The reason I tried to help is because I felt equipped to do so. I also sympathize with anyone trying to prove anything that is not already among DAR's so-called "proven" lines, many of which were never proven at all.
In the early days of DAR, you didn't have to offer proof of anything, just write down your lineage and you were in. Now they require better proof, HOWEVER, those old unproven lines are still in their database for them to make money selling "record copies" of those laughable applications at $10 each. They ought to throw out those old unproven lineages and make any new applicants start from scratch with actual documentation. Many of those old lineages cannot be proven because they were myth in the first place (thus there will never be new applicants on them, only further confusion)!
As an independent researcher in Washington DC, I have seen the "proofs" that were used on many applications, including "history of" books sold by various historical societies as fund raisers where historical societies in various places asked people from certain families to write a piece about their family so they could print it--a lot of it is hogwash.
One DAR applicant from 1928 faked a Bible record and a letter from an alleged elderly relative that named family relationships. She successfully "proved" that she was descended from Major General Samuel Elbert's oldest child--"Celia Rae Elbert". My client gathered every piece of original documentation that she could and could not find Celia Rae Elbert anywhere. She disproved every piece of "evidence" in those two "proofs" with actual documents. We successfully proved, in a 9-page proof paper to DAR using 26 different original proof documents, that Celia Rae Elbert never existed. Sixty people had gotten in to DAR as alleged descendants of a fictitious woman under patriots Samuel Elbert and Allen Gay (Celia Rae was allegedly the first wife of another soldier, Allen Gay).
How could 60 people get in on a person who never existed? Because the woman who originally faked it wrote a piece about her alleged family and managed to get it published in many different "history of" books and family genealogy books. It was copied and recopied and regurgitated until it was everywhere, including many of the books on the shelves in the DAR library. DAR accepted new members without question. The applications including this fictitious ancestor listed 25 different "sources"...all of them tracing back to that original liar in 1928. I looked at every one of those applications at DAR and followed up on every "proof" listed on them to finally figure out who had started the myth. It took 80 years to bring that one down.
DAR accepted our proof paper (in 2008), which my client and I had asked to be put into the library, along with all of the original proof documents associated with it. I delivered it personally in a portfolio folder. Know what DAR did? They took over 3 months before they finally congratulated us and then hid our proof paper so that no one would know about their mistake. If you go to their database and look at Major General Samuel Elbert, (or Private Allen Gay, who the general's fictitious daughter supposedly married), the lines are now flagged, saying that there is a problem and you need original proofs. There is a note that says: "see data file". A couple years after we submitted that proof, I inquired at the DAR library, innocently asking to see the "data file" and was told that it was for "staff use only". I didn't tell them that I had co-authored the paper in their "data file" that they didn't want me to see!
My client spent many years and thousands of dollars to amass the proofs she needed to join DAR on that line. Proving her own ancestor wasn't enough because it contradicted the garbage that had already been accepted by DAR. DAR is too prideful to made it easy for new members to join because it is too painful for them to admit their mistakes openly. My client had hoped to make it easier for others to join by making her proofs available in the DAR library, but that didn't happen.
Thankfully, my client, before she passed away, posted our proof paper and the relevant proof documents on her public tree at rootsweb, where anyone can access it for free.
I would be delighted to help Mr. Bates write up a proof paper for his ancestor, but he will need to gather copies of every proof document that he can find, including probate records, land records, court records, etc... He may need to gather them for Duval, as well. It sounds like he has a good start, and I hope he will go for it. I think he can be successful if the proof can be written up using all objective proof documents and no angry rhetoric.
That is my advice to anyone wanting to join DAR or SAR--gather everything you can about your lineage, but use original documents and skip the printed genealogies and prideful pieces written up in "history of" books. Honoring the memory of our Revolutionary soldiers is what DAR is supposed to be doing. Make them do it.
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