As one of the largest and most prominent lineage societies in the United States today, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution is recognized world wide as one of America's most patriotic women's organization firmly based upon ancestry back the American Revolution. Yet it had a rather auspicious, and quite interesting, beginning.
With the exception of the exclusive Society of the Cincinnati, formed in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army, the American Revolution spawned no patriotic society until a group called the Sons of the Revolutionary Sires was organized in California on October 22, 1875. Next came the Sons of the Revolution in New York in 1883.
When the Sons of the American Revolution organized at Frances Tavern in New York City on April 30, 1889, it incorporated a number of early State Societies of Sons, including the California group. Some of the SAR societies permitted women; some did not. At its general meeting in Lexington, Kentucky on April 30, 1890, the Sons of the American Revolution made a fateful decision to exclude women -- and history seized the opportunity. The unwarranted discrimination was trumpeted in the local newspapers, which compelled six women to meet on a stormy night in October 1890 and set in motion plans to organize their own society for the daughters of those Revolutionary War Patriots. As their main objective they decided their organization would be national in scope and committed to patriotic service. As a rule the NSDAR is open to those women over the age of 18 who can prove their lineal bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.
Since that first inspired meeting, the National Society DAR has subsequently grown to include a registry of 9 Reporting Divisions, 51 State Societies and almost 3,000 local chapters. Over 798,000 women have placed their names in the DAR books beneath that of their patriotic ancestors, and the DAR objectives of historic preservation, promotion of education, and patriotic endeavor have continued to this day.
The National Headquarters, which include the DAR Genealogical Library housing over 95,000 books, and the DAR Museum holding over 30,000 artifacts of the colonial and post colonial eras, are located at 1776 D Street, Washington DC, directly across the lawns from the White House.
The history of the DAR is found in the publication "A Century of Service - The story of the DAR" by Ann Arnold Hunter, published 1991 by the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1776 D. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006