Militia or Continental Line?

Land was the biggest driver behind your (non-officer) ancestor’s decision to serve in the militia versus on the Continental Line. In the colonies, land ownership was heavily tied to agriculture. Farming requires oversight, especially New England’s smaller farms. A farm owner would have wanted to onsite as much as possible. Militia service demanded – atContinue reading “Militia or Continental Line?”

Danbury, the American Revolution, and missing Connecticut records…

If you go to review the Danbury, Connecticut records on FamilySearch , you’ll note that many of the records seem to begin in the late 18th century even though the town was settled by Europeans in 1685. There is records loss in records typically held by the town clerk. Why? According to the town clerk’sContinue reading “Danbury, the American Revolution, and missing Connecticut records…”

What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?

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 ofContinue reading “What is the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture?”

County or no county?

“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 upContinue reading “County or no county?”

I’m ordering vital records for my lineage society application. Do I need a certified copy?

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 sureContinue reading “I’m ordering vital records for my lineage society application. Do I need a certified copy?”

What does this word being used by my lineage society mean?

Lineage societies have a vocabulary of their own. If you’re in the process of applying, knowing what the terms mean can make your life much easier! Here are a few common terms: Lineage Society: Also called a hereditary society, this is an organization that decides membership based on the actions of an applicant’s ancestor. QualifyingContinue reading “What does this word being used by my lineage society mean?”

Can I use the results of a mitochondrial DNA test in a lineage society application?

First of all, what’s a mitochondria? For those of you who don’t recall your high school biology class: a mitochondria is a structure within the cell. It’s often referred to as a cell’s “energy center.” There’s a really good explanation here. Mitochondria have their own DNA, so they can be tested separately. It was longContinue reading “Can I use the results of a mitochondrial DNA test in a lineage society application?”

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”

Can I use mitochondrial DNA testing in a lineage society application?

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 offersContinue reading “Can I use mitochondrial DNA testing in a lineage society application?”

What’s a “Silver Book”?

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”?”