I’m officially a member of the Daughters of the Revolution. My certificate arrived in the mail today. I’ve seriously waited for this moment for as long as I can remember. Really.
For about as long as I can remember I’ve yearned to know more about the ancestry of my family. Supposedly, we had tons of ancestors going all the way back to the days of the Mayflower and the American Revolution, but were lacking proof. I always wanted to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, but somehow in the last 50 years, paperwork and names were apparently lost. (We’re unsure if they were lost by my Great Grandmother, my own Mom or in a fire that destroyed my Mom’s sister’s home years ago..)
No one else really cared about the proof or preserving the heritage records besides me. Luckily, my Aunt Kay, who is also a genealogist, completed tedious research for me to track my lineage and gave me this priceless gift.
The criteria for membership is basically to be a direct descendant of a Patriot who aided in the cause during the American Revolution. (Think solider, signer of the Declaration, etc.) And yes you must prove EVERY generation with copious paperwork to show you are a descendant. It’s a pretty daunting task.
But now, my little patriots can join someday if they desire too. The kids love visiting Valley Forge for our hikes, bike rides, and and to picnic. Since last year, when I was filing my paperwork after solving the great DAR puzzle, Kenzie loves to talk about how she is a “daughter of the revolution” and “the war” when we visit Valley Forge. Kenzie is beyond adorable talking about it.
My patriot is Hezekiah Harding. He patrolled the sea coast of Cape Cod during the revolution. He was born May 15th, 1745 in Truro, MA and died in Maine on May 2nd, 1825. We were able to find records of his service via his actual hand written application for a revolutionary war pension in 1820, when he could no longer work to support his wife and 15 year old grandson given his old age. It’s amazing but his handwritten revolutionary war pension claim is even online to see here.
Here is a photo of his grave & cemetery.
He grew up on Cape Cod after his grandfather left Plymouth colony, however, he spent the end of his life in Maine and was buried there. I found these photos online easily.
So I guess there are other people out there like me trying to find their roots. Lucky for me, someone posted all this stuff and I found it with the click of a mouse.
And now DAR will house all of my files too so anyone who is related to me along the same line will be able to join the DAR too. (My cousins, cousins kids, my own kids, etc. only need to prove how they are related to me)
Good stuff. All the info is beyond fascinating to me. And once we got as far back as Hezekiah, we’ve been able to readily trace our family to the earliest settlers at Plymouth along with several great grandparents who departed for America along with the Mayflower, on the Speedwell, but were forced to turn back when the Speedwell was leaking water badly. Honestly, I think I’ve spent about a zillion hours profiling all these colonial settlers who landed in America in the 1620’s and lived in Plymouth Colony that are related to me.
I think we’ll need to be taking a field trip this summer to see the sights of New England with a new perspective!