Member Spotlights

Jacquelyn Smith, Honorary State Regent, National Outstanding Junior

Jackie Smith, Honorary State Regent, was named National Outstanding Junior for 2020 (see her candidacy HERE and the announcement of her win HERE).

Jackie Smith
Jackie Smith, Honorary State Regent
and National Outstanding Junior 2020

Youth, education and employment

Jackie Smith grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut. Her parents Paul and Karen Smith and a younger brother, Michael, are still in Connecticut.

Jackie graduated from Bunnell High School in Stratford, earned her Associates degree from Three Rivers Community College, and her Bachelor’s from Rhode Island College in 2012, majoring in Anthropology. She is applying to graduate programs in history. She aspires to get a doctorate and teach history at the college level.   “I have always been comforted by history; I get lost in it.” Jackie’s focus is on early American cultural history.


Deborah and Dymond Bush, First Rhode Island Regiment daughters

Dymond and Deborah Bush at NSDAR headquarters
Dymond and Deborah Bush at Continental Congress, July 2019

Deborah and Dymond are a mother-daughter pair in the Rhode Island Independence chapter.

They trace their ancestry to Michael Anthony, a member of the First Rhode Island Regiment. They are justly proud of their very deep Rhode Island roots.

Their shared love of history and ancestry brought them to the DAR several years ago.

Dymond is now the Regent of the Rhode Island Independence chapter and has been nominated for the position of RIDAR State Librarian.


Four Generations of DAR and CAR: Erna Bentley, Wendy Bly, Kristy Head and Olivia Head

Four generations of DAR & CAR
Four generations of daughters celebrate Erna’s installation in the DAR, 2018.
From left to right: Olivia, Wendy, Erna, and Kristy

How did four generations come to be involved in the Rhode Island DAR? Kristy was the first to explore the DAR after returning to the US from England with her husband.

Kristy relates: “My husband is the genealogy guru of the household, I’m the history nut.  I joined in 2014 as a junior and instantly loved Phebe Greene Ward chapter and all that we did.  I paged for a few state conferences and invited my mother to a few things.”

Kristy’s ancestor (Moses Bly) is from her father’s line. Finding a Patriot ancestor for her mother (Wendy) seemed less likely as Wendy’s father had immigrated from Canada after WWII. After some searching, they discovered patriot ancestor Josiah Halsted through her mother’s side. Wendy joined in 2017.

What about Wendy’s mother Erna? Kristy says, “It took us about 6 months to convince my then-98 year old grandmother Erna to join us.  Her application was approved within hours of being logged as received on eMembership.”

Wendy and Kristy are active in Phebe Greene Ward Chapter, NSDAR, and Olivia serves in CAR as the RI State 1st Vice President and Society President (local branch). 

Erna — at 100 years young — lives in Mystic, CT.  She served as a Chief Petty Officer in the Naval Communications Intelligence Office during WWII, decoding secret messages of the German and Japanese governments. She was honored with the DAR Women in American History Medal in 2018.

You can read more about Erna in the December 2018 ARTICLE from New London’s The Day publication, and in NSDAR’s July 2019 ARTICLE on the NSDAR website.