Welcome to the Birmingham Territory Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, a group of patriotic, caring women dedicated to activities that promote our country’s history and heritage.

A nonpartisan group of women who have traced their lineage to patriots serving in the Revolutionary War, members support the three objects of the National Society DAR: historic preservation, promotion of education and patriotic endeavor.

The more than 80 chapter members include juniors (ages 18 to 35), mothers and daughters, and sisters and friends who span the generations. The group meets for lunch on the second Tuesday of the month from September through May for project updates and interesting programs featuring history, education, conservation, national defense and women’s issues.

We welcome new members and provide help to prospects interested in tracing their descents from patriots of the American Revolution. Please click on this link for more information or to visit a meeting.

Latest News

Deployment Ceremony

Birmingham-area Daughters gathered for the Deployment Ceremony of the Bravo 1st Battalion 169th Aviation Regiment on February 22nd. Seventy soldiers were departing for a special mission in Afghanistan. Members distributed coloring pages, crayons and cookies to the children and requested family members to sign stars with the serviceperson’s name for the prayer board. The stars will be distributed at state conference for Daughters to pray for the soldier until his or her return.

Birmingham-area Daughters attending the event

Members filling bags for the children of the soldiers being deployed.

Wreaths Across America

Birmingham Territory Chapter was a sponsor with Wreaths Across America to provide wreaths to the Alabama National Cemetery. This year we provided 95 wreaths to be placed on veterans’ graves.  Daughters and friends made donations to sponsor this small token of appreciation. To recognize their donations, the donors and the person they were honoring were placed on our chapter website.  Articles were featured in our monthly newsletter, and emails were sent and posted on our website to encourage members to purchase wreaths and attend the Remembrance Ceremony.

Six Daughters and two spouses attended the touching Remembrance Ceremony at the Alabama National Cemetery. After the ceremony, members honored the Veterans by placing a wreath on their headstone.

Honoring our Vietnam Veterans

Birmingham Territory remembered and honored the heroes of the Vietnam War during their November meeting. A proclamation from the Governor of Alabama was read which declared November 13, 2012–November 11, 2025 as the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Our Project Patriot Chairman read a poem explaining the POW remembrance table which was set up at the front of the room. The chapter had a display board which highlighted the statistics of the war and the contributions of each branch of service. The Project Patriot Chairman brought a POW bracelet and rubbings from the Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.

Making the Holidays Brighter

Our chapter participated in Operation Christmas Toy Drive sponsored by the Alabama National Guard to provide toys for military families in need. Members were encouraged to bring a new toy to our December meeting. The Christmas tree was overflowing with toys. The donations were taken to the Hoover Fire Department collection site. Chapter members felt the joy of the Christmas season from the appreciation expressed by the donations.

Celebrate America! Celebrate Alabama!

State Regent Connie Grund and the ASDAR Officers were the guests of our chapter for our November meeting. Mrs. Grund presented the program on Celebrate America! Celebrate Alabama!, discussing the State of the Society.

Old Soles Never Die

Our chapter participates in Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe Program: “Worn out. Play on. Turn your old sneakers into places to play. Nike Reuse-a-Shoe takes worn out athletic shoes and grinds them down to create a new material called Nike Grind which is used to make high quality sports surfaces including courts, turf fields, tracks and more.”

Members asked friends and colleagues to donate their old shoes to our project. In three months we collected 83 pair of old athletic shoes to be repurposed into sport surfaces. In addition, there were a few pair of shoes that were in good shape and they were donated to a local thrift store.

Happy Veterans Day

Birmingham Territory Chapter joined with other Alabama Daughters to participate in the Birmingham Veterans Day Parade. The chapter honored our own Daughter, Renee Shelfer, who served as an Air Force Operating Room Nurse. The Veterans Day parade was also shown on local TV stations.

Honoring a Friend

Members of the Birmingham Territory Chapter, DAR and Charter Chapter United States Daughters of 1812 joined together to mark the grave of their dear member Madge Scharber. On a sunny Saturday morning members gathered for a simple ceremony to honor and remember Madge for her faithfulness to their chapters.

A Wooded Tribute

Daughters attended the Patriotic Tribute Honoring All Who Served at the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park. A peaceful memorial was set in the woods to honor and remember those who have served their country.

