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SAR Revolutionary War Graves Register 2000

By Steve Paul Johnson, August 6, 2000

The SAR Revolutionary War Graves Register 2000 is a database containing burial records of those who participated in the American Revolution.  Nearly 140,000 records in all of soldiers, sailors, civilians, and in some cases their spouses, is provided on a single CD-ROM.  The information was compiled by the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and licensed for distribution to Progeny Software.

The database is actually the second revision of the original database produced in 1998.  This 2000 edition, which was released for purchase on April 24, 2000, includes all 69,000 records from the previous database, plus an additional 71,000.  

About the Database

At a Glance

Contains: About 140,000 burial and spousal records from the Revolutionary War era.

Compiled by: The Sons of the American Revolution

Media: CD-ROM

Requirements: 486 CPU or better, minimum of 8Mb of RAM, Windows 95, 98, NT, or 2000.

Cost: $29.95

Where to Purchase: Progeny Software

The SAR has been researching the burial locations of Revolutionary War participants since its inception in the 19th century.  In 1993, the first publication of this information was released in book form. In 1998, the same information was released on CD-ROM. 

The War Graves Committee, a group assembled by the SAR to compile burial records, submitted forms to all SAR members asking them to provide burial information of their revolutionary ancestors.  The Committee also compiled information from tombstones, diaries, and letters, and received assistance from genealogical organizations.  By 1993, burial records for some 54,000 Revolutionary War participants were compiled, and supplemented with records for 15,000 spouses, bringing a total of 69,000 records. 

In an effort to greatly expand the database for the 2000 edition, the Committee extracted burial records from Annual Reports filed by the Daughters of the American Revolution.  For many years, the DAR has been filing these reports with the United States Congress.  Since 1901 these reports have been published as Senate Documents, and disseminated by the Government Printing Office. 

Persons represented in the database include those living in the original 13 colonies, including those in the later states of Maine and Vermont.  There are female patriots and African-Americans.  There are also records of those who died outside the United States, including Canada and France. 

New to the 2000 edition are some 300 records of Louisiana soldiers who fought with Bernardo de Galvez and some 200 Spanish soldiers who were buried in the missions and presidios of California.  The Spanish King had declared war on England in 1779.  The SAR considers the descendants of these soldiers as eligible for membership.

The Committee asks the public at large who has knowledge of revolutionary burials to come forward and share it with them.  Information can be submitted online from their website at: http://www.sar.org/geneal/regformg.htm

Using the Database

The Name List - Click to enlarge

I inserted the CD-ROM into my laptop.  I have a Pentium III 600Mhz with 128Mb of RAM, and a DVD Drive.  Everything seemed to install just fine.  Progeny says that your computer must have at least a 486 CPU or better and at least 8Mb of hard drive space.  Windows 95, 98, NT, or 2000 is required.  A Macintosh version is not yet available.

The actual database itself does not get installed on your computer.  Instead, a browsing application called “Family Explorer” is installed.  Family Explorer will browse, search, and print records from the CD-ROM.  It’s also the same application used on other Progeny products.

The Family Group view - Click to enlarge

Upon running Family Explorer for the first time, you are presented with the Help File containing instructions for using it.  Closing the help file, you are presented with the Names List.

The Names List is simply the list of records found on the CD-ROM.  You can page down through the list and browse all the records.  Some records are listed with the surname in all caps; these are persons involved in the Revolution.  Names in small caps are spouses.  Double-clicking on a record displays the Family Group View, which shows all the details for the person, including the dates, spouses, burial location, rank, and source.  You can choose to print an individual record.

The Search Form.

Rather than paging down through the records, use the “Go To” feature to advance forward or backward in database.  You can type in a name, either the whole name, or a portion of the name.  I typed in “Pat” and was taken to “PATALIER, Joseph”, the first record that matched it, and below it were all the subsequent records.

Family Explorer comes with very powerful querying features.  You can search on virtually any field, including a “sounds like” search.  I ran a search for all records where the surname sounded like “Kincaid”.  The results displayed in just 5 seconds.  It came back with 31 records, and included surnames “CONGDON”, “KINCADE”, “KINCAID”, and “KINKEAD”.  I also ran a search for all records where the burial location included the word “mission”.  I wanted to see all the burials at the California Missions.  This search took about 30 seconds to complete, but came back with 173 results.

About the SAR

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is a non-profit organization consisting of people descended from Revolutionary War participants.  Originally started in 1889, it was chartered by an act of Congress in 1906, and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who himself was a member.  Thirteen other American Presidents have claimed membership, as well as members of Congress, the Supreme Court, five star generals, and locally elected officials.  The SAR uses its resources to celebrate patriotism, freedom, respect for national symbols, and the value of citizenship.

Conclusion

The SAR War Graves Database appears to be a highly valuable and reputable source of Revolutionary War burials.  The Family Explorer application provides powerful browse and search capabilities. At a price of $29.95, it becomes an inexpensive tool that should remain useful in a genealogist's arsenal.

While the database does indeed contain records of spouses, there does not appear to be any burial information recorded. Dates and place of burial is not indicated. Thus, they are really only spousal records, and not burial records. Still however, a very valuable piece of information.

The database can be purchased from Progeny Software, or by calling them at (800) 565-0018. 

- Steve Paul Johnson

Steve is the editor of The Cemetery Column, and webmaster of Cemetery Records Online.

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