Chinkchewunska Chapter - Wantage, New Jersey - National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
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2019 - 2022 Executive Board

Bottom Row Left to Right

Treasurer, Laura Franek;  Recording Secretary, Sara Demarest;  Corresponding Secretary, Lisaann Permunian; Librarian, Kathy Weakland; Curator, Jenise Sileo

Back Row Left to Right

Registrar, Janet Woudenberg;  Historian, Allyn Perry;  Regent, Ashley Zicarrdi;  2nd Vice Regent & Asst. Treasurer, Betty Manzi;  Chaplain, Kathy Cook;  1st Vice Regent, Carol Gonzalez

Calendar of Events

Meetings of the Chinkchewunska Chapter-DAR are held in Sussex, New Jersey, unless otherwise stated. Guests and prospective members are warmly welcomed at our meetings. If you are interested in attending, please contact Lisaann Permunian or chinkchewunska1903@gmail


On November 11, 1902, twelve women of Sussex County gathered in Newton, to plan the formation of what would become Chinkchewunska Chapter. A charter from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was granted, and on January 12, 1903, the chapter was organized. The chapter name originates from a Native American word meaning “hilltop town” or “town on the side of a hill.” The organizing regent was Miss Frances A. McMurtry. At early chapter meetings, members read papers that they wrote about American heroes and battle campaigns of the Revolutionary War, the American flag, and patriotism. Members expressed great interest in community, state, and national affairs.
The crowning glory of Chinkchewunska Chapter is the museum we own. In 1971, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Ramsey presented us with the deed to a Dutch colonial farmhouse, built in 1787 for the Reverend Elias Van Bunschooten, for whom our museum is named. We also own six acres of land containing a large barn and three historical outbuildings, a wagon house, Greek Revival privy, and ice house. Remaining true to its origins, the only changes made to the house in all these years are the additions of electric, plumbing, and heat. The home is listed on both the New Jersey and the National Registers of Historic Sites and Places.

Chinkchewunska Chapter celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002.

The DAR Elias Van Bunschooten Museum is located at 1097 Route 23, Wantage, New Jersey (4 miles north of the town of Sussex). Our Museum located at 1097 Route 23 North, Wantage, New Jersey will be open for tours on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 1:00pm - 4:00 pm from May to October. For additional information about tours please contact
Come and spend a day in the country with us.


We continue to honor the goals of our founding members. Each year we present History and Citizenship medals to grade school students.  Good Citizen medals are given to high school students, and we participate in the America History Essay Contest for elementary students.  We honor an American History Teacher of the Year. We also annually honor a member of the community for outstanding service. Our Chapter also recognizes a noted, local historian each year.

During the 100 years of our Chapter’s existence, we have marked many historical sites in Sussex County, as well as the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers.




During our Annual Christmas in July Event on July 14, 2018 our old barn was decorated with a special American Flag which was made by Rachel McLain Carnaghan.  Rachel was born in 1830 and is the Mother of our Britta Morgan Carnaghan  Cooper.  Britta and her husband Charles Elias Cooper resided in our museum in 1870’s. 


During the Spanish American War of 1898, Rachel was living with her daughter and son in law on Bissell Avenue in Oil City, Pennsylvania and created both this American Flag and a Cuban Flag.  The two flags were flown together over the avenue in front of their home during the War.


The American Flag was donated to the Chinkchewunska Chapter in 2012 by Rachel’s Great Great Granddaughter, Sarah Eeles.


Pictured with Rachel’s American Flag are Cooper descendants who traveled from distant locations to pay homage to the ancestors home .  The Cooper descendants arrived from Clifton Park, NY, Mississippi, Florida and Sante Fe, New Mexico.


Chinkchewusnka Chapters members attend the Sussex County Historical Society's Headstone Dedication of Revolutionary War Patriot ~ Matthew Davis on April 21, 2018 at the Old Newton Burial Ground. Chapter member Wendy Wyman and trustee for the Sussex County Historical Society lead the ceremony program.


