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Historic Graveyard Tour at All Saints Torresdale

All Saints Church Torresdale Hosts Historic Graveyard Tour for Flag House D.A.R.

The members of FLAG HOUSE CHAPTER, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), were the guests of the History Committee of ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL CHURCH TORRESDALE on a bright and balmy Saturday afternoon, April 16th, for a history tour of the church and its graveyard.

Flag House Chapter Regent Pamela Rivera was joined by officers, members and prospective members, including Christie Link, Patricia Coyne, Kathleen Zielinski, Colleen Kolakowski, Joyce Mosley, Wendy Lenhart, Erin Rodgers Schmidt, Peg Dungan Barr and Sonia Abrams Bostic.

After Regent Rivera opened the Flag House meeting with the DAR Patriotic Ritual and reading of the NSDAR President General and National Defense reports, All Saints Episcopal Church Torresdale History Chairman Debbie Klak introduced her committee members: Carol Rifkin, Suzanne Scourfield, Sandy Pytlewski, and Hilda Vertlieb.

The group learned of the church’s history, pre-dating the American Revolution, and viewed some of its architectural features in an entertaining and enlightening program presented by Ms Klak and her committee. Then it was out to the graveyard – where enchanting stories of many souls and their final resting places were related. Highlights included graves of Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War soldiers.

Finally, invigorated by the trek through the mid-18th century portion of the church’s expansive graveyard, all shared in a bountiful buffet of savory and sweet luncheon treats – and continued to share stories of their own Revolutionary War ancestors.

Slideshow at this link.

If you believe you might be descended from a Revolutionary War patriot, feel free to contact Flag House Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution at to learn more about the opportunities available.

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You Can Never Be Sure You Know Who You Are

Frankford’s own Flag House Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored a genealogy workshop at the Historical Society of Frankford on April 9th with a full house of participants.  It was presented by Deborah Hershey, a certified genealogist and a member of the Harrisburg Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

This was an excellent presentation for the new genealogist which went into great detail on the documentation and process of how to really find out who you are.  With all of the electronic sources now available online, it is very easy to get lost in misinformation.

Also on the agenda was Sylvia Wilkins who gave a first hand account about her search for her ancestors and the pitfalls that you may encounter in the beginning.  You can read all about it at this PBS link.

This was well worth the price of admission and should become a popular annual event at the HSF.

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Need Help on Your Family Tree?


Historical Society of Frankford
1507 Orthodox Street   Philadelphia, PA 19124

Saturday, April 9, 2016
Starts promptly at 1:00pm  (2 hour program/workshop)

With DAR Genealogist Deborah Hershey

RESERVATIONS:  215-365-5550  $10 donation


Have you ever wondered about your ancestors?  How you became the person you are?

When you watch Who Do You Think You Are? on TV, do you wonder how to find out who your ancestors were – how you got here and where you came from?

Join DAR genealogist Deborah Hershey at the Historical Society of Frankford.  No skill needed – just a dar logodesire to discover those ancestors that are calling out to be found.  From Kings to Slaves, Princes to Paupers – start the great adventure into your own personal history now.  Materials and instructions will be provided to get you started – or, for those who have begun – help you move to the next generation

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED:  215-365-5550 (leave message).

Donation $10 at the door.   Light refreshments will be served.

Presented by Frankford’s own Flag House Chapter,  Daughters of the American Revolution

Deborah Hershey, Genealogist  – Harrisburg Chapter DAR

Ms Hershey, a member of the Harrisburg Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, has been a genealogist for over 35  years.  She has a certificate in family history from BYU, an  NSDAR Genealogic Consultant certificate, and has extensive experience in PA – particularly Central and Eastern PA.  She has completed many DAR/SAR/CAR/SR Lineage papers that have been accepted for membership. She is an NSDAR Genealogical Consultant, a member of the PSSDAR Speakers Bureau and Duart One-Name Study.  She also lectures/seminars on various topics of genealogical research..

Memberships:  Genealogical Association of PA; Association of Professional Genealogists; Capitol Area Genealogical Society; New England Historic Genealogical Society; Lancaster History Org; Derry Township Historical Society; Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society; Lycoming County Historical Society; Bradford County Historical Society; One-Name Study Guild; Dauphin County Historical Society; The Perry Historians; Scottish Society of Central PA

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DAR Awards Two for Excellence in Community Service

At their 2010-2013 Triennium Luncheon on Saturday, May 18th, the Flag House Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) awarded Excellence in Community Service Awards to Joseph J. Menkevich and Michael C. Axelrod.

First a little bit of history about the Flag House Chapter of the DAR.

Mr T. Worcester Worrell, a long-time Frankford resident and member of the Sons of the American Revolution, suggested to his wife, the great grand niece of Betsy Ross, that a family chapter consisting of relatives of “Aunty Claypoole” (as they called Betsy Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole) be formed as a lasting tribute to the maker of America’s first flag.