Running Aruck

The chapter regent joined with the Alabama State Society’s Project Patriot and Service for Veterans Chairmen to assist the Alabama National Cemetery and Blue Star Salute set up and staff the booths at the Ruck Run at Hoover’s Veterans Park on Veterans Day. Runners in a ruck run wear either a weighted vest or a backpack.

Going Pink for a Cause

To recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month members were asked to wear pink to the October meeting. Our table decorations were pink roses on a breast cancer awareness handkerchief, and our veterans fund donation door prize was a breast cancer awareness scarf. During the meeting breast cancer statistics and the importance of mammograms and early detection were discussed.

Furthering Science

Birmingham Territory and individual members helped furnish the science labs at Kate Duncan Smith DAR school. The chapter purchased the gel electrophoresis for the high school. Upon the death of our immediate Past Regent, Barbara Traylor, the Traylor Administration donated a balance in her memory.

National Bus Tour and 

KDS Dedication Day

Birmingham Territory members attended the 89th Dedication Day at Kate Duncan Smith DAR School.  KDS is a privately owned public school located in Grant, AL.  The schools serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade.  Each year the school host Dedication Day to thank its patrons for the gifts given to the school during the year.  This year the DAR Executive Officers, Board of Management and State School Chairmen participated in National Bus Tour which participated in dedication activities. During their time on campus the bus tour and DAR members from across the country participated in many activities such as the Junior American Citizens program, dedication ceremonies for the elementary school bathrooms, and the new high school science lab. Birmingham Territory Daughters also attended the reception and school supper where the ensemble performed and there was a pep rally for the football team. 

Operation Rise and Conquer

Jane Cole, Judy Thrasher, Renee Shelfer and Patrice Donnelly joined other Birmingham area Daughters to assist the Lakeshore Foundation prepare for Operation Rise and Conquer. The ladies filled bags with shirts, towels and water bottles to be given to the participants.  Operation Rise and Conquer is an extended outdoor adventure weekend for servicemen and women who have sustained a significant injury while serving our country post 9/11.

Membership Coffee

In August, Birmingham Territory hosted a Membership Coffee for prospective members. The event is designed to share information about our chapter and the DAR with those who are interested and to get to know one another. During the meeting we honored our 95-year-old member as her birthday was that week. The chapter sang Happy Birthday and presented a bouquet flowers to her.

Sprit of '45

The Birmingham area DAR Chapters gathered to honor The Greatest Generation attending the “Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive” Ceremony. Birmingham World War II vets and the guardians who participated in the Honor Flight gathered at the American Village Barn for a reunion. The participants were excited to see one another and tell tales from their trip. Daughters assisted with parking, mobility, serving food and distributing handouts. A wreath was dedicated to the veterans who have passed away. Approximately 300 people attended the events. The ceremony began under the dark sky at the National Cemetery and then a beautiful rainbow appeared. The ceremony honored veterans and the ending of World War II with radio broadcasts played throughout the program. The ceremony included a reenactment of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, patriotic music, readings, a dove release and the playing of taps.

Wreaths Across America—2013

Wreaths Across America is a program that honors our military forces by placing Christmas wreaths on the grave sites of our military heroes in all U.S. National Cemeteries. Family and friends may order wreaths in honor of or in memory of an individual. All wreaths that are donated through our DAR will be placed at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo. If you would like to participate in Wreaths Across America, contact Ellen Knollenberg at (205) 981-6336 or ebknollen@aol.com. The cost of each wreath is $15.00 and is tax deductible.

Listed below are the individuals being remembered and honored through our DAR chapter.

