How old were those who fought in the American Revolution?

To identify “service” during the American Revolution, we generally look at those born between the 1710s and the 1760s. However, that’s all types of service. If we narrow it down to military service, what ages are involved? Militia service requirements provide a good guideline for the Army. Connecticut required men to serve between ages 16Continue reading “How old were those who fought in the American Revolution?”

How can Revolutionary War claims help me document my ancestor’s service?

The American Army had limited resources going into the Revolutionary War. They borrowed goods, supplies, and even food. People had their homes and business damaged by the American Army – or the British. Many of those who lost money or property as a result later filed claims against state governments. These Revolutionary War claims filesContinue reading “How can Revolutionary War claims help me document my ancestor’s service?”

Revolutionary War taxes, Boston

The Boston Public Library has digitized tax lists for 1780, 1782, and 1783. Although these tax lists are from the Revolutionary War period, they can’t automatically be used as “proof” of service for the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution. Why? Because we don’t know when and how the tax money was employed. ToContinue reading “Revolutionary War taxes, Boston”

Research and resources on Connecticut’s patriots of color

This list will be updated. Please check back for updates! “Jack Congo,” E Pluribus Unum ( accessed 10 March 2023). Jamie H. Eves, ““Faithfully to Serve”: Jesse & Job Leason, African American Soldiers in the Revolutionary War,” Windham Textile and History Museum ( accessed 10 March 2023). Mary Harrell-Sesniak, “Hammet Achmet: Washington’s Waiter & RevolutionaryContinue reading “Research and resources on Connecticut’s patriots of color”

Resources for tracing patriots of color

This list is a work in progress and will continue to be updated! Rees, John U. ‘They were Good Soldiers’: African-Americans Serving in the Continental Army, 1775-1783. Warwick, England: Helion & Company, 2019. One of the best studies of patriots of color in recent years, the text bookends chapters on the soldiers from each stateContinue reading “Resources for tracing patriots of color”

Why does my ancestor’s residence matter?

Most Revolutionary War companies were recruited locally. Although a regiment may have contained companies from multiple towns or counties, a company was generally organized from residents of one locale. This makes knowing your ancestor’s residence key… Why? If your ancestor didn’t reside in the county or town from which the company was recruited, it’s unlikelyContinue reading “Why does my ancestor’s residence matter?”

What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?

Used in whaling, a whale boat was a small vessel of about 30 ft with a crew of 6. The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an excellent description. During the American Revolution, they were used not for whaling but for raiding. The best know examples occurred between Connecticut and Long Island. Sometimes called the WhaleboatContinue reading “What’s a whaleboat – and why does it matter to my Revolutionary War ancestors?”

What was the Loyalists Claims Commission?

The American Loyalists Claim Commission was a commission created by the British government to address claims of property damage by loyalists during the American Revolution. Established by act of parliament in July 1783, the commission paid out its final claims in 1789 ( Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Albert A.Continue reading “What was the Loyalists Claims Commission?”

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…”