Back in August 2013, I wrote an article about Lowder Callaway, my 5th great grandfather who fought in the Revolutionary War. To me, this was just a very satisfying family history puzzle to be solved. To my niece, Rebecca, this as an opportunity to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Another interesting challenge…
The DAR Application
I pulled together the details she needed and the DAR application was submitted in October 2014.
That’s when I found out that the evidence I personally needed to draw a conclusion and the information needed by the DAR weretwo entirely different things. I know, for example, who my grandmother was. Not so fast, they say! Prove it to me! This, and a dozen other little things, sent me scurrying through my files and shoeboxes to find, scan and email my evidence. I would answer one question only to receive an email about some other little detail that needed some proof.
To be fair, the DAR didn’t question all seven generations involved. DAR researchers probably have better access to Revolutionary War records than I do and are more than willing to do their own research in the census and vital records that are publicly available, but they were very picky about what happened in the most recent three generations.
A New Patriot
In April of this year, the application was approved and I received a genealogical feather in my cap. My niece was thrilled to be admitted to the DAR. The local branch of the DAR was pleased because Lowder was a previously ‘unclaimed’ patriot, which is a pretty big deal within the organization. In addition, this acceptance prepares the way for my other female relatives (and a countless number of Callaway cousins) to apply for DAR membership as well and even makes it possible for me to join the Sons of the American Revolution!
I enjoyed this experience and it helped me improve my research process as it relates to how I collect, document and present genealogical evidence. The biggest thrill, though, was pulling Lowder Callaway out of the musty records of the revolutionary war and having him recognized as an American patriot in the present time. I’m pretty sure that Lowder would be befuddled by all this. After all, he only appeared in the records because he was trying to navigate the bureaucracy of the early 1800s to receive a pension that would allow him to make ends meet in his golden years.