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Experiences of Joining the DAR
The first society I joined was the foundation for my loving genealogy. With the prompting of a dear friend who has been a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution for years, I decided to see if I qualified to join.
The DAR standards are:
“Any woman is eligible for membership who is no less than eighteen years of age and can prove lineal, blood line descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. She must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage, and death.
Admission to membership in the NSDAR is either by invitation through a Chapter in your State Organization (or Unit Overseas). No Chapter may discriminate against an applicant on the basis of race or creed.”
It did not take me too long, thanks to the hard work of Hazel Kingsley, a deceased cousin who had previously joined DAR that I found my patriot. I documented to the point that Hazel and I connected, and then submitted my documentation with her papers. Her DAR papers documented where I left off and continued all the way to our common patriot, Sterling Gardner.
My documentation consisted of birth, marriage and death certificates for my first 3 generations, me (my spouse), my parents and grandparents. My grandfather never had a birth certificate, but I was able to use the 1930 census to show his birth year and place. Sources that lead to my 4th great grandparents were: pictures of headstones, funeral home records, wills, letters and censuses. The censuses backed up all my other data. My application process for membership was made easier by being able to connect to another’s DAR papers. You can contact DAR for copies of member’s applications for a small fee.
It was not always easy. The census sheets were not always of the best quality. I made several trips to gravesites and funeral homes. The library became my home away from home. The employees at all the places I visited to research were very helpful and nice. I really had a lot of fun doing this. My local DAR was full of support and offered classes periodically to those of us trying to get our papers in order. They had been in our shoes at one time, and knew how to lead us in the right direction.
In one case, I needed a marriage certificate for my 2nd great grandparents, Fred Smith and Mollie Fralick who were married December 2, 1868 in Escambia, Florida. I knew I could not go there at that time. The Family History Center (FHC) at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had microfilm I could order that showed marriages of Escambia, FL during that time period. For $3.50 I ordered the film. In about 3 weeks, the film came and I was able to make a copy of their marriage license. So, you don’t have to always do a lot of travel and spend a lot of money to get the proof you need!
I submitted my papers and DAR approved them. Within a few months, I received my letter welcoming me as a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution. I was really excited. You may ask, “Why?”
While documenting, I developed closeness to my ancestors. I felt I got to know them a little better. I was very proud of my great grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. I know it was from the examples of their ancestor, Sterling Gardner, who fought as a soldier under the command of General Nathaniel Green, North Carolina Troops. The search for documentation gave me a sense of patriotism. I developed a great love for my country and for those who gave their lives for me to live in this country of freedom. I grew very proud of the part my ancestor’s played in that struggle. While I joined DAR through Sterling Gardner, I discovered several of my ancestors who participated in different Wars. I am very proud of them all.
I am enjoying a sisterhood with the members of DAR. We all have similar interests in patriotism. We meet monthly and enjoy each other’s company. Speakers come and teach us on topics ranging from the history of our flags, different aspects of war, education, conservation, genealogy research and much, much more. National DAR has a wonderful volunteer program for those members who are interested in doing more. Helping others with their research, developing DAR websites, helping with the DAR conferences and doing patriotic lookups are among the volunteer opportunities.
DAR has conferences every year on a State level and in Washington, DC on a national level. They are educational and give members a chance to meet others with similar interest. It is a lot of fun to get together, learn and greet fellow daughters.
If you would like to join a Society that shows patriotism, will help you in your family research and gives you opportunities to help your country, state and city, then the DAR could be for YOU!
If anyone has an interest in getting more information on DAR, visit their website at http://www.dar.org
Content copyright © 2015 by Tina Sansone. All rights reserved.
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