DNA can lead to DAR membership


Membership in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) is linear: Applicants must prove they have a direct ancestor who served in the American Revolutionary War. Many of those who become members have documents on hand – including birth and marriage certificates – to prove their direct connection to a “patriot”. But there is another potential route to membership, and that’s through its DNA.

In January 2022, Signal Hill Chapter, NSDAR, hosted a program for its members via Zoom, titled “Finding Mary Jane: A Family Mystery Solved Using Genetic Genealogy“, by Katie Merrion. Katie is a member of the Isle a la Cache Chapter, NSDAR, Romeoville, IL.

Katie focused her presentation on how she used DNA and reverse genealogy to identify her mother’s biological parents. His mother Mary Jane was adopted three days after he was born. Little information existed regarding her birth parents and Katie was determined to find out more. By researching family ties on Ancestry, contacting distant cousins, and researching certain information found in her mother’s adoption papers, Katie discovered that a patriot on her mother’s side, Ezra Tryon, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

At the time of her application to the NSDAR a few years ago, Katie became one of the few applicants who proved their lineage using DNA evidence to join the National Society Daughters of American Revolution. DNA evidence is limited to the first three generations, that of the claimant, parents and grandparents.

The Signal Hill Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) was founded in Barrington, IL in 1972. NSDAR is a women’s voluntary service organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Since its founding in 1890, more than one million women have joined nationally and globally. The local Barrington chapter raises funds throughout the year and distributes them to 501(c)(3) organizations whose missions support that of NSDAR: historic preservation, education, patriotism, conservation, and Native Americans.

NSDAR membership is open to any woman 18 years of age or older who can prove lineal descent from a Patriot of the American Revolution. For more information: https://signalhilldar.com.


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