Lineage Society

DAR’s updated DNA policy: what does it mean for you?

The Daughters of the American Revolution recently announced that they will begin accepting autosomal and mitochrondrial DNA. See https://www.dar.org/national-society/genealogy/dna-and-dar-applications and https://blog.dar.org/dar-begins-accepting-autosomal-dna for details. What does it mean for you?

If you can document your entire line back to a qualifying ancestor “on paper,” little to nothing will change. DAR will continue to verify applications in the way that they have always done.

If you have an adoption or other case of “not expected parentage” more than three generations into the line, nothing will change. You can make a case using y-DNA in combination with documentary evidence.

The big change comes if you have a case of adoption or other “not expected” parentage in the first three generations. For those generations, you are now allowed to submit autosomal DNA evidence and/or mitochrondrial DNA evidence in combination with your documentary evidence to make a case. Be aware, this is far more complex than just handing over a list of your DNA matches.

You will need to test or have access to the test kits of the individuals who share enough DNA in common with you to make your case, whether that is a series of likely first cousin matches or a half-sibling. Those individuals will need to sign permission to share their DNA results with DAR and upload their kits to the DAR group on FamilyTreeDNA. You’ll be asked to complete a form with their signatures, an indication of how they connect to your common ancestor and what you are trying to prove by DNA. With that form, you’ll also need to submit documentary evidence.

DNA cannot stand alone. If you choose to use DNA, be sure that all arguments are adequately documented and supported with “paper” evidence. Above all, be sure to obtain consent from your matches. To turn in results without permission is an ethical violation.

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!