John- I like your approach. But I think I am going to bite the bullet and take a trip to D.C. I am sure they will be sick of me by the time I am done. I understand they have the ship's logs so I may start there. I know the rough time line so they may give me the key to proof that this fellow [Andrew Willard] was definitely my ancestor. Somewhere I read that the capt. made notes for each sailor, about next of kin etc. Then I will go from there. Actually he is listed as an ensign on 2 different ships in the same S. Atlantic blockade. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can turn up my proof and maybe some other interesting tidbits.
Thanks for your reply.
I sure hope genforum fixes the "alert" feature. It is just too hard to check every post to see if someone replied. Thishas kept me from making any more posts. Like everyone else I am far enough back in my line and my husband's to have tons of surnames to research. This forum has allowed me to make connections to folks as far away as Tahiti who have been able to fill in some gaps nicely.