Patriot Ancestors of the Revolutionary War That Did Not Fight

Micajah Covell is my 6th great grandfather. He lived from 1746 to 1832. Born in Connecticut, he lived most of his life in New York. Although he was the right age to have perhaps served in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), I did not at first consider him a likely candidate for a Patriot Ancestor. I found nothing that was even a hint of military service. In addition, his religion was the Society of Friends, often called Quakers, a group of renowned pacifists. It was unlikely he ever raised arms to fight anyone.

However, Micajah Covell is indeed a Patriot Ancestor, even though he did not fight in the Revolutionary War. He paid a Supply Tax in 1779 in Albany County, New York. The purpose of that Supply Tax was to raise revenue to support the cause of American Independence.

For membership in SAR or DAR, the Patriot Ancestor must qualify as someone who “rendered acceptable service in the cause of American Independence.” The Supply Tax is acceptable service, as the tax was paid to help pay for the war. The SAR has some detailed information online about taxes that are acceptable proof.

I found Micajah Covell on a Tax List with the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. This is basically a New York chapter of the SAR. The names on these lists are not indexed or searchable. I knew where he lived, searched the list, and found his name.

This Tax List is now the documentation I need to prove Micajah Covell is a Patriot Ancestor. If you are a descendant of Micajah Covell, you can use this evidence, along with proof of your complete lineage, to claim him as a Patriot Ancestor on either a Primary Application or a Supplemental Application for membership in SAR or DAR.

This idea can be applied to any Patriot Ancestor. The important thing to remember is the Patriot Ancestor did not need to fight in the Revolutionary War. A military record is not the only way to obtain membership in SAR or DAR. The Patriot needed only to support the cause of American Independence. Payment of an acceptable tax is one method of proof.

Bonus hint: Micajah Covell married Sarah Soule, a descendant of George Soule, a Mayflower passenger. If you are a descendant of Micajah Covell and Sarah Soule, you qualify for membership in both SAR/DAR and the Mayflower Society.

Find Your Revolutionary Roots

Family Tree Magazine had an excellent article about how to “Find Your Revolutionary Roots” in their July/August 2019 issue. The article was written by Shelley Bishop, a professional genealogist and member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She gives some excellent resources and ideas in the article, based in part on her experience researching her own American Patriot.

I subscribe to the paper hard copy edition, but the magazine is available as a digital edition online.

Enjoy your search!

Wing Family of America

Matthew Wing is my 11th great grandfather, born in England in about 1549. His son John Wing never made it to America because he died too young. But his daughter-in-law, Deborah Bachiler, widow of John Wing, did come to America with her father and her four sons.

I found a website called the Wing Family of America. They have a house/museum in Massachusetts, and a website with information about the Wing Family ancestry. They have a book on their online gift shop which is a family tree of the first five generations of the Wing Family in America. I found some information there, and will use it to find more info, hopefully even original records! I encourage you to check it out. What a great find with lots of information about an important ancestor.

I hope to travel to Massachusetts for the Mayflower 400th Anniversary; if I do, I hope to visit the Wing Fort House while I’m there.

The Wing ancestry leads to Smith and then Reed, and is ancestors on my mother’s side.