Maybe you have a family member, living or gone on to glory, who created your family history pedigree? Perhaps you have a pedigree chart hanging on a wall or tucked in a special storage place? And just maybe you or somone in your family is a member of the NATIONAL SOCIETY f the DAUGHTERS of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION?
Maybe you think there is no need to contemplate DNA testing because of the time and effort someone invested to apply AND BE ACCEPTED into the NATIONAL SOCIETY of the DAUGHTERS of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION? You assume your pedigree has to be accurate since the application was accepted by the DAR, right? NOT SO FAST!
Let’s start with the basics. The DAR makes it clear they do not have a master list containing all of the names of soldiers and sailors who fought for our Independence. There was no Ellis Island during the early waves of immigrants. And the American Revolution brought an unique immigration track to our shores. Men hired by Lafayette and others who arrived to help us. At this same time, the British Empire had soldiers from many countries brought to our shores to fight for them. And as with all wars some men switched sides! The DAR is a national society with state and local chapters.
When it comes to North Carolina Patriots, most North Carolina genealogists for over a half a century, hobbyist or professional, begin with a volume constructed by DAR members Mrs. J R Briggs, Mrs. R T Gowan, and Mrs. William Ray Snow in 1929. These ladies volunteered to try and answer the question “WHO from NC was a PATRIOT soldier or sailor?”. They attempted to make a master list. However one only needs to read the forward of “Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution” to understand the limitations these ladies faced eighty seven years ago when they ventured to work with the State Historian to hunt for records to complete their task.
“Could the task have been tackled a hundred years ago, the task would have been easier. Destructive court house fires had taken a heavy toll, and the aging process of time had made many pages of State records almost illegible. Names of men who fought as bravely as any recorded in the present list could not be deciphered, and thus it appears no complete compilation, at this late date, was possible.”
The DAR has relied on best research practices and applications by folks who believe their ancestor fought for the Patriot side during the Revolutionary War. The organization has a magnificient library in Washington DC they are currently restoring.
Would it surprise you to know in 2013 the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution added guidance regarding using Genealogical DNA? WHY did they do this? The Society of the Daughters of American Revolution began in 1890, over a hundred years after the war concluded. For 125 years the organization relied on the best research protocols to create the most comprehensive evidence trail to identify descendants of American Revolution patriot soldiers. They continue to strive to achieve the best results!
THE DAR has relied on evidence provided to them by families who claimed a direct family connection to REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER. Classic genealogy work = classic genealogical conclusions and these conclusions have taken up residence in the DAR’s repository. Now there is information we can glean only via DNA and this evidence can be used to CONFIRM classic pedigree work, including the applications submitting to the DAR.
DNA clarifies conclusions by researchers. So if you are someone who is now working your family history OR you hold dear an old family history work, you need to take the time NOW to gather all information possible to develop the best conclusions. We now use science in our quest to produce best results.
DNA can and is being used to help correctly connect the right family to particular soldiers. DNA works in concert with long standing accepted research protocols. North Carolina colonial family research has been challenging for a number of reasons. The ladies who met in Raleigh in 1929 mentioned missing and fragmented records. They did not mention The Glasgow Land Fraud committed against soldiers who served in North Carolina during the Rev. War. This created an addition layer of complexity. Men who fought were given land grants. We can’t just look to Tennesse, at the time part of North Carolina, and expect to easily find soldiers’ migration trails. Another missed mention was the reality a number of men who bore the same name and lived in close proximity to one another made deciphering the actual soldier difficult at times.
DNA is a blessing when it comes to identifying and confirming a relationship with a Rev. War soldier. The DAR needs their repository to be accurate. So they set in motion guidance for new applicants to include DNA testing results. But the DAR didn’t stop with only new applicants.
