Over the last decade, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution have built a rather robust website that is of great help if you are searching for American Revolutionary War patriot soldiers. Note that the key word here is “patriot.” If you are searching for loyalist information, you will not find data on the the DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS), except the possible reference to books held within the DAR library. That said, the GRS is a powerful research tool. Much of the following is drawn from the DAR website itself.
The DAR Genealogical Research System is a combination of several databases created in recent years to organize the large quantity of information that the DAR has collected since its beginning in 1890. It is planned that the database system will continue to expand as new information is added.
Immediate access to the GRS databases is made available by clicking on the ??????tabs?????? along the top of the search screen. Following is a description of each tab, starting on the extreme left of the search screen.
ANCESTOR TAB – The Working Database of the DAR Genealogy Office The Ancestor Database was created by and is maintained by the staff of the DAR Registrar General????????s offices. With few exceptions, the data is taken from verified membership applications and supplementals. New records and information are added on a daily basis. The Ancestor Database is not a comprehensive list of all individuals who served in the Revolutionary War. New patriots are added as they are proven through DAR membership applications and supplemental apps. Lines that have been closed to membership are also included in the database. These lines may be coded as being in error, or they may not, dependent on whether the error have been caught and the database updated. Lines coded as being in error may not be suitable for DAR membership.
MEMBER TAB Here you may access information about a member and that person’s linage, including the Revolutionary War ancestor & spouse. Not all lineages are complete, as the data has not been transcribed and entered into the database yet. By clicking on the “See Ancestor Record” tab, you can view Associated Applications and Supplementals. This may give you a listing of dozens of other members (by their number) who have the same Revolutionary War ancestor. Click on the number, and get more information. There are currently 850,000 names in the database.
DESCENDANTS TAB This give researchers access to the Descendants Database, where you will find linages of the direct line ancestors, including their birth & death dates and places. Current generations who may be living are just listed as Generation Restricted. There are currently 7,100,000 names in the database.
GRC TAB This tab allows the researcher to search an index to the GRC Reports. “In 1913, the DAR established the Genealogical Research Committee (subsequently renamed the Genealogical Records Committee) to coordinate this nation-wide attempt to save historical records. The result has been nearly 17,000 typescripts of records from across the country. These volumes are referred to collectively as the Genealogical Records Committee Reports, for the DAR’s national committee responsible for their production. They represent one of the most important and unique segments of the collection of the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., where the entire “national” collection is located. State sets of these reports may be found in various libraries within each respective state. A portion of these volumes was microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1970-1972, but over half of the present collection has not been microfilmed.” For more detailed information about the GRC report, Click Here.
RESOURCES TAB The Resources Tab contains links to two more DAR indexes and 16 different categories of other online sites recommended by the DAR. The two DAR indexes are:
Revolutionary War Extracts Index (or, Index to Names Appearing in Some Revolutionary War Pensions) “This original card index contains references to the names of individuals that appear in abstracts of some Revolutionary War pensions. DAR staff and volunteers, who visited the National Archives, produced abstracts to help prove pending application papers. This work was done prior to the early 1960s and the subsequent availability of the images of the pension papers themselves on microfilm (and now digitally online). The index is not a complete for all Revolutionary War pensions, but it does contain references to a great deal of hidden information in some of them. All of the pension abstracts are for federal pensions, no state pensions being examined for this project.”
The DAR Library’s Analytical Index “Beginning in the 1910s and ending around 1970, Library staff and volunteers produced an Analytical Index amounting to over 300 card drawers. This index, typical of similar finding aids in libraries large and small, provides access points for some of the material in the Library’s collections, but by no means all of it.” Click Here for more detailed information on the Analytical Index.
LIBRARY CATALOG The DAR Library Catalog can be accessed at this tab. Search by Title, Author, Subject, Notes, A combination of the these, or Anything.
RECORD COPY TAB At this tab, the researcher can purchase and download the Library Record Copy. “A record copy can be used as a genealogical research tool and may be used as documentation for a new application. As long as there is no reason to believe that the lineage or service is incorrect on an older application paper, it may be used as genealogical proof documentation. Copies of previously verified DAR membership applications (record copies) can be ordered and downloaded for $10 each. …Record copies only consist of the application, and not copies of the supporting documentation that originally accompanied it.”
As you can see, the GRS system at the NSDAR website has a lot of online information for anyone searching for data about an American Revolution Patriot and/or their descendants. Enjoy…