New members added to the local DAR Chapter

Contributed Photo: DAR Gila Valley Chapter officers welcome two new members. Pictured are, from left, Registrar Bonnie Briscoe, Corresponding Secretary Vicki Foote, new members Linda Peterson and Carolyn Whitmore, Treasurer Paula Price, and Regent Helen Masten.

By Bonnie Briscoe/DAR member

Two more new members, Carolyn Whitmore of Thatcher and Linda Peterson of Phoenix, were welcomed to the local Daughters of the American Revolution Gila Valley Chapter. Regent Helen Masten recognized their approval for membership from the National Society and had them take the oath of DAR membership from Chaplain Mollie Carlin.

In order to join DAR, there are always personal reasons that lead up to wanting to be a member, in addition to fulfilling the requirement to document direct lineage to a patriot during the American Revolutionary War.

For Carolyn Whitmore, history has always been important to her. She enjoys getting to know her own family history and is always willing to learn more. Brenda Kempton and Paula Price, are DAR members who encouraged Carolyn to join, especially when she discovered a patriot in her family line. Her 4th great grandfather, John Doyle, served in the American Revolution as a private under the command of Colonel George Rogers Clark in Virginia, Illinois, and Indiana.

Sometimes when a lot of information cannot be found about a patriot, other generations may have insight into family history not known before. This is the case with Carolyn’s patriot. Even though there is not much written about John Doyle’s actual service, his grandson, John Doyle Lee, the 2nd great grandfather of Carolyn, was found to be involved in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He was the only one executed for taking part in the massacre. Just before his execution, he calmly declared his innocence “of ever doing anything wrong in all this unfortunate affair” and used his “utmost endeavors to save those people.” He was resigned to his fate and ready to meet his God and those who had gone before him. Carolyn shared this part of her family history with the chapter in order to show that dark times occur in a family’s past as well as to find others who may have additional information about this tragic event.

The other new member, Linda Peterson told of her father getting heavily involved with family history research several years ago and noticed the many patriotic activities mentioned by DAR. It was his dream that she would join. Even though he passed away, Linda never forgot his dream which became hers. That dream has now become, in her words, “a wonderful reality” thanks to the extensive help from her cousin-in-law, Vicki Foote, a chapter member, who documented Linda’s application. Both Linda and Vicki felt this was a blessing for these two cousins by marriage.

Linda’s lineage shows that her 4th great grandfather, Ebenezer Foote from Connecticut, enlisted in the Connecticut Line for the duration of the war, joining Washington’s Army. At the time, he was 37 years old with a wife and six children.  Due to possible battle injuries or sickness from prevalent cases of smallpox, he died 15 months later while serving as a patriot. By then, he was 39.

Discovering patriots and their patriotic efforts during their lives is one of the major missions of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. This organization was founded in 1890 in order to preserve the memory and spirit of those who contributed to securing American independence. Today there are over one million members who have joined the organization since its founding. DAR is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization with more than 190,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide. DAR on the national, state, and chapter levels participate in projects to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism.

Any woman18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background who is interested in taking her own journey in search of a patriot in order to join DAR, can contact Chapter Regent, Helen Masten (928-899-4482), Chapter Registrar, Bonnie Briscoe (928-428-5904) or any member of the Gila Valley Chapter. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR and this chapter, visit and