In Memory of Phillip E. Cornwell by Rebecca L. Bradley
In Honor of General Charles Krulak by Terri Hicks
In Memory of Elijah Sims by Terri Hicks
In Memory of Daniel MacArthur by Terri Hicks
In Memory of Frank Pfaffenschlager by Terri Hicks
In Memory of Hansel J. Hunter Sr. by Allison Rector
In Honor of Daniel Walker by Tiffaney Hicks
In Honor of Alan Conen by Tiffaney Hicks
In Honor of Colonel Russell E. Appleton by Terri Hicks
In Honor of Colonel (Ret.) Raymond J. Hauck, U.S. Air Force, by Linda Hauck
In Honor of SPC Charles Shane Wells, U.S. Army, by Linda Hauck
In Memory of H. Wayne Thrasher by Judy Thrasher
In Honor of Lt. Col. Stephen W. Thrasher, Ret., by Judy Thrasher
In Memory of Gary W. Hipps, Col , U.S. Army, by Patricia G. Hawes-Hipps
In Honor of Gary W. Hipps, Jr., U.S. Army, by Patricia G. Hawes-Hipps
In Memory of Barry M. Hawes, U.S. Navy, by Patricia G. Hawes-Hipps
In Memory of Edwin M. Schrader, U.S. Army, by Ellen Knollenberg
In Honor of Lt. Walter T. Knollenberg, U.S. Navy, by Ellen Knollenberg
In Honor of The “Greatest Generation”
In Memory of David Cox by Sally, Sarah and Glenn Cox
In Memory of L. J. Jackson Smith, Jr. by Sally, Sarah and Glenn Cox
In Memory of Lt. George Washington Tucker by Vicki Vinson
In Memory of Charles E. Green by Emily Volavka
In Memory of Edward Davis by Emily Volavka
In Memory of Harry L. Volavka by Emily Volavka
In Memory of Roy Kelley, Jr. by Emily Volavka
In Memory of Phillip Eugene Cornwell by Annie Cornwell
In Memory of Ronald Sutton by Sharon B. Kiker
In Memory of Paul Newman by Sharon B. Kiker
In Memory of Daniel Mills
In Memory of Don Jones
In Honor of Doug Mills
In Memory of Thomas Lee Crow Jr. by Kathryn Banks
In Memory of Dick Volavka by Walt and Ellen Knollenberg
In Memory of Martin Stiner by Ann Kaucheck
In Honor of The Stiner Boys who served by Ann Kaucheck
In Honor of John Kaucheck by Ann Kaucheck
In Memory of James Clarence Arant, U.S. Navy by Jeanette T. Morgan
In Honor of James Henry Culp, U.S. Army by Jeanette T. Morgan
In Memory of Edward A. Davis, Jr. by Gwenn Davis
In Memory of Roger Davis by Gwenn Davis
In Memory of Jerry Davis by Gwenn Davis
In Memory of Clarence E. Jones by Liz Jones
In Memory of Dick Volavka by Liz Jones
In Memory of our Service Men and Women
In Honor of our Service Men and Women
In Memory of Oliver B. O’Neal Jr. – 8 wreaths have been donated
In Memory of our Service Men and Women
In Honor of our Service Men and Women
In Memory of Dick Volavka by Eva Burroughs
In Honor of Emily Volavka by Eva Burroughs
In Memory of Edwin Craft by Sara Craft
In Memory of Patrick K. Donnelly by Patrice Donnelly
In Memory of Milton C. Lee by Wilma J. Lee
In Memory of Clayton Carlton by Ann Carlton
In Memory of Barbara Carlton Traylor by Ann Carlton
In Memory of Jimmy Wayne Traylor by Ann Carlton
In Honor of Eric Carlton by Ann Carlton
In Honor of Cheree Carlton by Ann Carlton
In Memory of Claude W. Spencer
In Memory of Norman E. Marriner by James M. Marriner
In Memory of Roland Marriner by James M. Marriner
In Honor of Major General William Norris by Janis Zeanah
In Honor of Cecil E. Miller by Kathy and Lewis Hughes
In Memory of Harold L. Hughes by Kathy and Lewis Hughes
In Memory of Angus Shelfer, Army, WWII by Jon and Renee Shelfer
In Memory of Raymond Alford, Army, WWII by Jon and Renee Shelfer
In Memory of Tish Kovac by Jon and Renee Shelfer
In Memory of Chester Lilly, Sr. by Judy and Chester Lilly
In Memory of Earl Ross by Lucille Ross
In Memory of Col. David A. Nelson by Deborah Nelson

Daughters honored those who served our country by placing American flags on the graves at the Alabama National Cemetery for Memorial Day.

