I've been looking for proof that my ancestor, Trustram Deuel fought at the Battles of Branywinewine and Saratoga. Someone had told me that he had. I haven't found it in any thing I've looked. How can I prove it? Where can I look for that info? Or has anyone out there heard of anyplace?
I'm not an expert by any means, but two thoughts came to me when I read your post.
1) Have you checked Revolutionary War pension documents? They may confirm that Trustram Deuel was in the Continental Army, which I think would be a first step.
2) Are you on ancestry.com? Let me explain how being on ancestry is helping me track down my own family legend. My paternal grandfather was one of seven children. His father had a prior marriage with four children. My grandfather was estranged from most of his family--he kept in touch with only four of his siblings.
When I was a kid (PopPop died when I was 15), he always told me that he was of English, French, and Native American descent (if he knew what tribe, he never told me, his other 16 grandchildren, his seven children, or his wife). Since his grandmother was NA, I have always found that he never mentioned the nation to anyone., I don't think he knew. However, one day, he and my father were driving in a nearby town, when they drove past a famous gravesite of a local Native American preacher, named Paul Cuffee. He told my dad that Paul Cuffee was somehow related to us, but he didn't know how. I haven't found the connection yet, but I do know that Cuffee was the maiden name of my great-great grandmother.
I know you're wondering what this has to do with ancestry.com. I'm a teacher and tend to be long-winded. Well, through ancestry, I have found about ten descendants of four of the eleven siblings. At least two of the other siblings didn't have children. Every single one of these descendants know we are Native American through my great-grandmother. All have the same basic information, but they also have had individual puzzle pieces of the story. I've interviewed all of them about what they know about our family. I have not solved my mystery yet, but I think I'm getting closer. Of course, I've interviewed all my dad's family about what my grandfather said to them (I was one of the younger cousins).
The short point I'm trying to make is to interview anyone and everyone about what they know about this legend. If you are lucky enough to meet fairly close relatives, compare their information to yours.
3) Try to contact the town historians in Brandywine and Saratoga. They are most often fonts of information.
I do know that my ancestor did fight in the Reverulotion. I have proof of that.
I have interviewed everyone that is still living but have had no success. As far as Ancesrty.com goes, I can't afford to pay for it every month. I subscribe for a few months and then go off for a few months. I know it's more expensive that way but it's the only way I can do it right now. I have found several of my ancestors on it.
I do like your point number three. I sure hadn't thought of that, although I've talked at length several times with the historian in the county most of my ancestors are from. She has helped me a lot but can't answer that for me. I will try your number three in next few days.
Sorry I couldn't be more help.
Since you have proof, you may want to contact the DAR if you haven't already.