The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Chinkchewunska Chapter hosted a Breakfast for local Veterans on Veterans Day November 11, 2017 at their Elias VanBenschooten Museum. The Veterans were treated to a scrumptious breakfast consisting of sausage muffins, quiches, bagels & pastries, bisquits and gravy, fruit kabob and many more delectible treats.


2017 Outstanding Junior

On April 27-29, 2017 members of the Chinkchewunska Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution attended the 125th Annual Spring Conference of the New Jersey Society Daughters the the American Revolution at the Hyatt Regency Princeton NJ.

At the banquet on the evening of April 28, Laura Franek, a member of the Chinkchewunska Chapter was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding Junior member for the state. Candidates to receive this award are DAR members, ages 18 through 35 inclusive, who have been selected by their chapters as the chapter's Outstanding Junior. A young women who is active in the DAR and her community, in furthering the DAR's historical, educational, and patriotic objectives in accordance with the DAR motto, "God, Home, and Country," is an Outstanding Junior.

Laura Franek has been an active member of the Chinkchewunska Chapter since she became a member in 2012. She participates in many chapter events and has served on the House and Membership Committees. She has previously served at the chair of the American Indian Committee and is currently the chair of the Junior Membership, Constitution Week, Genealogical Records and Public Relations and Media. She has previously served as the chapter's Recording Secretary and is currently the Vice Regent. At the state level, Laura is the state chair of the DAR Scholarship Committee and has served as page at the state annual spring conference and fall meeting.

Laura was also recognized at the National level at the 126th Continental Congress in June 2017 in Washington DC.

The Good Citizen Award

The Chinkchewunska Chapter of the DAR is a longtime supporter of Sussex County, 11 high schools. Each year a senior chosen by the school is honored with the Good Citizen Award by the Chinkchewunska Chapter DAR. These chosen students embody the traits of good character, dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.
An annual reception and awards ceremony is held to honor the recipients. This year it was held in the Elias Van Bunschooten Museum. Family and friends of the recipients enjoyed refreshments and tours of the museum.
This year’s Chinkchewunska Chapter winner is Benjamin Insley from Sparta High School. He was also the winner chosen by the state NJDAR , the Eastern Division and the national NSDAR . Benjamin received his national award as well as a scholarship from the NSDAR at the Continental Congress ceremony in Washington, DC in June.


Mother's Day High Tea

On May 7, 2016 we held our 5th Annual Mother's Day High Tea at our museum. Over 50 ladies of all ages enjoyed a sampling of delicious savories and tea. All food was prepared and served by members of the Chinkchewunska Chapter.


2014 New Jersey's Outstanding Junior

We are very proud of Ashley and all of her accomplishments.
Ashley now serves as our Regent.

2014~DAR Members Honored at Conference

Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution from all over the state attended the New Jersey State Society Daughters of the American Revolution's 122nd Annual State conference on April 25-26

The Chinkchewunska Chapter received the Distinguished New Jersey DAR Chapter for DAR Project Patriot Award and was recognized their 100 percent participation in the President General’s Project.

Bonnie Matthews was recognized as the NJDAR outstanding chapter regent. As chapter regent, Matthews has increased the morale of the chapter by opening her home to all members and encouraging fellowship and bonding among the diversity that is found in any chapter. She spends countless hours working to maintain and preserve the chapter’s “home” the Rev. Elias Van Bunschooten Museum and also volunteers with the DAR at the state and national levels. Matthews also is the state chairwoman of the Hospitality Committee.

Lisaann Permunian, chapter historian, received the NJDAR Outstanding Volunteer Information Specialist Award. This award is presented to a member who uses computer and technology skills to assist the DAR. Lisaann created and maintains the Chinkchewunska Chapter Facebook page. She also uses her computer skills do the necessary research to obtain grave markers for Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots. She has obtained new grave markers for four Revolutionary War Soldiers and has helped with other dedications by researching biographical information about the soldiers. Lisaann also is a member of the State Genealogy Preservation Committee where she has indexed more than 5,000 documents

