Learning one’s lineage at local library

Published 5:36 pm Friday, March 16, 2018

By Lorenzo Salinas



Finding out about one’s history is important, and, as it turns out, uncovering that history is just a library’s visit away.

The Effie & Wilton Hebert Public Library is hosting a “DAR Genealogy Workshop” where interested folks may go and find out certain techniques and research methods needed to trace their lineage.

“We hope to show the people how we went about tracing our ancestry,” Mary Darbonne said.

Darbonne is the current regent for the Captain William Sanders Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), which is sponsoring the workshop.

“My motto is: ‘You can’t go forward until you know where you’ve been,’” Darbonne said. “Everything that’s done is a piece of history. History isn’t good or bad; it’s just who you are.”

The members of DAR would know a thing or two about tracing one’s history because it’s practically a prerequisite for joining their membership.

“In order to get into the Daughters of the American Revolution, we have to prove a lineage to a patriot who served in the American Revolution,” Darbonne said. “Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. It has to be a blood relation.”

As a result, members have utilized different methods to prove that lineage — something that would be reflected in Saturday’s workshop.

“We use various means at our disposal — sometimes it’s family members; sometimes there are things in writing we can use,” Darbonne said. “Basically it’s legwork. It could be a lot of research and sometimes it’s very tedious but very rewarding, too.”

Many members who will show up at the library will have skill with computers and in using them to access online genealogy resources. Darbonne mentioned Ancestry.com as one of her go-to sites.

“Other people go to different states and counties and parishes and go to their chambers to do research,” Darbonne said. “Even graveyards have an abundance of information if you know where to look.”

Darbonne pointed out how so many people in the United States have families who were immigrants, including those who served in the American Revolution.

“Some of our members have lineage to officers and generals. Some are just infantry men,” she said.

According to Darbonne, DAR has recently announced an expansion of eligibility for its membership. Now the organization would allow those who have blood relation to individuals who served the fight in other ways such as supplying food and nursing.

The workshop is intended as an educational course first and foremost; no one need be related to an individual in the Revolution to participate.

“We hold these workshops because we want people to research. While researching, if you do come across a lineage to an American patriot, we hope you’d consider joining us,” Darbonne said. “We need an influx of members to keep the education of America going. We secure education through the next generation of patriots.”

The genealogy workshop runs from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Hebert Library in the Community Room at its location on 2025 Merriman St. in Port Neches. The workshop is free and open to the public. One may bring a laptop if they wish but it is not required.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit organization that, according to its website, works to promote patriotism, historic preservation and education.