Sunday, July 4, 2021

A Different way to Celebrate


It's been a somewhat sedate Fourth of July weekend, despite the incessant popping and crackling in the air each evening this past month. Not that last year's horror of ravaging wildfires throughout much of our state has dampened my patriotic urge to celebrate, but let's just say I'm looking for a different way to honor our country's start.

Summertime cookouts and red-white-and-blue inspired desserts aside, what about honoring the Patriots in our own family lines? Those who are already members of the Daughters of the American Revolution have already accomplished the task of identifying their specific ancestor, but do your family members know anything about this person?

Those who are not D.A.R. members might not even be aware of the resources the national organization provides online for everyone through their "Ancestor Search." All it takes to use that search engine is a surname, and you can check to see whether anyone in your family might have served as a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.

I am always amazed at how people whose families turn out to have deep American roots do not realize their own family's history. My mother-in-law was one example, who assured me in an initial research interview that her own grandparents were the likely ones to have "just stepped off the boat" from the old country. How wrong she was. I've found at least two Patriot names for my sisters-in-law to use for their own D.A.R. applications, if they should so choose.

However, for those who do know about their Patriot ancestors, why not share some interesting detail about that ancestor? A while back, I was attending a D.A.R. scholarship function when the principal of a local school asked some members to say something about their own Patriot ancestor. What a fascinating collection of vignettes came out of that impromptu exercise! There's no reason why we can't offer up such cameo comments on our own social media for this Fourth of July weekend. While it won't be quite so noisy as fireworks—or as dangerous, for those of us in drought conditions—perhaps this could be a spark to turn attention back to the roots of this patriotic holiday.


Above: 1819 painting by artist John Lewis Krimmel, "Independence Day Celebration in Centre Square Philadelphia." Image courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.


  1. I am raising my hand to join your mother-in-law. I had no idea how far back my mother's ancestors went. I never dreamed they would go back to the revolution, much less 100 years prior. It has been eye opening!

    1. Miss Merry, I always enjoy hearing about the discoveries people make when they delve into the stories of their roots. That is fantastic about your mother's colonial line!


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