Finding Your Family's Revolutionary War Patriots
to Establish Eligibility for Membership in D.A.R. or S.A.R.
If you have an ancestor who was a patriot of the American Revolution, you may be able to establish eligibility for membership in a national society such as Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) for women and Sons of the American Revolution (S.A.R.) for men. To qualify for membership in D.A.R., you must complete a four-step process:
1. Discover and document your lineage. Prepare a pedigree chart and secure documentation of births, marriages, and familial relationships.
2. Identify your patriot ancestor and show that he or she either fought on behalf of the American cause in the Revolution or provided other qualifying civil or patriotic service.
3. Find a local D.A.R. chapter and fill out a prospective member form. Chapter members can provide information and assistance as you research your patriot ancestor and begin to collect information required for your application.
4. Complete the formal application process.
For more information on the requirements of membership and the application process, visit the website of the Daughters of the American Revolution at www.dar.org or Sons of the American Revolution at www.sar.org.
You can also gain insight on the ins-and-outs of the process in the following presentation that avid family historian Kathleen Davis prepared for her local D.A.R. chapter on one phase of her research efforts.
Getting Past the DAR Index Books |
to Your Ancestor’s Records
By Kathleen M. Davis
This presentation shows the results of my 3 to 4 month period of research designed to document one of my ancestors who served in the American Revolution so that I could establish eligibility for Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) membership. It will give you a step-by-step guide to what you need to do in order to find your D.A.R. Ancestor. When I started my search, I had no idea what I would find or where it would lead me.
|Portrait of Israel Israel
Step 1: Use the DAR Index Lineage Books - Cover page: R929 D231 Index v81-120 "Index of the Rolls of Honor [Ancestor's Index] in the Lineage Book of the N.S.D.A.R."
Step 2: Index list of names - Index list of Surnames & Lineage Book Number. Use these books to look up your ancestor’s surname. You’ll find names, followed by numbers. The numbers refer to the Lineage Books, which have the information you need to use for research.
DAR Index Lineage Book Page #205
Israel Israel 106 - 110 - 114 135 - 48 - 263
Select the Lineage Book – in this case, Lineage Book # 106. Find your ancestor in the index to locate the page number of the Application information. Using the index, I found an application based upon descent from Israel Israel on page 49 of Lineage Book 106. It gave me the application number (109163).
Step 3: Go to the relevant application, in this case DAR #109163 Israel Israel - Lineage Book Book #106, Page #49 information for Application of Mrs. Bertha Ellet Robison
MRS. BERTHA ELLET ROBISON #109163
Born in El Dorado, Kansas
Wife of James C. Robison.
Descendant from Israel Israel, as follows:
1. William Henry Ellet [b. 1848] m. 1872 Amy Woodruff Padgett [b. 1849].
2. Alfred Washington Ellet [1820-95] m. 1843 Sarah Jane Roberts [1818-1875].
3. Charles Ellet [1777-1847] m. 1801 Mary Israel [1780-1870].
4. Israel Israel m. Hannah Erwin.
Israel Israel [1745-1822] was a member of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety. He was born in Pennsylvania; died in Philadelphia, Pa.
Also No. 50806.
*Note: On this Application you'll note "Also #50806" it may read "See #50806" that's the Application I always go for. Since it was submitted first, it generally would have more information or proof of Ancestor on it, since subsequent applicants may rely on earlier documentation in preparing their personal applications.
Note: DAR #115891 Capt. Joseph Israel - Page #277 information for Application
This application is really on 2 pages, so read through to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Also realize that you may find a reference to a specific surname in a particular Lineage Book, but when you check the book your surname is not listed. You just have to go on with another listing or check the book page by page.
Step 4: Review relevant "collateral" applications. DAR #115891 Capt. Joseph Israel - Page #278
This is Israel Israel's brother. If you don't have a lot of family information, you may want this application also. Different members of the same family may provide different proof of eligibility for membership in D.A.R., depending on what documentation they’ve discovered and the information they’ve found to substantial oral family history.
