HENRY — The National Society Descendants of American Farmers (NSDOAF), founded in 2019, has announced the selection of Nancy Gillfillan of rural Putnam as Illinois Ambassador of this new society, which honors American farmer ancestors in the United States. Gillfillan was organizing regent of the Chief Senachwine Chapter, located in Henry, of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
The NSDOAF was established to recognize the role of the American farmer who was so important in successfully founding the country. Membership is open to men and women and children who are lineal descendants of a farmer living within the present U.S. boundaries between July 4, 1776, and Dec. 31, 1900. Charter life membership is available until Nov. 30, 2019. Regular life memberships can then be obtained.
A main objective will be to award higher education scholarships to students who follow in their ancestors’ footsteps. To educate, preserve and increase the knowledge of the history of early American farmers is another major purpose. The group will support patriotic, genealogical, literary, historical and social activities that inspire an appreciation of rural and country life as well as produce and distribute publications relating to the history and genealogy of American farmers.
A “farmer” is someone engaged in varying capacities in the agricultural industry, including but not limited to farmer, rancher, farm hand or person who owned a farm. Holding another occupation at the same time does not prevent that ancestor from being a “farmer” where requirements are met. A census record citing the ancestor’s occupation as farmer is sufficient evidence of the definition of “farmer.” Other proof may be a plat book record, death record stating occupation, deed, will and similar documents.
Ambassador Gillfillan’s goal is to promote the NSDOAF and educate individuals on how to honor a farmer ancestor. Ambassadors aim for members to learn about all aspects of farming as well as enjoy each other’s company. As people learn what farmers do and the knowledge they must have to exist, farmers will be appreciated even more, and the Ambassadors are there to teach others.
For additional information, call 815-303-1034.