Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sons of the American Revolution SAR

As many people may be aware the Sons of the American Revolution is a lineage base patriotic society for men, the ladies group is known as the Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR).

It is a requirement of both of these organizations that membership can only be granted to direct descendant of a Revolutionary War Patriot. I have been interested in this organization for many year, my only problem with joining was that my direct lineage in my paternal line were loyalist.

Thomas Lake was a farmer in New York State at the time of the Battle of Bennington, his farm was located in the area of the Battlefield. There are records that indicate he was captured and interred in Cambridge New York until after the Battle of Saratoga was won. He was released, like many other loyalist prisoner after the battle and at present It is not clear what Thomas did or where he went until he and his family are found in Canadian Census after the war. It is possible he returned to farming or may have gone to join another fighting unit. It would not be surprising that once the battle was over and the fighting moved else-where that he and his brothers just went back to his farm. With the defeat of the only major British Army in Northeastern New York there would have been nothing to prevent the Lake brothers from returning to the farm or possibly setting out for Canada; Research is actively continuing in this area.

So you can see becoming a member of a lineage patriot group was not really feasible for me, until just recently.

While exploring my maternal line I came across my 4th Great Grandfather Eleazer Whitney, born 1755 in Brookfield, Massachusetts, (Still needs verification) he joined the Continental Army 1777 and served to the end of the war. After the war he made his way to Halifax VT there is 1874 he married Martha Crosier, they settle in an area of the town that would come to be known as Whitneyville. They remained in this area all their lives Eleazer passing on in June 1840 and Martha November 1865.

In 1818 the US Congress passed a law allowing for the payment of pensions to Revolutionary War Soldiers and Eleazer was granted a government pension for his service. The Congress subsequently passed legislation that enabled widows of Revolutionary War soldier to collect the pension of their husband provided they were accepted under the guidelines of the day. Martha was awarded a pension of $88.00 the was eventual raised to $92.00, now one would think that $92.00 a month would be a good some of money for the 1840’s however the payment was yearly and yes only $92.00. She had to keep re-applying the interval is not clear but the pension documents are a wealth of information.

The documents identified that Martha couldn’t write, she signed her name by making “her mark” which was an “X”, In one of these documents her daughter Abigail (Whitney) Farnum signed as a witness. This is significant as the first legal document that identifies the Farnum Family, and creates a genealogical link to the Whitney and Crosier lines. The only other document that I have found to-date is a handwritten piece of paper that looks like it came from and old stock book, it literally fell out of a family bible. This document has no identifying feature to document who wrote it.

This is a work in progress and there are several other avenues to follow I hope to be able to compile it very soon into the application for membership. Will continue to update.