Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR questions: Do all your ancestors need to be married?

Yes, lineage societies have historically required that your ancestors be legitimate – that their parents must be married – and some lineage societies still do.

That being said, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution are not among them. They require “proof” that the child is the child of the parents, not that the child is the product of the married parents.

If you’re confused, don’t worry. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. If the child’s parents were married, expect to be asked for documentation of marriage. In some older lines, it might be the only way to document the child’s mother, as birth records often only included the father’s name.
  2. If the child’s parents were not married, that should not be an issue, provided that the birth certificate lists the names of the parents. Expect to be asked to provide a note explaining the circumstances, just so the genealogist knows not to look for a marriage record.

Want to learn more about DAR or SAR applications? Read more on our blog.

Have a question we haven’t answered? Contact us.

Lineage Society

Your Family History – The Career Development Tool You’ve Never Considered

You probably know the stereotypes: studying your family’s roots is a great retirement project for Grandma. But those stereotypes miss a powerful reality. Your family’s roots can also help you (and your kids) build a career. From funding your education to networking, understanding where you came from can be a key part of developing the “work life” you want.

Did you know that there are scholarships available based on your origins? From the Harvard scholarships restricted to descendants to the scholarship offered by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, numerous scholarships are available to people descended from specific families or of a specific ethnic background. Delving into your family tree can help you pay for school – and start out your career with less debt.

Did you know family history can help offer career training? Some of the societies created for children, such as Children of the American Revolution, intentionally teach public speaking and leadership skills. While adults are available to support as “senior” members, children hold all the leadership positions. A chance to run a national organization as a teenager is a pretty impressive item on the resume and a great preparation for a future career.

Did you know family history can help you build a network? Relocating can disrupt the network of even the best connected person. But family history can provide you an easy way to begin building a new one. Many lineage societies, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Society of Colonial Wars, are national organizations. If you move to a new location, you can transfer your membership and have a built in network of local contacts who can help you adjust to a new community.

While genealogy may be dominated by retirees, it doesn’t mean you should roll your eyes the next time someone starts sharing about your roots. Listen and pay attention. It may help you make the next leap in your career.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR application questions: why hire a professional genealogist?

Do professional genealogists work on applications for the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution? Is there value to hiring a professional genealogist when I can do the work myself?

Yes.

And it depends on your goals.

You can definitely do the work yourself (and it’s a great option if you can and want to) but it’s fairly common to get stuck part way through the process. There’s a relationship you can’t document or a vital record you can’t figure out how to obtain. While the society may be able to help, a professional genealogist may have knowledge or resources the society may not. More than once, we’ve been able to get around brick walls or find a missing document that a local volunteer just couldn’t reach.

And there are occasions where you just can’t do the work yourself. A small child (or grandchild) at home, an ill family member, a busy job are all very valid reasons for not having time to complete an application. DAR and SAR aren’t set up to order almost every single certificate for you and do all the research. We are.

Want to learn more? Check out our lineage society applications page or contact us with questions.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR questions: Will the Daughters of the American Revolution help with my application?

The simple answer is yes, the Daughters of the American Revolution will help with your application – but you may have to ask for it.

The DAR has a couple of different systems for offering help, and each chapter participates differently.

  1. On the chapter level, your chapter registrar may do research, or the chapter may have a genealogical research committee.
  2. On the state level, the state registrar or genealogical research chair may hold help sessions. A state application team may be available to help with difficult applications.
  3. On the national level, there is a few places the registrar can go to ask for help.

Things to know:

  1. The local registrar’s job is to do your application paperwork, not research. Not every registrar has the time to do research or has chapter committees available to assist, so it’s appropriate to ask for a referral to someone that can help with research if needed.
  2. You will have the best experience if you try to do some or most of the work yourself and come to DAR when you truly need help. Help programs are set up to deal with you getting stuck, not to trace your whole line.
  3. Don’t be surprised if you’re not allowed to see a completed application until you sign. Researchers are trying to ensure that their help goes where it was intended – to complete your application.

Questions? Contact us.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR questions: Will the Sons of the American Revolution help with my application?

Starting a new application can feel a little scary. Both DAR and SAR have built in programs to help, but they look a little different.

