Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Benjamin Clifton -- Verified American Revolutionary Patriot!!

Today I learned that my 4th great grandfather, Benjamin Clifton has been verified as an American Revolutionary Patriot. After sending further documentation to DAR they have agreed that he IS a patriot and he IS my ancestor. Just a year ago I didn't know for sure who Juda Clifton Van Buskirk's father and mother were. I had a hunch it was Benjamin, but how in the World to prove it?

One lucky day I found a reference to a Judah Clifton in the will of Obediah Smith in Sussex Co Delaware. Could it be MY Juda? Hmmm the abstract said Judah was a grandson of Obediah, but knowing how humans can make transcription errors, I decided to send for the will from the Delaware Public Archives. I had to see for myself what the actual will said - and lo and behold - it only said Judah was a child of Margaret Smith Clifton and grandchild of Obediah, not a grandson. At that time I wondered if I could gather enough evidence to support my theory. It is all just theory until you can actually document properly. It took me several months of searching land records, census records, histories and contacting other researchers before I felt I had enough to submit Benjamin Clifton to DAR. Thanks too, to my distant cousin Bob Van Buskirk for his excellent research from so many years ago. He patiently answered each of my new questions and sent me his recap of the Van Buskirks.

In the end, all turned out well and I have American Revolutionary Patriot #24 to my credit (I only count them if I have had them verified at DAR). If I satisfy DAR with my lineage research it means I have it as good as possible. I am happy that I have found another ancestress' family and that I have helped recognize another American Revolutionary Patriot. It is my favorite thing to do for my ancestors.

Alas, Abraham Sankey did not have such a successful turnout. However, with 2 years to resolve the case, I may miraculously find the evidence that is lacking today.

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