History was made at the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church, Isle Brevelle, Friday, Aug. 30 when 25 women signed their formal application for membership in the newly organized Cane River Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution (DAR). The state flags representing the 13 original colonies formed an entrance corridor for dignitaries and guests.
Countless hours over the past eight months were spent by members of Louisiana Society Daughters of American Revolution (LSDAR) conducting research and gathering documentation for each statement of birth, marriage and death for each applicant. 25 of the 27 women are direct descendants of Patriot Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, one from Patriot Blaise LeJeune and one from Patriot Catherine Majer Rentz. All these women share a common bond with members of this prestigious society – they all have lineal descent from Patriots who aided in achieving America’s independence from Great Britain in the American Revolution.
The even was called to order by Katherine Alford Lombardino, LSDAR State First Vice Regent, followed with the invocation and blessing by the Rev. Charles Ray, Pastor of St. Augustine Catholic Church. Presentation and retirement of colors were performed by Natchitoches Central High School ROTC members. The national anthem was led by Peggy Duchesne Aycock; Cane River Chapter Organizing Regent followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Tanner Delphin. Greetings and welcome were made by Charlotte Hodge White, LSDAR State Regent and introductions of DAR members in attendance from across Louisiana and Washington, D.C. Dinner was sponsored by St. Augustine Historical Society and Dr. Mark Guidry.
Guest speakers included Kevin Shannahan, former Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 60, who congratulated Eagle Scout Tanner Delphin for his accomplishments. Jeanette Rachal Foor, prospective member and mother of twin sons who are graduates of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, shared her story of her sons education, cadet life and graduation. LTC Julie Ann Delphin (ret.), prospective member and the first woman graduate of the U.S. Military at West Point from Louisiana, shared her experience of military life. Guidry described the rich heritage and culture of Cane River.
The event was concluded by prospective members coming forth to sign their formal application for membership as their names were called.
DAR is a women’s service organization dedicated to promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism and honoring the patriots of the Revolutionary War. More than one million women have found purpose and passion in DAR membership since its founding Oct. 11, 1890. Any woman 18 years or older interested in learning more about DAR may contact Organizing Regent Peggy Aycock, Cane River Chapter, Louisiana Society Daughters of American Revolution at email@example.com. DAR’s motto is “God, Home and Country.”
On Dec. 5, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution welcomed 25 women as new DAR members who are all descended from the same Revolutionary War patriot ancestor and share Creole heritage from the Cane River region in Louisiana. It is the largest known group of new members to join with the same ancestor in a single month in the National Society’s 129 year history. It is also likely the first time the DAR has welcomed such a large number of women of Creole descent into membership.
“We are so pleased to welcome these new members into our vibrant service organization and are proud that our membership continues to grow to include more women of diverse heritage,” said Denise Doring VanBuren, DAR President General. “Honoring and celebrating the history of our country and the people who shaped our nation is at the core of the mission of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and we invite all women to explore the many benefits that membership in today’s dynamic DAR has to offer.”
The new members are descendants of Claude Thomas Pierre Métoyer, a French-born immigrant who served as a soldier under command of Spanish Colonial Governor General Bernardo de Galvez, and Marie Thérèse Coincoin, a remarkable woman for whom records trace from being an enslaved person born in the household of the founder of Natchitoches to becoming a notable planter, landowner and businesswoman by the time of her death. The union of Métoyer and Coincoin resulted in 10 children who establish a multicultural, faith-based Creole community centered by the St. Augustine Catholic Church – now a parish church with a legacy linked to the plantation chapel of the oldest son of Métoyer and Coincoin, Nicolas Augustin Métoyer. The church property has the distinction of being a first in Louisiana – a designated Traditional Cultural Center on the National Register of Historic Places.
With the help of the Louisiana DAR State Regent and another DAR member from the area, the new members are in the process of organizing a new Cane River DAR chapter to be established in an unincorporated rural community in Louisiana called Isle Brevelle. They anticipate welcoming upwards of 100 new members – including many other Métoyer/Coincoin descendants, as well as other women descending from a variety of different patriot ancestors – into their new DAR chapter in its first year. “We are thrilled with the engagement and excitement of the community to establish this new DAR chapter and I encourage any woman who is interested in joining to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more,” said Peggy Aycock, Organizing Chapter Regent of the new Cane River chapter.
The shared goal to preserve and promote the unique culture and heritage of Louisiana’s history helped to bring together the Cane River Creole community and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Louisiana DAR members began encouraging women of the Cane River community to consider joining the DAR and helping them gather the genealogical materials to complete their DAR application papers. An application signing party was held in August at the St. Augustine Church Hall in Natchitoches Parish with close to 100 people celebrating the women submitting their DAR application papers (with many additional prospective members in attendance). Many of the new Cane River members have already become active by participating in the Louisiana DAR State Society’s efforts to educate and generate support for preserving the Badin-Roque House which dates to the 1770s and on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The organization of the Cane River chapter helps preserve a part of Louisiana’s history and a unique part of our nation’s history,” said Charlotte Hodge White, Louisiana DAR State Regent. “By taking the time and making the commitment to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, each member of this chapter is helping to secure the lasting legacy of their ancestors and their contributions to our country’s independence.”
Women throughout the country interested in learning more about DAR membership are encouraged to visit www.dar.org/membership.