My greatsomething grandfather Jacob arrived in the American colonies from Darmstadt-Hesse, Germany in about 1750 as an indentured servant. His brother Sebastian apparently bugged out and headed home at the end of his service, but Jacob liked it enough to stay in “Pennsylvanian Dutch” country with the other Germans. My family has had a presence in Lancaster County since, and in Ohio.
Family legend was that Jacob served in the Revolutionary War. My brother confirmed this a few years ago doing genealogy. I decided to take it a step further and contacted the National Archives’ Military Records Department. If you’re the relative of a U.S. veteran you can get anything they have, as far back as they have it, at a reasonable price. So, for $17 I requested and got Jacob’s records: the index card in his file and two pay stubs indicating his service and what he got for it. It looks like the pay was a bit late, but he got interest on it. There may have been a land donation, too. And of course, citizenship, since that’s not an issue when you’re on the startup team. Scans are below the cut, or in this flickr set.