52 Documents in 52 Weeks #20 – Florence Ervey’s DAR Application

Person of Interest: Jacob Angell
Relationship: 6th great grand uncle (brother to my DAR patriot John Angle #A002804 who was my 6th great grandfather)


Source Citation: Membership application, Florence May Linaberry Ervey, National no. 512696, on Jacob Angle (1720-1786, New Jersey), approved 16 July 1965; National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Office of the Registrar General, Washington, D.C.


Document Description: This is the application of Florence for admittance to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) or just DAR for short.


Logo of the DAR

Background on the DAR: The DAR was founded in 1890 and incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896. The membership organization is a “non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.” There are currently 185,000 members with 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and international chapters in Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Guam, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom. As of 2017, more than 950,000 members have joined the organization since its inception. [1]

The DAR ancestor/patriot may not necessarily have been a soldier. Applications are accepted if proof can be found that the ancestor provided support to the American revolutionary cause in some way. For example, if your ancestor provided supplies or lodging for troops, they could qualify as a patriot.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National organization owns a top-notch genealogical library and archive, a Genealogical Research System (GRS), a museum, and Constitution Hall, a convention venue. They provide grants to non-profits and numerous scholarships to qualifying applicants. Each year, the national society invites members to attend an event called the Continental Congress. Their 126th Continental Congress will begin on June 28, 2017 and be held in Washington, D.C.

Jill and Jodi at the DAR Van Bunschooten Museum, 19 July 2008

Local chapters own and manage any number of historical sites, libraries, and archives. For example, my Chinkchewunska Chapter owns and operates the Van Bunschooten Museum in the highlands of northwestern New Jersey. This Dutch Colonial 2-story house was built around 1797 and originally served as the home of the Reverend Elias Van Bunschooten. The house is now a museum and research library and maintained by the chapter. They are very active in finding grave sites of Revolutionary soldiers, replacing stones (if needed), and documenting where the grave is located.


Document Scan/Transcription: I had intended to show you a DAR application but, as a good genealogist, I thought first to check on the rules of posting applications online. Turns out, I’m not allowed to show you them. Glad I checked. Per the DAR, on the most recent application I ordered, in big red lettering:

“RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF THE DOCUMENTS YOU JUST RECEIVED

“Purchase of a record copy of a DAR application paper or supplemental application paper does not transfer any intellectual property rights or ownership to the purchaser. The DAR asserts copyright protection on record copies and prohibits the posting of images of DAR application papers and supplemental application papers online in any form by anyone. By ordering a record copy either electronically, by mail, or by fax, the purchaser acknowledges awareness of this policy and agrees not to post images online.

“Supporting documentation files are comprised of documents from a variety of sources and repositories. DAR makes no assertion of ownership or copyright. Copies are provided for personal research purposes only. Researchers should contact the original owning repository for permission to publish.”

Copies are provided for the sole use of the person ordering the copy but not if the sole use is to post them online!

So, since I can’t show you the images or provide the transcription, which violates the privacy of the member, let me talk to you about the general sections you will find in a DAR application.

  • The cover page provides the personal information of the applicant. For privacy reasons, when ordering records, this page just has the member’s name, her NSDAR number, and the associated ancestor information and service description. In this case, Jacob Angell furnished supplies to the cause.
  • The second page is the lineage page. It provides birth, death and marriage information linking the DAR member back to the ancestor, regardless of the number of generations.
  • The third page provides the descriptions of the references or sources used to prove lineage from one generation to another. This is especially useful to point you in the direction of sources or references you may not have known about previously. The newer applications require that the applicant show which sources belong to which generations. Older applications may or may not break out the sources into generations.
  • The fourth page provides details on the patriot ancestor’s service, marriage and children.

Some notes about markings that the proofing genealogists may put on the application as they check it. A tick mark shows that the fact has been proved. Parentheses placed around information, by the genealogist not the applicant, means that the proofing genealogist does not feel this fact was supported by the sources provided. Additional handwritten notes may also be present.

Analysis: While this is an original record, given the complicated nature of a DAR application, it would not be beneficial to discuss here all of the different types of information (primary, secondary, and undetermined) and evidence (direct, indirect and negative) you would find on the application.

CONCLUSION

DAR applications can be a useful resource if you discover that there is a Revolutionary War ancestor lurking about in your family tree. They are worth ordering if you have a Revolutionary ancestor (or suspected one) and are a great resource for finding descendants and filling out branches on your family tree. Additionally, becoming a member of a local chapter opens your world up to a plethora of opportunities to volunteer in your community.


[1] http://www.dar.org/national-society/about-dar/who-we-are/who-we-are

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