I know you’ve probably heard about DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) (I’ve joined under my ancestor Samuel Dimmick #A032219) and the Mayflower Society (General Society of Mayflower Descendants) (as far as I can tell, I didn’t have any ancestors on the Mayflower, but I’m still looking).
There are a wide variety of lineage societies, however. You probably qualify for several. Many are state or regional such as the many “First Families of _____ ” (insert a state) or “Descendants of _____” (insert a military action or special group). Regardless of which society, they all have something in common: “A lineage society is an organization created to honor a specific heritage or event. Members of lineage societies must prove their descent of that heritage or event through industry approved genealogical proof standards.”1 We like to honor our ancestors and our heritage in many ways.
I recently mailed in an application to the National Society Descendants of American Farmers (NSDOAF). This is a relatively new society, who is at the time of this writing, still accepting charter lifetime members (through 30 November 2019). The qualifications:
Membership is open to Men and Women 18 years of age or older who are lineal descendants of a “farmer” living within the present boundaries of the United States between July 4, 1776 – December 31, 1900.
I am applying under my great-grandfather, William John Miller. I am named after his wife Carrie Ann (though mine is spelled differently). They helped raise my grandpa after his mother died shortly after his younger brother was born. I never had the chance to meet them but my grandpa always spoke very highly of them. He wanted to be a farmer and when he could afford it, bought 80 acres near his grandparents in Perrysburg Township, Wood County, Ohio.
So many times as a genealogical speaker, I hear people say something along the lines of “my ancestors were just farmers, they didn’t do much.” To that I say “baloney.”2 They worked to feed their community and their nation. They deserve as much recognition as anyone and I hope if you have farmers in your family tree (most of us do), that you consider honoring their unsung service to America by joining NSDOAF. The qualifications are pretty easy!
If you want an interactive group while you are preparing your application, they have a Facebook group where you can ask questions, get the forms, and generally be supported. (I received word via the group that my application was received and approved!)
(Now to finish my Daughters of 1812 application…)
1. From “Quick List of Lineage Societies” on Lineage Society of America (viewed 10 July 2019).↩
2. Or is that “bologna”?↩