By Kimberly Brown, Family Historian
All of us here at OneGreatFamily hope that all of you that are Americans had a very happy 4th of July holiday. To celebrate, let's talk about some Revolutionary War genealogical records.
At colonialancestors.com, you can view the name of every officer who took the oath of allegiance at Valley Forge in 1778. This useful website also has an entire database of colonial-era ancestors, submitted by visitors to the site. You can search the database by name, birth date, birthplace, spouse, marriage date, and death date. Many of the records there include the e-mail address of the submitter so that you can contact them for more information.
In addition, Colonial Ancestors also has a collection of Revolutionary War records, organized by year. Each collection lists all the engagements and battles fought during that year, along with the brigades that fought. If you know what brigade your veteran ancestor fought in, you can find out exactly what conflicts he was involved in.
If you know you have a revolutionary soldier in your ancestry but you haven’t yet proved it, check to see if your ancestor is already on file with Sons of the American Revolution or Daughters of the American Revolution. Membership in both these societies requires documentation to prove that you actually are a descendant of a revolutionary soldier.
Check their lineage books—it is possible that a distant relative of yours shares your colonial ancestor and has done much of the research and documentation already. If that is the case, all you have to do is go back far enough to tie into their line. For links to this information, as well as other Revolutionary War societies, go to http://www.militaryindexes.com/revolutionarywar/.
Check in county histories, new and old, in the county where your ancestor lived. A town or county was always proud of its soldiers and veterans, so you’ll find their names and sometimes their biographies listed in county histories. County histories can be found at local libraries or at genealogical libraries.
We hope you enjoyed your Independence Day barbeques and fireworks, and good luck finding your colonial ancestors!