Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sticking My Toe in the DAR Pool

Yesterday I went to the national Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) web site and filled out a Prospective Member Information Request Form. There are two reasons I did this:

1. My great-grandmother was a DAR member. Based on this fact and other records I hold, it's clear this ancestral line held family history in high regard. I know my grandmother would be pleased with my actions, so I did it for her.

2. Elizabeth, model DAR member and author of the wonderful Little Bytes of Life blog, was kind enough to locate and give me a copy of my great-grandmother's DAR application. I am so grateful for her gesture. I'm hoping this makes my application process easier, though I don't quite know what to expect. Without Elizabeth's efforts, it may have taken much longer for me to be ready to do this.

I filled out the basic contact information, patriot name and great-grandmother's DAR number. The form also asked about when the best time is for me to attend meetings. Um...hardly ever. I'm overextended as it is. I'm hoping I can fit this into my schedule.

After sending in the electronic form, I was given a reference number and the promise that someone will get back to me at some point. That works for me.

What does one do at a DAR meeting anyway? My local chapter websites don't give many details.


  1. I joined the SAR in 1994 because no one had joined on the line I had researched which was my mother's patrilineal line. I knew that the information would be part of their collection and my research would be saved in their library. However, I never attended a single meeting. They were always on Saturdays and I was an academic librarian and I worked most Saturdays back them (half of us worked Tues-Sat. and the other half Sun. to Thurs.). Eventually I let my membership lapse.

  2. Amy, I hope this will become another narrative like your military pension file story. I'd really like to know more about the whole DAR process, mostly for my 81-year-old mother's sake. I've found one ancestor (Jacob Wolfe 1734-1815) in the NSSAR Patriot Grave database. No idea if I have any ancestors who were DAR members.

    Our local chapter of DAR is pretty active, based on their website and newspaper articles. One of the founding members of the chapter lives across the street from me.

  3. Amanda, you should ask your neighbor about the DAR process. Everyone I've met that was affiliated with the organization has been so nice.

    Have you entered your patriot in the database to see if your recognize any connections?

    I will let you know how the process goes on my end.

  4. Yay! I'm so glad that you've taken the first steps towards DAR membership! My advice (to both you and Amanda) is: if there is more than one chapter in your area, attend a meeting for each and see which is the best "fit." Every chapter is different; meeting times and days vary, as do the personalities of the members. Find out where you will be happiest. Any DAR chapter would be thrilled to have you as a member!

    Let me know if you need anything else. And don't forget: your son is eligible for membership in the Children of the American Revolution!

  5. The DAR has the goals of preserving American History, promoting education, and promoting patriotism. Each chapter pursues those goals through the volunteer work the members do. As a cool note-- the DAR is the world's LARGEST WOMEN'S SERVICE organization. So, expect the meetings to revolve around these issues.

  6. Thanks for the link, Amy. I did check my ancestor and he's in there, but the descendants listed on other applications aren't in my direct line. I checked another ancestor (Peter DeHaven 1741-1822) and found someone who had obtained membership via my ggg-grandfather, William C. Wolfe (1820-1855). William is a great-grandson of both patriots Jacob Wolfe and Peter DeHaven, although there are no DAR records connecting William to the former.

    Does it make sense to spend the $10 to order a copy of this application?

  7. Amy,
    What wonderful news. Of course I have to make a comment about the DAR. If you want to join, then I believe you will really enjoy it. Not sure how long the process takes, it used to take many months to a year.

    You and other readers might get enjoy reading my DAR posts or the ones Elizabeth has posted.
    Good luck to you.

  8. Congrats on taking your first step! As to your question about chapter meetings, the topics vary throughout the year. Many of our chapter meeting's topics revolve around American history. As webmaster for my chapter, I can tell you that we are not really allowed to post specific details about meetings, really just the date and topic (no time or location)...that's just the "rules."

    If you don't hear back from the State Registrar within a couple weeks, contact the Regent or Registrar of the chapter in your area to get the process started.

    Good luck, and look forward to hearing your progress and hopefully hearing one day that you are a Daughter!

  9. On the DAR website you can find a listing of chapters and contact information by state. I attended a meeting at the chapter closest to me and although they were a very nice group, I'm not sure they are a good fit for me age wise or interest wise. Surprisingly the majority of the women in this particular group were not interested in genealogy! I agree with Elizabeth, try a couple of chapters. My application is on hold until I free up some funds for the documents I need :(

  10. Yeah for you Amy! I too am a member of DAr - El Toyon Chapter for which I have been the registrar since 2007.

    Our chapter has had great programs for the monthly meetings. Recently we had one on how quilts were used in the underground railroad to help slaves reach the north.

    I agree with Elizabeth, try on all the chapters in your area to see which fits you best.

  11. Amy,

    I am also a member of the DAR. I just joined a chapter in the area. They have a Genealogy Social this Saturday at the Main Branch of the county library. Go to my website and click Email Herstoryan and I'll send you the rest of the details if you are interested. I would love to go with you. The app process can be a little overwhelming, but the society is set up to where you don't have to do it by yourself. There are a ton of people that want to help! :) Talk to you soon!

  12. Amy, congrats on taking this step towards membership. I hope you continue to post about the process.

    And to the other ladies that are members, would you consider blogging about your experiences as you worked through the process to become a member?

    There are three local chapters in my area and I just assumed that I had to join the one in my town. I am very afraid I will be the youngest one around by a few decades and it won't be enjoyable for me.

  13. When I joined DAR, the first thing I did was meet with the local registrar for the chapter in my town. After she looked over what documents I had, she let me know what I still needed to find. Once she saw the proof I had, she invited me to attend a meeting (once I was approved by the membership). I got my National number in April. I even attended the Illinois State Conference and learned more about DAR. It does seem like it took four to six months to get approved by National once I sent in my application.

  14. We love helping clients apply for the SAR or DAR and would love to help anyone out there needing help. You can learn more about the application process on our blog: