Become a Member

Perhaps your are fascinated with Craik-Patton Museum House and gardens in Charleston, West Virginia, and wish to become one of its volunteers…

Perhaps you would like to be personally involved with historic preservation in your community…

Perhaps you have an interest in American colonial history and wish to develop that interest….

Perhaps you have heard of Our Mission to keep history alive…

Then membership in the West Virginia Society of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA-WV) may be just for you!


Past Presidents SEVEN CORPORATE PRESIDENTS AT SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING (11/09/11); (L. TO R.) Katherine Forbes Wellford, Mary Henderson Hodges, Tate Brewster Hudson, Catherine Tuckwiller McKinney, Virginia Point Kauffelt, Elizabeth Davis Keightley and Jane Heywood Boylin

The National Society of Colonial Dames of America is a lineage organization open to women who are direct descendents 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 a group of women who met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1891 to organize a society to recognize the Colonial period in our country’s history. The Pennsylvania Society became the first of the State Societies that constitute the National Society. By 1894 fourteen Societies had joined. Societies other than the “original fourteen” are called Associate State Societies. At the present time there are 45 state societies with a membership of over 15,000 that comprise the National Society. Our West Virginia Society was formed in 1900. Today the NSCDA in West Virginia has approximately 140 members.

We are a Society, not an organization or a club. We are members of the National Society through our Corporate Societies. As such, we convene in Washington every other year at Biennial Councils. They are neither meetings nor conventions; they are Councils. The bylaws of the National Society are called Acts in Council because they are enacted at Biennial Councils.


Our West Virginia Society acquired the Craik-Patton House in 1968. This museum property is used to interpret American and West Virginia history through the lives and possessions of the inhabitants of the house, the Craiks and the Pattons.

In 1999, the ownership of Craik-Patton House was turned over to a community board that includes 60% of its directors who are members of the West Virginia Society. This board known as Craik-Patton House Inc. collects and preserves the furnishings and objects appropriate to the property. It is responsible for the care, maintenance and educational programs offered each year.


Our society promotes an essay contest for public and private high schools in the state. The goal of this contest is to stimulate awareness of the privileges, opportunities and responsibilities of U. S. Citizenship. Winners of our state contest attend a week-long Congressional Seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn how our government works. We support a program providing scholarships for Native Americans who are earning degrees related to health care. We also participate in a national American History Scholarship Award program that honors graduate students in history. Three times a year we participate in the New Citizen Ceremony in Charleston, WV, both welcoming and honoring each new American citizen.


This committee initiated an oral history program of interviews of the NSCDA-WV’s older members. Each member interviewed tells of her life experience and her connection with the Colonial Dames. These histories will be made into a bound copy at the completion of the project.


This is a sponsorship organization. Candidates invited to membership have two years in which to complete the admission process. The first step is to find a qualifying ancestor. Your sponsor or the West Virginia Registrar can assist.

The Registrar will contact each candidate to explain the procedure for completing her lineage papers with proofs. Once her papers are approved and all fees are paid, the candidate becomes a member of the NSCDA in the State of West Virginia.

For more information contact the present Registrar, Lynn Goldsmith at