Lineage Society

Getting Started with the Application: DAR’s “1st Three”

Riverview Cemetery, Essex, CT

You’ve contacted the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, explained that you’d like to join, and are ready to start the application. The chapter registrar has told you that you need to document the “first three.” What does that mean?

These are the generations for which civil birth, death, and marriage records are most likely to exist and thus are held to different standards. DAR, like many lineage societies, counts the applicant as generation one, their parents as generation two, and their grandparents as generation three. In asking the applicant to document the “first three,” DAR is asking the applicant to provide birth, marriage, and death certificates where applicable for their generation, that of their parents, and that of the grandparents through whom the line runs.

Thankfully for applicants, DAR currently permits the use of a loophole. If a death certificate lists parents’ names, date of birth and place of birth, a birth certificate does not currently need to be provided. (Expect that to change as guidelines tighten.) For the time being, it can allow the applicants to save the cost of a few certificates.

But you’ll still need to find birth and marriage for living generations and death and marriage for those deceased. How do you do that?

It’s going to depend on the location. Some states, like New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, store records on the town level. Others, like Wisconsin, store them on the county level. Consult the individual location for guidelines.

Feeling overwhelmed? You can bring in help. Contact Charter Oak Genealogy for details.