Volunteer with the Patriot Records Project Committee

Written by: Danna C. Koelling, National Chair, Patriot Records Project Committee
January 4, 2018

The Patriot Records Project began in the fall of 2014 and will make finding and identifying Revolutionary War patriots in hard to search collections easier than ever.  The project brings the exploits of the American patriots, who sacrificed so much, to life.  We index the names of men, women and businesses who fought or helped the War for Independence. The records span over 75 years, starting at the very beginning of the war through the last petitions for remuneration.  Some of the records we index may be available in other places but our project will capture more information such as date of death of the pensioner.

Every DAR member has the opportunity to volunteer to be a part of this worthwhile project.  You need a computer, an internet connection and the ability to read cursive.   

The project is done through eMembership.  Once you are given access to the project you can take an assignment at your leisure.  When you open your assignment you will have an image from one of the many records we have available.  We index each readable name from each image.  The image may be a pay list with many names.  There may be ranks, locations and other information for us to capture from the records.  We hope the volunteer can complete the assignment in 10 days.

Here is a picture of the indexing portion of the screen.  Note the little down arrows in the fields which provide a dropdown menu from which you would select the correct entry. Each image is indexed twice, compared and if the lists do not match they are corrected.  

As this process is completed the index is uploaded to the DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) where both members and the public can use them for research.  We hope this index will provide not only genealogists but also history students, researchers, scholars and teachers with a tool to assist in their study of the Revolutionary War period.  

To use the index, go to the GRS and click on Rev War.  Then click on Patriot Records Project Index.  Enter at least a last name.  The search results will give a list of that name and the location of the document for the service.  Researchers can then see the source document by clicking on the blue paper icon.

The index has already provided documentation for that elusive ancestor for many membership applications. The DAR genealogy staff also uses the index for their work.

To join our team of indexers visit the Patriot Records Project Committee webpage and click on Volunteer Now and fill out the form.  We will contact you with instructions.  You don’t need any additional software or hardware for your computer. Support is available every day should you need it.

When a volunteer indexes 10,000 surnames she is eligible to purchase the Patriot Records Project pin.  After indexing another 10,000 surnames she is eligible to purchase the bar for the pin.  For each additional 10,000 surnames she is eligible for a quill to be added to the bar. A total of 70,000 surnames would be represented by the pin with a bar and 5 quills.  The program saves the volunteers surnames indexed so no log is required.

Time spent on this project counts as volunteer hours for Service to America.  Volunteers track their own hours and enter them on the Online Tally.  

We need your help!  Please join our team today.  It is an easy way to support our Society and you can do the work anytime day or night!

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