An Adventure In Searching History

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Bill Herzig, president of the Rim Country Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, invites any man in the area to join him and the other members of the group for breakfast at 8 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 9 at Tiny’s Restaurant.

Do you remember stories your grandparents told about the war heroes among your ancestors? Do you think one or more of those ancestors participated in the American Revolution?

Would you like to have an adventure in searching history?

Then you might want to join a group of fellows for breakfast this Saturday, Jan. 9. The Rim Country Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution meets at 8 a.m. at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260, Payson.

The chapter is newly organized, just receiving its formal charter in October. It started with 17 members and now has 20. Members come from as far away as Happy Jack and Show Low, said President Bill Herzig.

The work to get a SAR chapter in the Rim Country was started by Al Lyons, Dan Castleman and Mike Jones. Several of the Rim Country Chapter’s founding members were with the Palo Verde Chapter of Phoenix, which sponsored the local group’s charter.

Herzig is almost as new to the SAR as is the Rim Country chapter. He was accepted in March 2009.

“After I retired, I started doing genealogy,” Herzig said.

“I found an ancestor fought for the Pennsylvania Militia. I saw a poster for SAR at the genealogy library (Northern Gila County Genealogical Society Library, 302 E. Bonita, Payson) and made a call.”

He was interested, along with enough other people, to get the charter (a prospective chapter needs 15 members to organize).

Despite the name — Sons of the American Revolution — to be a member, it is not necessary to have a relative who actually fought in the war. Membership is open to any man who can count among their ancestors anyone affiliated with the Revolution. That ancestor can be a signer of the Declaration of Independence to someone who rendered material aid to the cause, such as furnishing supplies, paid for or not, lending money to the colonies, munitions makers and gunsmiths or anything else. Members can also be descended from signers of important documents or those who fought in the battles leading up to the war. A comprehensive list of acceptable actions are available online at sar.org.

However, lineal (direct) descent from this ancestor must be documents, not just family legend.

The Rim Country Chapter has a genealogist among its members and makes use of the resources of the local Mogollon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to help trace family histories.

In fact, a prospect with a blood relative in the DAR or SAR would have an easy time documenting his ancestry since the work is already done. Others would need more time to complete their search.

The SAR was organized April 30, 1889 — the 100th anniversary of George Washington’s first presidential inauguration.

Once it is a little more settled, the local chapter hopes to begin a variety of projects within the community. He said they hope to work with the local schools on history presentations and the Boy Scouts (SAR has a special essay contest for young men who are Eagle Scouts) and provide a certificate program with area businesses that properly display the flag.

To learn more about SAR, join Herzig and other members of the Rim Country Chapter at 8 a.m., the second Saturday of every month at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260 for a breakfast meeting.

For further information, contact chapter president Bill Herzig at (928) 951-2662.

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