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The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

The William Winchester Chapter NSDAR was organized on December 28, 1938, and has 77 members. It is currently the only DAR chapter in Carroll County, Maryland.

 

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History of William Winchester

The chapter was named for William Winchester, colonial proprietor of the town of Westminster, Maryland.

He was born in London, England, in the borough of Westminster on December 22, 1720. He came to the colonies as an indentured servant and arrived in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1729. In 1764, he purchased a tract of land called White's Level, about 1000 acres, and laid out the city of Winchester. The Maryland General Assembly later changed the name of his town from Winchester to Westminster in order to avoid confusion with the town of Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia.

In 1774, he was elected a committee member for a session of the Continental Congress that met in Frederick County, Maryland. Too old to fight, he contributed guns and ammunition for the Revolutionary War. After the war started, he donated land at the end of Church Street for a site to be used as a meetinghouse. In 1790, the area surrounding the meetinghouse was used to bury the dead.

William Winchester died September 2, 1790; he and his wife Lydia and children are buried in the area surrounding the meetinghouse which is now known as the Westminster Cemetery.

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