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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in revolutionary war (4)

Tuesday
Oct292013

Daughters of the American Revolution Take 2: Saratoga

A few years ago I blogged that I was joining the Daughters of the American Revolution. For whatever reason it just didn't happen in Brooklyn. Now that we're living in Saratoga County- it's happening! Today I met with the chapter registrar and she was delightful. With my worksheet almost fully filled out, I just need to work on getting full documentation on my parents and my paternal grandparents (birth, marriage, death certificates).  I need to do this! I want to check this off my list and finally become a member of this prestigious group. For myself and my girls! My daughters are more fuel to the fire.

My American Patriot is Lieut. Samuel Merrill of MA. He settled in what is now Maine, specifically Salmon Falls, Saco, York Co Maine. More to be shared on him and his property.

Feeling very excited and motivated!

Wednesday
Oct122011

Joining the Daughters of the American Revolution: First Steps 

I am in the beginning stages of joining the prestigious Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). A non profit women's organization established in 1890, the organization focuses on the promotion of historic preservation, education, and patriotism.  If you are a male, you can apply for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.

Membership in these organizations gives you a forum for the exchange of historical information and genealogy research with others with shared interests. Any female 18+ who can provide documentation of their lineal descent* from a Patriot of the American Revolution can apply for DAR membership. There are approx 3,000 local chapters of the DAR, you can search for a chapter near you. *Lineal Descent: Belonging to or being in the direct line of descent from an ancestor. Ex parent, grandparent, great grandparent...

I recently discovered my 7x great grandfather, Samuel Merrill, was a participant of the American Revolution as a Lieutenant in the 30th Regiment of Foot from Buxton, ME. I first learned of his involvement in the American Revolution from my Ancestry.com family tree. When viewing Samuel Merrill there was a leaf indicating a possible historical record match. When I reviewed the hint I was brought to an application to the DAR from 1909 with a Samuel Merrill listed as the Patriot in which the applicant was proving their lineal descent. The applicant was not from my direct line but had similar information so I decided to do a little digging to see if this was in fact the same Samuel Merrill I was researching.

To do this I focused on my direct line from Samuel Merrill to flush through and verify the information and sources I already had for these specific ancestors. I worked my way up the line, starting with myself going up 10 generations in my tree to Samuel. Feeling confident in my lineal descent from Samuel, I filled out a Member Interest form on the DAR website to get the ball rolling. This is simple form to notify DAR of your interest and get you connected to a local chapter to learn more about the application process.

A week or two later I received an email from the Brooklyn DAR Chapter with a genealogy worksheet for me to complete. The genealogy worksheet has blanks to fill in genealogical information about the ancestors in your direct line to connect the generations up to the Patriot. All of the information needs to supplemented with documented sources and you have to indicate what sources you have for the information you provide (vital records, census records, certificates, etc.). I thought I was pretty organized but I quickly found out how scattered my information was! If anything this process so far has really helped me organize, connect loose ends, and encourage me to learn more about these ancestors.

I've completed the worksheet and emailed it back to my contact. Hopefully I'll hear back soon! I hope I entered in the information correctly and thoroughly enough. Fingers crossed.

Thursday
Jul142011

* Historical US Flags: Don't Tread on Me

Picture of Gadsden Flag in Philadelphia (desperateGenie July 2011) With so many historical sights to be seen in Philadelphia, sometimes it's nice to just walk the side streets to learn the history. This flag was looking so perfect on the beautiful 4th of July in Philadelphia I snapped a picture.

I recognized the snake symbol from Benjamin Franklin's "Join or Die" political cartoon, I didn't know the origin or meaning of this flag. A random sunny day picture has taught me a little history lesson.

Called the Gadsden Flag, in memorial of it's designer American General Christopher Gadsden, it was one of the first flags used to display the unity of the states. It was the first flag carried into battle with the British by the Continental Marine Corps. Gadson was inspired to have a snake on the flag by the before mentioned "Join or Die". Britain was sending prisoners to the states and Benjamin Franklin thought they should send Britain cargoes of snakes in return. 

From Gadsden.info, I learned another reason the colonists identified with a snake. Apparently in 1775 an anonymous author wrote to a Philadelphia newspaper with very specific insight into the snake symbolism. Scholars believe this anonymous writer was none other than Benjamin Franklin himself.

The snake: "She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. ... she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.

I wonder why the snake is referred to as a "she"? I like it!

It's interesting to learn about the symbols and signs used by the founding fathers to unite the country, and how they were used!

Links to learn more!

Gadsden Flag History

Gadsden Flag Information from Foundingfathers.info

Wednesday
Jul062011

* wedding wednesday: Betsy Ross Ashburn Claypoole

My wedding wednesday was inspired by our visit to the Betsy Ross House. It was a beautiful summer day exploring historic philadelphia. We really enjoyed touring the historic house on Arch Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets) in Philadelphia, PA. This is the original house Betsy Ross rented while running her upholstery business when George Washington approached her to construct the American Flag. It was a fun experience and I suggest checking it out. We learned a lot in a short time at an affordable cost, the tour was $4 for adults. There is no photography allowed in the house. One aspect of Betsy's life that I found particularly interesting was her marriages. I had no idea she was married 3 times or the tragedies she endured as a very young woman. A timeline of Betsy's marriages...

Click to read more ...