Monday, May 27, 2013

Researching a Rev. War Pensioner

Don asks:
”I've run out of doors to open.  Well, not really, but I can't find anything on-line and I don't know where to start a library-by-library and courthouse-to-courthouse search.  My GGG Grandfather, William Hooks was given a Revolutionary War pension in 1828 while living in Emanuel County, Georgia.  His pension folder contains a certification declaration that claims he enlisted in Maryland and the muster sheets and pay cards show him to have joined the 8th Virginia Regiment of Foot as a private in December 1776.  He claims he was discharged about two weeks before the fall of Charleston, SC which was May 12, 1780.  His Regiment at that time was the 4th Virginia and it was one of those captured at Charleston.  He may, in fact, have escaped - who knows?  Anyway, he appears on tax rolls in Montgomery County, Georgia in 1805 and 1806 and in Emanuel County, Georgia (Emanuel was formed in 1812 from Montgomery and others) in 1820 and 1830 censuses and in 1828 when he applied for his pension.   The 8th was recuperating in the Shenandoah Valley when William joined and a history of the 8th says many of the recruits at that time were Pennsylvania Germans.  Where am I most likely to find useful information when I do my on-site research?  Are there any on-line collections that might give me more?“

The first thing I would need to know is what is your research goal exactly?  Where you look for information depends on what you are looking for.  Are you just wanting to know more about William Hooks in general or something very specific like “When and where did William Hooks die?”  You need to make a timeline for William so that you know where to look for records.  He was living in Emanuel County, Georgia when he received his pension but he enlisted in Maryland. 

I will say that the first place I would look for information is the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library. Your William is listed in the DAR Patriot Index as William Hook (no S).   He is ancestor #A206461.  You can see his listing HERE.  There are only three DAR applications associated with William which is really a small number.  All three have supporting documentation so it might be worth your while to get copies of the three applications.  One word of warning though, applications submitted today go through a pretty thorough review before they are approved.  Some applications in the past weren’t scrutinized as severely and those applications wouldn’t pass today if they were submitted.  Having said that, none of the listed applications have been flagged as having potential errors so that is encouraging.  I would try and get in touch with the three people that submitted these applications.


Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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