I have even more good news about very exciting events happening last week. I learned that my application for membership in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was accepted!
You might remember my 52 Ancestors "Independence" post about identifying potential patriots and loyalists. That was back in July 2018. Since then I have been steadily working on learning more about requirements for DAR membership, and what challenges might stand in the way of applying. I also started attending meetings of my local DAR chapter, to get a better feel for the organization.
I found the DAR to be very welcoming and supportive of my efforts. Things really moved forward once I made contact with my chapter's Registrar. She was a great resource for the final steps of submitting my application.
I found that my biggest challenges were tracking down more recent vital records, such as copies of death certificates for my grandparents, and proving a connection for one parent-child relationship from the 1800s in a region where records were scarce. That was for Cosmelia Farnsworth Ogilvie and her father, Stephen Martindale Farnsworth, who were mentioned in my previous post.
I admit that I was initially surprised by how little direct evidence existed to connect Cosmelia to her father. There were several reasons for this, including the historical and legal context, the early death of her mother, the distance in age between Cosmelia and her father, that her mother was his third wife, and his departure to another state. In order to back up the claims of compiled family histories, I had to turn to indirect evidence to support their relationship. I found this to be a fun challenge and ended up learning a lot more about my great-great-grandmother through this process.
I am very proud to have successfully proven my relationship to patriots Cephas Kent, Sr., and his son, Cephas Kent, Jr., of Dorset, Vermont. I am even more proud of the fact that by proving the connection between Cosmelia and her father, I have now made it much easier for all of her female descendants, including my daughter, to apply for DAR membership.
Today is a very special day! Two years ago my long-time dream became a reality when I launched Keep Family History Services. It has been an amazing two years, thanks to the wonderful clients and community members who have invited me to join them on some very interesting genealogical journeys. When I started I couldn't have dreamed that soon I would be learning about early Michigan abolitionists, digging through Italian birth records, happening upon a circus performer's census entry, or driving down icy roads to visit a rural cemetery in the middle of Winter.
It is ALSO very special because today I finished a thirteen month long study group called ProGen. If you know me in real life, or were enjoying my regular blog posts (ha!), you may have been wondering where I have been for the past several months - that's where! Each month I had assigned readings and written work that I would share with a small group of other genealogists. We would read and review each other's creations and share resources. All of this took a lot of time and effort. It has been challenging for me to balance along with my client work and ongoing commitments of home and community. Somehow I survived! I came out feeling stronger in my professional skills, and am grateful for all I learned from my peers.
Completing ProGen has prepared and inspired me to continue working toward certifying with the Board for Certification of Genealogists. That is my next major genealogical goal. In the meantime (after a few naps and at least an attempt at getting my house in order), I am looking forward to speaking at a couple of local family history gatherings and commencing new genealogical journeys with clients, both past and future.
2/2/2020 - it's Groundhog Day my friends - many happy returns!