California Daughters, the state registrar is appealing to you for your help on a problem that is occurring throughout our Society.
Our State and National Societies are taking a close look at the infamous “have-written” letters that sometimes come back from the genealogists in Washington. These letters may come in response to an application that has been submitted and has insufficient proof for the genealogist to complete the verification process.
The letter normally will include questions, requests for additional documentation, identification of inconsistencies, etc., and request a response so that verification can proceed. As you can imagine, this increases the time and effort required to approve an application, both on the part of the verifying genealogist and the chapter registrar, and delays the approval process. An applicant receiving this letter is often discouraged and may believe that she has been rejected by DAR for membership. This is not the case! Often the question or questions are straightforward and simple to answer. If not, California’s State Lineage Research Chair Barbara McMahon (firstname.lastname@example.org) and her lineage research team are ready and willing to assist registrars and prospective members in resolving those thorny issues that may be getting in the way.
An application will normally be held for up to two years, at which time if it cannot be verified it will be returned to the applicant and the application fee forfeited. This is almost never necessary. I encourage you to reach out and accept the help that is offered to you. That’s part of the fun of genealogy and our society—helping each other! As of October 17, California had 104 “have written” letters outstanding. Let’s begin now driving that number down.
How do we prevent further “have-writtens” as we go forward? The Registrar’s Workshops being held around the state include an emphasis on doing applications so has to prevent their being held up in the verification process. If you haven’t yet attended a workshop, please watch the CSSDAR Members’ website for the next one being held in your area. We are tentatively scheduling the next one on November 23, location and details to be announced soon in a Communiqué and on the members’ website. I hope we see you there!
On a very happy note: California’s DAR membership is 9,988, as of October 15th, 2013, including 261 new members approved at the October Board of Management meeting. Great work and thank you chapters!
Beverly Roberson Moncrieff