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My Extreme Ancestry with Karen Batchelor

Karen Batchelor will share the many unexpected twists and turns on her 40-year family history journey and how what she has learned from the past has changed her life.

Karen started doing genealogy because of a New Year’s resolution in 1976 - before the Internet and computers. By 1977, she became the first known Black woman to be admitted for membership in Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Since then, Karen has discovered ancestors who were slaves and slaveowners, patriots and Puritans and even a colonial witch or two. Her family history in America goes back to the year 1630. Listen to the full episode here.

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Episode 187 – Michigan Woman Seeks To Join TEN Lineage Societies This Year / DNA Trends You’ll Want To Know About

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David opens “Family Histoire News” with a story that Oregon is looking at reversing an 1845 law that outlaws dueling!  See More


For Daughters of the American Revolution, a New Chapter

The first black woman in modern times joined in 1977: Karen Batchelor, from Detroit, whose membership was considered such big news that she was featured on “Good Morning America.” (Before her, a woman of American Indian and black descent joined in the 1890s.)... Read More

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Final Jeopardy Question



The DAR's Changing Image

Waiting in line to register at her first Continental Congress, she crew stares from some in the throng - "They do when you're different," she says. Others came right up and introduced themselves in a gesture of cordiality.

"I would think," says Karen Batchelor Farmer, 26, of Detroit, the first known black member of the 87-year history of the National Society of Daughters of American Revolution, "that they are trying to make me feel at home." ... Read More


The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

On April 12, I joined John Rusack, Frank Mucich, and Frank’s daughter Mary Honsinger at the American Legion Hall in Athens. Our purpose was to present a talk on General George H. Decker for the On-Ti-Ora Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Decker was born and raised in Catskill. In 1960 he was named Chief of Staff of the United States Army by President John F. Kennedy. I wrote about General Decker’s career in a column last year. Being with the women of the DAR got me thinking a bit about the organization... Read More



“She left me a legacy.”

I’ve always felt connected to my grandmother Hazel, though she died before I was born. So her locket is very special to me. She was a strong woman. Her father was black and her mother was white, and they were ostracized by some family members. Hazel was the first woman in our family to graduate from college, in 1917... Read More - Page 101

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Project Gutemberg
Self-Publishing Press

First African-American Member of DAR

The organization Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a lineage-based membership service organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in United States' independence.[1] A non-profit group, they work to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. The DAR has chapters in all 50 U.S. states as well as in the District of Columbia... Read More

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Episode 121 – A Visit With Karen Batchelor, The First African-American Woman to Join the DAR!

Listen to the interview or read the transcription... Find Out More