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Editor’s Notebook: My Granny and the DAR organization

Kane County Chronicle editor Kathy Gresey’s grandmother (pictured above) was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Gresey is in the process of joining the organization.
Kane County Chronicle editor Kathy Gresey’s grandmother (pictured above) was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Gresey is in the process of joining the organization.

Earlier this year, my grandmother passed away.

I’ll always remember Granny for her love of reading, camping and – at the top of the list – family.

Although my Granny displayed her love of family in many obvious ways, one of the less discernible ways that she showed her appreciation was through her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, a nonprofit women’s organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children.

My Granny was knowledgeable about her ancestors, and that was important when it came to joining the DAR, as prospective members need to prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution to join the group.

When I was younger, Granny used to tell me that I could join the DAR. But – at the time – I really didn’t realize what the organization was all about, and my interest wasn’t very high.

In the wake of my Granny’s death, however, my attitude has changed. I now am on a quest to join the DAR.

I took some steps toward that mission earlier this week, which resulted in my attending a DAR workshop at the St. Charles Public Library, which was hosted by the organization’s Elias Kent Kane Chapter.

Before attending the workshop, I had emailed chapter registrar Joan Longmire with some information about my Granny and our family’s American Revolution patriot, William Henry Allgood.

Joan helped get my application started, and – during the workshop – I received some information on how to finish the application from Gayla Steel, regent of the Elias Kent Kane Chapter. Gayla also answered some of my questions about the DAR.

“There are all kinds of women in the DAR, and they come from all walks of life,” she said. “I’m very dedicated to DAR. I love it.”

Like me, there were other ladies at the workshop looking to join the group.

St. Charles resident Jean Evans Joyce wants to become a member of the organization in memory of her great-great grandmother, Emma Zeigler Evans, who tried to join the DAR in 1900 but wasn’t successful, she said.

“I’m doing this in her honor and to make it successful and make it complete,” Jean explained. “I want to thank her. That’s why I’m doing it.”

In addition, Elgin resident Meghan Reitz wants to participate for various reasons.

“I like being involved,” she said. “Also, I’m a huge history buff.”

Meghan said the women hosting the DAR workshop on Wednesday were very helpful. And I would agree.

Those looking to learn more about the Daughters of the American Revolution can visit or I’ll be sure to keep readers posted on my progress with joining the group.

• Kathy Gresey is editor of the Kane County Chronicle and president of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Board. Contact her at or 630-845-5368. Learn more about NINA at

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