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Category: Revolutionary War

Fantasy Genealogy

Fantasy Genealogy

A woman wrote that she was descended from “almost all of the Magna Carta Sureties.” I advised that several of them either had no known issue or their line was extinct within four or five generations. She became very upset, said I was just jealous. I didn’t hear from her again.

I don’t know of any Magna Carta Sureties in my lines. My sister has some. She’s a Calvert descendant. It doesn’t seem to make her life better or worse. She may not even be aware of it because she’s not terribly into genealogy.

Frankly, if I were going to pick a noted ancestor I’d want it to be one of the Yorkists, the later Plantagenets. I just find them more interesting. Alas, I think that is highly unlikely.

I have seen one of my lines traced back to Adam online. A genealogist of some regard thinks one of my lines goes back to Charlemagne. I don’t believe either one.

I have ancestors who were Revolutionary War veterans, War of 1812 veterans and Civil War veterans. Isn’t that enough? There are plenty of people who would happy for those. I have Huguenots. I have Dutch settlers and those who were in Jamestown and early New England. No Pilgrims though. No Kings either. There is a thief who was transported, barely escaping death at Old Bailey*.

What is with us that we need to have fantasy pedigrees to someone famous? Isn’t a thief we can prove better than an fantasy online pedigree hooking us to Cleopatra?

*Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 27 November 2011), April 1740, trial of William Isgrigg (t17400416-2)

Vanishing DAR Markers

Vanishing DAR Markers

Humphrey Scroggin was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Note the DAR markers on his grave in Steenbergen Cemetery, Mt. Pulaski Township, Logan County, Illinois. He also has a flat military plaque. The stone was saved and repaired through the intervention of Dalen and the late Sandra Shellhammer, genealogists who oversaw the cemetery operations for years.

Literally just a few feet away is the stone for Revolutionary War veteran Abraham Lucas. The above picture was taken in 2001. Note the edge of the DAR marker. This Memorial Day that marker was no longer there. There is no military marker. You would not know Lucas was the forefather of many DAR members.

Military Markers for ALL Veteran Graves

Military Markers for ALL Veteran Graves

Logan County has six known Revolutionary War veteran burials, more than two dozen War of 1812 veteran burials and a massive number of Civil War Veteran burials. There are even some Spanish American War veteran burials. Those are just the ones we are aware of. There could be more.

According to new laws of the Veterans Administration, ANY SOLDIER with proven military service can have a free military stone or marker EVEN IF THEY NOW HAVE A PRIVATE MARKER. In 2009 they anticipate having a marker that attaches to the private marker as an option. I couldn’t locate a picture and don’t know if that is on schedule.

This means Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, etc. vets can have markers if the proper procedure is followed. There are special markers for some pre World War I wars like the Civil War. Confederate graves may also obtain markers.

Detailed information is available at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm_hm.asp

The form for the marker request is available online. It is not a snap but not terribly difficult either. Proof of service is required. “Service prior to World War I requires detailed documentation, e.g., muster rolls, extracts from State files, military or State organization where served, pension or land warrant, etc.”

They want copies of the actual documents which prove service. Often these documents will come from the National Archives.

It appears you do not have to actually be a descendant to request the marker.
This might be a project for the local genealogical and historical societies and/or the Eagle Scouts, to mark all the graves. In a rural county it is not likely to be expensive if you already have copies of the records — they may already be in local society files or available from a descendant.

Actual copies of Revolutionary War pension records are available at Footnote.com, a subscription service. They also have the Pennsylvania Archives free. Pennsylvania is a state which produced a lot of Revolutionary War vets. Some records are available through Ancestry.com which may be free at your local library. There are other sources.

Many Revolutionary War veterans did not receive a pension but they may have used their benefits to buy land. I have not noticed a lot of that in Logan County but it is something to check. Those who bought land using their military benefit are noted in the record book in Springfield.

Both the State of Illinois and the National Archives have Civil War military records and initial land purchase records. The information the state has is online but it appears you will still need a copy of the federal record.

The person who is going to receive the marker, someone local to the area of the cemetery such as the genealogical or historical society, must sign the application. The cemetery must also sign off that they will allow the marker. Someone must pay to install the marker. Neither requirement is a big deal in rural areas like Logan County but could be major in metro areas.

I know in 2009 we are looking for Lincoln but I know where he is and his grave is already quite well marked. Pick a cemetery and mark the early veteran graves.