12 March 2015

Supporting Documents - A DAR Resource

     A little while back the DAR introduced a new service, the ability to purchase supporting documents online for $20.  These are the documents that are submitted along with membership applications that prove the lineage.  In general, there's no way to preview these documents to see what you're going to get (vital records, family bibles, published histories, etc) before you buy, but these records could be a way to quickly find many records for one of your ancestors.

     I'll give an example of how it all works.

     Take my 6th Great Grandfather, Kindred Braswell, for example.  On his page in the Ancestor Search results, I see that eight members have joined the DAR through him, four of those through his daughter Margaret (my line).  When I click on the green "Purchase" button next to each of those members, I can see that two of them have supplemental documents that I can purchase.  The older application has 21 documents while the more recent application has only two.  This makes sense, as new applications can simply cite older applications as proof.   For the members' applications with no supporting documents available to purchase, I'm not sure if that is because they are not available, or because there are no records submitted.

     The application with 21 records follows my family line for the oldest three generations (click on the pink 'D' button back on the search results page), so I decided to purchase the records.  After a few clicks I was given access to a link to download a PDF with records that were used to prove the Braswell lineage.

     In this case, the records consisted of research notes from courthouse records requests, census records, estate records, and bible records.  In the end, this was an ancestor that I had thoroughly researched, so I already had these records.  But if it had been a new ancestor for me, this would have been a gold mine.

     It is important to note that documents created in the past 75 years are not available to protect privacy.  Also, this same service is available through the mail for $10 (for 10 pages plus .30¢ for each additional page) as a Document Request.  Finally, if you know a member of the DAR with Image Access, they can view all the supporting documents available by ancestor, instead of by member.

3 comments:

Jana Last said...

Valerie,

I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/03/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-march-13.html

Have a wonderful weekend!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Valerie, if an an application has no supporting documents available for download, it is typically because it is either a very old application, submitted when supporting documents were not retained, or possibly a newer application that connects to another application where the documents have already been retained. Also, keep in mind that only documents over 100 years old are available.

D. B. said...

Thanks for the heads up! It's appreciated!

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