Like many of you, I enjoy genealogy and am always delighted to establish another patriot or prove a new child of a patriot. However, for the last few years I’ve encountered far more brick walls than successes. If you, too, dabble in genealogy, you know exactly what I mean!
I was at our Headquarters recently for several days and popped into the Library to greet a National Chairman who had come from New England to do research for prospective members. She introduced me to a young woman sitting across from her who was trying to compile her documentation in order to join DAR. As it turns out, the young woman lives about an hour from my home in Texas and we had a delightful visit about chapters in her area and her desire to become a member.
I soon realized that the brick walls I’d encountered were minor compared to her genealogical challenges. Her father was born in Texas, joined the service and was stationed in Germany. He fell in love with a woman who was born in Austria during World War II, which was then under Nazi control, so her birth certificate is in German.
Her father’s mother was born in Mexico to Americans who moved from Indiana to Mexico to open a candy factory, so her grandmother’s birth certificate is in Spanish. Her grandmother ruined her teeth eating the candy her father brought home and went to the dentist in Monterrey. The dentist, whom she eventually married, was born in Iran meaning that his birth certificate was in Persian.
Go back another couple of generations and her great-great-great grandfather was an Irish immigrant who served in the Civil War. He married a woman who was descended from a Patriot, thus providing this prospective member that I met in the Library the lineage to make her eligible for DAR.
Stay with me here – not only did she have to locate documents from Mexico, Ireland, Germany and Iran, she had to have them translated into English! And I thought my brick walls were challenges…
Did I mention that the National Chairman who introduced us happens to be the Lineage Research Chairman, Jolene Mullen? And that the Lineage Research Committee has an outstanding team of volunteers serving on the Minority and Ethnic Research and the Spanish Task Forces? Jolene immediately volunteered to help with the Spanish translations, the last piece of the genealogical puzzle needed to document this prospective member’s lineage.
So the moral of the story is we have an excellent team of volunteers willing to help break down those brick walls and we will soon have an enthusiastic new member, thanks to our outstanding volunteers.