Proving your lineage is not necessarily easy, but it is very rewarding. For me, going through the process of researching my roots – where my family came from – was a journey. And I’d like to think that it was the best kind of journey: the kind that doesn’t end when you choose to stop. My journey of research ended, but I can easily step back onto the path – it’s only a matter of finding the time to do so. Plus, I was able to put together a map using Google maps that tracked the migration from the East Coast to the West. I love looking at this map, as it truly reminds me of where I came from.
Learning About My Patriot
My grandmother and mother always said that we were descended from President Zachary Taylor. We are, but not in the way that one would think. Yes, we are related, but not directly. President Zachary Taylor was a cousin to my patriot through a shared ancestor Thomas Taylor (1574-1618). This was noted on a page for my ancestor, Mary Waters (Taylor) Wright – though, God knows I haven’t had time to go back and prove it yet.
Learning About the DAR
I grew up with my family talking about great great Aunt Lyla (I think?) being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), but I didn’t actively think about it until after I had graduated from college and felt unrest within my life. I was disappointed to learn that my direct family wasn’t in the DAR. All this time I had thought that joining would be as easy as presenting them with my birth certificate. Nope. I had to do the work. But the thing is, being who I am, I embraced the challenge. I knew I could prove it, and I wanted to do so.
Who is my Patriot?
My grandmother had this really awful, hand-written document that listed my family tree (sort of). I transcribed it once, but even then it wasn’t the most helpful. What I had was a start (Zachariah Taylor, 1739-1794) and a middle (Eleanor Rebecca Wood Bickley, 1877-1917). As it turned out, there was already a DAR number belonging to Zachariah Taylor, and his son George Taylor, so I only had to prove up to George Taylor. This helped me a bit, but I had probably the hardest time trying to prove the lineage stemming from his daughter, Ann Waters (Taylor) Wright, because as a woman, she wasn’t noted as much. Lucky for me, they were a prominent enough family that filed enough documents to prove it – it just took a lot of digging and searching to find it all.
Why does being in the DAR matter?
The more I learned about the DAR, the more I wanted to be a part of it. These women were helping the community in their own small ways, and I felt like they needed me. I came to understand what “God, Home, and Country” meant to them, and I wanted to love the United States as much as they did. I didn’t want to keep talking about helping the community and not actually doing so.
Since I’ve joined, I have:
- Served as Chapter Secretary
- Created and launched the Nevada Sagebrush Chapter website
- Researched the destruction of Hillside Cemetery and notified members through our blog
- Gained Chapter attention to the Hillside Cemetery Foundation and helped to start the Northern Nevada Chapters Project
- Assisted with Genealogical Research
- Supported Committees and their purposes for volunteering
- Provided Support to Members and Non-Members in Chapter Meetings
- Supported Chapter Board Members and their needs
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit organization with members who serve their communities to the best of their abilities. We all bring something to our Chapters that makes them stronger than if we weren’t a member.