How Do You Get Into the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)?
Think one of your ancestors might be a patriot? That you might be interested in joining the Daughters of the American Revolution? That it all seems so daunting? Read on. My quest to join the DAR started with us seated on the floor of my aunt's apartment while one of my cousins read aloud from The Descendants of George Holmes in America. It then took 16 months before I got my certificate in the mail. But, only 6 months once I got started and was announced to the floor at a DAR meeting. But don't let me get ahead of myself.
Finding your lineage is the first step of the process. The DAR website has resources to help you. Getting copies of the documentation can be slow and frustrating, but you must submit copies of all your documents clearly tracing the birth, marriage and death from yourself to your patriot.
Speaking of patriot, the quick and dirty way to see if your ancestor was a patriot is to see if he (or she) has already been proved out by someone else, by checking the DAR Genealogical Research System. Be aware of anyone red flagged. Back in the 80s the documentation policies were revised and many patriots now require additional proof of service during the war. This happened to me. I submitted with George Holmes as my patriot (who was not flagged at the time) to receive a notice of substitute ancestor. George's proof of service no longer passes muster. Luckily George's son's wife's father (still with me?) also served and is well documented. If your ancestor is not listed as a patriot it does not mean he didn't serve; only that no one from his line has proved him out for the DAR. Do not despair; it may just take a little longer to do the research.
After you have researched your lineage and identified your patriot, the next step is to find a chapter. There is no doubt one near you. This was the most frustrating part for me, since I struggled with getting someone to answer my email. As luck would have it, one of my sister's co-workers is a member, which helped perk things along. Ask around, maybe someone you know is already a member. Can't hurt, might help. Once I was announced to the floor, and accepted; I was sent a package with the long form, pedigree charts and instructions. The form must be typed on a typewriter or you can ask about getting a CD with the forms on them. The special archival paper you have to buy from the DAR website.
The chapter Registrar will help to make sure your documents are in order. Once completed, you submit the package to her with a check for the national and chapter fees (which can vary, chapter by chapter) and the wait begins. It can take anywhere from 3-6 months before you hear anything. I know it's hard, but be patient, it is worth the wait.
on 2010-05-26 21:12:41
Beverly Robertson is a member of the Hannah Emerson Dustin chapter of the DAR. She has been working on her family history for over 25 years. She has 11 Revolutionary War patriots and one ancestor that came over on the Mayflower. She is a social media maven in non-profit management. She is @bevson on Twitter and blogs at http://murmuringtrees.blogspot.com