Included in each entry is the name of the patriot, the cemetery in which the headstone is found, and occasionally others who are located nearby or opposite the grave.
From the preface of the work: The source. Almost since its beginning, members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution have been locating the graves of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution. The names and locations were first published in 1900 in the DAR's Annual Report to the Smithsonian Institution. Each year since then, additional names and locations, now numbering over 58,500, have been reported.
From 1900 to 1974 the list of graves located during the year (a "year" generally began in March or April) was included in the DAR's Annual Report to the Smithsonian Institution and published as a Senate Document (not the most accessible of publications). In 1975 this report was discontinued. The DAR published the lists for 1975, 1976 and 1977 in a separate volume (as they did for 1978-81). Beginning with 1978, the list of graves located has been published in the DAR Magazine, usually during the following year. These lists, except the earliest ones, are by state, so searching can be tedious.
Accuracy. The accuracy and amount of information varies considerably within and between years. Sometimes almost no specifics were given; sometimes even source citations were included. They are much more complete in later years, but the validity of the information can not be assumed and should be checked. During the years from 1901 through 1914, the grave reports were combined with other reports, and frequently were incomplete or confusing. These years were not abstracted or indexed for this book, because it appears that in 1915 many of these early reports were reviewed or resubmitted. In that year over 3000 names were published. A few apparent duplicates exist, but some of these are persons of the same name buried in the same cemetery, and a few others represent additional or corrected information.
The abstract. Names are spelled exactly as they were in the original documents. Alphabetizing is strict, so check all possible spellings. A few liberties were taken in abstracting grave locations, such as including information which may have appeared elsewhere in the report, correcting the spelling of county names, and occasionally researching and correcting obvious typesetting errors.
It was not possible to fit all of the information contained in each source listing onto the single line necessary to keep this series to a manageable size, so the facts most useful to the reader were chosen. The term "Fam cem" (family cemetery) was frequently used to replace such phrases as "Old Jones family burying place" if the patriot's surname was spelled the same, in order to allow for more details about the location.
The index. The number at the end of the line is the reporting year. For example, "45" indicates the grave was located between April 1, 1944 and April 1, 1945. If possible, check the original publication, which might contain additional information, such as the patriot's birth and death dates and places, the service record of the patriot, and more details on the grave location.
All volumes of the DAR Reports to the Smithsonian are available at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. The genealogical section of the Dallas Public Library has most of the Senate Documents. The Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City has the 1975-1977 volume. Local DAR and genealogy collections may have copies of the publications. The Brigham Young University library has a card file based on the published work of the DAR which is being microfilmed by the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City.
Using this book. While all of these reports are available at DAR headquarters, there is little if any information available there to link these references to specific sources of proof, to provide researchers with details as to why a grave was marked or to verify the listing of a located grave as indeed being that of a Revolutionary War patriot. Many listings, particularly the earlier ones, were not substantiated; all information should be independently verified and proved before being submitted to any patriotic or hereditary society for application or other purpose. For additional information and clarification on these listings, please contact the Office of the Historian General, NSDAR, 1776 D St., N.W., Washington, DC 20006-5392 or the DAR Library at the same street address.
The ravages of time have caused the location of many graves to be lost today, and we should be grateful for this wealth of material.
Senate Documents. The Senate Documents which contained the DAR annual report and the list of located graves are part of the US Serial Set. The Serial Set is comprised of Senate and House Reports and Documents since 1789. They were issued in matching volumes (over 15,000 thus far) in tan bindings. Each book has a serial and volume number assigned to it.
Serial Set collections are maintained by depositories (there are some in every state, usually universities). Distribution of the Serial Set volumes has, unfortunately, not been consistent. Depository libraries may have some or all (or none) of the volumes indexed in these books. CIS (Congressional Indexing Service) are microfiching a set of every known Serial Set publication, therefore some libraries may have microfiche copies instead of bound volumes.