How I Proved That My Ancestor Was an American Revolutionary

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A few weeks ago, I was overjoyed to receive the news that my application to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was approved.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, mainly because I have been busy doing other people’s research as a professional genealogist that I never had the time to work on my own genealogy. Early this year, I promised myself that I would finally get my research completed and get my DAR application turned in. I am now a proud member of the Old Reynoldsburg NSDAR Chapter, Cumberland District, located in Waverly, Tennessee.

My 6th great grandfather Job Curtis (1717–1804) is the ancestor in whose honor I was able to enter the DAR organization. Job Curtis was born in 1717 in Amwell, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and died March 12, 1804, in Dry Run, Pendleton, County, Virginia. He was married to Mary Cordrey, and I am a descendant of their son Edward Curtis, Sr. (1760–1843) through my grandmother, Agnes Marie (Curtis) LeMaster (1920–1988). My Curtis family would eventually settle in Hardin and Summit County Ohio. My great-grandfather Zelmer Ralph Curtis (1895–1934) was a barber and died at the early age of 39. This family is one of my favorites to research on my father’s side of the family. It really meant a lot to me to find a patriot in this line of my family lineage that I could use for my application to join the DAR.

Agnes Marie (Curtis) LeMaster, ca. 1930s

Last year I came across a reference from the Virginia Public Claims that showed Job Curtis and his son Job, Jr. assisted in the cause of American independence. The Virginia Public Claims are the records of services rendered and supplies provided for the purpose of carrying on the Revolutionary War.

In May 1780, the Virginia General Assembly passed an act for procuring a supply of provisions and other necessaries for the use of the army. It reads: “Whereas in the present and alarming and critical situation of the war, with a powerful enemy in the neighboring southern states, it may be indispensably necessary to provide and collect in proper places, with the utmost expedition, large stores of provisions, either to supply our own militia or Continental troops or for supplying the troops sent by our good allies to the assistance of these United States. Be it enacted, by the General Assembly, that the governor with the advice of council, be empowered to appoint commissioners in such counties, within the Commonwealth, as they think necessary for the purpose of carrying this act into execution.”

The document that I located in the Virginia Public Claims was Certificate No. 253, which was issued on October 24, 1780, certifying that Job Curtis, Sr., Job Curtis, Jr., and William Anderson supplied a quantity of wheat to George Washington’s army in accord with the aforementioned act. This is just what I needed to complete my application to become a member of the DAR. When I found this piece of information, I was amazed that my ancestor grew wheat and sold it to the army for the troops during the Revolutionary War.

Now that I am a member of the DAR, I have been looking for resources that the DAR has published. I was pleasantly surprised to find issues of the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine available on MyHeritage. This magazine’s first issue was published in 1892 and has been devoted to the work of the Society and American history. Today, the magazine is titled American Spirit and is still going strong. On MyHeritage, I was able to read the entire volume with multiple issues that contained great stories, such as: “Historic Turnpike Roads and Toll-Gates,” “The Peace Treaties of the United States,” “Rehabilitation and the Work of the Maison Des Tout Petits,” “The Religious Side of Navy Life,” “Rufus King,” “A Revolutionary Statesman,” and so much more. The magazine has great history articles as well as genealogy articles about others who have researched their patriot ancestors.

I am honored to have my status as the descendant of an American revolutionary recognized, and so grateful to MyHeritage for giving me such comprehensive access to this incredible resource.

This is a guest post by archivist and professional genealogist Melissa Barker, owner of Once Upon A Time Genealogy. She has over 26 years of genealogy research experience and many years of experience in the archives/records management field.  

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  • Elizabeth M. O’Neal


    September 30, 2020

    Congratulations, Melissa! Welcome to the DAR!

  • Phyllis K Stowell


    October 16, 2020

    DAR