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Documenting Your Line

Please understand that discovering and documenting a genealogical line to a Patriot ancestor can often be accomplished with only a modest amount of effort, providing you know what to look for and where to find it.  If you have an ancestor who lived in the United States prior to 1900 chances are likely that you could to be the descendant of a Revolutionary War patriot


The material presented here is excerpt from a talk given by William B. Neal (DESSAR), who has chaired the National SAR Lineage Research and Workshop Committee for many years.   Mr. Neal has a quarter-century of experience in genealogy and he was the Founding President of the Delaware Genealogical Society.  His SAR credentials include receiving the Liberty Medal with several oak leaf clusters (indicating that he has helped dozens of people become members of the SAR thus far).  He has held the National Office of Genealogist General for several terms.

This discussion covers

  1. Documenting Easy Cases:
    1. Relative in the SAR or DAR or CAR
    2. A family tree going back to the Revolution
  2. More Difficult Cases (little or no lineage information):
    1. Recent Generations: Back to 1900
    2. Helpers, IGI, Biographical Sketches
    3. The Census: 1920 to 1850
    4. Wills and Deeds: before 1850

NOTE: Please read through this material.  It will help you get a basic understanding of how to look for genealogical information and as you become more experienced at finding information you will become a treasured resource for your local Chapter and State Society.  Enjoy the fastest growing hobby in the United States.

NOTE: The primary focus of this resource is getting the documentation needed for an SAR application, so it does not cover immigration records or many other fascinating aspects of researching your ancestry.