion of the proceeds from… Continue reading How do I find a Connecticut privateer’s commission?

Lineage Society

Was the Connecticut Continental Line Segregated?

Short answer: no. The integration of military units during the American Revolution is a question that has largely yet to be touched by scholarship. Many accounts mention only that Washington banned recruitment of African American soldiers in 1775; that British Commander Lord Dunmore offered freedom to those who joined his "Ethiopian" unit in November of… Continue reading Was the Connecticut Continental Line Segregated?

Lineage Society

My ancestor served in the Army: the three types of Revolutionary War Army service

When we talk about an ancestor's service in World War I, we're talking about service in a single unit - the US Army. However, an ancestor who served in the American Revolution could have served in one of three different "units." The militia tradition was very strong in the colonies. While the British Army constituted… Continue reading My ancestor served in the Army: the three types of Revolutionary War Army service

Lineage Society, Sources of Service

What’s the Minerva?

Owned by William Griswold, the Minerva served first in the Revolutionary Navy.[1] In August of 1775, it received a commission from the colony of Connecticut: […] that a certain brig, called the Minerva, belonging to Capt. Griswold and now lying in Connecticut River at Rocky Hill, is one proper vessel to be employed for the… Continue reading What’s the Minerva?

Lineage Society, Sources of Service

What’s a privateer?

Although we generally focus on conflict on land, the American Revolution also occurred at sea. The British had a powerful Navy. The colonists - not so much. To help supplement their forces, they employed privateers. A privateer is a privately owned ship, given permission by their government to attack an enemy ship during wartime. The… Continue reading What’s a privateer?

Lineage Society

How much does it cost to hire a professional genealogist to help with your application?

This is the question no one ever wants to ask, but one that's crucially important. I'll be speaking here in general terms, so if you have questions about a specific case, please don't hesitate to contact me. When you're working on a lineage society application, you generally are deal with four sets of costs: The… Continue reading How much does it cost to hire a professional genealogist to help with your application?

Lineage Society

Direct line? Collateral? Why does it matter in my lineage society application?

These terms can feel confusing the first few times you hear them: Direct line means that you are descended from the ancestor through a parent-child relationship, ie. great-great-great-grandchild. Collateral line means that you are descended from the ancestor through their sibling, most often through an uncle-niece/nephew relationship. Whether you are direct line descendant or a… Continue reading Direct line? Collateral? Why does it matter in my lineage society application?

Lineage Society

Can I use Ancestry ThruLines as proof for a lineage society application?

The simple answer: no. The reasoning lies in how "ThruLines" are created. The following is from Ancestry's description: "We use the family tree linked to your test to find people who are in your tree and are also in your matches's linked trees. [...]" In short, ThruLines searches the submitted family trees of your DNA… Continue reading Can I use Ancestry ThruLines as proof for a lineage society application?