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Continued Search For a Revolutionary War Ancestor

Several weeks ago, I wrote about my quest for additional Revolutionary War ancestors to submit to the DAR. I am still working on this, but the progress is slow.

For now, I have abandoned the research on my Carter ancestors of east Tennessee. I had little luck working out the family tree and tying my known Carters to their parents. This project will take a great deal of time, and I am eager to find an ancestor I can document and submit. So I am moving on for now.

I turned instead to my direct paternal line, the Reeds. I have learned that Caleb Reed (1756-abt. 1835) qualifies for paying the Pennsylvania Supply Tax in 1783, but he also presents some difficulties.

The DAR maintains a list of proven ancestors, but he is not among them. No one else has joined DAR based on his service. Submitting his name would require a high level of proof before they would add him to the list. So far, I have not been able to collect enough information to document his life and connect all the generations.

Perhaps the best candidate for me to work on next is John Carr (1720-1792). He does appear on the DAR list with service in the 3rd Battalion of the Westmoreland (PA) Militia in 1778.

Yet again with him, connecting the generations remains difficult. I need several pieces of information:

  1. Evidence of all his personal information—birth, marriage, death. Many researchers seem to have his data commingled with another John Carr who served in Maryland.
  2. Proof that my reported ancestor, Rebecca Carr Reed, was his daughter.
  3. Proof that my ancestor Caleb Reed married Rebecca Carr.

John Carr lived in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, a county carved from Westmoreland County at the end of the war. I have located his will in the county records. Unfortunately, he included names only for his sons, not his daughters. He referred to them collectively. Darn you, John Carr.

I need another record tying John Carr to Rebecca Carr Reed. Neither John nor his wife Elizabeth lived long enough to file for a Revolutionary War pension.

The common wisdom among genealogists working with 18th-century ancestors is to look at the land records. Most people during that time owned land. They often provide evidence of family relationships.

Family Search has microfilmed the land records for Fayette and Westmoreland Counties, but they do not make them available online.

It looks like a visit to a Family History Center is in my future. I hope some land transactions can provide the evidence I need for the Carr family and perhaps the Reeds, too.


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