Thanks to my Rhode Island Genealogical Society membership, I learned about a new book, Rhode Island in the American Revolution when it was reviewed in the June, 2015 issue of Rhode Island Roots. I now have my own copy.
Rhode Island in the American Revolution: A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians by Eric G. Grundset for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR Source Guides on the American Revolution Series No. 4), was published in 2014 by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. I met Mr. Grundset in 2013 at the DAR Library (thanks to an introduction by my friend Barbara Poole, who worked there once upon a time) and he told me he was compiling this book. I’ve been looking for it since then, but only found it when reading Rhode Island Roots.
This is not a book that will contain your ancestor’s name. It is a source book; essentially a bibliography of sources for information about Rhode Island soldiers and sailors in the Revolutionary War and, indeed, just about ANY Rhode Island information from the Revolutionary War period. Genealogy journal articles, historical journal articles, theses, manuscripts, books, laws, diaries, pamphlets, letters, records, military rolls, commemorative programs, old periodicals … this is an incredibly complete look at available sources for learning more about Rhode Island’s participation in the war. For everything that MIGHT contain your ancestor’s name, you now have a way to locate those resources.
The book is available from the DAR online book store as a hardcover book or as a pdf download. Either one is $25. It was hard for me to decide, because if I bought it digitally, I could always have access to it through my tablet or even phone when at a repository that holds any of the items mentioned. On the other hand, I knew I would peruse a real book more, and actually read more. The DAR also offers a few similar books concerned with other states.
I am a long-time bibliography reader so it doesn’t surprise me that I have already read quite a bit of this. I have only one Revolutionary War soldier from Rhode Island – Richard Ballou. He is on a muster roll for the “Cumberland Rangers” – something I have never been able to pin down. This book points to several articles that will help me, as well as the original law setting up the Cumberland Rangers. But I have also noticed so many other interesting items I’ve never seen before, related to this time period, that might help me in other ways. The materials date from the 1700’s through very recent articles or compilations.
For anyone interested in DAR membership, Mr. Grundset helpfully adds notes about certain record sets that the DAR will accept as proof of service. He also points to locations for unique items, and occasionally those will include Family History Library microfilm – that will be reassuring for people who don’t live around Rhode Island.
The book divides the information in a variety of ways – geographically, by types of service, by type of item – government, social issues, religion, prominent citizens – and includes, at the beginning, an overview of Rhode Island repositories and guides helpful to this research. An index at the end helps you find specific names, places, etc. that might appear as authors or in the titles of these cited works.
The best part, for me, is the price – $25. This is a very valuable book and I’m glad it’s at an accessible price. I would recommend it for any serious genealogist with roots in early Rhode Island. If purchasing this book is not an option, my guess is it will appear at all the major genealogy libraries and some local libraries.
The post you are reading is located at: https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/06/25/ri-in-the-american-revolution/