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1st Lt. David Richard Reynolds


Becoming a Member of the Descendants of Confederate Veterans


To have your application accepted by our organization, you must be a direct lineal descendant (grandson, great-grandson, great-great-grandson, etc.) or a collateral descendant of a Confederate soldier. Not everyone who lives in the South today had ancestors in the Confederate Army, but most did. If your family has been in the South for two or three generations you're chances are very good.

You are a collateral descendant if a brother of one of your direct ancestors was a soldier, or if a sister of one of your direct ancestors was married to a Confederate soldier.

In addition to the application form, you will need documentation of each step in your descendancy from the soldier. Some of the recent records you'll already have or can get easily. Some of the records more distant in time we'll be able to help you with.

We need a simple chart or statement showing how you're related to the soldier and the documents to make the connections. For example:

* We request a copy of your birth certificate. It does not have to be notarized. We can copy it and hand it back to you. If you're young enough that it has your social security number on it, the copy we mail in won't, nor will we keep it.
* We request but do not require a copy of the birth and/or death certificates of the parent through whom you are kin to your Confederate ancestor.
* We'll need the same thing for your grandparent through whom you're a descendant. Several states didn't have laws requiring birth certificates when many of our grandparents were born, but we can establish these facts using death certificates and census records.
* Before 1900 we'll probably have to rely on cemetery records and census records, but we know how to find them. In most cases the process of getting the records together costs you nothing at all. We may have to order record copies from out of state if we can't get an DCV person there to get them for us, but the cost will be minimal.
* We will need to establish that the man we find in the military records, say James R. Hutchinson of the 14th Alabama Infantry, is the same James R. Hutchinson from whom you descend. Hopefully your soldier or his wife will have applied for a Confederate pension, or your ancestor may have made an affidavit for someone with whom he served. Each one of these cases is different, but there are very few we can't finally document.

This sounds much more complicated than it is. We have the time, the know-how, and the patience to get your paperwork processed if you have a Confederate ancestor. The Descendants of Confederate Veterans processes applications very quickly ... sometimes in less than two weeks.

We look forward to helping you and invite you to contact us if you have any additional questions or need any future help.