My paternal grandmother loved to tell stories about our ancestors. She loved history and she loved genealogy. She did not live long enough to know what the Internet is or the amount of resources now available over said Internet to conduct family research. She didn't know what the genealogical proof standard was or what methodology meant or own one book on genealogy. She just loved to tell the stories that had been past down to her and tell the stories she had lived through. Like my maternal grandparents, I only saw my paternal grandparents a couple times a year as they too lived out of town in the opposite direction of my maternal grandparents. A two hour drive north to see my paternal grandparents, a two hour drive south to see my maternal grandparents. Oh how I wish I had been blessed to live closer to my grandparents and to have all of them have lived long enough to really know who I am now.
One particular line was my grandmother's favorite line to talk about. This line is the only line she had a detailed family tree on. The Graves family. My grandmother's mother was Charlotte Beatrice Graves. She was born 12 Jul 1894 in New York and died 12 Sept 1982, when I was 4 years old. The only great grandparent of mine to hold me or was even alive when I was born. One of my greatest genealogical treasures is her journal that she wrote in when she rode the train out to California two separate times from New York and back. She writes about coming into Roseville, CA and how beautiful the land around the train was. Unfortunately, that land now has houses and buildings all over it, but one day I hope to take that same trip, carrying her journal with me and writing my own.
My grandmother had specific pride in the Graves family because they helped to establish America, specifically a few towns in New England. Several members of the Graves family fought during the Revolutionary War. I believe my grandmother had more interest in this line of ancestors more than her others for probably the same reason I do. They didn't just live during important points in American history, their lives are rooted deep in that history. The history of the American Revolution comes alive for me because my great great great great great grandfather served as a private during the war. I have always been fascinated with American history. My favorite holiday is Fourth of July. I am so proud of what the individuals living back in the 1700s went through to guarantee my freedom today. Finding out that I had ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War was an amazing feeling growing up. Knowing that a direct line ancestor fought for my freedom still brings me shivers.
My grandmother talked about a genealogy society named the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She told me when I was very young that one day I could become a member of the DAR, because I was in fact a daughter of the American Revolution. Since she told me this fact, my goal has been to become a member of the DAR. I began to work on completing this goal last Thursday. I submitted a DAR Patriot Lookup to see if my g. g. g. g. g. grandfather Martin Graves had already been established as serving in the American Revolution. On Sunday, I received a reply to my request that Martin Graves is in fact, already established as serving. He served as a private. Again shivers. This morning, I faxed the request to order a copy of the original application on Martin Graves and emailed the National Chairman of Member at Large for more information on becoming a member. I won't be able to go to meetings and events locally, but would love to be active as a Member at Large.
I like to think that my grandmother is currently watching over me, beaming with pride knowing that her youngest granddaughter is taking the steps necessary to become a member of an organization she started telling me about probably when I was a baby and didn't understand what she was saying. I will blog about my experiences with applying for membership with the DAR as I go through the process. Once I receive a copy of the application I will know my next steps. What lineage I need to prove, etc. I am one very excited, passionate, and dedicated future member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.