Members attended the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Alabama National Cemetery. The featured speaker was Kimberly Wright, Director of Field Programs for the National Cemetery Association.

Birmingham Territory members attended the Memorial Day Ceremony and events at American Village.

Regent Patrice Donnelly joined other Birmingham-area daughters at the To Honor our Fallen Heroes Gold Star Memorial Service. The service remembered those who lost their lives defending our country since 2001. The Gold Star Wives and Mothers and DAR members placed roses in remembrance of their ultimate sacrifice.

Daughters attend the Dedication of Markers Honoring Lt. Edward Tatum, soldier of the American Revolution. The ceremony was sponsored by the Birmingham Chapter SAR, ALSAR, DAR Chapters and the Pinson Historical Society. Members of the Birmingham Territory Chapter can trace their lineage to Edward Tatum.

Sally Cox, Patrice Donnelly and Barbara Traylor attended 122nd Continental Congress in Washington, D.C. During the week they head reports from the national officers, committee chairman and the state regents on the previous year’s activities.

Birmingham Territory Chapter member Sally Cox (left) was guest speaker at the Elizabeth Bradford Chapter meeting in April in Grove Hill, Ala.  A native of nearby Thomasville, Sally's topic focused on ancestral grave sites in the area, both in historic cemeteries and in remote locations.  She is pictured with Chapter Regent Robbie Purser and the display built by Sally to illustrate her talk.

Edward Buckbee, Director Emeritus of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, was presented DAR's highest award, the Medal of Honor, by ASDAR Americanism Chairman Barbara Traylor at the 2013 Alabama State Conference.

Birmingham Territory Daughters at ASDAR State Conference 2013

First row: Sara Craft, Ann Carlton
Second row:  Ruth McCoy, Ellen KnollenbergEmily VolavkaBarbara TraylorSandy Carter 

Wreaths Across America—2012 

Patriot Initiative

Birmingham Territory Chapter adopted as its 2012 patriotic and philanthropic project "Wreaths Across America," the volunteer organization that places live Christmas wreaths on the graves of service men and women across the U.S. and abroad. The 78 wreaths donated through the chapter were placed at the National Cemetery in Montevallo. Pictured (left to right) are: Walt and Ellen Knollenberg, and Emily and Dick Volavka. Ellen chaired the project.

Pictured (left to right) are Walt and Ellen Knollenberg, and Emily and Dick Volavka. Ellen chaired the project.

Marie Agee and Renee Shelfer place a wreath on a veteran's grave at Montevallo.

2012 Veteran's Day Parade—(left to right) Chapter Regent Barbara Traylor, Project Patriot Chairman Renee Shelfer; Public Relations and Media Chairman Sally Cox; Hodar and driver Glenn Cox.

Chapter Veteran's Day speaker Gen. Paul Brown (ret), former commander of the Alabama Air National Guard, and Renee Shelfer, veteran, USAF.

At the 2012 ASDAR State Conference, Chapter Regent Barbara Traylor (right) receives a certificate for outstanding service from then State Regent Rita Horton.

Birmingham Territory Chapter presented three 2012 Good Citizens Awards to outstanding area high school seniors.  Pictured (left to right) are;  Charlotte Gilliland, Homewood High School; Caroline Beauchaine, Oak Mountain High School; Catherine Ritchey, Spain Park High School; and Emily Allison, Chapter Good Citizens chairman.

Birmingham Territory Chapter presented the NSDAR Community Service Award to General Charles C. Krulak, retired Commandant of the U. S. Marine Corps and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who assumed the presidency of Birmingham-Southern College, refusing a salary, car or the president's home, to lead the college out of a financial crisis that threatened its existence. Pictured (left to right) are: Barbara Traylor, Chapter Regent; General Krulak; and Barbara Matthews, Community Service Award Chairman.

Chapter Treasurer is pictured with General Krulak and noted music historian and performer Bobby Horton, who presented the chapter program on "Music from the American Revolution."

Member April Guin (left) models one of the knitted scarves made by Chapter Recording Secretary Emily Volavka (right). Several of the hand-crafted scarves were door prizes given to members at the January meeting who donated to the Veterans Fund.

