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Revolutionary Ancestors

Were any of your ancestors in the colonies prior to the American Revolution? If so, have you tried to identify ancestors who may have fought in the Revolutionary War?

Since I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), I already knew that one of my ancestors provided patriotic service during the war: Nathaniel Hammond of Connecticut.

I had also started collecting documentation to prove William Buckles on my mother’s side of my tree. 

Beyond that, I didn’t know which of my ancestors might have served. Thus, I needed to create a list of ancestors who might have served so that I could research them in Fold3 and the DAR databases. 

To create a list of potential people, I needed to know who was of the appropriate age to serve. I found a wiki on FamilySearch that lists various wars and suggests ‘Ages of Servicemen in Wars.’ 

Using that information, I was able to create a marked group of those whose
     Birth date is after 1715 AND  Birth date is before 1767

Using this group, I created a custom report to list the names, birth dates and birth places. (Note: I should have added the death date and death place to my report.) 

I saved the report as a text file so that I could open it in Excel.

When I opened the text file in Excel, I had almost 270 individuals in my list.

Since this list was NOT limited to ancestors, I had to manually figure out who on the list was an ancestor. 

To help identify those ancestors, I created a marked group in RootsMagic for my ancestors. This allowed me to have an alphabetical list of ancestors in RootsMagic and compare it to the list of potential revolutionary war ancestors in my Excel spreadsheet.

After marking the ancestors on my list of potential revolutionary war people, I was down to 20 names.

I then looked up those 20 names using the DAR Ancestor Search site. 
Of my 20 ancestors of the appropriate age to have served, only five of them had service information in the DAR database. An additional 2 men were in the DAR database, but their service information is questionable. 
Revolutionary War Patriot Ancestors

Potential Patriot Ancestors – DAR designated ‘Must Prove’

Ancestors of Appropriate Age but NOT in DAR database

  • Richard Beckerdite
  • Frederick Briles (Broyles)
  • Theodore Hale
  • William Harding — LOYALIST
  • John Iglehart
  • John Ralston
  • John Ricketts
  • Benjamin Rush
  • Crafford Rush
  • James Story
  • Green Wells
  • Nathaniel Wells
  • Oliver White

Now that I have identified potential revolutionary war participants, I can watch for their names in county histories, court records and other documents.