Exploring a little-used source for Southern research!

I love finding new sources.  Half the fun of genealogy is ferreting out new information... the kind that most people don't bother to chase after.  The Draper manuscripts are one such source, a monumental collection of original documents, notes, and correspondence collected by Lyman Draper and relating to the history of the American South in the period from the French and Indian War through the War of 1812.  These manuscripts were the original materials Draper collected over many years, which he used to write his 1881 historyKing's Mountain and Its Heroes.   
Recently I attended a webinar on the Draper manuscripts, courtesy of Legacy Family Tree software company.  The webinar provided an invaluable rundown on the rich content of this collection and how to access it.  The difficulties lie in the fact that it is not indexed, has a complicated structure making it difficult to navigate, and copies are not readily available to most researchers.   The webinar guides the researcher through the collection and provides examples of the kinds of detailed information that might be found there.

Ancestry.com has digitized some of the calendars for the Draper collection, making the document summaries completely searchable (go to Card Catalog, search on the keyword "Draper," and from there enter your own search terms).  Since I have quite a lot of Southern blood, I was anxious to try it and see what I could find.    

Boy, I hit the jackpot with information on William Green, and I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  He has been a "potential ancestor" for some time -- several undocumented family trees on Ancestry suggest a connection with my own but I had not yet seen any evidence for this.  Now, after one quick Ancestry search, I had something to work with:  I identified 30 documents in the Draper Collection containing information about this man.

William Green was an interesting figure; he was a Tory officer who fought against the Americans at the Battle of King's Mountain, but afterwards became a private soldier and spy for the American side.  His story is one of those few that help us imagine the real person who was trying desperately to survive during the Revolutionary War.  In King's Mountain and its Heroes, Draper noted that Green and a companion were among the Tories taken prisoner by the Americans after the battle:


Lyman Draper, Kings Mountain and its Heroes.  www.archive.org
If a good story like this one made it into the final draft of Draper's book, imagine the details yet to be discovered in the manuscript collection!  Of those 30 references to William Green that I found in the Draper calendars on Ancestry.com, the one that jumped out at me was this: 

You see, this Mrs. Mooney, née Charlotte Green, is my documented 4th-great grandmother... the proverbial missing link!!  

Now, all I have to do to add William Green to my family tree is track down this document on microfilm....