You can safely ask for help on your Sons of the American Revolution application from two people:

  1. Your point of contact: This may be the state registrar, the local registrar or someone else. Be aware of two things. First, they may not be able to help. Explain what you’re looking for, and ask if they can assist or if they can refer you to someone who can. Second, if they can help, you need to have realistic expectations. Their job is not to gather all the needed paperwork for your application. They’re simply there to offer advice.
  2. A genealogy assistant: SAR genealogy assistants are able to assist with research in a limited way. Again, they’re not there to do the application for you. But they can help with a hard to prove link or tell you where to look.

In short, yes, SAR will help with your application. Just remember that their job is not to do your application. If you’re not hiring professional help (see our future post), it’s yours. They’re just there to assist!

Have questions? Want to hire help? Contact us.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR application questions: Grandma’s or Grandpa’s papers

Are you working on your Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution application? Since Grandma or Grandpa was a member, it’s going to be easy, right?

Maybe.

The answer to the question of “can you use a family member’s papers to join DAR or SAR?” is always yes. But the answer of “to what extent” is going to vary.

Why? Because the standards used by the society have changed since Grandma or Grandpa submitted. They’ve changed in the last two or three years. If the original application doesn’t meet modern standards, you’ll only be able to use it as a hint.

How do you know? Ask for help. You won’t be able to tell on your own. We’d be glad to take a look. Your registrar should also be able to tell.

Questions? Want help. Contact us.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR questions: Indexes

The “SSDI” (Social Security Death Index) or other index seems to have the vital records information you need to make your case for your Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution application – and it would save you money. Can you use it?

Nope, sorry! While index files were once allowed by DAR and SAR, they haven’t been for the last several years. You’ll need to use the information on the index to order a copy of a vital record instead.

However abstracts with indexes, such as Connecticut’s Barbour Collection and Rhode Island’s Arnold Collection are currently be accepted. This is a common point of confusion, so be sure to discuss in detail with your registrar.

Have questions or need help? Contact us.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR application questions: Family Bibles

That family Bible is a goldmine, tracing your family back decades and recording crucial dates of birth, marriage, and death. But can you use it for your Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution application?

It depends. There are a few things you need to confirm:

  1. Do you have the title page of the Bible (with the publication date) or other evidence of it? It was common for families to recopy old information into new Bibles, which can introduce mistakes.
  2. Does that the publication date occur within the lifetime of the individuals mentioned in the Bible? A couple who received a Bible as a wedding present could fairly accurately (at least to the best of their knowledge) enter their birth information and the names of their parents. They’re far less likely to accurately enter the birth information of their grandparents.
  3. Does the handwriting and ink fit the period? Families held on to Bibles for generations and may have added or changed dates over time. (Multiple styles of handwriting or “hands” can also indicate a change in scribe.) If you note changes, use with care.
  4. Does it actually answer your question? If you are seeking to prove a parent-child relationship between individuals in the Bible, but the Bible doesn’t actually state relationships, find another source!

Have questions? Contact us!

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR Questions: Find A Grave

That Find A Grave entry seems perfect for your Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution application. It lists parents, siblings, spouses and more. But can you actually use it?

Maybe.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The “extra data” typed into the profile is not accepted, as it’s usually not sourced. If an obituary or other source is included, go find the original.
  2. The tombstone photo needs to be readable. If you can’t read the stone, find another source. Perhaps a genealogy society did a gravestone inscription book a few decades ago?
  3. The tombstone needs to be from the period. They weren’t using marble in the 1600s. A non-period stone was probably added later and may contain errors.

If you can meet all these conditions, give it a go! But remember, all sources are accepted at the discretion of the verifying genealogist.

Have questions or need help with the application? Contact us.

Lineage Society

Common DAR + SAR application questions: DNA

Your Ancestry DNA profile says you’re related to a Revolutionary War patriot.
Can you use it for an application to the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Sons of the American Revolution? What do you need to know about DNA and DAR and SAR?

  1. The Sons of the American Revolution officially allows the use of DNA evidence as part of a proof argument along with other “conventional proof of lineage.” This could mean using DNA as a piece of evidence alongside a land record or probate file that names a child and a parent but does not state their relationship. Be it noted: the file is dated 2019 and may be in the process of review.
  2. The Daughters of the American Revolution allows only the use of y-DNA for applications. It can only be used to “prove” one link. DAR requires a comparison between the DNA of a male who is closely related to the applicant and shares her surname or that of her mother with the DNA of a close male relative of an previous applicant on the same line who has been considered “proven.”

What does that mean for you? In short, you can’t use your Ancestry profile by itself. Consider it a wonderful hint – and go find the paperwork to support the connection.

Questions? Need help with the documents? Contact us!