Step 5: DAR Application Request letterWhen you write D.A.R., give them all the information you have. I send them all the application information in the Lineage book [above - #3], Your address - phone & email.
Always add language expressing your appreciation- "Thank you for your time & help."
Step 6: DAR #109163 - #50806 - Copy of Application
This is where you want to think out of the box, look for every clue, & the references given.
Everything from this point on is from clues. Every time I received a new record or story, I received a new clue to my ancestor’s life.
Some of the places and sources I checked for information included:
Philadelphia Masonic Temple-Grand Lodge
Colonial Williamsburg Rockefeller Library
Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania
The State University of New Jersey Rutgers [Benjamin Kites papers]
Washington D.C. Daughters of the American Revolution
People with the same surnames, in areas where your particular ancestor lived
E-Bay for books, post cards, family histories
Clues Uncovered from the SearchTHE PICTORIAL FIELD - BOOK of THE REVOLUTION . . .
1] Revolutionary War story about Israel & Hannah Israel
2] Physical Description of Israel Israel :
- "Betrayed by his Tory neighbors, he and his wife?s brother were made prisoners, and taken on board the Roebuck frigate, lying in the Delaware, in sight of his house, for trial."
- "It was reported that he had declared that he would sooner drive his cattle as a present to General Washington, than to receive thousands of dollars in British gold for them."
- "The records of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania bear testimony that Mr. Israel [who was many years Grand Master] was saved from an ignominious death by the use of Masonic signs."
2] Portrait of Israel Israel as Grand Master
- "He was a young man tall figure & powerful frame, giving evidence of muscular strength."
- FROM Philadelphia Mason Temple-Grand Lodge . . .
1] Historical biography about Israel Israel
- "Born: October 20, 1745 Philadelphia[?] Died: March 17, 1822 Philadelphia"
- "Israel Israel was the eldest of four children of Michael Israel [c. 1720- 1754] and Mary J. Paxton [1724- 1777]. Michael Israel came to Philadelphia, probably from Germany, about 1745 and was naturalized in 1752."
- "He was an innkeeper in the Society Hill district and owned "The Sign of the Blue Lion" tavern."
- "merchant and as a young man went off to find his fortune in Barbados, where he remained for about ten years. He returned to Philadelphia around the time of the Revolution"
- "Israel was a shopkeeper in Carter's Alley, below Third Street; then from 1785 to 1801,"
- "he was proprietor of the "Sign of the Cross Keys" tavern at Third and Chestnut Street."
- "1797 Israel was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Pennsylvania State Senate and served one tern [1797 - 1798]."
- "he served three years. In 1816 Israel was justice of the peace for Philadelphia's Fifth District."
- "Israel's political interests led him to become an active member of the Sons of St. Tammany ."
- "along with a fellow Mason, Jonathan B. Smith, he joined the Society of Constitutional Republicans  and became its first vice-president."
- "Israel also played a prominent role during the devastating yellow fever epidemic of 1793."
- "with fellow Mason Stephen Girard, he served on the volunteer citizen's committee, which did much to alleviate suffering of orphans and the poor."
- "In the same year Israel was also a member of a committee formed to provide relief to French exiles from Santo Domingo, to which, incidentally, President Washington contributed $250."
- "Israel showed further charity by serving on the board of trustees of a special citizen's committee to collect funds for the ransom of Philadelphians captured and enslaved by Algerian pirates."
- "he died, Israel lived at 103 Walnut Street."
- "Israel was buried in the graveyard of the Universalist Church in Lombard Street west of Fourth, in which he had been active since 1788. His remains, as well as those of other family members, were removed to Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1860."
- "Israel Israel was made a Mason, but he was admitted to Lodge No. 3 Philadelphia, in May 1794. Between December 1795 and December 1800"
- "He was also a member of Royal Arch Chapter No. 3  and served as Grand High Priest while he was Grand Master."
