DAR Sees Record Growth In New Members In 2013

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Dr. Daryl Black was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Moccasin Bend Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Dr. Black's topic was Chattanooga History Center Today.  From left, Barbara Fickley, 1st vice regent, Dr. Black and Sara Maloney, regent.
Dr. Daryl Black was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Moccasin Bend Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Dr. Black's topic was Chattanooga History Center Today. From left, Barbara Fickley, 1st vice regent, Dr. Black and Sara Maloney, regent.

With the final 2013 membership statistics now collected, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution recorded its most significant gain in new members in the history of the 123 year old organization. A record 13,906 new members were welcomed into the DAR in 2013.  The previous record was set more than 90 years ago in 1921 when 13,805 women were accepted into the organization in that year.

As of Jan. 1, the official DAR membership count for 2014 is 177,049, a net increase of 3,529 members from the official membership count from the beginning of 2013.

“We are extremely proud of this new membership milestone,” stated DAR President General Lynn Young. “The growing membership of the Daughters of the American Revolution represents our organization’s relevance in today’s ever-changing world as we continue to passionately honor our heritage, focus on the future and celebrate America.”

The highest DAR membership totals peaked around the time of the United States Bicentennial in the late 1970s and early 1980s but this was followed by a steady decrease for many years. Starting in 2007, however, the DAR has seen an increase in total membership each year and the past three years have all ranked in the top five for years with the most new members accepted into the DAR. In the past seven years since membership began increasing, the DAR has gained a total of more than 14,000 in net membership. 

Coinciding with our most recent gains in membership, seven years ago the Daughters of the American Revolution rolled out its Genealogical Resource System which is a free resource provided by the DAR to aid general research and to assist with the DAR membership process. The GRS is a collection of databases that provide access to the many materials amassed by the DAR since its founding in 1890. The GRS is the result of a multi-million dollar process launched by the organization to scan DAR genealogical resources and then use DAR member volunteers to go through and index and transcribe all of the old DAR applications, making them searchable online to the public.

Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence is eligible to join the DAR. Each DAR applicant must provide genealogical research that documents her lineage back to an ancestor from the Revolutionary War era. The application and source documentation must provide proof of relation for each generation going back to the Patriot ancestor, as well documentation for the Revolutionary War service of her Patriot. The applications, supplemental applications and source documentation of the more than 920,000 women who have joined the DAR since its founding, provide genealogical information for the public and those women wishing to become DAR members. 

With genealogical resources more readily accessible through the GRS, as well as an increase in other online genealogical sources, many have found the process of collecting important historical documentation to prove lineage has become easier. As a result, the DAR membership application process has also become smoother. DAR Headquarters has also invested in updating workflows and imaging software making the internal application approval process more efficient.

Advancements in the DAR membership management software also allows DAR members to better track prospective members and assist them in the membership application process. Essentially, increased technology has empowered DAR members to be more efficient in recruiting new members. 

At the core, DAR is a grassroots organization with members primarily recruiting women on the local level. In addition to increased technology, the growth of DAR membership can be attributed to DAR chapters making an impact in their local communities, illustrating how DAR is a meaningful and relevant organization that today’s woman should want to join, said officials. Prospective members see that DAR members are making a difference in their communities, contributing to a combined three million hours of community service around the world in 2013 alone. Many women also recognize that joining DAR is a way for them to honor and preserve their family history, because when their DAR application is approved, all of the genealogical family history that is included with it is conserved by the DAR for all future generations.

Close to 35% percent of the DAR membership represents those women who have recently joined in the past seven years of growth and 46 percent of the membership is women who have been DAR members for 25 years or more. That mix of new members and long-time members provides a blend of fresh ideas and initiatives as well as rooted traditions and history, said officials. The Daughters of the American Revolution continues to grow and look to the future while celebrating America.

There are five local chapters: Chickamauga, Nancy Ward, Chief John Ross, Judge David Campbell and Moccasin Bend.

To learn more about the DAR Genealogical Research System, visit www.dar.org/grs

For more information about joining the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit www.dar.org/membership.


Obedience Club of Chattanooga Holds Obedience Rally And Ability Classes

The Obedience Club of Chattanooga, 4 miles south of Chattanooga on Highway 193 in Flintstone, Ga., will hold registration for obedience, rally, and agility classes for puppies and dogs on Sunday, Aug. 30, from 1-3 p.m.  Sign up for any of these classes including "Canine Good Citizen", "Therapy Dog Class", and agility classes for fun and exercise. Bring a copy of shot records ... (click for more)

4th Annual International 1N3 Day Will Be Held On Saturday

1N3 was started on Aug. 1, 2011 in Chattanooga after Kevin Daniel “Sunshine” Yates, was killed by a drunk driver. Officials said, "The current statistic is, 'One in three of us will be impacted by drinking and driving'. To you this may be just a name and a statistic, but this is a reality for many others who have suffered loss due to this 100% preventable crime.  Unfortunately ... (click for more)

Dodd Arrested After 2 Bank Robberies In 3 Days

Chattanooga Police have arrested 32-year-old Christopher Joseph Dodd in connection with two local bank robberies in three days.          The First TN Bank at 4430 Highway 58 was robbed on Monday at approximately 11:30 a.m.          The Cohutta Bank at 5613 Highway 153 was robbed ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Palmer, You’re Toast

America is absolutely furious! By 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon there were 36,000 people who had petitioned the White House to extradite Walter Palmer, who is today the most despised man in all of North America. On the Yelp.com website, that promotes his dentistry business in Eden Prairie, Minn, over 6,000 had posted violent, vulgar and vicious notes and, for the record, 60 of them ... (click for more)