Thursday, July 17, 2008
Doing a Little Genealogical Spelunking
There's so many letters in that title, I'm not sure if I spelled everything correctly. Anyway, moving on...

When my Grandmother died late last summer, I decided that I would join the DAR to honor her memory. I contacted a second cousin who had all of the information prepared for me, then started looking for a local chapter.

In preparation for a meeting with the representative of the local chapter, I began reading some of my documentation. In actuality, I was genuinely interested, but it was much more than that. The thing is, I am a workaholic. I come from a long line of workaholics. And, being handed the documentation was really nice but...too easy. I have a rabid work ethic, you see. Anyway, in going through the documentation, I learn that there is not one, but likely two ancestors who fought for the cause back in Revolutionary times. I have to admit, that gave me a little thrill right there.

Anyway, I met with the Regent and showed her what I had. We went through the documentation and she felt it might be simpler to use Grandma's application and piggy-back in on her. It is called going short-form, but really all that is required is that I prove that she (a one-time DAR member) is my grandmother. This is pretty easy, as you can imagine. So, because I don't have my grandmother's member number, I give the nice lady my grandmother's name and particulars and she looks her up.

And emails me the results.

It turns out Grandma had been a member, but her application wasn't on either of the 2 Revolutionary ancestors I was aware of, but a third one. This is like winning some sort of game show. No whammies, BIG BUCKS!

And then, I'm reading the book written about my ancestors on my Grandfather's side of the family...just wondering if maybe....

And that side may actually require some work. There is no question that they were here before the Revolutionary War, having arrived in 1752. And, there is documentation that my ancestor's big brother fought (and was actually at Valley Forge with Gen. George Washington - Super COOL!), but my direct ancestor was only 5 years old at the time. It is possible that their father fought as well, but I'll have to do some research to see.

So, while currently it looks like only three of my direct ancestors fought, there is still a possibility of locating a fourth. I'm really very excited!

But then there's another thing. I'm all excited about all of these discoveries and last night I decide to look again for the family photo album that my stepmother insists that she sent to me. I've only ever seen it at my grandmother's house when it was a work in progress, but I decide to look again last night.

The photo album is still AWOL, but I found something much better. It was a bit like a personal time capsule, prepared for me by my grandmother. She seems to have known somehow that one day I would look for/need this information. She typed up family stories in her own vernacular and left them for me. I spent last night reading for over an hour! All family stories like how my grandmother's father (I think) met Dwight Eisenhower. I have all sorts of clippings about my father going to the National Spelling Bee and my uncle's electricity experiment for 4-H. Articles about how my grandfather brought electricity to the county...all really cool stuff. And in there, she included family bible pages and records for the line to the Revolutionary Ancestor she applied under.

I was all misty eyed, I'll be honest.

And wouldn't you know it, now I'm all motivated and shit. I'm thinking I'll apply, get accepted, then send in supplementals on all of the ancestors I can document who served. Christina will understand best, but I'm an overacheiver extraordinare. Even for overacheivers, I'm an overacheiver. Or, I'm an overacheiving overacheiver.
posted by Phoenix | 8:42 AM


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