Let me give you an example of a particular JG3 JORDAN branch. This branch KNEW one of their ancestors, a BENJAMIN JORDAN, was an AMERICAN PATRIOT SOLDIER. His grave was adorned with old acclaimed credentials and there were pension records which helped to isolate and identify him. But the descendants of one Benjamin Jordan decided to incorporate records from several different brigades in their DAR application. If you go the DAR’s website today you will see there is new interest where BENJAMIN JORDAN, REV WAR SOLDIER GOES. And the reality is there was not a single soldier bearing that name who moved from HALIFAX to PITT to BLADEN. The reality is the JG3 Bladen Co BENJAMIN was definitely a soldier who fought in the war. The BENJAMINs who fought in the HALIFAX BRIGADE were different men. And different Jordan family trees! As more folks establish their branches we will actually be able to help the ladies who began this work in 1929 improve their work.
Anyone doing family history work today needs to include Genealogical DNA. DNA testing allows an unique repository to be included by researchers. The reason I began my nc1700sJordans project was to help resolve the many mistakes made by genealogists before we could use science to supply us with information/evidence we each inherited by our ancestors.
In Jan 2014, the DAR realized their position and their reputation rested with their repository containing accurate information. The standards of classic genealogical research had relied on particular data being sufficient. DNA threw a wrench in the works. DNA is a new tool that is not optional for colonial Carolina family historians.
Every person inherits information from their ancestors. This makes every person a DNA repository and the raw data extracted through the special genealogical testing allows ALL CLASSIC GENEALOGICAL WORK including the work creating The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s repository to be better scrutinized.
The Society of the Daughters of American Revolution began in 1890. For almost 125 years the organization has relied on the best evidence AND best research protocols. They do not claim to have a master list of all Patriot Soldiers. presented to them by families who claimed a direct family connection to REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER. The paradigm shift genealogical DNA created and this respected organization set up a partnership with FTDNA.com. The DAR has their own unique CLUSTER DNA PROJECT through FTDNA.com! Their goal? The DAR wants their work to be accurate. Basic research protocol as well as genealogical research proofing criteria includes gathering data from all repositories. Since the DAR’s library is a repository, they need new and old members to have their work confirmed.
I mentioned BENJAMIN JORDAN. In my opinion, there were three Benjamin Jordans who fought for Independence that I know of at this time. A father and son who lived close to where Roanoke Rapids is today and a man who initially lived in the Pitt/Craven region and moved to Bladen. There may be another Benjamin Jordan who fought as a Minute man during the Revolution and his family moved out of Carolina after the war. The only way we will properly know is if all JORDANS make the effort to establish their branch in the FTDNA.com database. Don’t we owe it to our ancestors who risked so much for our freedom as well as our descendants to use all the tools we have to create an honest and correct record for any and all ancestors who lived during the Revolutionary War?
There are two THOMAS JORDANs who fought for Independence. One was from DUPLIN CO and the records state he achieved a field command position, survived the war, and was in a group of soldiers who gathered in Raleigh after the war. This man was noted as also being responsible for recruiting others to join the cause. The second Thomas claimed Sampson as his residence at the start of the conflict. That is quite a feat since Sampson county did not exist until July 1784. This man was a private. He served under a Captain Lassiter. And he died during the war. His heirs received 640 acres. Neither man is represented in the DAR. WHY? For many generations there has existed imcomplete or inaccurate Carolina Jordan genealogies. AND at this time there still are broken branches of many Jordan trees in the Familytreedna.com database. And why is that? It boils down to one reason. Many Carolina Jordans have not taken the step to establish their unique branch by submitting a Ymarker 37 or greater kit AND also included a FAMILY FINDER TEST.
The DAR may not speak of the importance of the FAMILY FINDER TESTS. I can tell you when it comes to Colonial Carolina JORDANS we have many branches without any boys left. And the window to locate folks who are 70 or older will not always be there. We need to NOT ONLY establish our paternal branch by submitting a Y marker kit but we also need to anchor that kit and allow the many Jordan girls the opportunity to connect to their Jordan branch! And when it comes to Revolutionary War soldiers we need to work together. Many folks connect to an ancestor who doesn’t bear their surname. This means in order to properly use DNA to connect the families it requires BOTH Y marker 37 or greater test AND one or more family finder test.
The DAR and I are trying to promote best research practices AND allow each of us to successfully research our family history. And while we are focussing on our immediate pedigree relatives a cluster of information becomes available to help advance the fields of EARLY AMERICAN and WORLD HISTORY!