The Bytown chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was established in January of 1985 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, by eight women at the Residence of the American Ambassador of the United States.
Bytown was the 8th Units Overseas chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution ("DAR") to be established, and the second in Canada. The name of the chapter was chosen because "Bytown" was the former name of Ottawa, and is therefore an ode to our commitment to preserving history.
Our annual events include an Annual General Meeting, a Prospective Members' Tea, an American Thanksgiving potluck dinner, a summer picnic, and an autumn lunch in Quebec for our members in la belle province. We have also hosted a number of special luncheons and get togethers throughout the years, including celebrations of our chapters' big anniversaries in 1995, 2006, and 2015. We look forward to celebrating our fortieth in 2025!
We welcome members from the Ottawa region and Montreal who are interested in history, education, American and Canadian patriotism, and preserving the intertwined histories of our two great countries. All of our members can, of course, trace at least some family history to the United States, but as most of our members have lived in Canada for much of their lives, we have interest in preserving and maintaining the history, education and communities we are a part of here in Canada, too.
More about Bytown
The DAR has chapters throughout the United States and approximately two dozen Units Overseas, including several across Canada. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through education for children.
Bytown's membership consists of both American and Canadian citizens, as well as dual citizens. Some of our members were born in the United States and are American expats, and others were born in Canada but can trace their family history, at least in part, back to the United States. We celebrate the diversity of our members and, since our home base is in Canada's capital city, we are committed to education and preservation of both American and Canadian history through the work we do and organizations we support.
The Bytown chapter was established by Martha Robinson, the wife of Paul Robinson, the American Ambassador to Canada in 1985 and the Chapter's first meetings were held at the Residence of the American Ambassador of the United States. We moved the meetings into our members' homes when Mrs. Robinson returned to Washington.
In 2020, we began to hold our general meetings for the first time virtually. This ended up being a tremendous success for our group, and we continue to hold hybrid meetings both in person and online, as it helps members who live further away from Ottawa (we have members as far away as Montreal) to participate. More importantly, it has allowed us to welcome our Associate members to listen in at our meetings.
In 2012, we established The Daughters of the American Revolution Bytown Chapter History Award. Each year the chair of the History Department at Carleton University selects a student majoring in history who shows special interest in the American History courses.
We welcome anyone who may be interested in joining our organization to reach out to us on our contact form. We also invite you to view our Facebook page, where we post news, updates and photos from our events. We hope you will consider joining us and participating in our mission of history, education and preserving a genealogical memory of our Revolutionary ancestors.
Thank you to one of our Chapter's founding members, Barbara Herd, for writing the history of Bytown that the information on this page was based upon. We would be happy to share a more detailed history of our Chapter upon request.