Oh happy day – it’s official—I am a proud new member of the Catherine Schuyler chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Yippee! A 40-year goal finally completed!
As I’ve mentioned before, my fascination with this group began when I was in high school. I loved history then (and now) and I remember asking my parents if we had any “patriots” in our family tree. Since my mother’s family emigrated from Bavaria after the American Civil War, I hit a non-productive branch of the family tree early on. But my father’s family has been in America since the 1600s; however he claimed to know nothing about the family history. Finding records back before the internet seemed like an impossible task.
Then technology caught up with my dreams and I found a lead on Ancestry.com in 2017. Using that website I found a likely patriot almost immediately. Then the real work began. I met with the local DAR chapter membership representative and she helped explain the process of how to document the connection. It took me a full two years to track everything down, create the application form and then gain approval from the organization, but we did it! I love the integrity that the organization imposes on the process. It makes the inclusion even more special.
Although my “patriot” was, in fact, a solider, anyone who can document that their ancestor supported the revolution can be part of the organization – maybe someone related to you sold horses to the militia or let them camp on their land, or even worked as a spy – as long as there is documentary evidence of the support and then you can trace back to that evidence in your family tree, you can join too.
There is even more fun to be had by crawling through more genealogy sites: it is common and a point of pride in the organization to uncover more than one patriot in one’s family tree. I think I’ve found another likely candidate in my lineage and when I get a chance to conduct some more research, I do believe I’ll chase the dream for a second time!
Cindy and all of my sisters can also join the DAR by simply linking themselves to me and joining my local chapter or one near where they live. My son can expect a membership to the Sons of the American Revolution (brother organization to the DAR) for high school graduation.
Now that I’m older, I understand the mission of the DAR and applaud their civic-minded, non-partisan approach to promoting patriotism, education and historical preservation.
This week I found out that my local chapter is having a quilt raffle to raise funds. Isn’t this quilt the cutest?
Quilting and history and a society of patriots – I think I’ve found my tribe.