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. Qualifying… Continue reading What does this word being used by my lineage society mean?
Founded in 1780 by Esther de Berdt Reed, the Ladies' Association of Philadelphia raised money for the Continental Army through door to door fundraising. The organization raised over $7,000, which was used to clothe soldiers. Although heavily critiqued, the Association was one of the first American examples of organized political action by women. The family's… Continue reading What was the Ladies’ Association of Philadelphia?
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 long… Continue reading Can I use the results of a mitochondrial DNA test in a lineage society application?
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
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?
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?
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 these… Continue reading Do I need to have documents translated for my lineage society application?
Many families become extremely difficult to trace in the early 1800s. Migration routes were opening across the United States. New European settlements may have kept land records, but they often didn't have the resources to keep civil registration or easily store church records. Many of the records we would typically use to document birth, death,… Continue reading Family Bibles: a valuable source for a lineage society application
Don't worry, you're not the first one to wonder! Your grandmother or sibling has joined one society, and you'd like to join another - using their paperwork. Is it possible? Maybe. First of all, review the qualifying ancestor guidelines for the society you'd like to join and the society your family member joined. Is there… Continue reading Can the same person be a qualifying ancestor for multiple societies?
The simple answer: yes. If your family was from an area that was popular with the New England "planters" , Revolutionary War era Loyalists, or economic "Late Loyalists," they may have roots in colonial Massachusetts. If you want to identify Mayflower line ancestors, focus on using established techniques for researching planters, loyalists, or late loyalists.… Continue reading I have Canadian roots. Might I have Mayflower ancestors?