The idea was well received by Mrs Worrell’s relatives and an organizing meeting was held at the Worrell’s home (Column Hall – State Rd/Church St and Tacony St) on February 23, 1901.  On June 9, 1903, the founding members met the home of Ada Cooper Dickeson where they were granted their Charter from the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.  Ms Dickeson, a member of Delaware County Chapter DAR, became a member of Flag House to be with the Ross family group and bring their numbers to a symbolic thirteen.

In 1924, Flag House Chapter opened its membership to all Revolutionary War descendants – ensuring the chapter’s survival into the next millennium.  Members continue to participate in local, state, and national DAR activities and remain a presence in Frankford and the surrounding area.

Following are the citations for the awards. Joe Menkevich is well known to many in the Frankford community.  He will be our Focus on Frankford subject in June:

Flag House Chapter, NSDAR, proudly honors Joseph J Menkevich with the 2012-13 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award.   Mr Menkevich, an active resident of the Northwood/Frankford area of Philadelphia, has invested his time, resources, and considerable talents in civic/community service in enhancing the livability of his community & preserving the area’s history for over a decade.

As president of the Northwood Civic Assn, he took a firm stance in working with community leaders & City to enforce the area’s protective zoning ordinances – encouraging residents to get involved.  He convened civic meetings around development and demolition to preserve the historic, social, cultural, and economic features of the neighborhood.

Joseph Menkevich can be viewed on You Tube (02 July 2012) sharing his vision for the Frankford community in conjunction with his participation in the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s initiative to create six murals featuring the area’s history.    He has devoted his tremendous skills, time, and resources to researching the significance of various properties in the area to discourage their demolition and encourage productive use/reuse.  These include researching/sharing  the historic significance of the home of Dr Benjamin Rush, researching Oaklands – the home of William Overington – researching and sharing the history of Lydia Darragh’s role informing Washington of the movement of British troops, and researching and encouraging the Historical Society of Frankford in the preparation of a nomination for a Philadelphia Historic Commission listing for the oldest house in Frankford.  He is a consistent and vocal presence at community meetings and a frequent contributor to the area’s on-line newspapers (, and ).

 Mr Menkevich continues to generously share his time and talents with the area’s social, civic, and historical groups.  His activities have served to inspire residents to get involved in making their community a better place.   Flag House Chapter is delighted to present this national award.

Mike Axelrod is known to Frankford as a former Vice Principal at Frankford High School.  He has also made a fascinating presentations at the Historical Society of Frankford on flag history.

Flag House Chapter, NSDAR, proudly honors Michael C Axelrod with the 2012-13 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award.  Mr Axelrod has combined his formidable skills as an educator and administrator and his interest in and love for history to research and present a series of programs, activities, and displays on military, American, and Flag of the United States history to children, senior citizens, educational institutions, and social, cultural, patriotic, fraternal, historical groups throughout the SE PA region.

He is Vice President of the national’s oldest flag day association (Philadelphia Flag Day Association, and is an active member of the nation’s first organized military unit (1747 – Veteran Guard, Third Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania 

Mr Axelrod took the lead in establishing and expanding the PFDA Flag and Banner Collection, broadening it to include 9-11 and “Support our Troops” flags – now numbering over 200.  He has raised the funds to purchase significant flags through his educational programs, which are richly illustrated by examples from the Collection.   He has been instrumental in the planning of parades/processionals, events/activities, and ceremonies to commemorate 9-11, Flag Day, Veterans’ Day, and Washington’s birthday, working cooperatively with the National  Constitution Center, US Army, Independence National Historic Park, the Betsy Ross House, Fort Mifflin, and local universities and legislators. 

 His latest project is to offer support to enhancing and expanding the Military Museum at the National Guard Armory in NE Philadelphia as a vehicle for the preservation of the nation’s military history through the items from our nation’s military history and the stories of those who used them.   Michael Axelrod continues to explore ways to bring history alive through educational outreach and patriotic pageantry as he generously shares his time and talents with the area’s social, civic, and historical groups.   His activities have served to inspire residents to get involved in making their community and this nation a better place.  Flag House Chapter DAR is delighted to present this national award today.


In addition to the honors bestowed, new chapter officers were also installed as follows:

  • Pamela Rivera, Regent  
  • Patricia Coyne, First Vice Regent  
  • Colleen Kolakowski, Second Vice Regent 
  • Betty Bedford, Chaplain 
  • Patricia Coyne, Recording Secretary   
  • Bunny Riehl, Corresponding Secretary 
  • Christie Link, Treasurer 
  • Nancy Popielarski, Registrar 
  • Patricia Coyne, Historian 
  • Kathleen Zielinski, Librarian 

Congratulations to Joe and Mike and the Flag House Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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2010-2013 Triennium Luncheon

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Debbie and John Klak Honored

Debbie and John Klak were honored by the National DAR.

Frankford’s Flag House Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, installed its 2010-2013 officers and honored two local recipients of NSDAR Community Service Awards at its 107th Anniversary Luncheon Saturday.

Read the entire story here at