Season 2 Episode 1 – Lineage Societies

On today’s episode of The Heritage Hunters:

We will be speaking with our guests today about lineage societies, and how they have helped with their genealogical research.

About Lineage Societies

A lineage society is an organization that recognizes the descent from a single ancestor or couple. There are hundreds of these societies in the United States, each representing a different group of historical individuals. The most well-known of all lineage societies is the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR offers accurate, well-documented lineage documents to applicant and can be an invaluable source for a genealogist. Lineage societies are not limited to the United States. The largest European organization is the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne. There are also nationality or ethnic societies, such as the Polish Genealogical Society of America.

Nearly every lineage society will ask you to prove the birth, death and marriage dates of every generation, starting with you and going back to the qualifying ancestor. Once you have traced back far enough to join a lineage society, you will likely meet someone who is a distant relation to you.

Some benefits of joining a lineage society are:

  • Member only resources, such as free access to paid websites, libraries, and records.
  • Networking with others who can improve your research project.
  • Direct contact with others who share your interests.
  • Many publish journals and publications to aid in your research.
  • Many work on civic projects dealing with historic preservation, or assisting veterans.
  • Many offer scholarships.

Our guests today are:

  • Josh Sands, who joined the Welcome Society
  • Tom Kaechelin, who attempted to join the Sons of the American Revolution
  • Amanda Zambrano, who joined the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • And me, Barbara Jean May, who joined the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Josh Sands

Josh Sands, of Harleysville, PA, joined The Welcome Society through his qualifying ancestor, Steven Sands, who was born 1658 in Lancashire, England. Steven arrived in the U.S. on “The Lamb” in 1682. Steven was a member of the Middletown Meeting in Bucks County, PA.

The Welcome Society of PA was originally limited to the descendants of those who were passengers on the Welcome. Today, membership includes descendants of those who travelled with other Quakers to America during 1682. For more information on The Welcome Society, please visit

Tom Kaechelin

Tom Kaechelin, of Levittown, PA, tried to join National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) through his ancestor, John Closson. John was born in 1737 and died in 1815 in Pennsylvania. Tom had issues proving his descent from John Closson, due to a missing marriage certificate. Let’s listen to his application experience.

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is the largest male genealogical society in the United States. Any male 18 years or older who can prove lineage from a Patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. The SAR is dedicated to promoting patriotism and preserving American history. For more information about The Sons of the American Revolution, please visit

January Events

We have several events coming up that we want to share with you!

On January 12 – A Virtual Tour of the Hidden Archives at Bolger Heritage Center at the Ridgewood Public Library is taking place from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM. This event is free, but registration is required. In this rare opportunity, you will get a glimpse of what the Bolger Heritage Center has to offer. Learn how to research your home, find information on your ancestors, and gain insight into the history of Ridgewood, NJ. In addition, you’ll get a chance to view their newly restored Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps! For additional information, please visit the events page of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County at

On January 15 – Laurel Hill Cemetery is hosting the Hot Spots and Storied Plots General History Tour from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. Tickets are $12. In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long and colorful history, which includes many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories that afford the cemetery its WOW factor. Hot Spots and Storied Plots is the perfect introduction for anyone who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history. Laurel Hill’s experienced cemetery guides offer visitors their own unique perspective. This tour departs from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. For additional information, please visit

On January 19 – The Genealogical Society of New Jersey presents “From Deeds to Dirt: Case Studies in Analyzing Research with Maps” by Cari Taplin. Our ancestors existed in a time and a place. Maps are one way to give the names and dates in our genealogical research more life, context, and excitement. Where did they live? What would they have seen? How did they get around? Cari Taplin will examine various ways researchers can use maps to trace their ancestors and their research. Some of the topics she will cover are:

  • A look at different types of maps
  • Tech tricks for using maps such as Google Maps’ “My Places”
  • Using maps to determine possible migration routes
  • Using collected research to recreate neighborhoods
  • Using maps as an alternative (or additional) research log
  • Online map collections
  • Mini-case studies to illustrate using maps for analysis

For additional information and registration, please visit

Amanda Zambrano

Amanda Zambrano, of New York State, joined the Daughters of the American Revolution through her ancestor, Jacob Snyder. Jacob lived from ca. 1727-1794.

Like the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution is dedicated to promoting patriotism and preserving American history. Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. For more information about the Daughters of the American Revolution, please visit

The Society of the Cincinnati

The oldest lineage society in the United States is the Society of the Cincinnati, which was founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army who served in the American Revolution. The Society promotes public interest in the American Revolution through its library and museum collections, publications and other activities. It is a Patriotic Hereditary Society who’s present day members must be descended from an original member, an officer who died in the service, or an officer who qualified for membership but never joined. Original members include: George Washington, King Louis 16 of France, the Comte de Rochambau, Commodore John Barry, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, Taddeus Koscuzko, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Baron von Steuben, to name a few. The only U.S. President to be a hereditary member was Franklin D. Pierce. For additional information, please visit

Barbara May

I was eligible to join the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War through my ancestor, George Rentschler. George was born in 1838 in Legelshurst, Germany, and died in 1885 in Philadelphia, PA. George joined the 17th Regiment of the Missouri Volunteers, Company B, on September 12, 1861, known as the “Western Turner Rifles.” George was part of the Philadelphia Turners, a German athletic group. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, the club formed a battalion from its shooting section to fight in the Union Army. In total over 120 members served in the army during the war. When Missouri petitioned for volunteers, the Philadelphia Turners stepped up and sent men from their group.

In April of 1862, George suffered what the Army called a “nervous fever” and subsequently developed dropsy. He suffered from severe abdominal pains in an Army Hospital near Helena, Arkansas for two months before he was honorably discharged on July 29, 1862.

I had thought my application may not be accepted, because among the papers in George’s service file was a notice that they believed he had deserted. In reality, he had been left behind in Helena, Arkansas, when his Regiment moved on. Only when his wife, Catherine, had applied for his pension after his death was this corrected in Washington, D.C.

The DUVCW was formed to unite all female descendants of Union Veterans to “to perpetuate the memories of our ancestral fathers who served in the Civil War; to honor their loyalty and their unselfish sacrifices to preserve the Union; and to keep alive the history of those who participated in that heroic struggle for the maintenance of our free government.”

For additional information on DUVCW, please visit


Thank you for joining us today for another episode of Heritage Hunters. If you would like to be on the show, please visit, or email us at Please be sure to subscribe to our Podcast so that you never miss an episode. Please also leave us a review. By leaving a review, you help us create the best show possible, providing content that you will enjoy.

This has been a C&C Production, recorded and mixed by me, Barbara Jean May. Please join us next month on Heritage Hunters.


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Be sure to check out my podcast, Heritage Hunters, available on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube!

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