This blog brings you breaking news about the 14th New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Society Profile - Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor

The Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

The Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor

Established in 1983, and now with over 650 active members nationwide, the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor is pleased to be part of the Eleventh New England Regional Genealogical Conference. With the settlement of Windsor located just 19 miles (about 25 minutes) down the Connecticut River from NERGC 2011’s Springfield conference site, attendees will not want to miss becoming familiar with this unusual society with roots in traditional lineage relationships but open to members regardless of their ability or interest in proving direct descendancy to one of Windsor’s Founders.

The purpose of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor is to record and preserve the history and genealogy of the founders of ancient Windsor, their families, and their descendants. Persons support that purpose by paying membership fees and dues as well as with their leadership and participation. Founders are individuals who appear on records pertaining to Windsor by the end of 1641. Over 130 such heads of households have been identified and are presented in our Founders List at http://societyct.org/societies/windsor.php. Many persons with roots in Colonial times are descended from multiple families on our Founders List.  However, although DFAW is a lineage association, documented descent from a Founder is not a pre-requisite for membership.

Because DFAW wishes to gather and to verify as much genealogical data as possible, we request that members with bloodline descent from one or more Founders take a second step when their time and resources permit and fill out a Lineage Form complete with standard proofs of descent. After that line is verified by our genealogist, DFAW issues a Certificate of Lineage. Lineage Forms with instructions for documentation are available from the membership secretary (Pamela Roberts), returned for initial review to the Registrar (Olivia Patch) and sent on to the Genealogist (Edwin W. Strickland II) for full review. 

In our twenty-seven years of existence, we have gathered much primary and published material on the Founding Families of Windsor. Our information is contained in a computerized database. Much of that database, as well as our library collection, is available during regular hours at the Windsor Historical Society in Windsor, Connecticut. Go to http://windsorhistoricalsociety.org for more information on hours, holdings and exhibits.  For information about on line research requests go to http://windsorhistoricalsociety.org/research_requests.html

We maintain contact with our members through two means: a quarterly newsletter and semi-annual meetings. Our 12-page newsletter is edited by the current DFAW President and NERGC 2011 Co-Chair Richard Roberts and includes articles submitted by members on new genealogical findings, upcoming meetings, and other items of importance to Windsor descendants. Our Annual Meeting occurs on the Saturday closest to Windsor's birthday, September 26. Our Spring Luncheon usually occurs on the last Saturday of March. Meetings feature a speaker, food, and the opportunity to share news with other Windsor descendants.  Meeting programs are open to members their guests and those interested in the organization.

DFAW is a non-profit corporation operating under the laws of the State of Connecticut. Our nationwide organization is entirely managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with no fulltime staff, thus keeping membership  costs low.

We welcome descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor, spouses, and other members of the extended family, as well as others interested in Windsor's families. The one time initial membership  fee is $15; the annual individual dues are $10. Life memberships are available.  A line of descent from a Founder, if one exists, is listed optionally on the membership application.  The application with the membership fee and dues is sent to and processed by our Membership Secretary Pamela Roberts who passes checks on to our Treasurer, Sandy McGraw.

Celebrating milestones in the history of Windsor has been a hallmark of association activities. DFAW began as a society after a group of descendents of the founders in 1983 recreated the “trek” from Dorchester Massachusetts in September of 1983 as a part of the 350th celebration of the founding of Windsor. With an eight year old son of the first President Donna Holt Siemiatkoski serving as the flag bearer and leading the trek, they inspired over 222 members to join the fledgling group between February and December of 1983. 

And 25 years later in the fall of 2008 with a membership mailing list of over 670 members, DFAW collaborated with the Windsor 375 Committee in a Gala Evening of Dance, supported a parade float and combined its annual meeting with a Founders Day Celebration.

There is a place for YOU and your family in the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor! Whether you enjoy sharing coffee occasionally while recounting a story of your ancestry or you are bubbling over with the discovery of a new resource or whether you have just finally found the grave stone of a not so easily documented ancestor, you’ll enjoy gathering for the DFAW Fall and Spring programs.  And, when you see the sample newsletters available for browsing at the NERGC 2011 Exhibit Hall you will not want to miss getting your DFAW Newsletter regularly as a benefit of membership. 

Stop by NERGC 2011 BOOTH #48 for further information, where we have membership forms, member pins, books, T-shirts, and memorabilia for sale.

Our DFAW genealogist will be present at most unopposed exhibit hall breaks during Friday and Saturday.  Samples of our publications will be available for browsing and purchasing. You could pick up a hard copy or request a membership packet to be emailed or snail mailed to you or someone you believe will be interested.

Photo captions:

Top - DFAW members at NERGC 2009.  L-R:  past board member Janet Wallace; Registrar Olivia Patch; Betty Chapman; Membership Chair Pam Roberts

Middle -  DFAW members learn about the Pequot War from Dr. Kevin McBride at the Fall 2010 meeting

Bottom - DFAW members pose with the 2008 float.  L-R: Curt Patch; President Richard Roberts; current Vice President Larry Phelps, board member Ruth Shapleigh-Brown, and Registrar Olivia Patch

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

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