Saturday, May 25, 2013

Society Saturday - Application to Join the Daughters of the American Revolution - Part 1

Ever since I first became interested in genealogy (just a few years ago) one of my objectives has been to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  According to family legend my 5X great grandfather, Samuel Baker, fought in that war.  Samuel was the son of Samuel Baker and Elizabeth Glover, and was born in Bedford County, VA, in 1745 and died about 1826 in Botetourt Co, VA.  Since the advent of the internet I have also seen many family trees showing this sort of information, of course there were no sources attached.  I really wanted to have a point to all the genealogy research my sister, Nadine, and I have been doing, and a membership in the DAR would be an end-product that just might convey a sense of accomplishment.  Oh, and the certificate on the wall would be nice, too!

Now that I think about it, my interest in the DAR may actually have started much further back in time.  When I was in school I used a hand-written pedigree chart borrowed from my Dad's sister that traced our family from my paternal grandfather, Joseph Hubert Baker, back to this Samuel Baker, and even further.  I was intrigued about these ancestors, because, although I had heard that my paternal granddad's family had come up from the States, I had not realized that the family had been in the New World for such a long time, and that seemed pretty cool to me.

The Pedigree Chart I used was just that, a chart, there were no sources cited, and no hints about where to go next in the research.  Lets face it, I was a kid with a lot more interesting things to do, and my interest cooled off -- for about 20 or 30 years.

I want to interject with some important lessons here:
  1. I didn't keep a copy of the pedigree chart that was returned to my Aunt, and I should have.
  2. I didn't keep a copy of the work I handed in, and I should have.
Why would I consider these important lessons?
  1. Because my Aunt's house burned down -- taking the family history information with it!  That information would have been a great starting point.  As it was - I had to rely on my memory of what I thought the pedigree chart showed.
  2. One should really keep copies of assignments that are turned in, just in case the teacher loses it (which has happened to me).
Well, we all know that what family legends say, and what evidence can support, are two different things!  So my first step was to see if Samuel had an accepted service record by searching the Ancestor Database at the DAR website.  Luckily for me, Samuel Baker from Botetourt County, Virginia, was listed as having an accepted service during the war.   In fact, according to the book Documentary History of Dunmore's War (1), Samuel not only served (p. 411), he was erroneously reported as killed (p. 296) during the Battle of Point Pleasant  - causing his name to be included on a memorial marker for that battle: 
Samuel had actually been firing on the enemy from a hiding spot behind a log, but an enemy's bullet hit the tip of his mocassin [sic], so he removed from the area (p. 296).  It is a really good thing that Samuel high-tailed it out of there, because his son (my 4X great grandfather) Abraham was born about that time - but we can't be sure if it was before or after.  Abraham may not have been more than a twinkle in Samuel's eye at the time of that battle!

The DAR member whose ancestry was traced back to Samuel did so through my 3X great grandfather, Joshua Baker, and through his daughter Salome C. Martin - sister to my 2X great grandfather, George W. Baker.  How hard could this be - I would be searching through records in Indiana from around 1850, and in Kansas shortly after that.  I just needed to link back to Joshua Baker through my dad's direct male line.

Last lesson to be learned today, a definition.
          Extant: "in existence; still existing; not destroyed or lost." (3)

If you have done any research in the Indiana or Kansas regions you'll already know that vital records started well after the time period I would be searching.  Part 2's lesson will be about using alternate sources!

(1) Kellog, L. P., & Thwaites, R. G. (1905).  Documentary history of Dunmore's war, 1774: Compiled from the Draper manuscripts in the Library of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and published at the charge of the Wisconsin Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society.  (p. 296, 411). Available on Google Books:

(2) "Battle of Point Pleasant," Historical Markers Database [digital online database]  Accessed 25 May 2013.

(3) Definition of the word "Extant" -  Accessed 25 May 2013.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved


  1. Nice post! I did a family tree as a school assignment in 9th grade and didn't save it. It sure would be fun to look at it now. It sounds like you have a great start with the DAR since your ancestor is in their database. Welcome to Geneabloggers!

    1. Thanks Kathryn, wouldn't our lives have been different if we had used our adult know-how back in high school!