In normal times, this would be a long weekend in Massachusetts... Patriot's Day, marking the beginning of the Revolutionary War, would be a holiday on Monday, April 20, 2020. But these are not normal times! For that reason, there will be no Boston Marathon on Monday; neither will there be a Red Sox home game; and the Commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord will be virtual.
Do you have any patriots in your own family history? How can you find them? If you have ancestors living in this country prior to the 1850s, you may benefit from a recent webinar presented by Josh Taylor, "Genealogical Resources of the Daughters of the American Revolution," which is scheduled to be rebroadcast on Thursday, April 23, at 7 PM (EDT). Thanks to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society who are providing free webinars to the public throughout this period of isolation due to the coronavirus. For more information on upcoming webinars, visit the NTG&B website.
Since my ancestor's are all Irish and my first immigrant arrived in the mid-1860's, these records would not ordinarily be of value to me. However, my sons have ancestry going back to the Mayflower -- how many patriot's might I uncover in their line? I knew of one -- Marshall Walker from Massachusetts -- could there be others? So far, using resources Josh recommended on the DAR site, I have found two additional Revolutionary War soldiers... James Dunbar, father-in-law to Marshall Walker and also from Massachusetts, and John C. Keator from New York.
Locating these names by using DAR records does not mean you do not have to confirm the relationships within your own line. Everything has to be proven! However, what you find on the DAR site will start you off. In my case, I was ultimately able to discover three generations in the Keator family, using digitized records on Ancestry...including the entire pension applications for John Keator and the widow's application of his wife, Rebecca Elmore.
Take advantage of your unanticipated free time to take a look at records you have never explore before. Also, take advantage of the many free webinars that are being offered during this time, in addition to those from NYG&B, there are others on Legacy Family Tree.
Good luck! and let us know what you have discovered!
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