PBS Genealogy Roadshow Filming in Philadelphia

This past weekend the NSDAR was exhibiting in Philadelphia at the PBS Genealogy Roadshow filming.  On Saturday we were at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and had representatives from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Washington DC.  We answered questions from attendees about NSDAR, their ancestors, possible membership and a host of other genealogy questions.  We had Darryn Lickliter, Head of the Genealogy department of NSDAR to answer the really hard questions (most of those were from the ladies behind the table).

The Genealogy Roadshow was filming Joshua Taylor and Kenyatta Berry helping break down brick walls for those family genealogists who are stuck on one of their family lines.  The show is scheduled to air in January.

On Sunday, we were at The Franklin Institute exhibiting during the taping of the show.  We were kept busy with all the folks who came in off the street to see if they could get some help with their genealogy.  I was beat, when I left, from non-stop talking.  This is what our Volunteer Genies live for – talking genealogy non-stop.  We used our computers to do look ups on the DAR websites, Ancestry. com, FamilySearch.org, and Fold3.  I’m certain we have gained a few members for DAR and other Lineage Societies with all the look-ups.  Sunday we had DAR representatives from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, behind the table.  It was such a great experience for us all and  we have vowed to do this in our own areas to make more ladies aware of DAR and their eligibility to join.

We were excited to see one of our own being taped for the show and hope she doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.  If you go on the PSSDAR Facebook page, you can see us in all our glory.  Another of our members was an extra for filming on Saturday.

A big thank you to all the ladies for coming to my rescue to help and for taking so much of their time to be in Philadelphia this weekend.

Revolutionary War Patriot Homes

I’ve blogged about this before, but just have to say — I keep getting more patriot homes in PA every week.  I try to record all the homes by county and do further research to be sure that the home is one that was built and/or lived in by a patriot.

I will be speaking to the Regents’ Club of Central Pennsylvania soon about the homes in this region and to promote the Harrisburg Chapter book “Revolutionary War Patriot Historic Houses in Dauphin County Pennsylvania”.  It is such a beautiful book and well worth the price, especially if you are interested in local history.  The ladies did a wonderful job of identifying and documenting 60 homes in their book.

I started collecting homes from other counties while I was the NSDAR State Chairman for Historic Preservation.  I have located, with the help of daughters around Pennsylvania, 41 additional homes.  If you find any that you would like to preserve with the NSDAR, feel free to email me at my website with information about where the home is located and who is the patriot associated with the home, I will do the rest of the work.  A photo of the property would be appreciated.

Happy Hunting

Winding Down My Term and Moving On

Well, the three years as South Central District Director for the Pennsylvania State Society, DAR is winding down.  I’ve had a busy 3 years, but very rewarding.  I have visited each of the DAR Chapters in the South Central and joined in on many other celebrations.  It is so much fun and you get to meet the most interesting people.

I will now be concentrating more on Lineage Society applications.  I’m taking on the Sons of the American Colonists.  I guess I should try doing my papers for Daughters of the American Colonists.  It is one more way to document my ancestors and their struggles to start in a new world.  I also will be working on those few elusive ancestors who moved from the New England states to Pennsylvania.  Joel Packard where are your parents?

I’ve submitted another ancestor for Daughters of the Union Veterans of  Civil War.  Great grandfather, Joseph S. Shoemaker, certainly lead an interesting life.  He and great grandfather John Wesley Duart fought in the same 7th PA Cavalry.  As I’m learning more about both of them, I hope to write an article to let others know just how brave they were to go to war.

James Doty Book At the Printers

I didn’t make the Christmas deadline I had set for myself, but did make it to the printers December 28th. The book will be available through my website in the new year. With the index of more than 3000 names, the book will be at least 120 pages, in hardback, with a few pictures. I’m so excited that it is finally done, but I know there was so much more to add. I think I’ll continue to collect obituaries, death certificates, grave photos, and family histories to add to a supplement of this book. So if you have any Shoemaker, Packard, Duart, Brown, More, Morse, etc., information please consider sharing that with me.

