Madness Monday: Making Sense of the DAR Application

First of all, I have to give MAJOR kudos to the NSDAR Library.  I had heard horror stories about it taking months to get record copies of applications.  I sent in my check and request at the end of August and a week and a half later, the copy was in my mailbox.  I was surprised to say the least and very impressed at how quickly they had processed and shipped my order.  I was, however, less thrilled with the actual application...

Since I knew the national number of the woman who had submitted the application, I knew that it had been approved in the mid-1980s which made me hopeful that it would be up to snuff by today's standards and I could just piggy-back off of it for the shared generations. 

The application was indeed submitted and approved around the time I had guessed, 1986.  Unfortunately it was also incredibly vague.  Check marks litter the application.  Check marks after every name and date, residence and service but the list of references is, um... a little light:

[image removed, contact me if you'd like to know what it says]

I'm not sure that all those sources hold up by today's standards either.  I know the DAR Patriot Index, DAR Lineage Books and probably the compiled genealogies don't cut it nowadays.  Some of the sources do look intriguing though, especially the Chancery Court records and New York Historical Society reference.  I should also mention that the only generations the woman who submitted this application and I share are the first two (that of the Patriot and his daughter) so most of the application is pretty useless in terms of my getting into the DAR.   

Perhaps the most worrisome are the references (or lack thereof) for our Patriot ancestor's service:

[image removed, contact me if you'd like to know what it says]
Ugh.  Those check marks and vague bits of information are really helpful, thanks.  And what does "R. W" mean?  I plan on showing it to one of my local chapters registrar's for her opinion but I already have a pretty good idea as to what she'll say, this application doesn't cut it.

Luckily this isn't the only application that was submitted for this Patriot (though it is the most recent) and I can and will be requesting copies of the references cited in the application.


  1. Leah, I think times have changed, esp. due to their use of computers. When I worked there, the computers were just being put in place, and a lot of people had no idea how to use them. Do you think the "R.W." might stand for Revolutionary War? The check marks mean that line was checked. Did you make a copy of your original before mailing it? I know the lineage books don't carry any weight, but I think the Patriot Index is probably more accurate.


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