Thursday, October 25, 2012

Next Project: First Families

Now that I’ve got the to-do list for my D.A.R. application laid out in order—and while I await documentation from the various states’ birth, death, and marriage records—I can turn my attention to the other project I’ve been wanting to accomplish: application for First Families status.

While it may seem logical to stick with my Taliaferro records and pursue another Virginia-linked lineage designation, I actually have another program in mind. Using records from my husband’s family, it appears that my mother-in-law’s paternal line may qualify both my husband and my daughter (not to mention several in-laws) to become members of First Families of Ohio.

There are some sticking points—which I’ll discuss in some future posts—but it appears that portions of the family I’m focusing on were residents of Perry County, Ohio, before 1820. It also appears that, checking the Ohio Genealogical Society’s Roster of already recognized First Families, our Flowers family has not already been recorded. So it will be a journey starting from square one. If I can pull it off, I’ll be a trailblazer of sorts.

The requirement for this particular designation is that the applicant’s ancestor “first resided in Ohio by 31 December 1820.” That seems straightforward enough—until one realizes how few documents and records are available from that time period.

Not that there aren’t other options. The Ohio Genealogical Society has several other designations.

Settlers and Builders of Ohio recognizes those whose ancestor resided in Ohio between January 1, 1821, and December 31, 1860. That’s a pretty broad swath of time.

The Society of Civil War Families of Ohio requires service from Ohio in the Civil War—whether for the Union or the Confederacy—between the dates of April 12, 1861, and April 18, 1865. The company served in does not need to be from Ohio, nor is service limited to enlistment in companies. Documented civilian service and service in related capacities (for instance, nursing) are also considered.

Century Families of Ohio is the designation for those whose ancestor who first resided in the state at least one hundred years prior to the date of application, but after January 1, 1861.

With these other options, not only do I have an alternate goal (if my documentation dilemma is not resolved in time), but if what I’ve read in the past about Ohio being the “Crossroads of America” is really the way it was, I should have plenty of company in the application process.

Above right: photograph of the old Perry County Courthouse in Somerset, Ohio, circa 1951. From the Historic American Buildings Survey, courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, via Wikipedia. In the public domain.

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