How to Join the Daughters of the Republic of Texas

by Boze Herrington

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is for women who can trace their roots back to the earliest Texans. Founded in 1891, the DRT is one of the oldest patriotic organizations in America. At time of publication, the organization had about 7,000 members who belong to about 106 chapters throughout Texas. The DRT aspires to honor the memory of the men and women who helped Texas achieve independence from Mexico in 1836, and encourages research into the history of Texas. The organization helps maintain the Alamo mission in San Antonio, site of the famous battle fought in 1836, among other historical sites in Texas. For those who think they might be eligible, the organization has a fairly straightforward procedure for admission.

Determine Your Lineage

Membership in the DRT is open to all women over the age of 16 who are deemed "personally acceptable" to the leadership and are descended from a man or woman who served the Republic of Texas before it became a state in 1846. The DRT considers a person to have served the Republic if they: received land grants; were officers or privates in the Colonies or the Republic of Texas; came to Texas as one of the original settlers known as the "Old Three Hundred" who established a colony under the leadership of Stephen F. Austin; lived in colonies established by Spain or Mexico before Texas became a republic or in colonies established by the Texas Congress after it became a republic; or became residents of Texas before February 19, 1846. The ancestor in question must be a great-grandparent; uncles and cousins, for example, would not qualify to become a member of the DRT.

Choose a Membership

The DRT has several kinds of memberships. Chapter membership is for women who want to belong to one of the local DRT chapters. These women have the privilege of attending both state and chapter meetings and holding office at both levels. Membership-at-large is for women who want to belong to the DRT, but don’t live near a chapter. These women are permitted to join and to attend state meetings, but can’t hold office. Lastly, chapter-only membership is for women who don’t fulfill the requirements for full membership, but love Texas and have a desire to join the organization in preserving Texas history and monuments. These women are known as "Associate Members." They can only attend chapter meetings but not state meetings. Associate members can't hold office in the organization.

Contact the Appropriate Chapter or State Registrar

Prospective chapter members must contact the head of their local chapters and inform them that they're seeking membership. The DRT website has a a full listing of the heads of all local chapters, along with their contact information. The chapter registrar proposes people for membership at chapter meetings, and the chapter members vote on the proposed members. If aspiring members are accepted by the chapter, they become "applicant members" who have two years to provide an application and proof of eligibility. Women who are applying to become members-at-large, rather than chapter members, should contact the Registrar General directly.

Provide an Application and Proof of Eligibility

Applicant members must complete the DRT membership application and fill out a lineage worksheet tracing their family history to the grandfather or grandmother who lived in Texas prior to 1846. However, if the applicant emails the chapter registrar the name of her ancestor, and the registrar finds the ancestor in the DRT genealogical database, she does not need to provide a worksheet. If the information is available on the database, there is a charge for the research.

Submit Paperwork and Initiation Fees to Registrar

Along with the application, the applicant pays an initiation fee and the annual dues. Once the application and worksheet are completed and handed in to the chapter registrar, the registrar approves them and sends them to the Registrar General. If the Registrar General approves the application, she places a DRT number on it and forwards it to the President General, who signs it. The President General then notifies the chapter registrar that the application has been approved, and sends a certificate to the chapter registrar. Once the President General signs the necessary documents, it normally takes between two to three weeks for the new member to receive her certificate.

References

About the Author

Boze Herrington is a writer and blogger who lives in Kansas City, Mo. His work has been featured in Cracked and "The Atlantic."

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