I took the Genealogy Consultant course at NSDAR last week. What a way to get rejuvenated in genealogy. Much of it was aimed at completing NSDAR applications, but everyone learned a thing or two about doing research and where to look. There are so many sites available for free that contain valuable information about our ancestors.
When working on a Revolutionary War ancestor for DAR, service and location is key. If they were in the militia in Cumberland County, but they lived in Chester County, you probably have the wrong soldier. Militia groups were formed locally. It is not unheard of that they may have joined somewhere else, but doubtful.
NSDAR has put the Genealogy Research System (GRS) on the public site at www.dar.org. If you think you know of an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War or provided civil or patriotic service you may be eligible to join this lineage society.
The Harrisburg Chapter DAR Historic Preservation Committee started a project to identify and document Revolutionary War Patriot Homes in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is an ambitious project, but very interesting to see how many homes that were built in late 1700s or early 1800s are still standing and many still occupied. Another Chapter asked me to do a talk on this project and so my search began in other counties outside of Dauphin. It doesn’t take too much searching to find these homes, thanks to the folks who preserve them, put them on the National Registry of Historic Places or those folks so long ago who did an Historic American Building Survey (HABS).
Working on this project has taught me so much about the history of the area. Here is something for you to look up — “Conway Cabal”. I learned a lot about the Revolutionary era military and people in general. They had petty little squabbles in Congress in the 1770s just like they do today, but this country remains strong despite it all.