When a person applies to join a lineage society, that application involves proving their direct ancestry from themselves up to the ancestor involved in a specific part of history. Groups such as the Colonial Dames, Mayflower Society, The Founders and Patriots of America, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), The General Society War of 1812, National Society U.S. Daughters War of 1812, and others all maintain this requirement for membership.
Of those listed here, they all have something in common: the lineages they must prove all go through or to the War of 1812 generation, which is generally thought of as one of the more difficult generations to connect. The Preserve the Pensions Project to digitize and conserve the War of 1812 pension records at the National Archives is a key to researching in this time period.
The pension and bounty land record of my fifth Great-grandfather, Cyril Call of Vermont, found online at Fold3 shows a number of facts that helps me connect to him and to other generations:
- Name of his unit and rank
- Residence at the time of his draft into the Vermont Militia
- His age
- His signature, which may help distinguish him from other men of the same name
- His wife’s name (maiden) and the date and place of their marriage
- His loyalty during the “late rebellion” (the Civil War)
- Residence out West in 1871 at the time of his application
- Names of witnesses, some who share his surname
- The fact that he received bounty land, but has since sold it.
These facts become significant when researching; they help place him in a specific time and location in order to be connected with other relatives in those locations. Indications of a pioneering move to the Western States helps distinguish him from other men of that name who may have stayed back in Vermont. Cyril’s father, Joseph Call, was a Revolutionary War Veteran also from Vermont. A copy of an old Sons of the American Revolution membership application (at Ancestry.com) further gives evidence of other family records that can be useful to my research and own lineage applications.
The War of 1812 pensions and historic society membership applications have a symbiotic relationship. Together they represent the marriage of original records and family stories that bring a fuller picture of our ancestors’ patriotic service to light.
Do your part today to save these historic documents; for researcher’s of all interests. Donate today to save the War of 1812 Pension files!