Today was the first day of actual research. I sure did learn a lot. First we went to the Daughters of The American Revolution Library, located near the Washington Mall. They have an extensive library which lots of interesting things. While I intended to look out west, I spent a good hour in New England. I first looked into Hanover Histories/Town Records, learning of the prominence of Freemans in Early Hanover, New Hampshire. I then searched for genealogies on the ancestors of Vina (Lavina) Waterman, my 4x-great grandmother, who married David Freeman.

Vina was there, in a genealogy of the descendants of Robert Waterman of Marshfield, Massachusetts, with the same information i had before, however, her origins are quite fascinating. The premise that I had few New England ancestors is simply not true. The Watermans I am related to are original settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts, while Vina’s mother, Hannah Hedges descended from settlers of Long Island. A lot of Vina’s uncles (including her grandfather!) i learned, served in the Revolutionary War in the same outfits as my Freeman ancestors from Vermont did. Infact according to one of Vina’s uncle pensions, her grandfather (his father), took his place for two months when he was over 50.

The DAR have over 20,000 Genealogical Report Committee Books, which are quite unique. I found my ancestors from out west there several times, however I didn’t have time to get to most of it, so I will continue there tomorrow.

We then moved on to National Archives, which was an interesting experience. The security measures and processes on which to get your hands on original records is confusing. I spent time working with an archivist on General Connor and showed cited National Archive sources in his biography Glory Hunter by Brigham D. Madsen. He showed me to a series of books which had his published account of the Battle of Bear Creek called War of the Rebellion which is a book containing all of the military correspondences in the Civil War. I requested to have his Mexican American War Pension and his service records pulled for tomorrow, because they can only pull original records at certain times. I spoke with David Allen Lambert, one of the experts from NEHGS who is here to work with the researchers. He talked to me about Rev. War Pensions and SAR Applications, he helped me a lot with filling out request forms for General Patrick Edward Connor and we even looked for a Civil War Pension, but couldn’t find it. I ran out of time before I could talk with him about my more recent military family.  I went to the Archivists who specialized in Navy Records, telling them about my grandparents who served in the Navy (Dexter James Anderson and Robert Frank Fletcher) and my great-grandfather, James Wallace Freeman, who was a Merchant Marine in WW1. They did try to search their holdings for Merchant Marines, but couldn’t find him, so I was told to write to the Coast Guard in West Virginia. As for my grandparents, my grandpa Bob, was a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy and was commissioned in the Navy. I actually had to call my dad to get grandpa’s story straight since I didn’t know much about his service to begin with. I am interesting in finding deck logs for my grandpa Dexter, as he served on the USS Patterson, December 7th 1941. I have the option to go to College Park, Maryland and they gave me forms for getting their personnel records from St. Louis. I learned a lot, even though I didn’t find much.

I found a lot of information on my grandfather’s ships on which they served on at The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, as suggested by David Lambert. Tomorrow we go to the Library of Congress to do research for the day.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher

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