Sons of the American Revolution member Dave Whaley, wearing a uniform similar to those worn by Patriot soldiers serving in the mid-Atlantic colonies, invited members to attend a grave marking for Revolutionary War Patriot and Pvt. Joseph Lane.
SAR and DAR members will be in period dress at the ceremony scheduled for May 17 at 2 p.m., at the Old Lee Cemetery located off White Oak Valley Road. According to Whaley, there are only 13 Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Bradley County.
Vice regent Laura Boyd introduced guest speaker Anita Green, a genealogist who works at the History Branch of the Cleveland Bradley County Library. Green’s message was, “Don’t give up — keep searching,” when looking for ancestors.
Green stressed the importance of focusing on the women when tracing one’s past, because it was the women who kept the family Bibles and passed along the information and names of family members.
She told her story of tracking down and eventually obtaining her own ancestors’ family Bible from 1842.
Green suggested possibly using several online search engines, since no one search engine includes the name of every ancestor. Since there were often different spellings of the same surname, she advised not ignoring a name just because the spelling is different from the name being searched.
When finding several people with the same name, she suggested making a list of them all and then eliminating those who are not related to the search. She also suggested checking the Indian rolls for names of ancestors.
Since 1903, DAR has been helping children in remote mountain areas to receive an education. Two of those schools are the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School in Alabama and the Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina. Ocoee Chapter schools chairman Mildred Maupin collected money from members to send to those schools to help meet the needs of the children.
Magazine chairman Nancy Guinn reported on Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States. According to an article in the National Society DAR’s publication American Spirit, Blackwell, born in 1821, was inspired to pursue medicine after a dying friend said she “would have suffered less if her physician had been a woman.”
Though Blackwell was discouraged by her male physician friends, she spent two years raising money and applying to medical schools. She was finally accepted by Geneva Medical College in New York after the all-male student body “voted her in as a joke.” But she surprised the faculty and students by graduating first in her class in 1849, becoming the first woman to receive an M.D. from an American medical school.
She and her sister, Dr. Emily Blackwell, along with another woman physician, were able in 1857 to incorporate their practice into the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, which later added a women’s medical college.
Blackwell endured much ridicule in her pioneering pursuits to become the first female physician, but in doing so she paved the way for other women to enter the medical field.
During the business session of the meeting, Gussie Ridgeway read the minutes of the previous meeting. She also encouraged members to visit the Chattanooga Family History Center, which offers access to the extensive resources available through FamilySearch International, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The center is located at 3067 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road in Ooltewah.
After door prizes were given out, Dietrich thanked hostesses Linda Foster, Jo Ann Finnell and Jeannine Scott before adjourning the meeting.