Birmingham Territory members were among those participating in Birmingham's annual Veterans Day Parade, the largest parade of its type in the U.S.

Member Sara Craft is honored at Kate Duncan Smith School's Dedication Day with the ribbon cutting for a teacher workroom she donated to the school in memory of her mother.

Franne Shelton, Birmingham Territory Chapter magazine chairman, promotes subscriptions to The American Spirit at a recent meeting.

The Birmingham Territory Chapter was represented at the May 24, 2011, Naturalization Ceremony held at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, where the Honorable Abdul K. Kallon, presiding judge, welcomed 62 new Americans representing 23 countries. Pictured are DAR Member Judy Thrasher with new citizen Eunice Luevano, a native of Mexico. Her child, Jocelyn, is a Florida-born American.

Chapter First Vice Regent Patrice Donnelly, who holds an appointment as Advisor to the President General, KDS Executive Board of Trustees, was selected as state conference page for President General Wright.

Junior Member Sara Cox was among debutantes presented at the Inaugural Colonial Ball, held at The Club in Birmingham and sponsored by Alabama ’s Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. With Sara are her parents, Sally (Birmingham Territory member) and Glenn Cox. (photo courtesy of Snapster Foto)

Pictured above, Patrice Donnelly is shown sharing a story with students at Kate Duncan Smith DAR School, Grant, Ala.

Pictured above, then State Regent Rita Horton pins a 50-year service award on the lapel of Sara Craft, Birmingham Territory Chapter's member with the greatest tenure of service.

Shown in the picture above is Past Regent Delores Brooks with the musical group Homeland. Delores heard them rehearsing down the hall from our meeting one day and asked them to sing for us. Homeland then performed for the Alabama State Society DAR meeting later that year and then for the National Society meeting. Homeland has written a song titled "The DAR Tribute", which can be found on their latest album. Learn more about Homeland here.

Chapter Officers

Regent: Patrice Donnelly
First Vice Regent: Emily Volavka
Second Vice RegentJean Keenon
ChaplainApril Guin
Recording SecretaryBarbara Traylor
Corresponding SecretaryRebecca Bradley
TreasurerJan Jones
RegistrarLanell Seager
HistorianEllen Knollenberg
LibrarianSara Craft

Chapter Motto
Celebrating Our Community

Chapter Awards, 2012–2013

One Hundred Percent Participation in the President General’s Project
NSDAR President General
American History Displays
ASDAR American History Committee
Outstanding Use of Today’s DAR Video
ASDAR Public Relations & Media Committee
Excellence in PR for Patriotic Project-Wreaths Across America
ASDAR Public Relations & Media Committee
State Standard of Excellence
ASDAR State Standard of Excellence Chairman
American Indian Program
ASDAR American Indians Committee
Outstanding Participation Kate Duncan Smith DAR School
ASDAR School Chairman
Generous Support of the Adopt-A-Class Program at Kate Duncan Smith DAR School
ASDAR School Chairman
Chapter Revitalization Award (+7) New Members
ASDAR State Organizing Secretary
Children of the American Revolution for recognition of outstanding service
ASDAR Chairman, Children of the American Revolution
Project Patriot For Outstanding Work
ASDAR Chairman, Project Patriot
Outstanding Support of the ASDAR Scholarship Contest by Actively Encouraging Participation by Local High Schools
ASDAR Scholarship Chairman
Outstanding Chaplain Report
ASDAR Chaplain
Outstanding Membership Report
ASDAR Membership Chairman
Chapter with Most Reinstatements after Two or More Years
ASDAR Membership Chairman
Honorable Mention—Number of New Members by Application (10) Chapters of 51-100 Members
ASDAR Membership Chairman
The Flag of the United States for Outstanding Work
ASDAR Flag Chairman
Outstanding Chapter Program
ASDAR Chairman, Service for Veterans
Wreaths Across America-- First Place
ASDAR Chairman, Service for Veterans
Outstanding Student Recognition Program
ASDAR Good Citizen State Chairman
Outstanding Good Citizen Chapter Committee, Third Place Tie
ASDAR Good Citizen State Chairman
Outstanding Publicity Recognition
ASDAR Good Citizen State Chairman
Outstanding Service to the Community  God-Home-Country
ASDAR State Regent

