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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Colonial Dames of America

If you aren’t qualified to join the Daughters of the American Revolution but can prove that your lineage descends from pioneers who settled in America during the colonial days (from your school days, do you remember what the 13 original colonies were?), then perhaps this group is for you instead.

My encyclopedia seems to indicate that there are two groups of Colonial Dames of America. One was founded in 1890 and the other in 1891. The membership for the first depends on whether you are descended from an ancestor of distinction who resided in the colonies previously to 1776 or in the second, you were descended from a worthy ancestor settling in the colonies previously to 1750. Both groups collect and preserve records, documents, manuscripts, etc. that pertain to the colonies and the revolutionary period activities.

Most of my ancestors were ordinary men. Take for instance on my maternal grandfather’s side, the family traces back to a Peter ULLOM (me, mom, Grandpa John, Alford, Lorenzo Dow, Stephen, Peter). Peter was born in 1748 or 49 in Lancaster County, PA.

A cousin on my maternal grandmother’s side always told me I was descended from Robert MORRIS, the financier and signer of the Declaration of Independence, but it’s not been proven.

In years, we may be just shy of the requirement of colonial days, unless another family researcher has gone further back than I have. I’d love to know.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DAR: Daughters of the American Revolution

One of David’s cousins called him last year asking for help to fill out some admission papers for the local chapter of the  Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Her dad got sick shortly after that and we haven’t heard anything recently concerning her paperwork.

We talked to the regent of the local chapter at the Grinter Applefest in Wyandotte County, KS. last weekend. The DAR is a volunteer service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children. But in order to be a member, one must be a woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. They have a DAR library and archives. The genealogy library is said to be the second largest research center in the world, with more than 300,000 files, 185,000 books, and 65,000 microfilms, in the national headquarters. The Archives has nearly 5,000 early American manuscripts and imprints.

Some of their activities involve awarding scholarships and financial aid to students, locating and marking historical landmarks and graves of countless Revolutionary War patriots, volunteering at VA hospitals, preserving local landmarks and historic structures in communities across the country, conserving pre-Industrial American decorative art objects, giving copies of the DAR Manual for Citizenship to immigrants studying for naturalization and becoming docents at local museums.

I was interested in learning that over thirty DAR state societies maintain a state or period room at the National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the Kansas Chapel contains stained glass sunflower windows assembled from twelve panels removed during the 1967 remodeling of the Carnegie Library in Wichita. The sunflower is Kansas' state flower. Talk about preserving history! *smile*
David’s 5th great-grandfather, Able Stout, from New Jersey, fought in the American Revolution.
For more information on either the local chapter  or the national organization check out their websites.