19 November 2009

Hello DAR - I'd like to make your acquaintance

So, about a year ago I faxed off a request for a record copy of my ancestor, Daniel Boatwright, to the DAR. I was using the fax machine at work and it's not the most reliable of machines. I suspect they never received it - because I never received a response. Then I never got around to sending my request again.

Yesterday, I saw on blogs and on twitter that the DAR had made an online search form available. I was able to look up my ancestor and see his information. I also saw that someone else has already submitted an application through the next two generations of Daniel's descendants that follow my line. I think this will make things easier for me (?).

So, I decided once again to send off for the record copy. This time, I mailed it. I tried to specify which of Daniel's descendants I wanted and, specifically, with his second wife.

I'm curious as to what I will receive back. There's a lot of information on the DAR's website, and with the unfamiliar terminology, I'm getting a little confused. According to their site, the "previously verified DAR membership and supplemental applications can be used as genealogical research tools as well as documentation for new applications." But, "record copies only consist of the application, and not copies of the supporting documentation that originally accompanied it." I seems that the supporting documents must be requested separately.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get any information from my request besides statements of descent. Will this be helpful? Should I go ahead and request the supporting documents?

I suppose that what I should really do is contact a local DAR chapter (Philadelphia Winn Chapter of GA who's website was on Geocities and is now gone). I'm sure they'd be able to help me.... but I'm going to shoot myself in the foot and go it alone for now. I'm just not a people person. I'm probably going to put off contacting anyone for a while. I know it'll slow me down, but what can I say...

Anyway, this is the lineage I'm following:
  1. Me
  2. My Father (m. my mom)
  3. Sarah F. Britt (m. Thomas S Craft)
  4. S. Ledora Barfield (m. Nathan Britt)
  5. S. Frances Boatright (m. William Barfield)
  6. Stephen T. Boatright (m. Dora Logue)
  7. Reubin Boatright (m. Demaris Rich)
  8. Daniel Boatwright (m. Margaret Braswell)
I have death or birth certificates and copies of marriage certificates or licenses for every generation but the last two. I'm wondering: What other documents should I collect? Do I need multiple documents for each generation? Do I need the documents of Daniel's service? Do the documents need to be originals, or will copies do?

Well, I guess I'm off for more research on how this works.


Sheri said...


I hear what you are saying, believe it or not, I am the same way about people and asking for help.

I am the registrar for El Toyon Chapter NSDAR here in Stockton. Let me see if I can make this easier for you.

A successful application is one that has been thoroughly researched and documented, linking parent to child up to the patriot ancestor.

Ordering a record copy from DAR will get you just that. Just the record copy of the application - not the documents that were submitted with it. Those documents are not shared with the general public.

The application is really a two fold process. First - for every name, date and place you enter on the application, you are stating a fact. Therefore you must provide the best available documentation with your application. The second - you must link parent to child for each generation up to the patriot ancestor.

As a rule - for each generation if you have a copy of all 3 vitals (birth, death and marriage), it should accomplish both things.

Example: Your birth certificate should have your name at birth, the date and place of your birth. Then to link you to the next generation (your parents) it should contain the names of your parents. Your marriage certificate will document your name change and of course a death certificate provides the obvious.

Records commonly used as substitutesar are a combination of: census records, land records, wills, probates, etc. Get ahold of me at: sherifenley@gmail.com to discuss further.

It isn't as hard to do as most people think. Jeeeze Louise - I did it and if I can you can!

Greta Koehl said...

Valerie - I remember you mentioned that you had gotten in touch with a researcher in Greenville. If it was Kelly Jane (?), then she can help you with that process. She gave me some good advice on it (which I still have to follow up on).

Amy Coffin said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope you document the process along the way.

One of my resolutions for next year is to kick start the DAR process on my end. My great-grandmother was a member. I have her application, so I'm hoping my application process runs smoothly.


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