Niedling named registrar emerita by Nay-osh-ing
Hope Nielding recently retired as registrar of the Nay-osh-ing Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) after nearly 40 years of service. Her protégé, Susan Hopfensperger, will assume the role Niedling recently vacated.
The DAR is a nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education.
Chapter members voted to honor her many years of service by naming Hope Niedling registrar emerita.
When Niedling was elected as state regent of the Wisconsin Society DAR in 1983, she met and asked Hopfensperger, then a junior member of the Oconomowoc Chapter, to serve as her personal page.
Discovering that they both enjoyed genealogical research, Niedling and Hopfensperger began traveling the state to conduct lineage research workshops for the DAR and have worked together on many projects for the organization since.
Niedling completed the DAR genealogical education program in Washington, D.C., and became the first DAR volunteer genealogist in the state of Wisconsin.
She served the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution as the lineage research chairman from 1986-89.
Hopfensperger has been the Nay-osh-ing Chapter historian for many years, a role in which she compiled a history of the chapter for its 40th anniversary in 2013.
That same year, she completed the now online genealogical education program and became a DAR volunteer genealogist. She has been serving as a volunteer genealogist for the General Francis Nash Chapter in Nashville, Tenn., while also being mentored by Niedling and assisting with her work as Nay-osh-ing Chapter registrar.
Along with helping women prove their eligibility for membership in the DAR, Niedling documented 10 of her own patriot ancestors. Hopfensperger has documented four DAR patriots in her personal lineage. Each time a new patriot is proven, membership in the DAR becomes possible for the female descendants of that patriot. In addition to their Revolutionary war lineages, the pair has discovered that they are both descendants of Susanna (North) Martin, who was executed as an accused witch during the Salem witchcraft trials.
Any woman 18 years of age 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 in the DAR. Each applicant must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage and death, as well as the Revolutionary War service of her patriot ancestor.
The registrar and volunteer genealogist are tasked with ensuring that a complete set of documents proving those facts accompanies each application.
“The research and application process is much easier today than when Hope began doing the job. While she traveled on behalf of applicants to do research in various locations and waited for the mail to arrive with requested information, much of my work can be done through online databases and transmitted or received via email,” Hopfensperger said.
The DAR’s genealogical research system can be accessed online at www.dar.org.
To aid general genealogical research and to assist with the DAR membership application process, genealogical research system can use a collection of databases that provide access to the many materials amassed by the DAR since its founding in 1890.