In the United States, family history was traditionally passed down the generations verbally. Following the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) when so many American lives were lost and society displaced, it was felt a repository of American family histories was needed. This was the beginning of the DAR.

Founded on 11th October 1890 by an act of the American Congress, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious and volunteer–driven women’s service entity. Our central dedication revolves around safeguarding the annals of American history, fostering better education standards and instilling a sense of patriotism (good citizenship in the United Kingdom) through community projects and paying homage to the valiant Patriots of the American Revolutionary War.

Encompassing an entire city block in Washington, D.C., the DAR is headquartered in an adjoining complex of three buildings a block from the United States White House. These buildings, the Administration Building, DAR Constitution Hall and the Memorial Constitution Hall are the largest complex of buildings exclusively owned, built and maintained by women in the world. Two of our buildings are Registered (American) Landmarks.

DAR Constitution Hall was built as a meeting hall for the DAR and this neo-classical building has the largest auditorium in central Washington, D.C. The cornerstone of Constitution Hall was laid by Mrs. Calvin Coolidge on 22 June 1928 using the trowel George Washington used to lay the cornerstone of the American Capitol Building in 1793. Every American President since Calvin Coolidge has attended events at DAR Constitution Hall. The (American) National Symphony was founded at the Hall and called it home for forty years, and numerous televised events, programmes and debates have taken place at DAR Constitution Hall.

Located in the DAR Administration Building is also the DAR Library and the DAR Museum:

The DAR Genealogical Library, a Family Search Affiliate Library, has one of the finest, most comprehensive primary genealogical and historical records from around the world and is one of the largest genealogical research centres in the United States. Renowned worldwide, this repository stands as one of the most comprehensive archival resources for tracing lineages and unravelling heritage, including ethnic heritages.

The DAR Museum supports the NSDAR’s goals of historic preservation, education and patriotism by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting the material culture and social history of pre-industrial America. The Museum tells the story of the American home through objects dating from the 17th through to the 20th centuries and has thirty-one Period Rooms and two Galleries containing furnishings, paintings, textiles, silver and ceramics.

NSDAR receives no U.S. Government funding. Access to NSDAR Scholarships and Grants should be made through St. James Chapter.


We invite you to become a part of St. James Chapter, NSDAR, to join in our spirit of service, lineage and community. Explore our site to delve deeper into our story, membership options, our ongoing charitable initiatives and the greater NSDAR mission. We look forward to welcoming you as a valued member of our community.

Email: correspond.sec@stjameschapter-nsdar.org