Welcome. This website presents information about the Montpelier Chapter and sources that may help you in your genealogy work. Presented here is a short history of the chapter, the chapter's activities, and links that will add to your knowledge of the history of this nation prior to, during, and immediately following the American Revolution.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

History of the Chapter

The Montpelier Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution has two distinct lives: the first chapter was organized 27 January 1898. The organizing regent was Mrs. Annie W. Harper. It was disbanded 18 October 1919. The second and current chapter was organized 12 October 1965.

The twenty-one years of the first chapter were highlighted by building, establishing, and supporting a public library in Orange (1901-1904); having two "Real Daughters," Isabelle Vass "Belle" Jett and her sister, Elizabeth Roberts Strother, as members, (A Real Daughter is defined as the daughter of a Revolutionary soldier.); having the great granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson, Mrs. Virginia Randolph Shackelford, as their regent; hosting the 15th State Conference of the Virginia Daughters in 1911; and devoting their time and energy to war work during World War I.

The second Montpelier Chapter was organized 13 June 1965, the year of the Diamond Jubilee of the DAR, and was designated a Diamond Jubilee Chapter. Nancy Marshall Estes was the organizing regent. When the chapter was organized it had 23 members, which quickly increased to 53 members. As of September 2013 there were 144 members.

When the chapter was organized, Nancy Marshall Estes wrote the following purpose:

"The Montpelier Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution may be a vehicle through which the human spirit of many fine, noble descendants of Revolutionary War ancestors may affiliate themselves with this splendid cause of Education, History, and Patriotism and can fulfill themselves in Peace and Dignity; that they respect the God-Given Graces one with the other; and that the Romance with one's ancestors is enduring, continually opening doors of discovery and adventure, obeying the commandment of our Lord, "Honor thy father and thy mother."

In 1976, as a Bicentennial project, the chapter marked the graves of Revolutionary War Captain Angus Rucker, Real Daughters Belle V. Roberts and Elizabeth R. Strother, and Mrs. Frank Berry. 

The origin of the name, Montpelier, seems to be Montpellier, France. While at Princeton, James Madison was deeply influenced by John Locke, the great British philosopher. Locke, like Madison, suffered physical ailments all of his life and often returned to his home in Montpellier, France to repair his health. Madison and his wife, Dolly, preferred and often used the French spelling Montpellier.  James Madison, Sr., first used the name in 1799 in an application for insurance, and it was constantly used after 1809 by President James Madison. (See "James Madison A Life Reconsidered", by Lynn Cheney, Penguin Books, New York, 2014, p.33.)

Thursday, May 15, 2014