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.

Speaking at WAGS on March 21

I am speaking at the Whitter Area Genealogical Society on March 21, 2020 at 1:00 PM. I am presenting a talk about Cite Your Sources: Ways to Deliver Your Research to the Future and Prove You’re Trustworthy.

If you don’t know what a source citation is, are fearful of doing it wrong, or intimidated by what experts say it should be, this class will cover the necessities and more. A citation should not strike fear in the hearts of researchers. Instead, it should be something we all practice in our daily research. Become familiar with simple practices that we can all easily learn, and why we do it.

The location is the Whittier Masonic Lodge at 7604 Greenleaf Ave. Whittier, CA 90602.

More information at the WAGS website. See you there!