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A DAR Invitation

My mother used to tell me, “You should join the DAR. I can’t, but you can.”

As the grandchild of Scandinavian immigrants, perhaps Mom felt that membership in an organization that honors family lines extending back to the founding of the nation meant truly belonging to America. Or maybe it was just the cachet of it all.

I never took her advice.

In recent years, I have been reconsidering this decision. I learned from genealogy friends that one reason to join lineage societies like the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) is to preserve your research. A membership application must include a detailed direct line which they review and keep.

Last year I embraced this idea by applying to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants during the 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower landing. They accepted my documentation of my paternal grandmother’s lineage from passenger Stephen Hopkins.

Now the DAR has come calling. Colorado’s Mayflower historian contacted me this week to see whether I was interested in using this same lineage to join the DAR. She offered to do all the paperwork and submit it for me.

The patriot ancestor who would be my ticket in was Gershom Hall (1760-1844) of Harwich, Massachusetts. He was married to Lucy Snow (1760-1795) of my Mayflower line. They were my fourth great-grandparents.

I knew Gershom Hall had served in the Revolution. I have been to his gravesite in Harwich and seen its Revolutionary War medallion.

Gershom Hall was not my only Revolutionary War ancestor. Robert Kirkham (1745-ca1820) served in Kentucky at Boonesborough with Daniel Boone. John Day, Jr. (1760-1837) enlisted in Washington County, Virginia. Both these men were in my paternal grandfather’s line. Family members have joined the DAR based on both these records.

Since my Mayflower Society application preserves the information for my grandmother’s line, I had meant to join the DAR to preserve my grandfather’s information.

But this offer from the Colorado Mayflower historian is too good to pass up. I would need simply to send in a check. I could always file supplemental applications for my Kirkham and Day lines later, after I have time to gather all the information I need. Information that now sits unsorted in bins and folders.

Perhaps it is time to follow my mother’s advice about the DAR, take the easy route, and apply to join now. It could not hurt to have my grandmother’s genealogy on file at two places.


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