Native Scioto County sisters finding their roots

By Beth Normand - President, Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter

“Finding your roots” has become a popular trendy phrase partly thanks to the television show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” and long-running commercials for “” among others.

For many years, both men and women have diligently searched to find their roots for the purpose of submitting applications, with documentation, of proven ancestors to several National Societies. One relevant to this story is the National Society United States Daughters of 1812, which was founded in 1892, and headquartered today in Washington, D.C. This non-profit, non-political, women’s service organization consists of descendants of patriots who aided the American cause during the War of 1812.

Two local women, Carolyn Morrow Hilliard and Marilyn Morrow Schomburg, went on a journey to discover where their roots came from.

“About twelve years ago, Marilyn Morrow Schomburg and I became interested in genealogy,” Hilliard said. “Factual genealogy, which requires documents that prove when someone was born, married, died or where they lived. This seemed a good endeavor to prevent monotony in retirement. Marilyn had previously worked on compiling a family tree.”

However, time constraints placed the file on a shelf remaining idle for several years. Curious about who, or what, might be discovered beyond her sister’s records, Carolyn asked to borrow the file.

Our father would tell us, ‘Always remember where you come from,’” Hillard said. “Where we came from was not solely Southern Ohio. The quest to find more ancestors led us to Kentucky, Virginia and further east. A key element was to search for ancestors who served our country in the military. The first “find” was those serving as Union soldiers in the Civil War.

Having found a connection to those military ancestors was intriguing. Inspired by such a find, the journey had only begun. With an insatiable desire to find more ancestors, prompted going back another generation. It resulted another rewarding segment of a genealogical journey.

In that journey, the pair discovered that William Bilderback, Sr. served in Kentucky and Illinois as a Lieutenant in the War of 1812. Along with the necessary documentation, this provided the proof for membership in the Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter of United States Daughters of 1812.

“We acquired the beautiful N.S.U.S.D. of 1812 Society’s “St. Michael’s Certificate,” Hillard said. “We think of it as picture-proof for the accomplishment.”

These two sisters (Carolyn and Marilyn) have now proven rightful claim to being proud descendants of four Patriots who fought for our freedom, post-revolutionary, in the War of 1812. And the search continues.

“Remembering, rather learning, where we came from is not a place, it is from our heritage,” Hillard said.

To learn more about membership in the N.S.U.S.D. of 1812, please feel free to contact the Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter at P.O. Box 22, Lucasville, OH 45648, or email [email protected], or you can find us on Facebook.

By Beth Normand

President, Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter