About Us

The NSCDA is a lineage organization open to women who are direct descendants of an ancestor who lived in an American colony prior to 1750 and rendered service to the colonies before July 5, 1776.

The founding of the national organization was initiated by women from Pennsylvania and New York in 1891.   2016 marks our 125th Anniversary!

The NSCDA promotes appreciation for the people, places and events that led to the formation and development of our country. We are an unincorporated association of 44 Corporate Societies with more than 15,000 members. The NSCDA has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortlandt House in 1897.

The National Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House in Washington, D.C. Dumbarton House is a Federal Period House Museum.

The NSCDA is Recipient of Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites from the NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION.

Please visit our Join Us page above or here to find out how you can be a part of this wonderful organization.

 

Who we are and what we do:

The NSCDA is a lineage organization open to women who are direct descendants of an ancestor who both lived in an American colony prior to 1750 and rendered services to the colonies before July 5, 1776. The founding of the national organization was initiated by the Pennsylvania Society in 1891. Because Maine was part of Massachusetts during the colonial period, it was accepted as an Associate Society in 1896. (All non-colonial states are considered Associate Societies.) There are fifteen thousand members in the country and Maine’s society has more than one hundred women. The NSCDA owns more private museum houses than any other national organization.

The objects of this Society shall be to collect and preserve manuscripts, traditions, relics, mementos of bygone days; to preserve and restore buildings connected with the early history of our country, to educate our fellow citizens and ourselves in our country’s history and thus diffuse healthful and intelligent information concerning the past; to create a popular interest in our Colonial history, to stimulate a spirit of true patriotism and a genuine love of country; and to impress upon the young the sacred obligation of honoring the memory of those heroic ancestors whose ability, valor, sufferings and achievements are beyond all praise. We hope you will join us in these activities.

Historic Preservation Activities in Maine:

In 1931 The Colonial Dames in the State of Maine purchased and then restored the Tate House, home of Captain George Tate, the royal Mast Agent from 1755 to the Revolution. Tate House, located in Stroudwater, is a National Historic Landmark; the house and gardens are open to the public seasonally as well as for special occasions. The colonial garden is notable for its herbs, which were vital in the eighteenth century. Maine Dames serve as greeters and docents for students and the public who visit the museum. They also present the DVD: The Mast Trade in the Province of Maine to visitors.

In 1996, the James Means House (1797), across the street from the Tate House, was also purchased by the Colonial Dames. Space inside is used for a gift shop, Tate House Museum office. and an upstairs rental apartment. Reception rooms are available for community rental. The Means House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 as part of Historic Stroudwater Village.