Who Are We?

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, during a time that was marked by a revival in patriotism and intense interest in the beginnings of the United States of America. Women felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men's organizations formed to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought to make this country free and independent. As a result, a group of pioneering women in the nation's capital formed their own organization and the Daughters of the American Revolution has carried the torch of patriotism ever since.

The objectives laid forth in the first meeting of the DAR have remained the same in 125 years of active service to the nation. Those objectives are: 

Historical - to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence; 

Educational
 - to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, "to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion…";

Patriotic
 - to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.

The DAR is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization. DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for underserved children with annual donations exceeding one million dollars. As of November 2015, members volunteered 1,522,096 hours year to date.

As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 180,000 active members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.

Encompassing an entire downtown block, DAR National Headquarters houses one of the nation's premier genealogical libraries, one of the foremost collections of pre-industrial American decorative arts, Washington's largest concert hall, and an extensive collection of early American manuscripts and imprints.

Since its founding in 1890, DAR has admitted more than 950,000 members. The organization is exempt from Federal income taxes under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and receives no government funding.

The Presidio Chapter was formed in 2009 in San Francisco. Our founding members chose the name "Presidio" as an homage to the Presidio, a 1,491 acre stretch of beautiful land central to the city's history. The Presidio evokes strong feelings of pride, history, and timelessness in San Franciscans - the same feelings our founding members associate with their membership in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

In addition to acting as our namesake, this magnificent facility hosted our first meetings and continues to provide myriad opportunities and activities for members. Chapter ladies have participated in military and ROTC exercises and parades, colonial re-enactments, Memorial Day and other veteran events, speakers' series, social engagements, and "green” projects, all within the Presidio.

We are very proud of our chapter's spirit. Comprised of 207 members, the Presidio Chapter is a sterling example of women of different ages, from different coasts, and with different beliefs, celebrating patriotism, promoting the education of America's children, and preserving our history. We are dedicated, joyful, and a whole lot of fun!

While it is true that genealogy and lineage are central to the existence of the DAR, it is the chapter's mission and our strong friendships that make the Presidio Chapter a group in which we all love to belong. 

Presidio Chapter meets the first Saturday of the month from September through May. If you are interested in attending a meeting to see us in action, please click the Contact Us button in the red box at the bottom of the page.
The word “presidio” derives from the Latin word “praesidium,” which is what the Romans called their fortified encampments. The post was originally named El Presidio Real de San Francisco or The Royal Presidio of San Francisco, and was established by the Spanish in 1776 under the direction of Frey Antonio Maria Bucareli, Captain General and Viceroy of Spain.

The area around the Presidio had been settled by Native Americans for over twelve thousand years before the Juan Bautista de Anza Colonizing Expedition arrived at a harsh, sandy, windswept landscape and made camp at the water’s edge of a pond they called La Laguna de Los Dolores, on June 27, 1776. The following day these settlers built a shelter of branches to serve as a chapel and in it Mass was said on June 29, 1776.

In 1821 after New Spain, now Mexico, had gained independence from the mother country, the Mexicans assumed control of the Presidio. As a result, Russian, French, and English explorers were free to trade and settle on the shores of San Francisco Bay. Finally, in 1848, during the unparalleled activity of the California Gold Rush, the United States of America took over the post, and by 1850, California had become part of the Union.

From 1849 to 1994, the Presidio was a sprawling military complex whose property consisted of two posts, an airfield, a military cemetery, barracks, a fort, a stable and housing for cavalry regiments, coastal defense batteries, a historical museum, and a golf course. Between the Civil War and World War II, it is said that Army officers had only three wishes: to make Colonel, to die and go to heaven, and to be posted at the Presidio.

In 1994, when Congress transferred it to the National Park Service, the Presidio was the longest occupied military outpost in the United States of America. In 1998, the management of the Presidio, with the exception of the coastal areas, was transferred to the Presidio Trust. All that remains of the original Presidio, San Francisco’s oldest building, are part of a wall and foundations incorporated into today’s Army Officer’s Club.

