Ronnie Russell Inducted Into National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
After having lived a life many only dream of, Ronnie Russell had one of his greatest dreams come true recently. He is now officially a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). The prestigious ceremony took place on Saturday, Aug. 13 in Dallas.
“Definitely a bucket list item here for me, especially after 10 years and hundreds of hours of research makes it even sweeter for my family,” Russell, a 61-year-old Waxahachie resident, said.
The SAR is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and teaching American history to future generations.
Russell plans to use his SAR membership to enlighten youths, such as his own grandchildren about “what happens when a community of men can come together with like beliefs, whom are trusting of one another, while ever diligent at seeking the truth, all while knowing that self sacrifice, self motivation along with teamwork that is needed to meet a specific goal, while never forgetting to remember The Golden Rule.”
A Lifetime of Service
Russell has a lifelong history of serving. Now retired, he joined the DeSoto Fire Department in 1980 at age 18 and was there 33 years, including 15 years as a battalion chief.
“My SAR goal is to help to educate the public by volunteering with the Patriot Guard, possibly in some re-enactments or even parades, to help educate our youth on the honorable truths of our founding fathers and show how important it is to be a patriot,” he said.
The induction process is rigorous and in-depth, Russell said. It requires having multiple documentation on each line of relations, such as marriage and death certificates, wills and probate documents, land documents, elected or positions of authority, and more. Also, formal application process must adhere to strict guidelines exactly.
“This has an application that must be written perfectly with no grammar mistakes, misspelling or wrong dates,” Russell said. “Each line of heirs must be in that specific spot, along with all documents to support that line. It must meet intense scrutiny to be accepted.”
Issues like common spelling must be perfect. For example, Everett vs. Everitt must be proven by several angles.
“Censuses are commonly misspelled, thus making it more difficult in some instances. That’s why it took me 10 years, even with the documentations, even with my name in a book from a certified genealogist. It’s much more complicated than most understand, as I too was unaware of before I began the process,” Russell said. “That why its such a big deal.
“Once you receive your number, no one can take it away, every family successor afterwards will also have their own number as well, and they can attach to your number once they supply a birth and marriage certificate.”
For example, he has two brothers, Jimmy and Terry, who also can now apply, that includes their children as well. The sons can apply for the SAR and the daughters can apply for the DAR or daughters of the American Revolution.
The SAR is a lineage society consisting of national, state and local chapters whose members can trace their ancestors back to the American Revolutionary War. As for his own lineage, it can be traced to North Carolina patriot John Everett.
“My mother, Carole Russell, is through the heirs that established this certified bloodline to John Everett,” Russell explained.
“Those ancestors faced great challenges and answered when called upon to fight for the very freedoms that we enjoy today,” Russell said. “Through their efforts and sacrifices the United States of America was founded. We cherish and support those same values, liberties, and freedoms today. History calls us.
“In times like we live in today, it is often easy to forget the rights and principles that this country was founded upon. This country was founded by people who were able to work through differences and come to resolution. Everyone has a place at the table, and everyone has a voice. We are dedicated to promoting history, patriotism, and education – three things that must always be communicated to those around us.”
The SAR does this by recognizing veterans and public service members, having scholastic contests and scholarship awards for young people, and recognizing young leaders in JROTC, Eagle Scouts, and those in 4H.
“We promote history and recognize outstanding history teachers. We also provide color guards for many patriotic and community events, The marking of patriot graves and so much more,” Russell said. “We the descendants of the heroes of the American Revolution. Let us remember our obligations to our forefathers, who gave us our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, an independent Supreme Court, and a nation of free men.”
A Passion For History
Russell has always had a passion for history, which he came by naturally because many of his family served.
“Family reunions were a good place to learn where I would be around ones talking about family members in the past, as well as some of these family members talking about their own old war wounds and time since past.”
Russell and his wife of 36 years, Andrea, have been residents of Ellis County since 1990, with one exception for about five years when they resided in Garland.
“We have been so blessed with four sons who are all happily married and have provided Andrea and I with some incredibly special daughter-in-laws and some magnificent grandkids,” he said, adding that the newest grandchild is due on Christmas day.
Andrea is the owner of Liberty Tax Office in Forney for the past 11 years. Oldest son Joshua is an orthopedic surgeon, Caleb is a financial advisor, as is Seth, and youngest son Daniel is a geologist.
All four sons played college football. Joshua and Caleb played for Texas A&M, while Seth and Daniel played for Baylor.
“Amazingly, one thing that I can say for my family is that whoever was playing at the time, the other brothers and spouses were always in some way, shape or form supporting their brothers. Really incredible!” Russell exclaimed.
“I’m so proud of this great honor, not only for me but also for my family generations after me. This is forever along my bloodline. This is living proof that our ancestors in this line did not die in vain.”