State DAR leaders to address free genealogy workshop Saturday

August 14, 2013 10:43:49 AM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


A free workshop Aug. 17 at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library will focus on resources available to those who want to explore the branches of their family trees. 


From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the event sponsored by the Bernard Romans Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Columbus, the Hic-A-Sha-Ba-Ha Chapter DAR of Starkville, the Horseshoe Robertson Chapter DAR of West Point and the Local History Department of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library will take place in the second floor meeting room of the library located at 314 Seventh St. N. 


Featured speakers will be Mississippi DAR Regent Billie Breedlove of Batesville, who will about proven sites for research; Mississippi DAR Registrar Sheila Fondren of Bellefontaine, who will talk about land patent research; and Sharon Keys of the Bernard Romans chapter, who will have an update on the 1940 census. In keeping with census guidelines, the 1940 records were only released by the U.S. National Archives in 2012. They have been brought online through a partnership with, where they are a valuable resource for the public. 


"We've had a lot of interest from people in wanting to come to this to hear what these accomplished speakers have to say," said Alice Lancaster, regent of the Bernard Romans chapter.  


The award-winning Breedlove has served on several National DAR genealogy committees and will offer suggestions to those who are just beginning genealogical research, as well as tips for those who have already "proven their Patriots" for DAR purposes and are working on supplemental family lines. 


Computers will be set up after the workshop with the DAR website,, for access to the DAR Genealogical Research System, a free resource provided by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR Library in Washington, D.C., contains primary resources for many genealogy groups. 


Fondren's discussion of land patent research will illuminate "the most overlooked records for genealogy research."  


"Counties change names but the land stays there. Families are buried on the same land, and their cemeteries are still there, with an excellent source for our research," Fondren stressed. 


"I absolutely love genealogy," said Pam Bullock of the Bernard Romans DAR chapter Monday at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Local History Room. "It's like putting together pieces of a big puzzle." 


Bernard Romans' past regent Kay Box added, "We have some wonderful and knowledgeable speakers coming for this workshop; it will be really helpful to anyone wishing to learn more about their history." Both DAR members encouraged families to "write it down" -- to talk to parents and grandparents who are walking books of information, and to clearly label all photographs with not only names, but the family connections of those in the picture. 


For more information about the workshop, contact Lancaster at (662) 327-4026.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.