Written by: Stephanie Tuszynski
DAR Library Director
Date: April 28, 2020
Regardless of the numerical size of the collection, the DAR Library’s greatest resource has always been the Daughters themselves. Whether through book donations, financial support or countless hours of volunteer work, the myriad contributions of our members have helped us develop the depth of the Library’s research tools. Now, in collaboration with the DAR genealogists, we have a new resource and a new way for members to help us expand the list of eligible Patriots of the American Revolution.
This new DAR Library resource focuses on genealogical research in British-occupied areas of the American colonies. Cities and other areas that were under British occupation for any period of the Revolutionary War can be challenging when it comes to proving patriotic service. Some individuals have been flagged in the DAR databases due to recorded events from the period of occupation. At least some of these ancestors may not have been Loyalists but, unfortunately, no documentation has yet been discovered to prove otherwise. This is where we are seeking the assistance of DAR members.
The National Society wants to document/restore the service of as many of these Patriots as possible, but we need the help of our members to make it happen. To that end, we are creating a series of research guides on locations that were under British occupation, starting with Long Island in New York. On this webpage, you will find some overall guidance for doing research, including a flow chart to help anyone who is starting the process and a list of linked resources used by the DAR Library staff and DAR genealogists in our own work. View the webpage here. Our hope is that members will start combing through these resources to find proof of Patriotic service for as many ancestors as possible, so that we can restore them as established Patriots whose descendants are eligible to join DAR.
If you have an ancestor from Long Island who is currently not considered an eligible Patriot, we hope this resource will provide a starting point. If you find primary source documentation of proof of service, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also requesting that members inform the DAR Library of new/additional primary sources that can be added to the website that will help everyone. If you have suggestions for such resources, please contact: email@example.com . This is a large, collaborative effort and we need the expert insights of our DAR members to ensure its success.
The Long Island resource is only the first of a planned series that will include other cities such as Charleston, Philadelphia and so forth. Check back on the DAR Library website to see the additional pages as we add them. And as always, we thank the Daughters for their support of the DAR Library!