How to Start Your Research to Find a Revolutionary War Patriot
Do you have a mother, grandmother or an aunt who is or was a member of the DAR? Did you ever hear family stories about a Revolutionary War soldier in your family? If your family was in America during the time of the American Revolution, there is a good chance that you do have a patriot ancestor.
In applying for DAR membership, women must document their lineage back to an ancestor who aided the cause of American independence. These efforts may come through military, civil or patriotic service and must occur during the period between 19 April 1775 (Battle of Lexington) and 26 November 1783 (withdrawal of British Troops from New York). The list of acceptable service is here.
As always when starting genealogy research, start with yourself and work backwards in your research. Obtain documents to “prove” your ancestral line one generation at a time.
- Talk to older family members and ask questions about your family history.
- Start to collect documents and keep them organized generation by generation. Look for birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. Census records are great to prove relationships. Obituaries also list family members.
- A free online resource is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website at familysearch.org. They have the largest repository of genealogical records in the world.
- Ancestry.com is a paid subscription; however, it is free in most libraries and at Latter-day Saints Family History Centers. The center at 45 East Par Street in Orlando is open on Thursdays and Saturdays 9:30 – 1:30. There are volunteers there to help you one-on-one with your research.
- The West Oaks Library Genealogy Center in Ocoee is a wonderful local resource and it contains the Florida State DAR collection of books. They offer free genealogy classes and our chapter has a research day there each month September – May, where chapter members help one another with their research. We also help prospective members with their research.
- The Central Florida Genealogical Society has many meetings and Special Interest Groups to assist genealogists with their research. www.cfgs.org.
- Our chapter Registrar can answer your questions about membership and finding and proving a patriot.
To search to find out if you have a patriot in your ancestry, go to the NSDAR website.
For more information about the chapter, contact Regent Leslie Beltz.
For additions or corrections, please contact webmaster Elaine Powell. The content contained herein does not necessarily represent the position of the NSDAR. Hyperlinks to other sites are not the responsibility of the NSDAR, the state organizations, or individual DAR chapters.
Updated May 12, 2021