Monday, August 30, 2010

Searching the DAR

This week's challenge was to visit the Daughters of the American Revolution's site.  Explore, search, look for the Patriot that's in your own line.

I've got several Revolutionary War veterans in my line.  Nicholas Houk, Major Jonathan Tipton, John McQueen, George Proctor and others, but how did I miss this site?

First, with the regards to the past actions of the DAR, no, I don't agree with positions they've taken.  However, if we are going to be honest, how many groups, organizations, etc. have spotless reputations?  What was acceptable even fifty years ago is abhorrent today.  I'm not making any excuses or anyone, but am being realistic.

As for this challenge, I was excited to give it a try.

Let's look at Nicholas Houk.  From the research I've done, Nicholas was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  The family had migrated down through Virginia and settled in North Carolina for a while before moving again to Kentucky.  Nicholas and some of his family rest in the Hiatt Cemetery that's located in the Renfro Valley area of Rockcastle County, Kentucky.  According to his headstone, he served as a private on the North Carolina line.

I went to the online search section of the DAR site - - and put Nicholas' name in.  I found that he is listed with the surname of Houck, not Houk.  The only birth date information I'd seen was 1740 on his headstone.  The information on the website showed Nov 1738.  That's something interesting that I'll need to check into.  I also found an exact death date - 6 Aug 1840.  I don't recall seeing that before either.

The next thing I found was his pension number - SR5257.  I also saw where Nicholas was pensioned, but his wife's request had been denied as she wasn't able to prove the marriage.

As you see on the marker, the only information on his service was "NC Line".  I didn't know where he enlisted, but found Burke County, NC listed.  I knew they'd lived in that area of North Carolina, but never knew time lines.  I also was able to find the name of one of his commanding officers.

The last thing I found were 10 applications to the DAR under Nicholas' lineage.  Each one had an abbreviated lineage for each applicant, with the applicant's name withheld. I'm definitely going back to throughly investigate each one.  Perhaps I can find some holes in the brick walls in this family.

Trying various spellings, I then looked for John McQueen and George Proctor.  I didn't find any applications under their names.  I was slightly surprised there wasn't one for John as it seems most of East Kentucky is descended through him!  As for George Proctor, the link between him and the Rockcastle County Kentucky Proctors is tentative still.  We know it's there, but we just can't quite prove it yet.

As for my final test, Major Jonathan yielded the most applicants.  Unfortunately, only two of them were through my line.  Again, his birth and death dates are listed.  All three wives are there.  His commanding officers are as well.  I found that he'd enlisted in Washington County, North Carolina.  Now, that's something new.  What in the world was he doing all the way in that part of the state when all knowledge of him at that time was along the Appalachians, especially in the northeast tip of present-day Tennessee!  As with all other things genealogical, it seems that answers always give you more questions.

I will be spending more time at this site.  I suggest that if you have a Revolutionary War Veteran in your line, you do as well.  You never know what...or who you are going to find!