Literacy Promotion –Excellent Chapter Participation
ASDAR Chairman Literacy Promotion
Americanism Award 2012
ASDAR Americanism Committee
Honorable Mention Conservation Activities
ASDAR Conservation Committee
Outstanding Program “The Story of America—Quilts from the DAR Museum Collection”
ASDAR DAR Museum Chairman

Individual Awards

Presented by
Jane Cole—Individual Service in Literacy Promotion
ASDAR State Chairman Literacy Promotion
Delores Brooks—Excellent Service in Literacy Promotion
ASDAR State Chairman Literacy Promotion
Dottie Haynes—Outstanding Service in Literacy Promotion
ASDAR State Chairman Literacy Promotion
Emily Allison—Outstanding Service in Literacy Promotion
ASDAR State Chairman Literacy Promotion
Sharrie Viars—Completion of Genealogical Education Program I
ASDAR State Chairman Volunteer Genealogists
Sharrie Viars—Excellence in Volunteer Genealogy
ASDAR State Chairman Volunteer Genealogists
Sharon Wade—Outstanding Leadership for Constitution Week Activities Third Place
ASDAR Chairman Constitution Week
Sharon Pharris Wade—Outstanding Work in Genealogical Records
ASDAR Chairman Genealogical Records
Margaret Pharris Alexander—Outstanding Work in Genealogical Records
ASDAR Chairman Genealogical Records
Lanell Saeger—Member for Member Lifetime Achievement (20 Member for Member Credits)
ASDAR State Membership Chairman
Lanell Saeger—Member for Member Soaring Angel in Action (10 Member for Member Credits 2012)
ASDAR State Membership Chairman
Sara Craft—Exceptional Service as Chapter Chairman, DAR Service for Veterans Committee
ASDAR State Chairman Service for Veterans
Ellen Knollenberg—Americanism 2012 “Wreaths Across America”
ASDAR Americanism Committee
Judy Thrasher—Most Outstanding DAR Museum Correspondent Docent
ASDAR DAR Museum Chairman
Leah Dueffer—First Place Website Central District
ASDAR VIS Chairman

Marie Agee –“Angels in Action” Award—NSDAR Booth Volunteer—Federated Genealogical Societies Conference
ASDAR State Regent

Nancy Deason–“Angels in Action” Award—NSDAR Booth Volunteer—Federated Genealogical Societies Conference
ASDAR State Regent

Brenda Dumas–“Angels in Action” Award—NSDAR Booth Volunteer—Federated Genealogical Societies Conference
ASDAR State Regent

Judy Thrasher–“Angels in Action” Award—NSDAR Booth Volunteer—Federated Genealogical Societies Conference
ASDAR State Regent

Barbara Traylor–“Angels in Action” Award—NSDAR Booth Volunteer—Federated Genealogical Societies Conference
ASDAR State Regent

History of the Birmingham Territory Chapter
On Tuesday morning, November 10, 1959, a group of ladies gathered at Michael’s Restaurant for the organizational meeting of the new local chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The recently appointed Regent, Lavada Foster (Mrs. Sellers) Stough, organized the Chapter. There were 27 members present. The name selected for the chapter was Birmingham Territory.

Mrs. Stough and other ladies interested in organizing the new chapter had searched diligently in the Alabama Archives and learned that the first white settlers in 1815 called the area “Land of Birmingham” and also “Birmingham Territory.” The settlement had been named for Birmingham, the industrial stronghold of England, after an aboriginal furnace was found on the banks of Village Creek.

Later the ladies went to the Birmingham Public Library and found the first map and atlas of this area showing the name of Birmingham.

A total of 36 organizing and other charter members were reported to National on October 15, 1959. The new chapter was confirmed at the National Board meeting on December 2, 1959.

The officers of the new chapter were installed the second Tuesday in January 1960 by Mrs. John T. Clarke, Vice President General from Montgomery, and Mrs. L.C. McCrary, State Regent from Mobile.

From the first meeting in 1959 with 27 members our membership has increased to more than 80 members.
[Written by organizing Regent 1959-1961 Lavada Foster Stough (Mrs. Sellers)]