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What is the D.A.R?

This D.A.R. is one of the oldest lineage societies in America, dedicated to historic preservation, patriotism, and education.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Alan Smith
Word Count: 500 (approx.)
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Four women over 117 years ago decided that they wanted to keep alive the memory and spirit of their grandparents, who were veterans of the revolutionary war. They created the non-profit organization known as the Daughters of the American Revolution National Society or D.A.R. for short. In that moment they forged a group which has transformed thousands into family historians.

From these first four women, the society has grown to about 168,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the nation, with the headquarters located in Washington D.C. The objectives of this group includes historic preservation, patriotism, and education. Any woman of the minimum age of 18 years, who can prove a linear descent to a patriot of the American Revolution, can join. The pursuit of the proof of such a connection has caused women all over the world to research their roots.

The DAR Library was founded in 1896 and was open to the public after 1900. In 1998 it was ranked as the third most important by Heritage Quest. It is located at 1776 D Street, N.W., Washington D.C. and it's phone is (202) 879-3229. Because members are focused on finding links to the American Revolutionary era, this segment of history is the largest section, although the library has extensive genealogical and historical collections of all aspects of America. In 1998 the library had 150,000 books in its collection and added approximately 5,000 new titles each year. In 1997 the library published "American Genealogical Research at the DAR, Washington DC" which is a comprehensive guide to the Library's collection for both members and general researchers. It also has a three-volume catalog, which is accessible online at www.dar.org/library/ .

Several onsite databases that can be used at the library, include Heritage Quest, Ancestry Library Edition, Readex's Early American Newspapers, The New England Historical Genealogical Society and other accessible archives.

You can mail requests to the library which require a check or money order for their search services. The fee is $30 an hour for members and $40 an hour for non-members. You can request more information about the library's search services by e-mailing to searchservice@dar.org or call them at (203) 879-3245.

DAR also features a Patriot Index lookup service which contains names of Revolutionary patriots of both men and women. This is a particular service to this organization and can be accessed at http://dar.org/natsociety/pi_lookup.cfm. You will find a request form to fill out with the opportunity to discover if one of your ancestors is listed as a Revolutionary Patriot.

The library also has a collection of some 300,000 file folders which contain a mixture of documents donated by DAR members and the public. Bible records, family studies, and research notes covering the last 200 years are among the collection.

If you are visiting Washington D.C., this is a place you may wish to visit, especially if your family tree in America extends to the Revolutionary War. Such a large collection of material under one roof is worth looking into.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2007.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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