As the Registrar of my local Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Chapter, I recently submitted an application on behalf of a candidate that ended up in the “pended application” file.
The application was for Patriot William Craft, and I had a few concerns when I started working the application. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) had three applications for the Patriot, but flagged the record as “Future Applicants must complete”. The DAR record did not list his date/location of birth, death, or provide any references for his revolutionary war service. Since the SAR will not approve any application for patriots flagged by DAR with addressing concerns, I contacted the DAR as to what additional information was needed. Their response was “Everything, the vital information and the specific service. The last application was done in the year, 1893.”,
The applicant had already gathered additional proof to address the shortcomings notated in the DAR file. We had a burial records showing when and where the patriot died. We also found sources documenting his specific service during the Revolutionary War. I was confident that we had the necessary proofs to meet the current DAR requirements for the service and/or the lineage.
I did find a discrepancy with the DAR files from 1893. The DAR database listed the patriots spouse as Hannah Sutton. However, we found that the Patriot William Craft was married to Hannah Haight., and Sutton was her mother’s maiden name. I addressed this by writing a proof statement that William Craft was married to Hannah Haight.
My second concern with the application proving the bloodline. The application bloodline was through William Craft’s son Sutton Craft. William Craft had left a will, but it did not mention Sutton Craft. The DAR application address this by including a letter written by family member that transcribed family records showing that Sutton Craft was indeed the son of William and Hannah Craft I consulted with our state registrar if he thought the SAR record would accept the letter written in 1890 as proof because the letter was written at a period in their lifetime.
The staff genealogist did not agree. He completely dismissed the letter from the DAR file, and “Pended” the application until further proofs could be provided. His response in part is as follows:
This application used a document from DAR# 3068. his document is hand written and copied at least twice. There are no sources listed. At best this document is 2nd or 3rd hand information and may even be “Family Folklore”. DAR# 3068 is from an application submitted to DAR at the end of the 19th century or early 20th century, about a hundred years ago. It cannot be be used as a source document.
There is currently no proof that Sutton Craft is the son of William Craft or that the surname of William Craft’s wife is Haight or her father is Charles Haight. We need to prove these relationships before the review can continue.
This was not the first time one of my candidate’s applications ended up in the “Pended Applications” file read my post about the strict policy on birth certificates: https://www.americankindred.com/wp/archives/529. However this case was different. It was all about connecting the applicant’s bloodline to the Patriot. It was clear to me that there was sufficient indirect evidence connecting the bloodline, but I needed strong proof statement to connect all the dots for the genealogical staff at the SAR. I conducted an internet search for lineage society proof statements, but the results did not yield a lot of helpful information.
I recently attended a Registrar/Genealogists training session with the SAR, and they indicated that proof arguments need to be concise, and to the point. Someone indicated the DAR imposed a strict page limit for proofs arguments. The SAR does not limit the number of pages for a proof argument, however they made it clear that they do not have the time and resources to read through lengthy proof arguments.
I spent a week going through all the evidence to address the concerns raised by the SAR genealogy staff. I submitted a new Proof Argument, with all the proof sources. The effort paid off, and the candidate’s application was approved!
Have you written a proof argument or proof statement for a lineage society? I would love to hear your feedback.
|↑1||read my post about the strict policy on birth certificates: https://www.americankindred.com/wp/archives/529|