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?
An ancestor who loaned money to the Continental government during the American Revolution would be considered to have "patriotic service" by the Sons of the American Revolution or the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Daughters of the American Revolution has begun digitizing records of the loans made from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.… Continue reading My ancestor supposedly loaned money to the Continental government. How do I find evidence?
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?
Thanks to the Connecticut Historical Society, a collection of Revolutionary War era manuscripts are now available for viewing on the Connecticut Digital Archive. This diverse collection includes images of several orderly books, hospital records, correspondence, muster and pay rolls, and more. Of particular interest is a document attesting that Backus Fox, a man held in… Continue reading A digital collection covering Connecticut in the American Revolution
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?
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
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?
In addition to the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Daughters of the American Revolution classifies three types of Revolutionary War "service": military, civil, and patriotic. Clients often wonder how I know they've assigned the wrong service to their ancestor. There are actually profiles of the "typical" ancestor with each kind of service. If… Continue reading Profiles of Service: What role did my ancestor play in the American Revolution?
It's often forgotten today, but in 1775 and 1776, most American colonists didn't start out with the goal of gaining independence. They wanted concessions from Britain about how the colonies were run. When they didn't get them, many moved towards declaring independence. For others, it was just too far. "Loyalist" is a term used to… Continue reading Was my Connecticut ancestor a Loyalist?
We've talked about military records, the Connecticut Archives, office holding, and more. Where else can you find sources of service? In one place many people think they've already checked... town meeting records. Town meeting records don't just record who was elected to hold what office. They also can include who has donated money or purchased… Continue reading Where else can I find sources of service in Connecticut records?