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?”

Land records: an underused source in lineage research

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 oftenContinue reading “Land records: an underused source in lineage research”

What’s the Hulks Act – and why did it matter to my Revolutionary ancestor?

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, commonlyContinue reading “What’s the Hulks Act – and why did it matter to my Revolutionary ancestor?”

Can I use my Revolutionary War ancestor’s military headstone as “proof” of their service?

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 wasContinue reading “Can I use my Revolutionary War ancestor’s military headstone as “proof” of their service?”

Do I need to have documents translated for my lineage society application?

As you’re preparing a lineage society application, you may discover some of your ancestor’s records are written in a non-English language. Because of the settlement patterns of the United States in the 18th and 19th century, French, German, and Spanish commonly appear in records. That usually raises a question: do I need to have theseContinue reading “Do I need to have documents translated for my lineage society application?”

Just the research or research and the application? :A question you need to answer when seeking professional assistance with a lineage society application.

Not every offer of professional assistance with lineage society applications is created equal. When you’re searching for professional help with your lineage society application, it’s important to consider whether you need help with just the research or with the entire application process, including the application forms. Choosing the wrong option may slow down your applicationContinue reading “Just the research or research and the application? :A question you need to answer when seeking professional assistance with a lineage society application.”

New Year’s Resolution to finally do that lineage society application?

You know you qualify for the DAR, the Mayflower Society, or another lineage society and have always wanted to join – even though you never seem to get there. Is one of your resolutions to make this the year? Here’s how to get started. (We’re assuming you know your qualifying ancestor or a family memberContinue reading “New Year’s Resolution to finally do that lineage society application?”

My application has been verified. What documents do I need to keep?

After a crazy year, many of us want to start 2021 with a clean slate. That means sorting through and discarding papers. If you’ve had a lineage society application verified in 2020, you can discard some of your paperwork but not all. Here’s a list of what you should keep (and why): A copy ofContinue reading “My application has been verified. What documents do I need to keep?”

Avoid Common Lineage Society Mistakes: Plan for How You Spend Your Money

Almost no one goes in with a good understanding of the cost of the lineage society application process. That confusion leads people to one of two extremes. Either they assume the process should be free or they spend far too much money buying records they don’t necessarily need. Planning ahead can help you spend yourContinue reading “Avoid Common Lineage Society Mistakes: Plan for How You Spend Your Money”