Many researchers are interested in learning about specific lineages and Revolutionary War patriots who have been previously proven for the DAR. Whether you are looking for the record of a relative who was a DAR member; you are a prospective DAR member looking for documentation to support your own application; or you are trying to expand your own family tree, this part of the DAR Library collection can be an excellent resource to begin your research.
The DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) combines a number of databases of DAR membership information into a single search interface. While the public version of the GRS is free and accessible from anywhere, researchers who use this collection from inside the DAR Library have access to additional search features, collections, and images that are not freely available outside the DAR Library.
The Member Database of the GRS includes a basic record for every woman who has been a member of the DAR. These records include her name, the DAR chapter to which she belonged, and a list of the Revolutionary War patriots from whom she proved her descent.
Outside the Library: Search capabilities are extremely limited.
Inside the Library: Users can search by member name, national number, and state of membership.
Revolutionary War Ancestor Records (Ancestor Database)
The Ancestor Database is a searchable index of every Revolutionary War patriot who has been previously proven on a DAR Application or Supplemental Application. Each record includes the currently verified information about the patriot including: his/her dates of birth and death, spouse, location of residence, and a description of the Revolutionary War service claimed for the ancestor.
The Ancestor’s record also includes a list of all of the DAR Applications and Supplementals that have been verified based on lineal descent from the ancestor.
Outside the Library: Users can search by the ancestor’s name, ancestor number, spouse’s name, and birth and death dates and places.
Inside the Library: Users can search by the ancestor’s name, ancestor number, spouse’s name, and birth and death dates and places.
The Descendants Database
The Descendants database is an index of the names found on the lineage page of DAR Applications and Supplementals.
The purpose of the Descendants Database is to help those looking for a DAR Patriot or lineage to determine how much of their lineage has already been proven and to identify the best possible Record Copy to order.
Outside the Library: Users can search by name and location of birth. Recent generations will be restricted from view.
Inside the Library: Users can search by name and location of birth. The complete lineage will be viewable.
Previously verified DAR membership and supplemental applications can be used as genealogical research tools as well as documentation for new applications. As long as there is no reason to believe that the lineage or service is incorrect on an older application paper, it can be used as genealogical documentation for future DAR applications. Keep in mind that some previously verified applications may include little or no information because older forms from the 1890s or early to mid-20th century were verified at a time when certain information was not required to be stated or proven. There was also a period of time where “Short Form Applications” were accepted with only a few listed generations instead of the complete lineage from the applicant to the patriot.
Copies of previously verified DAR membership applications (record copies) can be downloaded online ($10 per Record Copy) or ordered from the Library Copy Services Office using the Request for Record Copy form ($15 per Record Copy). Most DAR applications consist of 4 pages. DAR provides copies of membership applications and supplemental applications (Record Copies) with complete images of the lineage page, the list of source citations and the description of the Revolutionary War service (pages 2, 3, and 4). Rather than the original contact information (page 1), Record Copies include a shortened first page that contains the name of the member, the member’s national number, the date her application was approved for membership and the name of her patriot ancestor. Please note, record copies only consist of the application. Copies of the documentation that was submitted with the application must be ordered separately, either online or through the Library Search Service.
Policies authorizing access to record copies of application papers are set by the Executive Committee of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and are regularly reviewed to ensure currency and security of member information.
Note: Copies of NSDAR Membership Applications or Supplemental Applications (Record Copies) may not be resold, digitized, posted online, or published in any form. Purchase of a record copy of a DAR application paper or supplemental application paper does not transfer any intellectual property rights or ownership to the purchaser. The DAR asserts copyright protection on record copies and prohibits the posting of images of DAR application papers and supplemental application papers online in any form by anyone. By ordering a record copy, either electronically or by mail, the purchaser acknowledges awareness of this policy and agrees not to post images online. Purchased record copy images are for the sole use of the person ordering the copy but may be cited or quoted in publications using appropriate citation methods. See “Citing, Quoting and Reproducing DAR Sources” for more information.
ALL RECORD COPY FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE, AND NO SUBSTITUTIONS WILL BE MADE.
Outside the Library: Users can locate a record copy through the Ancestor Database, the Descendants Database, or by using the member’s national number. Researchers should use the Ancestor Database and Descendants Database to ensure that they order the correct/desired record copy as they will not be able to view the complete record copy image until after purchase.
Inside the Library: Users can locate a record copy through the Ancestor Database, the Descendants Database, or by using the member’s name or national number. Users will be able to view the complete record copy prior to the purchase of said record copy.
The term “documentation” refers to the supporting materials that came with an application or supplemental application. The availability of supporting documentation for a particular application depends on several factors:
- What was submitted with the application?
- What was retained at the time of verification?
- What is currently considered to be “restricted” material?
In the early days of the Society, some applications were accepted with little supporting documentation. In later years, and up to the present time, applications based on the previously verified applications of close family members may have required little or no additional documentation. Only that documentation that was submitted with a particular application or supplemental will be on file with that application or supplemental.
In the years before easy access to photocopy machines, many members requested that their documentation be returned to them. The DAR honored these requests until about 1984. As a result, prior to 1984, a large percentage of applications and supplementals do not have supporting documentation, on file. Some supporting documentation that is readily available in published works or easily accessible online databases (Ie: copies of US Federal Census Records, Revolutionary War Pension files, online Vital Records collections images or indexes, and pages from published works available in the DAR Library) will be cited on the application form, but will not be available for view or purchase as Supporting Documentation.
“Restricted’ documentation includes vital records or other “sensitive” materials that are less than 100 years old. The DAR does not make such documents available for copying or for research under any circumstances. Vital records for a number of states are available online through a variety of websites. For those records that are not online, researchers must contact the appropriate state office to obtain such copies under state laws and the restrictions that will apply. Notes, analyses or corrections documentation created by the staff genealogists are not available for view or purchase as supporting documentation.
Note: The DAR does not guarantee that documentation within these files will meet today’s genealogical standards or that it will be acceptable for current or future DAR applications or supplemental applications.
Outside the Library: Users can purchase the available supporting documentation on file with any specific application or supplemental application. This supporting documentation is available as a single PDF downloadable file for the flat fee of $20 (regardless of the amount of documentation in the file). At the time of purchase, the user will be informed of the number of items in the supporting documentation file, but will not be able to view the documents or determine the specific nature of the documents prior to the purchase.
Inside the Library: Users view all available supporting documentation on file with any specific application or supplemental application or for any specific Revolutionary War patriot. Users may purchase single documents from the supporting documentation file for $0.25 per page.