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Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Besides satisfying their curiosity about who their ancestors were, many genealogists want to honor their progenitors for posterity. One way many family researchers preserve the memory of their forebears is by proving their pedigree in order to become a member of various hereditary societies. A fairly new organization is the National Society Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Planters (NSSDAP). Formed in October 1997 in Washington D. C., the group states that one of its objectives is to identify individuals “who were ‘planters’ within lands today comprising the 48 states of the continental United States between 1607 and April 12, 1861....”

     A “planter,” according to the NSSDAP, was a farmer who owned “not less than 500 acres of land on which not less than 20 persons, engaged in varying capacities in the agricultural operation, will be employed.” The total acreage did not have to be in a single plot and could be located in different counties or states. As long as an individual received profit from crops, he could engage in another occupation and still be considered a planter. Eligibility for membership in the society is open to men and women at least eighteen years of age or older who are lineal descendants of a planter. Although admission to membership is by invitation of the President General of the Society, membership inquiries are welcome.

     People interested in joining the organization will want to consult the new publication, NATIONAL SOCIETY SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ANTEBELLUM PLANTERS, 1607-1861: LINEAGE BOOK 1 [2011] compiled by Karen B. Parker and finalized under the supervision of Karen Avery Miller, NSSDAP Governor General, 1009-2011. The inaugural volume provides a generation-by-generation account of all members’ pedigrees from 268 verified applications and 100 supplements submitted between 17 October 1997 and 31 April 2011.

     Most of the lineages supply details concerning at least eight generations. Many extend to twelve generations and, in some cases, even more. Each entry furnishes the full name and place of birth of the NSSDAP member, the names and dates of birth and death of each forebear and his or her spouse back to the antebellum planter, and the source of the material. Overall, names of approximately 6,500 to 7,000 persons appear in the work.

     Since the publication includes information about many early settlers, genealogists with experience in tracing Southern progenitors may recognize the names of colonial Virginia planters such as Martin PALMER (1625-1702), Walter CHILES (1608-1671), Richmond TERRELL (1624-ca. 1683), and Nicholas MERIWETHER (1631 – 1678). NATIONAL SOCIETY SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ANTEBELLUM PLANTERS, 1607-1861: LINEAGE BOOK 1 [2011] will serve as a new reference for researchers seeking data on pre-Civil War ancestors in the United States.

     The hardbound book contains 292 pages plus several preliminary pages that contain data about the history of the NSSDAP, membership requirements, and names of officers through the year 2011. It also has a list of abbreviations used and a full-name index.

     To the book's price of $49.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The volume (item order 3990) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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