Currently, numerous excavations are being conducted to expose and preserve historical architectural features, with archaeologists planning educational programs to enlighten the public about the treasures hidden beneath the surface at the Presidio.

The Presidio Chapter was chartered in 2009 by the unfailing efforts of organizing regent Judith Ann Kimball. The Presidio Chapter members thank their organizing regent for her vision in establishing a new chapter, named after an area of great historical significance in the Bay Area.
On October 11, 1890, Mary S. Lockwood, Ellen Walworth, Mary Desha, and Eugenia Washington founded the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C. To quote the National Society, "decidedly not ladies of leisure, the four founders were anything but traditional." It is in their spirit of progress and service that the organization grew to encompass the more than 3,000 chapters that comprise NSDAR today.

One hundred and nineteen years later, in 2009, thirty-two equally determined women founded the Presidio Chapter here in San Francisco. Their names are listed below in recognition of their vision, dedication, and friendship - and their "anything but traditional" nature. 

Organizing and Charter Members 
*denotes Organizing Member

*Louise Rubey Bea
Eunice Averill Brabec
Carol Ann Brittan
*Victoria Kimball Brodie
*Lorna Crocker Cain
*Janice Marie Caldwell
*Sheila Whitt Cauley
Karen Lynne Courtney
Ellen Cook Courtney
*Mary Anne Courtney
Donna Kay Crowder
*Enid Whitt Cummings
*Katrina Cormiae Ellithorpe
*Maureen Fallon
*Henriette Milner Gordon
Katelyn Martin Grych
*Anna Colona Hansen
*Dorothy Stallings Henderson
*Susan Rachael Hogan
Nancy Sutherland Bowser
*Judith Ann Taylor Kimball
Cynthia Ann Kimball
*Joanne Seubert Landon
Nicole Marie Landon
*Ann Elizabeth Liska
*Claire Carter Liska
*Ruth Gates McGlashan
Elizabeth Perry Maddrey
Erica Andriano-Moore Maloney
*Raquel Marquita Miller
Gladyne Kenderdine Mitchell
*Susan Irene Henderson
*Leslie Thayer O'Hara
Linda Jones Perry
*Altanna Rose Piech
*Melanie Marie Piech
*Laurie Thurlwell Prescott
*Christina Marie Ramos
*Elizabeth Stuckert Ray
*Cheryl Rios
*Wendy Rise Rios
*Nancy Chappell Roberts
Elizabeth Miller Scofield
*Catherine Howland Scott
Jane Wolff Sebree
*Carol Specht
Sarah Tilton
Board members fill an elected position for a two-year term, which is identified as that regent's administration. Elections for the 2016-2018 term will be held in spring 2016.

Presidio Chapter Officers 2016-2018
Gilmer Administration

  • Regent: Marilyn Gilmer
  • First Vice Regent: Diane Schatz
  • Second Vice Regent: Angela Riordan
  • Chaplain: Katie Calhoun
  • Recording Secretary: Lisa Rose
  • Corresponding Secretary: Kat Rusk
  • Treasurer: Mary Landers
  • Registrar: Elizabeth Julian
  • Historian: Chloé Meyer
  • Librarian: Kathleen Woods

Presidio Chapter Board 2016-2018

"Our hope is in unity and self-sacrifice. Since the society was organized, and so much thought and reading directed to the early struggle of this country, it has been made plain that much of its success was due to the character of the women of that earlier era.

The unselfish part they acted constantly commends itself to our admiration and example. If there is no abatement in this element of success in our ranks, I feel sure their daughters can perpetuate a society worthy of the cause and worthy of themselves.

We now feel that this society is firmly established and in good condition for future success. It remains with us all to see that it lives and grows to greater and better ends."

Caroline Scott Harrison, First Lady and First NSDAR President General (1890-1892), opening the First Continental Congress in 1892, in the first public speech given by a First Lady.
BoardPic_2016-2018.jpg

Join the Fun!


The DAR Insignia is the property of, and is copyrighted by, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. (Site last updated November 26, 2016.)