10 tracing your rootsSons of the American Revolution is a nonprofit organization that is popular across the United States. By focusing on their connection to the birth of this nation, members of the organization work to prolong and promote the history of the United States, explained Bob Ervin, past president of the Le Marquis de Lafayette Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution. They want to remind people where of there lineage.

On July 13, at Headquarters Library, SAR and the Daughters of the American Revolution offer a presentation about genealogy.

Membership requirements for SAR and DAR are specific. As explained by Ervin, it is based on male lineage of origin. “To be a member of the organization, it’s the same for the Daughters of the American Revolution; people must prove lineage to someone who supported the American Revolution” he said. “(Those ancestors could have been) involved in many ways, like soldiers, furnishing supplies or attending certain committees.” 

The organizations meet regularly and are engaged in supporting the local communities. They support programs that develop leadership, such as the Boy Scouts, Junior ROTC and ROTC. They offer scholarships every year and even recognize patriotic actions of local businesses. On Flag Day every year, they also organize a flag retirement ceremony to retire old American flags honorably. 

On July 13 in the Pate Room of Headquarters Library, SAR and DAR offer another type of community outreach.

“We are holding our regular meeting and having a genealogist who will talk about how to start tracing your lineage and will make a presentation about it,” Ervin said. “It is open to the public and a great opportunity to start asking questions. The genealogy library in a room upstairs will also be available, and there are ladies up there who will help people do their research.” 

Ervin’s love of history started early on as a history major in college, though he originally focused on the Civil War until five or six years ago. “I traced my lineage to eight great-great-great-grandfathers in the Civil War, and then I decided to go ahead and trace further,” he said. “I was able to prove lineage to become a member, and since then I’ve proven lineage to 11 other patriots, and I’ve proven 22 patriots for
my grandsons because they have it from their father’s and mother’s sides.” After exploring his own family’s history, Ervin began helping other men prove their relation to patriots.  For many, the idea of this research and sifting through old historical documents can be intimidating. Ervin said that, thanks to the databases available on the internet and the local resources available in person, the research is not so unmanageable.

“Learning how to research genealogy is a process,” he said. “It is kind of like a puzzle. When you first dump out all the pieces, you think, How in the world am I going to figure this all out?! I usually start building the outside and then start working on the middle, and that is kind of like genealogy. Start with what you know. Look at your parents. What are their names and then their parents, and just start putting things together. It can still be intimidating, but there are people at the SAR, the DAR and the libraries that will help.” 

For those interested in exploring their connections to America’s history, the genealogy seminar begins at 6 p.m. at the Headquarters Library. In addition to the presentation from the genealogist, there will be SAR and DAR members available to help answer questions. Ervin emphasized that the library has been incredibly helpful and noted that it offers numerous resources for research.

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