DAR Genealogist to Lead Workshop on the
Role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War
WASHINGTON, DC Hollis Gentry, a genealogist at the National Headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), will be a featured speaker at the symposium and genealogical workshop, The Role of the African American in the American Revolution, on Saturday, October 1, 2005 in Somerset, New Jersey.
The daylong program is sponsored by the Raritan Millstone Heritage Alliance, Inc. and the DAR Jersey Blue Chapter of New Brunswick, N.J and will be held at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. Beginning at 10 a.m. guest speakers Giles Wright, director of African American History Programs for the New Jersey Historical Commission; Fred Minus, a Trenton Barracks docent; and Arthur Lefkowitz, American Revolution author and lecturer, will give talks on the role of African Americans during the Revolutionary War.
The genealogical workshop portion of the program will commence at 1:45 p.m. Karen Stroever, co-chair of the program and a member of the Jersey Blue Chapter, says that the genealogy workshop has generated the most interest in the program. She believes the extra attention can be credited to the fact that the workshop will focus on hard genealogy as opposed to the more general and beginner level genealogical courses that are held in the area. Specifically, Gentry will discuss strategies for tracing ones lineage prior to 1850 and focus on identifying ancestors who had sparse legal documentation attributed to them (for example African Americans, American Indians and women). She will also explain the steps one must take to establish an ancestor as a patriot (someone who aided in the American Revolution, either with military service or as a civilian) using the DAR model for documenting ones ancestry and Revolutionary War service.
Stroever explained that they selected a DAR headquarters genealogist to lead the workshop in order to show how serious they are about educating their community on the role of African Americans in the Revolution. We wanted to bring in the big guns from D.C., she said referencing DAR headquarters expert genealogy staff, including Gentry who specializes in minority genealogical research.
Gentry hopes that she can encourage participants to pursue research beyond the late 19th century a period that most are told is difficult to surpass. I want them to know that it is possible to trace ones ancestry as far back as the 18th century, Gentry says. And I want them to understand that there were many minorities who participated in the Revolution and their participation is in fact documentable.
For more information on The Role of the African American in the American Revolution symposium and genealogical workshop download the registration form at www.raritanmillstone.org or call (732) 329-9159.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will be holding its own genealogical conference at DAR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. October 15-16, 2005. The Conference on Early American Genealogical Research will be an extensive two-day program on genealogical research spanning the Colonial period through the pre-Civil War era with sessions lead by experts from the DAR and National Archives. For more information, visit www.dar.org/library or call (202) 879-3229.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation's children. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. With more than 168,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world's largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today's DAR, visit www.dar.org.