Monday, September 5, 2016

Three Colonial Dames Societies

     There are three separate organizations for women who can prove lineal descent from a resident of the present United States of America before its founding who rendered service to the community. All three engage in patriotic, educational, and historic endeavors. Their members are called Colonial Dames.

      The first to be established was The Colonial Dames of America (CDA), which dates from 1890. Its members are women who are descended from an ancestor who lived in British America from 1607–1775 and  “who was of service to the colonies by either holding public office, being in the military, or serving the Colonies in some other ‘eligible’ way.” Mount Vernon Hotel Museum in New York City, purchased by the CDA in 1924, serves as its national headquarters.   Website

     The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America  (NSCDA), established in 1891, is an organization whose members are descended from an ancestor who resided in an American Colony before 1776, and whose service was rendered during the Colonial Period. Headquartered at Dumbarton House in Washington, D.C., it is comprised of 45 corporate societies, unlike its older rival that is governed by a parent society.   Website

    The National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century (NSCDXVIIC), whose headquarters are the Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven House in Washington, D.C., was established in 1915. Its membership requirements are the most stringent - a member is a lineal descendant of an ancestor who lived and served prior to 1701 in one of the original colonies of the present United States of America. Also, almost unique to American organizations, it has heraldry at the core of its objectives and holds one of the largest collections of Coats of Arms in the country.   Website