Colonel Josiah Smith's House in East Moriches, NY. Photo used with permission of Mrs. Mary Field.

It was with great curiosity that I began researching the early founding members of the Colonel Josiah Smith Chapter. I wanted to see what kind of women these were and whether or not they had anything in common with the women in the chapter today.

At this time in history, there were great changes made in the roles that women played. Gaining the right to vote and run for political office was a major advancement for the women of this era—a right that so many of us take for granted today. With this newfound equality to men, they felt a sense of pride and freedom to pursue other interests outside the home. World War I had just ended, and perhaps some of these women had lost a husband, son, or other relative just as many had in wars past and, sadly, like so many may in the future. More of these women were working outside the home to help support their families. They were starting their own groups or joining other ladies' groups already founded in order to aid each other and the less fortunate with charitable contributions and good deeds.

The founding Daughters of our chapter took part in many charitable events. They raised money by hosting many luncheons, holding card games and raffles, and selling handcrafted items and baked goods at fairs. They honored students with monetary awards and certificates for their academic achievements, served lunch to veterans, and collected needed articles of clothing and toiletries for them as well.

The Daughters also had many notable speakers at their meetings. The programs ranged from discussions of politics, religion, gardening, quilt-making, moving pictures, ancestors, and historical places on the Island. Reports were given by members who had traveled abroad with pictures of and stories about their trips. They were sometimes entertained by members who would sing, play music, or recite poetry. Tables were always beautifully decorated with fresh seasonal flowers, and a delightful array of refreshments would be served. The social hour would be enjoyed by all attending.

At many of the meetings, the members would dress in period costume and put on small skits to portray a historic event, never forgetting that they were joined together to honor the memory of their Revolutionary ancestors.

The Colonel Josiah Smith Chapter took part in many 4th of July parades, winning several awards for their patriotic floats. The chapter also supported its sister chapters by attending their luncheons and helping to raise money for their causes as well. One beneficiary was the Tamassee School, to which generous donations were made. They collected genealogy records and bible records, and they located and recorded many Revolutionary war graves for future generations. They also distributed literature to new citizens at the Naturalization Court in Patchogue. The women also collected money and materials for Ellis Island to support the vocational work carried on there by the DAR.

Every article or entry in a book that I have read has led me to believe that these women truly enjoyed being members of the NSDAR. They enjoyed getting together and working as they did on behalf of the organization. They believed in helping others less fortunate while being there for each other. I am sure things didn't always run smoothly, but after 90 years, we are still here. Today, the chapter carries on the good work the founding members started. Their spirit still lives on, as we are still "dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing our children's future through better education.


Belle Robinson Bailey Elizabeth Ramsey Brennan • Mary R. Deery • Nellie Randall Davis • Antoinette Cooke Doxsee • Eleanor Theresa Davis Erhardt • Lydia Smith Goodale • Sarah A. Homan • Mrs. Inez Leaming Jaycox • Mrs. Inez Rose MacCarthy • Mrs. Mary Rogers Pelletreau • Mary Elizabeth Elkins Paterson • Ella R. Roe • Henrietta Leaming Rose • Frances E. Dodge Ross • Gertrude S. Ryder • Elsie B. Ryder • Edith Arlene Searing • Inez Overton Smith • Ada M. Strong • Belle Grant Smith • H. Rosetta Terry • Maude R. Tobey • Julia Exton Vrooman | Nettie Furman Valentine • Yetta Overton West • Frances Jackson Pratt • Sophia Jackson Pratt • Rosalie Miller Baker • Mary Ritch Hawkins • Amelia Augusta Leaming Rose • Genevieve C. Freeman • Anna G. Bailey Smith • Ella K. Bailey • Mabel Eaton Carll • Delphene E. Collins • Belinda L. Edwards • Hannah Edwards Kennedy

The Colonel Josiah Smith Chapter Charter, created in 1920, was professionally restored in 2012.


Mrs. Heidi Nathan-Barry (2020–2021)

Dr. Joan Graham Nathan (2016–2020)

Ms. Nancy Wierzbowski (2013–2016)

Mrs. Richard Bloomer (2010–2013)

Mrs. Donald P. Griffing (2004–2010)

Mrs. Mary N. Lynch (1998–2004)

Mrs. Donald P. Griffing (1991–1998)

Mrs. Lucille Still Marinuzzi (1985–1991)

Mrs. Chester Kuzmech (1983–1985)

Mrs. Donald Bailey (1981–1983)

Mrs. Millard Smith(1979–1981)

Mrs. Anthony DeVito (1976–1979)

Mrs. Edward Matyjasik (1973–1976)

Mrs. Henry Hamann (1971–1973)

Miss Laura G. Ebell (1969–1971)

Mrs. Lester Davis, Sr. (1968–1969)

Mrs. Russell Page Koehler (1965–1968)

Mrs. George J.W. Husing (1963–1965)

Mrs. James B. M. Bullock (1962–1963)

Miss Laura G. Ebell (1959–1962)

Miss Ella Terry (1956–1959)

Mrs. Frank Panciatichi (1954–1956)

Mrs. William Jenkins (1952–1954)

Mrs. Fremont Abrams (1951–1952)

Mrs. James B. M. Bullock (1950–1951)

Mrs. J. Robert Gracey (1948–950)

Mrs. F. Palmer Haff (1946–1948)

Mrs. Robinson Weeks (1943–1946)

Mrs. Charles Huntoon (1940–1943)

Mrs. Robert Pelletreau (1938–1940)

Mrs. Walter Jaycox (1935–1938)

Mrs. Charles Huntoon (1932–1935)

Mrs. Edwin Johankenecht (1929–1932)

Mrs. Eugene Hawkins, Jr (1926–1929)

Mrs. Robert Pelletreau (1923–1926)

Mrs. Arthur Terry (1920–1923)