Daughters of the American Revolution

The Gila Butte Chapter NSDAR had a good turnout for Wreaths Across America at the Valley of the Sun Cemetery in December. (Photo courtesy of B. Donatelli)

In the mid-1980s the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) began publishing small booklets for each of the original states listing names of known African-American, Native American, and mixed-race individuals who supported the colonists’ cause during the Revolutionary War. These booklets were later consolidated into a single publication and were eventually added to the DAR’s Genealogy Research System (GRS) as the Patriots of Color Database.

The GRS can be accessed by the public by going to DAR.org and selecting “Genealogy” or “GRS” at the top of the page. This will open a page with a lot of information and links regarding general genealogy. To access the Patriots of Color Database, select “E Pluribus Unum” from the main DAR.org page and scroll down.

Since 2001, the DAR’s Specialty Research Committee has been researching and documenting under-represented groups by means of individual teams who specialize in African-American, Native American, Jewish, French, French-Canadian, Spanish, and female patriots. Their work is available for public use, as well as assisting potential DAR members with proving their descent from a patriot ancestor. (For DAR purposes, a “patriot ancestor” is also anyone who aided the colonists in their fight against the British, and not just the soldiers who actively fought the war.) As the population of prospective members continues to diversify, information about the participation of these groups in the Revolutionary War becomes more crucial.

Anyone interested in joining DAR should contact Pennie at [email protected]. The chapter can provide assistance with lineage research to prospective members if needed.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, charitable organization founded in 1890 and incorporated by an act of the United States Congress in 1896. Membership in the society is open to any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. The DAR functions as a volunteer service organization and is dedicated to patriotism, education, and historic preservation. While DAR supports a strong national defense, it is not a political organization, nor does it lobby. Its membership includes women from Republican, Democratic, and Independent political parties; women from all races and ethnic backgrounds; and women from ages 18 to 100+. The society does not subscribe to any particular religion, nor does it discriminate against any members who are of various religious beliefs.