Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Daughter of the American Revolution

This is one of the posts I had hoped to write last year. Better late than never. I need to get this post written because it dovetails with another I am also currently writing. So, here I go...finally.

Way back on March 5, 2016, I was inducted into the Hickory Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Wow! Has it been almost one year already?

But I am getting ahead of myself...

In November of 2015, The Colonel was invited to speak at a Hickory Bluff Chapter of the DAR meeting (held on Thursday evenings and at a local yacht club). It was a very new chapter and The Colonel spoke about the history of Hickory Bluff (the local and historical area the chapter is named for). As The Colonel's wife, I was also invited to attend the dinner meeting.

As The Colonel and I sat at one of the tables, one of the ladies at the table spoke:

"Are you a DAR member?"

"No, I am not," I answered back.

"Are you able to become one?"

"I am not sure about that, but I could look into it I suppose. Exactly how does one become a member of the DAR?"

"You have to prove a direct lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution and have the paperwork sent to the DAR headquarters in Washington, D.C. and then they will look them over and approve them if they are in order."

"Sounds a daunting task," I replied.

I later enquired of my youngest brother, who has taken over the family genealogy research following our mother's death, about any patriots we may have in our family line(s). He told me that two of our first cousins on our dad's side were already in the DAR.

I contacted my cousin Theresa and asked her what information she had and what was my next step. She was so excited to hear I was wanting to join the DAR. She got to filling out paper work for me. All I had to do was "prove" three generations via birth, marriage and death (if applicable) certificates. I would need my birth certificate as well as The Colonel's and our marriage certificate. I would then need the birth certificates of my parents, their marriage certificate and because my father was deceased, I would need his death certificate too. The last paperwork I would need would be the birth and death certificates of my father's parents as well as their marriage certificate. Theresa had done all of the other paperwork leading up to our shared patriot, Eleazer Ingraham (another post on him at a later date, I promise), when she joined the DAR (Thank you Baby Jesus).

After a few weeks of sending off for said certificates (with minor hiccups), I had everything I needed. The Colonel was a bit surprised at how quickly I had gotten all the documents. He has been doing his family genealogy for about 30 years and has not had it as easy...beginners luck I said.

The Registrar for my DAR chapter took the paperwork Theresa completed and took copies of my documents and sent them off to Washington, D.C. From not knowing if I had a patriot in my family in November of 2015 to being inducted into the DAR on March 5, 2016 was a fairly quick process by DAR standards (so I am told). Note: The Chapter Regent called me on Friday, February 26, 2016 to let me know that I was officially in the DAR. The Colonel and I were in the car listening to a CD about the American Revolution at the time of her call.

There was one other woman being inducted the same evening I was. Her name is Buffy and she has become one of my favorite people. Had I known she was going to wear her tiara I would have worn mine as well. That is so Buffy.

Buffy and I were inducted into the chapter as Charter Members. We were sworn in a couple of months before the chapter had its first anniversary.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, during a time that was marked by a revival in patriotism and intense interest in the beginnings of the United States of America. Women felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men's organizations formed to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought to make this country free and independent. As a result, a group of pioneering women in the nation's capital formed their own organization and the Daughters of the American Revolution has carried the torch of patriotism ever since.

The objectives laid forth in the first meeting of the DAR have remained the same in 125 years of active service to the nation. Those objectives are: Historical - to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence; Educational - to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, "to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion…"; and Patriotic - to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.
Since its founding in 1890, DAR has admitted more than 950,000 members.

I have since become the Chapter's Flag Chairman. I am responsible for bringing the American Flag as well as our Chapter Flag to all meetings. I am also the Chairman for the National Defense Committee which means I am responsible for handing out awards to citizens the chapter deems worthy such as the outstanding cadets of our local high schools' ROTC programs. I help with other community efforts our chapter participates in when I can.

The chapter I belong to is made up of nice, fun ladies and not the bunch of old, pompous women one thinks of when they think of the DAR.. I did see quite a lot of pompous old women from other chapters from around the state of Florida when I attended the DAR's Fall Forum last year in Orlando. Made me appreciate my chapter.

Stay tuned for other DAR themed posts (now that this one has been completed...finally).