One of my undergraduate professors took great joy in poking fun of the grey-haired old ladies of the DAR. I could almost hear his laughter as I opened the large, white envelope holding my first membership certificate to the Daughters of the American Revolution just this past summer.
I chose to pursue the certificate for two reasons: to honor to my father’s heritage and to learn the process for future client work. It was a difficult and time consuming process, taking nearly two years. The key point was to prove my lineal descent from an ancestor who served in the American Revolution. I chose one whom I thought would be the easiest to document: John Ingalsbe (1730-1802). Ingalsbe was living in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts when he enlisted and served for 3 years on 12 Feb 1777. He served as a private in the Massachusetts Line in Capt. A. Wheeler’s company, in Col. Thomas Nixon’s regiment.
Ingalsbe was related to me through my father’s maternal grandmother. The big task was to provide written proof of birth, marriage and death which connected the generations between Ingalsbe and myself. During the process, I learned that I was missing a great deal of the primary resources that I never bothered to collect when I first began my genealogy work in the 70’s. Finally, I was certain that I had everything in order and I stuffed the envelope with the worksheet, the application and the small pile of photocopied evidence which I had gathered together; off it went to the National Headquarters in Washington, D.C..
Two months later, I received an envelope from the DAR but, not the one that I wanted. I was asked to submit further evidence for two female ancestors in the State of New York…a genealogist’s nightmare! New York is one of the most difficult states to research and when it is for evidence regarding females of the late 1700s to early 1800s, it is a huge challenge. I truly believed that I had the information correct but I had to dig through my files in order to find the sources. Along with online indexes, I found reference to one’s relationship to her father in an abstract of his last will and testament. However, the document that I needed was stored in a vault in Syracuse, New York and I was in Europe. I made a quick telephone call to Syracuse and was able to pass along the index information to a volunteer there, who pulled the books and made the photocopies to send on to me.
Success, after nearly 18 months, I got it! Deb