I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

17 January 2016

DAR records, online

I've heard rumors over the years that my Dortch ancestors from Mecklenburg, VA were Revolutionary War soldiers. So far, I have only seen Able Dortch served, a much older sibling of Newman Dortch. Conflicting reports state he was born in various years, but it appears he would have been a young soldier. He moved on to Illinois, while the rest of that generation, as well as Newman Dortch's descendants remained in Mecklenburg for generations. One thing that seems to often coincide with people who served, is that they moved. They got land as the bulk of their payment for serving.

I attended my local historical society meeting last week, FRGS (Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society), and thoroughly enjoyed a presentation on DAR records. The presentation was from a librarian who works there. I have searched FamilySearch, Fold3, and Ancestry.com for DAR information but have not found any ancestors there. A big thing that I learned at my meeting is that no one group has all the records. There are a lot of things being digitized and put on the DAR website, that aren't on any other site or collection. If I remember right there were 3 sets of Bible records within the DAR library. They also have an old cemetery collection, many of which aren't visible any more, or were moved to make way for interstate highways. I'm looking forward to visiting the library and searching through that collection. As soon as I got home, I checked the DAR site right away. http://www.dar.org/

No Newman or David Dortch. Then I thought about it, thinking if Newman Dortch was in the War of 1812, he probably wasn't old enough the Revolutionary War. I checked my dates and he would have only been a toddler during the Revolutionary War, even though his older brother Abel was a soldier. His father would have been too old, being about 50 years old. My father's side of the family immigrated during the westward expansion time of the 1860-1870's. But my mother's side was mostly here during colonial days. I checked my files and found 8 men, direct gr....grandfathers who would have  been the right age to serve. There were 5 others who I knew were here, but not enough information. Then I went back to search the DAR site and within 5 minutes found 3 of my ancestors in this database. Hooray! Next step, as I was advised, is to meet with my local chapter who will help me apply. Then I'll see what more I can find on my earlier Virginia guys.

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