DNA May Lead to DAR Membership

Updated 1/27/2022 8:35 AM

Membership in National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) is lineal: Applicants must prove they have a direct ancestor who served in the American Revolutionary War. Many who become members have documents in hand - including birth and marriage records - to prove their lineal connection to a "patriot." But there another potential path to membership, and that is through one's DNA.

In January 2022, Signal Hill Chapter, NSDAR, hosted a program for its members via Zoom, called, "Finding Mary Jane: A Family Mystery Solved Using Genetic Genealogy," by Katie Merrion. Katie is a member of the Isle a la Cache Chapter, NSDAR, Romeoville, IL.


Katie focused her presentation on how she used DNA and reverse genealogy to identify her mother's birth parents. Her mother Mary Jane was adopted three days after birth. Little information existed concerning her birth parents, and Katie was determined to find out more. By researching family ties on Ancestry, contacting distant cousins, and pursuing some information found in her mother's adoption papers, Katie discovered that a patriot on her mother's maternal side, Ezra Tryon, was a Revolutionary War veteran.

At the time of her application to NSDAR a few years ago, Katie became one of only a handful of applicants who have proven their lineage using DNA evidence to join the National Society Daughters of American Revolution. DNA evidence is limited to the first three generations, that of the applicant, parents and grandparents.

The Signal Hill Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) was founded in Barrington, IL in 1972. NSDAR is a volunteer women's service organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Since its founding in 1890, over one million women have joined both nationally and around the world. The local Barrington Chapter raises funds throughout the year and distributes them to 501 (c) (3) organizations whose missions support that of NSDAR: Historic preservation, education, patriotism, conservation, and Native Americans.

Membership in NSDAR is open to any woman aged 18 and over who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. For more information: https://signalhilldar.com.

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