Any woman is eligible for membership if she is at least 18 years of age and can prove lineal, blood line descent from an ancestor who, through military, civil, or patriotic service, aided in achieving American independence. Applicants must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage, and death.
To help you get started, the Twin Falls Chapter has prepared some user-friendly tips for DAR documentation and applications (below). In addition, you can find a copy of the genealogical worksheet on the NSDAR's web site.
Tips for DAR Documentation and Applications
Note: The following tips do not necessarily include all requirements or cover all possible types of acceptable documentation. It is highly recommended that you work closely with your Chapter Registrar.
NSDAR requires documentation to prove the lineage from generation to generation from yourself to your Revolutionary War ancestor.
What kind of documentation is NSDAR looking for?
For Generation 1 (yourself), be prepared to provide a copy of your birth certificate, your marriage certificate if you are married, your husband's birth certificate, and your husband's death certificate if deceased. (If you don't have these documents, you might start with the county office where you were born or married, and ask how you can obtain them.)
For Generations 2 and 3 (your parents and grandparents) and beyond, try to provide birth certificates and death certificates as possible. However, it obviously gets harder the further you go back. Sometimes these records simply don't exist.
Other types of acceptable evidence may include wills, bible records, church records, cemetary records, funeral notices, tombstone photographs, obituaries, deeds, census records, published books (if well researched), etc. Ideally, what you're looking for is documentation to support each person's birth date, place of birth, marriage date, place of marriage, death date, place of death, and child-parent relationship.
If you are using a published book for documentation, copy all pertinent pages of the book as well as the title page and page which has the copyright date. The NSDAR will evaluate the credibility of the book in determining whether it is an acceptable source of proof.
Hearsay, such as information from family members, is insufficient. Computer printouts from the Family History Center are also insufficient, as they are simply the family trees entered by other persons and may or may not be very accurate. They are good starting points, however, for researching and finding documentation.
If you are using a previously accepted DAR application as documentation, note that older papers might not be acceptable. Some older applications were not as well documented as is required today.
Evidence of military service must be provided for the Revolutionary War ancestor, including his/her place of residence at the time. You might find a published list of Revolutionary War soldiers or use the DAR's Patriot Index. Military service records and pension records are also good sources, and may be obtained from the National Archives.
Don't worry too much if you can't substantiate each and every date and location past Generation 3. Applications have been accepted with a missing death date for an ancestor's spouse, for instance, or with a year of birth but no specific date. Although it helps to have as much documentation as possible, the most important thing is to prove the link between each generation -- that is, who your parents are, who their parents are, etc. You need something showing the relationships between children and parents.
Help! Where do I begin?
If this seems overwhelming, well, it can be. It helps to have a love of genealogy and a desire to obtain this information for your own sake and the sake of future generations of your family who will appreciate all your hard work. But if you don't know where to get started, start by asking all your relatives what family information they have, ask one of the volunteers at the local family history center how to access official records, go to the library, use the Internet to find genealogy sources or historical societies in the county or state where your ancestor resided, or start calling county offices. Work with the DAR Chapter Registrar and Lineage Research Chairman for additional advice or assistance.
Do I qualify to use a short application form?
You might if you can connect within four generations to a previously accepted DAR lineage (counting yourself as Generation 1). For instance, if your mother, grandmother, or aunt is a DAR member, and if her application meets today's standards, you can submit a short form. You would still need to provide documentation on yourself, your husband, and any other generation until you get to the generation with which you connect.
How should I organize all this documentation?
Make photocopies of your documentation. Do not submit originals.
Do not write on the front of the documentation or highlight names, etc.
If there is an error on a record (such as a misspelled parent's name or birthplace on a death certificate), do not write on the documentation. Enclose a separate note explaining the error.
Assemble the documentation in order by each generation. Do not staple.
How do I prepare the application form?
The Chapter Registrar will have application forms. The application must be typed and follow certain standards in terms of how dates are written, what type of paper can be used, etc. Thus, you might find it easier to use the computer program available from NSDAR. If you're applying to the Twin Falls Chapter, the Registrar has the computer program and has volunteered to enter your information into the computer for you. It makes it a lot easier to correct typos and it prints out a nice, neat application.
When the application is ready, you will need to sign it., with the Chapter Regent and Registrar as witnesses. You will also need the signatures of two other Chapter members.
How can I learn more about the Chapter while I'm working on my papers?
You don't need to wait until you have all your papers together before you contact us. In fact, we really hope you'll work with us along the way -- we are here to help you! Don't be afraid to ask questions. And please, come to a meeting and get to know us! Good luck! We want your membership!
* The DAR Insignia is the property of, and is copyrighted by, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.