I recently had the opportunity to visit the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library in Washington D.C. to research my patriot, Col. Daniel Moore of Londonderry, New Hampshire.
I found my patriots (yes, two of them) in an unexpected place on my family tree. My maternal grandfather, Clarence Albert Gardner was born and raised in New York. Both of his parents were of Canadian descent. His father, Albert Gardner was born Almond Desjardins in the Long Island City/Astoria area of Queens County, in the City of New York in 1891. Albert's parents, Damas Desjardins and Malvina Ethier-Desjardins were both born and raised in Montreal but met and married here in the City of New York. My grandpa Clarence's mother, Mayme Sharp-Gardner, was born in Sherebrooke, Quebec, Canada and immigrated to the U.S. around WWI. She arrived in New York by way of Lowell, Massachusetts. When I think about my Grandpa Gardner's lineage I think French Canadian, not American Revolutionary War patriot.
My paternal grandfather, Edwin Earle's lineage can be traced back to early American settlers. I thought for sure this is where my patriot would be, right? Wrong. Grandpa Earle's ancestors lived on Long Island, New York which during the American Revolution was a loyalist stronghold which means they were probably shooting at the patriots. Makes sense if you consider how my mother and father got along but I digress...
No, it was Grandpa Gardner's line where I found my patriot. The line goes like this:
Grandpa: Clarence Albert Gardner
Great-grandma: Mary Elizabeth "Mayme" Sharp-Gardner
Great-great grandpa : Daniel Sharp
3rd great grandma: Ann Moore-Sharp
4th great grandparents: Eleanor Moore and William Moore
5th great grandpas: Patriot Colonel Daniel Moore and Patriot Lt. Colonel Robert Moore
When you trace your family tree you have to move backwards in time from you to your parents, your parents to your grandparents, etc. But for clarity here I will first tell you about Daniel and Robert Moore and move forward.
Daniel and his brother Robert were from Londonderry, NH which is now Derry, NH. The sons of John and Janet Moor. Daniel was at the surrender of Saratoga, NY; a pretty monumental British defeat. His brother, Robert Moore, also served in the Revolution. His line is less well-documented though. To explain some of the search process on the DAR website I will focus on Daniel.
Daniel had a daughter, Eleanor who married Robert's son, William Moore in about 1784. Yes, they were first cousins which was a common, socially-acceptable practice back then; to marry a cousin. Nowadays we cringe at the thought but back then it was common.
Eleanor and William moved from New Hampshire to an area of Quebec known as Kingsey. In fact, they were the second settlers to move to the area now known as St. Felix-de-Kingsey not far from Drummondville, Quebec.
Most Americans tend to think that people who emigrate to Canada do so because they have anti-American feelings. This is not always true but yes, it is the case. For example, during the Vietnam era some Americans headed to our neighbors in the north to avoid being drafted. Canada, though, is a beautiful country and many people move there for many reasons. Eleanor and William went there for land.
It wasn't until 3 generations later, when my great grandmother moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, and that this line returned to the United States.
Now let's get down to brass tacks here. How does one use the DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) online. Well, first go to the website: http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search/?tab_id=0 or DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS).
I'll tell you just the tiniest bit of how to get started on the DAR website. The second tab you will see is "Ancestor." Click on that and you will be presented with several search boxes. When constructing a search sometimes less is more; or in my case "Moor."
The Moore family name sometimes appears as Moore, More, or Moor. Like marrying your first cousin, spelling didn't really count back then; nowadays we're all caught up on spelling. I get ticked when someone leaves the "e" off the end of my last name; Earle. In genealogy research though you have to let go of your modern day connection to spelling. In any case...
I did a search of the DAR Ancestor page for Last Name: Moor, First Name: Daniel, State: NH. This search returned the records of two Daniel Moores who are often mixed up in records. I am of the first Daniel Moore; the one born in Londonderry, NH on February 11, 1730 and who died April 13, 1811 in Bedford, New Hampshire.
In the search results there is a button called "See Ancestor Record." By clicking on that, one can view a list of accepted applicants listed by their national application number. Daniel has a list of 47 national numbers; that means 47 women have joined the DAR based on linking their ancestry to Col. Daniel Moore. Those are my cousins; none of which I know and none of which are descended from the same grandchild of Daniel as I am. I am descended from Ann Moore. Some of the member are descended from Eleanor and William like I am. Of those, some are descended from Ann's sister Elizabeth and some are descended from Ann's brother Daniel but none are from my Ann.
I will face the challenge of finding documentation that links Ann to her parents Eleanor and William Moore but I will not have to rigorously prove Eleanor to be the daughter of Daniel because the DAR has already accepted this fact.
Now if you want to see what documentation the DAR has accepted on a given patriot and his descendants you're going to have to either order the records or make a visit to the DAR Library in Washington D.C. I recommend the visit if you can because there, for a $6/day visiting researcher fee, you can view everything they have and print it all out for $0.25/ page. If you order it online it cost $15/ application and some packets contain more information than others. There is no guarantee that your $15 will provide you with any supportive documentation. $15 is one think if there was one accepted applicant for your patriot; it is another huge investment if you have 47 accepted applicants and you want to see everything. And what researcher doesn't want to see everything?
I say make the trip!
If you have any questions about using the site the "Home" tab provides much more detail than I have given you here about the variety of tabs and resources available to you.