The Harrisburg Chapter, NSDAR book “Revolutionary War Patriots’ Historic Houses of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania” has been a hit. I continue to collect patriot homes throughout Pennsylvania for a possible follow-up book. The Historic Preservation Committee of Harrisburg has at least 60-80 more homes that could make up a second book. The research that is necessary for such a book will slow down our next publication date, but standby for more.

I have been invited to a number of local NSDAR chapters and historical societies to talk about the Revolutionary War homes in PA and always get a lead on yet another home. It amazes me that so many of these homes remain and occupied. By bringing these homes to public attention, it is our intent to keep them for many generations to come, to enjoy.

Challenging DAR Applications

I’ve been working on a couple of challenging NSDAR applications this month and have found how many times people on the internet perpetuate incorrect data. One thing that the NSDAR genealogy course teaches is that if they were born in KY, then their parents had to be in KY at some point, preferrably when their child was born. If you don’t find them there, then you probably have the wrong person. Also, being born in PA and you find a person with that name on the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum commission’s list of soldiers in Pennsylvania, that this is your ancestor. You need to keep looking, READING, and do the math. If you have a picture of a tombstone from Findagrave and the date of death on the stone says 1833, then he couldn’t possibly be writing letters in 1883. This isn’t rocket science folks, just simple math– 1883 comes after 1833.

NSDAR will tease all of this out of the documents you provide. As an applicant, you can do this too, you just need to reason it out as to time and place. If you put down a date or place, do you have a document to prove it? I liken it to being an agent on NCIS or CSI. You don’t have the blood and guts, but need the reasoning power.

PSSDAR South Central District

August 27th the South Central District of PSSDAR held a High Tea to support our State Regent’s Project for the DAR Schools.  What a huge success.  We had 11 beautiful baskets and a Treasure Chest to distribute.  Our daughters are very generous and we raised almost $1000 towards the Regent’s Project.

High Tea can be a lot of fun, especially when we get out our hats and gloves.  We had daughters from around the mid-state area from as far north as Lewisburg – Shikelimo Chapter, Scranton- Scranton City Chapter, and the State Regent from Washington, PA.

If anyone is interested in joining the DAR, you can get help by emailing me at the contact section of my website.

A Week of DAR

This week started with Regents’ Club of Central Pennsylvania where new officers were elected.  President, Joan Romig;   V. President, Mary Duggan; Recording Secretary, Suzanne Seebold; Corresponding Secretary, Deborah White Hershey; Treasurer, Phoebe Conner; Chaplain, Lorraine Prutzman.

It was on to Harrisburg Chapter, DAR Flag Day luncheon with SAR.  We had an excellent attendance with numerous prospective, pending  and verified members.  The support the Chapter has garnered continues to grow as others see the many projects we have to honor our veterans, including Wreaths Across America; toiletries to Lebanon VA hospital; Bingo with the veterans at Lebanon; and clothing and other items sent to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany.

Finally a trip to Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg to the Franklin County Chapter, DAR memorial service and annual church service. The church is owned and maintained by this chapter.  It was a very warm day, but well attended services.

Volunteer Field Genealogist Workshop

I am now available to present the National Society Daughters of American Revolution volunteer field genealogist workshops.  The workshop will help anyone who is interested in joining DAR, complete their application or Registrar’s some good information to help prospective members submit an application that is approved the first time it is submitted.

I joined 40 ladies at NSDAR for the 3 day seminar and learned so much about DAR and the folks that review these applications.  There are some very good resources for proving lineage.  Sometimes the information is not there to be found so a “preponderance of evidence” must be used for the proof.

Anyone who enjoys research will enjoy the workshop or course in Washington DC.

Genealogy Consultant Course at NSDAR

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.

Revolutionary War Patriot Homes in Pennsylvania

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.