While current-day Daughters of the American Revolution may be celebrating the organization's accomplishments at the 125th session of their Continental Congress this week, I will be at home, scheming how to appropriately document two pathways to D.A.R. membership for my sisters in law—and include a supplemental patriot for my daughter's own membership.
This would all have been long done if it weren't for a few details. The first detail—easily remedied, I know, if only I'd give up my impossible insistence on pursuing this avenue—is that one of those pathways is on a maternal line of a mother who died young. In 1829. When there wasn't much documentation of such facts.
The second detail, much easier to document, needs simply be pursued when our family returns to Perry County, Ohio, where John Jay Jackson, Sarah Howard Ijams' husband, once lived. That is why I'm pulling together all the details now, so that when we get there, all I need do is show up at the right governmental or church office and request a copy for my files.
I've written about this couple before. In fact, quite a while ago. Some projects just take time to finish. I've already seen indications that John Jay Jackson came from a paternal line involved in the American Revolution. All I need do, at this point—according to my Genealogy Angel and local D.A.R. Registrar—is show the paper trail.
The path from John's wife Sarah back to her D.A.R. Patriot is much more convoluted. Because of her early death, documents are harder to find. I can, for instance, locate a collection of will abstracts for Perry County during that time frame that includes an entry for her brother, Isaac Ijams (or, as it alternately was spelled, Iiams). Note how the abstract, from Gateway to the West, Volume II, lists Isaac's sister as Sarah Jackson (her married name), and also lists her husband John as executor.
IIAMS (IJAMS), Isaac H. - dated 9-12-1845. Wife, Elizabeth.... Sisters: Comfort Stevenson and Sarah Jackson.... Executors: Ephriam Koons and John J. Jackson.
Looking at a digitized copy of Isaac's will, itself, allows us to see the details of the two items addressing Isaac's sisters.
Item: I give and bequeath to my sister Comfort Stevenson fifty dollars. Item: I give and bequeath to the heirs of my sister Sarah Jackson deceased one hundred dollars to be equally divided.
It's helpful that Isaac mentioned his sister Sarah had predeceased him. But could he have just mentioned the names of those heirs of his dearly beloved sister?!
My problem, of course, is that, having become a widower with several young children still at home, John Jackson wasted no time in remarrying. And having more children. Which ones descend from Sarah, and which ones descend from John's second wife, Mary Cecelia Grate, becomes the key question. My mother in law's line descends from John and Sarah, through their daughter Nancy Ann Jackson. And, as Nancy Ann—after her own marriage to Simon Snider—died in 1905, the only death record I have shows nothing, as far as her parentage. It's a long line of circumstantial evidence that links Nancy Ann to John Jackson and Sarah Ijams, but nothing so elegantly simplified as one single document.
I'd like to draw up a supplemental D.A.R. application on both lines—Jackson and Ijams. Jackson would be quite simple; John's father, Lyman, is already a proven Patriot. His son John is already mentioned—along with his first wife Sarah—in another member's verified line. The drawback is, as I discovered after purchasing the D.A.R.'s copy of supporting documentation, the paper trail was not as thoroughly completed as official expectations now would like to see. Still, it means all I have to do is document the genealogical pathway from my sisters in law (and my daughter, for her supplemental) to John and Sarah.
But it's the principle behind wanting to apply through Sarah Ijams that goads me onward. I want to document the trail through this maternal side, as well. After all, Sarah's own father—William Ijams—was documented as a Patriot. Her descendants need to be able to recognize her part in the pathway between Patriot and the present.
So, it's time to huddle with my Genealogy Angel once more, pull out all those family documents I've been hoarding in storage boxes for the past umpteen years, and decide which documents, specifically, will be sufficient proof to tie these family members together—and to my own family.