Our History

Harrisburg Chapter, NSDAR

From the ladies who organized this chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on May 19, 1894, to the present, the chapter has been an organization of strong women dedicated to preserving the history of our ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.

The first regular meeting of the chapter was held at the home of Mrs. Francis Wyeth, who had already been appointed as Chapter Regent by the State Regent, Mrs. Hogg. Other chapter officers were listed below.

Charter Members

Mrs. Sarah Campbell Wyeth (Francis) - First Regent from 1894-1896
Mrs. Elizabeth Crain Rutherford Kunkel (John C.) - Vice Regent
Mrs. Emilie Shovel Fisher Alricks (Levi) - Recording Secretary, Regent from 1900-1901
Miss Ellen Williams Hall - Corresponding Secretary
Miss Martha Wolf Buehler - Registrar
Mrs. Isabelle Cass Hamilton (Hugh) - Treasurer
Miss Caroline Pearson - Historian, Regent from 1904-1910
Mrs. Ada Hoffman McAlarney (Mathias Wilson)
Mrs. Sara Pollock Carlton (Caleb Henry)
Mrs. Mary Pollock Buehler (George Wolf)
Mrs. Caroline Rutherford Haldeman (Jacob)
Mrs. Mary Hall Jordan (Francis)

Our Chapter's Real Daughters

  • Mrs. Hannah Macomber Hess
  • Mrs. Nancy Macomber Hawkins

Real Daughters are those ladies who were a single generation removed from the Revolutionary War. Our two “Real Daughters” were sisters and founding charter members of our chapter: Mrs. Nancy Macomber Hawkins & Mrs. Hannah Macomber Hess. They were descendants of Zenas Macomber, who according to Hannah’s application was a lifeguard under General George Washington. In an article written by Caroline Pearson, Historian, read at the annual meeting on Thursday, May 19, 1904, Zenas was referred to as Dr. Macomber. 

Hannah was born December 13, 1816, and Nancy Macomber Hawkins was born July 25, 1818. Hannah was 81 years old and Nancy 84 years old when they were admitted to NSDAR. The Real Daughters were offered pensions from NSDAR as well as gold souvenir spoons. The September/October 2007 issue of American Spirit reprinted the letter of thanks sent by Hannah Hess upon being accepted into the Daughters of the American Revolution and receiving her spoon.

This chapter has also had other members of note. They were Mrs. Gertrude Vandergrift Hoak, descendant of John Hart, New Jersey Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the first Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, and Miss Florence L. Gallagher, descendant of George Ross, Pennsylvania Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Harrisburg Chapter has gathered a few artifacts which are on display at the John Harris Mansion Museum, one of which is the John Harris gavel. The gavel was made from the tree to which John Harris was tied by Indians when they attempted to burn him in 1720. The gavel was presented to the Harrisburg Chapter by Caroline Pearson, one of his descendants, on December 16, 1896.



In 1994, for Harrisburg Chapter’s 100th Anniversary, Joan Romig, Honorary Harrisburg Chapter Regent, designated a DAR insignia which was officially approved for use by NSDAR and any chapter that celebrated 100 years. This cipher also appears on notecards designed by Joan.



DAR American Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXI, Washington D.C., 

December 1902, No. 6. p. 464.
DAR American Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXI, Washington D.C., December 1902, No. 6. p. 464.
Zenas Macomber, Slate Ridge Cemetery, Delta, York County, PA
Zenas Macomber, Slate Ridge Cemetery, Delta, York County, PA

More About Our History

Other Dauphin County Chapters

Swatara Pine Ford Chapter

Organized Apr 17, 1920, Disbanded Jun 25, 2012

Derry Chapter (Hershey)

Organized Feb 1, 1968, Disbanded May 5, 1972

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Become a Member of Harrisburg Chapter, NSDAR

Thank you for your interest in DAR and our chapter. If you would like to attend a chapter meeting, learn more about the DAR, or become a member, please complete the form on the right.

Aside from our service committees and activities, Harrisburg Chapter, NSDAR, holds chapter meetings from October through June featuring speakers on a wide variety of subjects. Our meetings are held the second Thursday of the month, except for September, February, and June which are held on weekends. We do not host programs in July and August.