Thursday, September 18, 2008

Benjamin Gorton and Daughters of American Revolution, 2008

18 Sept, 2008
Well, hello my dear Markle and Gates family (and extended family) members and interested visitors-
It is with great pride that I can announce to you that, based on our Patriot ancestor, Capt. Benjamin Gorton, our family line has been accepted into the Daughters of the American Revolution!
This means that the records tracing our line from me, to my grandmother, Frances Lenore Myers to Mary Augusta Gorton, to William Benjamin Gorton, to Benjamin Burroughs Gorton, to John Gorton and finally to Capt. Benjamin Gorton will be housed in the D.A.R. library in Washington, D.C. for perpetuity. [Photo 1: 2008 D.A.R. Pin.]
In this world, I’m not too sure what “perpetuity” means, but assuming libraries continue to exist, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren will always be able to trace their Gorton family line back to our Patriot.
"Captain" Benjamin Gorton, 1725-1814, born in Massachusetts, and served in Rhode Island, was in the military during the years from 1762-1792.See his bio on the family tree website that I finally have up and running.
Check it out and tell me what you think: Gorton.html

[Photo2: antique D.A.R. pin from eBay.]
In 1952, a previous applicant from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, had done the hardest part of the research which is proving that our ancestor actually served in some capacity during the American Revolution. "...Any woman is eligible for membership...who is lineally descended from a man or woman who, with unfailing loyalty to the cause of American Independence, served as a sailor, or as a soldier or civil officer...or as a recognized patriot, or rendered material aid thereto..."
It's very difficult to find facts from 1775 and when you do find a fact, often there are several men with the same name and you have to somehow distinguish between them! D.A.R. accepted a family history book listing the first four generations (Adelos Gorton's book, Life and Times of Samuel Gorton, 1907) but I still had to provide copies of the births, marriages and deaths of :
Mary Augusta Gorton,
Frances Lenore Myers,
my parents,
the birth, marriages (and divorces!) of me,
the births (and death) of my husbands
and the births of my children.

Not so easy a task, if you start to think about it. Do you know where your birth certificate is?

But it was a a fun challenge. The hardest document to find was Mary Augusta Gorton's death because I didn't know when she died or where she died. To find a record you need a name, a place and a date. All I had was her name, Ohio (possibly Lima, Ohio) and "died about age 63." There were many Mary A. Myers, in many places in Ohio in many years! I finally had to write to the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, Ohio, guessing they might have a death record...which they did! Then with the actual death date, I could write for her death certificate. To get a record costs about $20, so you have to be pretty sure you're sending for the right one before you stick the stamp on the envelope.
If anyone wants to join D.A.R. in the future, most of the work is done. All you have to do is document your own records and your parents.
And pay to join.
And men, don't feel left out. You can join the S.A.R., Sons of the American Revolution.
D.A.R. wasn't formed until 1890, in Washington, D.C. and I read one account that said it was formed in response to women not being allowed to join the all-male descendants of patriots group that existed in their day. The first feminists!
Lots more coming soon.
Cousin Jan


Here you'll find: information that usually goes out to the Gates Cousins email list, biographies of special characters as they are discovered and added to the family tree, research histories of select cases, questions and wonderings about hard-to-solve
searches and other miscellaneous thoughts about genealogy and its mysterious ability to transcend time, changing us hundreds of years after the changing event occurred.