Nancy Smith Kennedy places flowers at the headstone of her late mother and DAR member Nannie Kate Ward Smith during a memorial tribute at Friendship Cemetery. Bernard Romans DAR chapter members, from left, Jane Smith, past regent; the Rev. Sandra DePriest, chaplain; and Kay Box, regent, stand nearby. An insignia marker of DAR membership was placed on the headstones of eight deceased chapter members during the May 30 event. Photo by: Coutesy Photo
June 13, 2009
The Bernard Romans Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution paid tribute to deceased members in memorial ceremonies at Friendship Cemetery May 30.
Family representatives and chapter members participated in placing insignia markers denoting DAR membership on the headstones of Mary Louise Harvey Kaye; Geneva Yarborough Kennedy; Dr. Alice Johnston Stallworth; Martha Smith Broach; Nannie Kate Ward Smith; Josie Howell Slaughter; Josie Slaughter Shumake; and Dorothy Morris Brownlee.
"This is the first time we''ve done this," said Chapter Regent Kay Box. "We thought it was a wonderful opportunity to honor not only our members, but our patriots, too."
Membership in the DAR is open to women over 18 who are "lineally descended from a man or woman who, with unfailing loyalty, aided in the cause of American Independence."
The Rev. Sandra DePriest, chapter chaplain, conducted prayer at each site.
"These markers are links to huge reservoirs of information," she said. "Years down the road, a descendent will come to that gravestone and look at that, and it will open a door to their own genealogy. They can contact DAR and access just a wealth of personal family history."
Insignia markers will be placed on additional headstones by the chapter this fall.
To encourage the study and preservation of family history, four area DAR chapters will host a workshop at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Saturday, June 20, from 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Presented by the Bernard Romans, Shuk-Ho-Ta Tom-A-Ha, Hic-A-Sha-Ba-Ha and Horseshoe Robertson chapters, the free event features speakers Billie Breedlove and Sheila Fondren.
"It''s just so interesting to find out about your family, your past," said Box. "It''s a way to honor your heritage. I always get a thrill out of discovering a new little tidbit of information about one of my ancestors."
New participants are welcome in DAR, Box said. Prospective members must be able to prove lineage back to an ancestor who served the American cause during the American Revolution.
The Bernard Romans chapter was organized in the home of Mrs. John M. Morgan (Wildie Billups) Oct. 20, 1913, with 29 members. It celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2008, with 59 members.
For information about DAR membership, contact Box at 662-327-1270.
For additional information about the genealogy workshop, contact DePriest at 662-574-1972.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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