- "Masonic meetings in the Pennsylvania state House ."
3] Information about Meeting Hall, Number of Lodge, & Photo
4] Sources for all their Information
Colonial Williamsburg Rockefeller Library . . .
1] Williamsburg, Virginia . Folk Art Center Collection, Portrait of Israel Israel in his younger years
2] Historical biography about Israel Israel & the Portrait
Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania . . .
1] Historical biography about Israel Israel
2] Information about the Israel families removal to Laurel Hill Cemetery
3] Photo of Israel Israel's headstone
The State University of New Jersey Rutgers . . .
1] Benjamin Kite's papers, information about what my Ancestors lived through with the Yellow Fever in Philadelphia
2] Knowledge of what your Ancestor did;
2] D.A.R. Application & photo of Israel Israel's Great granddaughter Mary V. Ellet Cabell Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell: President Presiding of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Great Granddaughter of Israel Israel; & started D.A.R. with 5 other ladies [they even had meeting in the front room of her home]
- "The Governor appointed the following persons: Robert Wheaton [Whe?ton], George Krebs, John James, Israel Israel, Thomas Savery [Save?y]; And Edward Garrison, B Kite }from the City; Samuel Wheeler, John Wagner, George Inglis, -- from the Northern Liberties.; Samuel Church, Williams Sinnard [Sinn??d], Robert McMullen from Southwark."
- 3] See your Ancestor's name & life printed in History
Washington D.C. Daughters of the American Revolution . . .
1] D.A.R. Applications
- Descendant's list
- Ancestor's services
- Some times Ancestor's birth & death information
- Ancestor's wife & marriage date
PORTRAITS OF JEWS by Hannah R. London
1] Historical biography about Israel Israel
2] Short Historical biography about Mary Israel Ellet family
- "In 1800 Mr. Israel became High - Sheriff of Philadelphia,"
- "Mr. Israel gave a handsome clock to his wife in 1775 which Mary, the daughter, inherited, and which was later presented by her to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania."
2] Book: The Women of the Revolution by Mrs. Ellet Vol. I;
- "His daughter, Mary Virginia Ellet, who is now Mrs. Cabell, was for a great many years President Presiding of the Daughters of the American Revolution."
Historical Society of Pennsylvania & Atwater Kent Museum, Philadelphia
"Mr. Israel gave a handsome clock to his wife in 1775 which Mary, the daughter, inherited, and which was later presented by her to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania."
1] Photo of Handsome clock & history about it's maker's:
Calling People with the same surnames, in areas last know . . .
1] Using D.A.R. Application lineage find cousin's
E-Bay for books . . .
1] Book: PORTRAITS OF JEWS by Hannah R. London;
- Portrait of Israel Israel older years holding Certificate of appreciation for his help during the Yellow Fever in Philadelphia; "Mr. Israel gave a handsome clock to his wife in 1775 which Mary, the daughter, inherited, and which was later presented by her to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania."
3] Book: Reprint of the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania;
- Historical biography about Israel & Hannah Israel
4] Book: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller FOLK ART COLLECTION by Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
- Minutes with his name listed; His rank; Arrangements in Honour of the Memory of their late Illustrious Brother General George Washington deceas'd; Arrangements in Honour of the Memory of their Bror. Israel Israel, Esqr. R. Worshipful Past Grand Master
5] Postcards & Prints: George Washington; Brandywine, George Washington headquarters; Philadelphia Mason Temple-Grand Lodge
- Historical biography about Israel Israel & his Portrait in younger years
|Used by permission of the author.
© 2007 Kathleen Davis. All rights reserved.
Kathleen Davis is an avid genealogist, wife, mother, and grandmother. If you have questions on how to proceed with your search for a Revolutionary War soldier or sailor, she can be contacted at Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org. .