photo from Greater Boston
Convention and Visitor Center
In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, boys and men from ages 16 to 30 were required to participate in training exercises for the local militia. If you had colonial ancestors in New England, it’s highly likely that they participated in the local militia—or were fined for not doing so. But whether they served in the American Revolution could be a question of their age, their political views, and their location.
I have two Revolutionary soldiers as ancestors: John Gibson (1740-1797) and Medad Huggins (1746-1812). Neither received military pensions. But I found distant cousins who became members of the based on their war service.
Check online for the DAR Patriot Index and the .
Both of my ancestors had source citations from the “56th-77th Annual Reports DAR. Senate documents (United States Congress, Senate). Government Printing Office:
” but the third listing showed that someone had applied to the SAR under Medad Huggins’ military service. It’s always worth getting the DAR and SAR applications to see if there’s any family data in them that you didn’t have. For instance, the John Gibson application appended material from the Gibson family Bible. And that, I didn't have! Washington, DC
The older the application, the less stringent were the membership qualifications. In the last few decades, DAR has insisted—and rightly so—on thorough research and solid source materials. The newer applications offer great detail, including information on the applicant and her line.
has selected Revolutionary War pensions as well as the U.S. Serial Set with rejected pensions, petitions for relief, and soldier memorials.