Uncovering the Heart of a Historian

Daughter's Family History Search Inspires Gift to DAR

christine-gentryChristine Gentry will tell you she was not interested in high-school history and, as a first-year biology major at University of California, Irvine, she avoided history courses "like the plague." But everything changed the summer she was 19. 

That summer, her family traveled from their home in California to her grandparents' 50th anniversary celebration in New York. "We stopped to try to find my grandfather's childhood home on Lake Superior. Whether we found the right house, I do not know. But it sparked an interest in finding my ancestors' birthplaces." 

Marrying a history major fanned the flame. A Vietnam War veteran, George Gentry serves as historian for his regiment. "Every trip we have ever taken has involved genealogical research, historical research or a combination thereof," Christine says. Over 35 years, they have perused more than 25 historical libraries, from Burbank to Boston and as far away as Berlin. 

A 1980 stop at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., provided her first big find: Civil War pension records for Sylvester Bohanan, grandfather of the Duluth ancestor whose home her family sought in 1967. Bohanan had lived in Maine. "I suddenly realized that there was a great possibility that I had ancestry going back to the Civil War in this country." She connected with the DAR and began her search. 

And while that particular search continues, names on the back of a family photo launched another. On a tip from a DAR member, she asked her library in Long Beach to secure a copy of Harlem (City of New York) Its Origin and Early Annals by James Riker. Reviewing pages of Dutch ancestors, she found her first two patriots: Cornelius Waldron and Arent Van Wormer of Albany County. She thought back to a favorite book about settlers' struggles in New York's Mohawk Valley. "As it turns out, my patriots were in that region during the Revolutionary War."

christine-gentry02Christine wants to ensure that future Daughters can experience the same excitement of discovering their heritage that she has, so the Gentrys have established two charitable gift annuities with the DAR and supported many of its projects. 

"We are a nation of immigrants," Christine explains. "Other countries developed from tribal groups or ethnic arrangements of one sort or another, but what ties our country together is that people valued the freedoms and responsibilities of creating a country where everyone could have the maximum ability to make something of themselves in life. That is what the DAR stands for. 

"I feel very grounded here. It gives me a sense of where I belong in the whole scheme of things. People are always looking for that missing thing in their lives. In the DAR, I have found it." 

Like Christine, you can celebrate the connection to your patriot and continue that legacy for generations to come by establishing a charitable gift annuity with NSDAR. We would love to have a conversation with you about the many benefits this gift provides to you and to the DAR. Simply call us today at (800) 449-1776 and we can work together to establish your legacy.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to National Society Daughters of the American Revolution a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 1776 D Street NW Washington, DC 20006, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to NSDAR or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to NSDAR as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to NSDAR as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and NSDAR where you agree to make a gift to NSDAR and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.