A few months ago, we were contacted by an Indiana woman who wanted to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, so she could join her friends in the local chapter's activities. She had heard over the years that she had a Patriot ancestor, but did not know who it was. So she hired us to do the research and complete the nomination packet for her.
I took over the project myself because I am the resident expert on military records. I wrote a master's thesis on the Florida volunteers in the Mexican War, am researching and writing a book on an antebellum U.S. Army officer, and have done a lot of military research for my own family, which includes men from every war except the Spanish-American War.
Our client was nice enough to provide us with the death certificates of her parents and her own birth certificate. These are valuable documents and we made sure that her birth certificate (copy) was closely guarded due to identity theft concerns.
Using online census records, online marriage indices, and other online tools, coupled with a visit to one state archives, two churches, and one university special collections department, I found all the information needed to prove her ancestry back to a Patriot. It actually turned out that she had two such ancestors - father and son. After doing a little bit more work, I discovered that there were two more Patriot ancestors in close proximity genealogy-wise (the son above married a woman whose father was also a Patriot) and we had four Patriot ancestors for her, which means four pins when she is finally inducted.
Because of our research, we also put together a packet for her for the XVII Century Society. Some more research into one of the family lines showed a Jamestown ancestor, making her eligible for the Jamestowne Society. She also wanted us to prepare for a gift the nomination packet for her two brothers into the Sons of the American Revolution. We did just that for a small fee.
These are only some of the services we provide. As I said, I usually do the military records research because 1) I am the expert and 2) I love doing it. More on our other services in the next few days.
Russell D. James, MA, MLIS, CA