Friday, November 20, 2009

The D.A.R. Jackpot

The Daughters of the American Revolution announced this week that after a decade-long effort to digitize their records they are now available online. I have known for quite some time of the possibility of a couple of Patriot ancestors but haven't quite gotten around to proving without a doubt that I am a descendant.

So out of curiosity, I went to their research site and entered searches on a few names. I first searched for Isaac Grindstaff born in 1754 and served from North Carolina. He is a proven Patriot and my good online friend Anita recently entered DAR through him. I need to make one final connection before I would have adequate proof. My line is as follows: me, my father, Lee McNeill, Della Grindstaff, Rev. Isaac Grindstaff, Henry Grindstaff OR alternatively me, my father, Lee McNeill, Charles McNeill, Margaret Ledford, Clarissa Grindstaff. What I still need to prove is that Henry and Clarissa's father is Isaac Grindstaff b. 1774/6, who is a known son of Isaac b. 1754.

I went to the Ancestor Search option and what I found was a list of six members that have proven ancestor from Isaac Grindstaff b. 1754. It lists the child they descend from and three of those six descend from Isaac Grindstaff b. 1774/6 and his second wife, Prudence Ledford. I believe I descend from his first wife, Sally or Sarah Hart.

My other known Patriot ancestor is Henry Woody of Virginia. There were 10 members descended from him. The line is me, my father, Lee McNeill, Della Grindstaff, Mary Jane Woody, William Woody, Josiah Woody, and Wyatt Woody who is the son of Henry. I didn't see any members listing Wyatt as their descendant, but rather his siblings John, Randolph, and Susannah B.

However, the real "jackpot" came when I searched for an Isaac Harmon of Massachusetts using the Descendant Search. This search looks for all matches of any descendants listed on the application rather than just the Patriot themselves. I am reasonably certain my ancestor Walter Harmon b 1798 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Massachusetts is the eldest child of Isaac Harmon (1774-1849) and Mary "Polly" Rawson. The line is me, my mother, Fred Harmon, Edward Harmon, Walter Harmon, Porter Harmon, and Walter Harmon b. 1798.

The Descendant Search enabled me to view the descendants of the Patriots and I was very surprised to see Isaac b. 1774 listed as a child of the Patriot Soldier Isaac Harmon b. 1751. I had no idea Isaac Harmon b. 1751 was a soldier, but 12 women have been able to attain membership with him as their Patriot. So that means I need to continue to pursue proving Walter Harmon b. 1798 is the son of Isaac Harmon b. 1774. I have found a birth record for Walter but want to verify there are no other possible Walters that could be confused with mine. As you can see this family liked to use the same names over and over.

So I'm off to search the Family History Catalog to see what films I need to order.....and to start getting my application in order.

And I hadn't realized how many Isaacs I actually descend from.


  1. This is VERY exciting! I can't wait to hear what you find out!!


  2. I have some information. Porter Harmon(1819) his dad was Walter Harmon (May 14, 1798) Married to Azuabah. His dad was Isaac Harmon (October 31, 1774) married to Mary Rawson (October 27, 1775). And his dad was Isaac Harmon (December 3, 1772) married to Elizabeth

  3. Hi Tracy,
    Just curious how is your Dar application going. I have just started, and joined a local chapter. I am originally from NC, now living in Washington state. I too am a descendant from the patriot Henry Woody through Wyatt G Woody, Henry G. Woody, Josiah Woody, John Woody, who is the father of my grandmother Beatrice Woody, my fathers mother. Let me know what you have found out and I will do the same. I love your blog that was sent to me through Facebook, Belinda Wilson's page -Mitchell Co. NC Genealogy Research.
    Take care.