Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Sons of the American Revolution Membership applications

If you are a member of Ancestry.com, or a frequent visitor, you have no doubt noticed that over the July 4th weekend, Ancestry.com offered free searches of a new database: Sons of the American Revolution Membership applications. The database contains applications for individuals interested in joining the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, a lineage society for men with Revolutionary War ancestors.

My family lines have been in the United States for quite a while so there are several Revolutionary War ancestors in my past. But I have spent more time researching nearer ancestors, so have not done very much research of the 1700s or the Revolutionary War. A free database search was just the thing to jump start my 18th century research. I did a search for known Revolutionary War ancestors and found several applications for them. The applications vary in depth of information and sources. One application, for Nathanial Fifield, listed a local history book as it's source. Hardly the standards of proof that the SAR requires today, but still a lead I was not aware of. It's redeeming quality was another source for the New Hampshire State papers, with volume and page number. Having never conducted research for New Hampshire, this was a new source to me. (Now available online at the New Hampshire State Archives website.)
SAR application sources for Revolutionary War veteran Nathaniel Fifield.
With such success I decided to search for surnames of individuals that were of the appropriate age to have fought in the war; ancestors whose war service I had yet to discover. Low and behold, several of them were listed in an application. Granted, I will have to do follow up research, but the applications have given me research leads I did not have before.

The icing on the cake? I found an application for a distant uncle...looks like I am not the only one excited by SAR records! Now is a great time to try this database and see what research leads, or unknown veterans, you may have in your family.

1 comment:

Greta Koehl said...

Yup, I'm having fun with those records and am ready to do the "they were the right age, did they serve?" search.