Ashley Ziccardi was recognized as the 2014 NJDAR Outstanding Junior Member. This award honors a junior member (DAR member who is younger than 35 years old) who has promoted the aims and purposes of the National Society, as well as participating in community activities. Ashley is serving her second term as chapter registrar. She is the chapter chairwoman of the commemorative events, lineage research, and membership committees and she is the state chairman for the Genealogical Records Committee. Ziccardi was the senior society president of the Elias Van Bunschooten Society National Society Children of the American Revolution (NSCAR) and she is the senior registrar for the New Jersey State Society NSCAR. Ziccardi has been working with other volunteers to clean the Coe Smith Cemetery, which has been abandoned for more than 15 years and has obtained 11 new grave markers for Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots and one grave marker for a DAR Real Daughter.

Recognizing Historically Significant Sites

Each year Sussex County places markers at historically significant
sites. The DAR Van Bunschooten Museum received one of these beautiful
markers in June, 2006. The sign was dedicated at Christmas In July,
complete with a musket and rifle salute by the Frontier Guard and the
27th Regiment of NJ Volunteers.


Real Daughter Grave Marked

On June 7 2014 at the Sparta Presbyterian Church Cemetery, the Chinkchewunska Chapter held a special dedication ceremony to mark the grave of Real Daughter Eunice Beardslee.

A DAR Real Daughter is a woman who joined the DAR whose father (and/or mother) was a Revolutionary patriot. Eunice's father, Noadiah Wade, entered the military service at Morristown in October 1775. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in Capt. David Thompson’s Company, Col. William Winds’ New Jersey Regiment. In 1775 he was promoted to captain and recruited his own company and served in Col. Ephraim Martin’s 4th New Jersey Regiment until Oct. 30, 1777, when he left the military service on account of ill health.

Eunice indicated on her DAR application that her father served in the Revolutionary War four years and eight months. “He was a member of Washington’s staff, and I remember him telling me that he sometimes rode Washington’s white horse, shouting his commands. On account of ill health caused by the hardships of the war he was forced to resign, and when he came home he sold his farm, leaving the proceeds to the government. He was paid back in Continental money, which so depreciated in value that he was left penniless after the war.”

Real Daughter Eunice Beardslee




American Flag Flown over the US Capitol in Honor of the
Chinkchewunska NSDAR Chapter
Chinkchewunska Chapter members
Laura Franek;Vice Regent, Lisaann Permunian; The Flag of the United States of America Committee Chairman, Ashley Ziccardi; Regent are shown with an American flag which was flown over the United States Capitol on Independence Day, July 4, 2016.

Lisaann contacted Congressman Garrett and requested a flag to be flown in honor of the Chinkchewunska Chapter.
The certificate reads - At the request of the Honorable Scott Garrett member of Congress, this flag was flown in honor of the Chinkchewunska Chapter NSDAR to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
The Flag of the United States of America Committee was established over 100 years ago to promote a deep patriotic sense of respect for our flag. In 1909 NSDAR presented this committee with these principle objectives: to keep the flag flying and to protect it continuously under all conditions, as well as to educate citizens regarding its correct usage.

First Reformed Church of New Brunswick -
Where the Remains of our Rev. Elias VanBunschooten were Interred

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 13 members of the Chinkchewunska Chapter embarked on a bus trip to New Brunswick, N.J. to visit the First Reformed Church of New Brunswick and the graveyard, where the remains of our Rev. Elias VanBunschooten were interred in 1817. He was originally interred at the Old Clove Church upon his death in 1815.

The Reformed Church in America was founded in 1628 in New Amsterdam (New York City) and the original church was built in 1717. In 1753, King George II granted a royal charter to erect a new building. In 1765 the land was acquired from Phillip French and leased the lot to the congregation for 2000 years for the rent of one peppercorn per year.

The church NOW seats approximately 150 people and the building has been divided into four floors, housing both the Community Development Corporation TOWN CLOCK and the Housing Project, DINA'S DWELLINGS, which holds ten affordable housing options for female survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Our Reverends grave is basically unmarked, the inscription weathered and worn over time.The members all agreed that it was a wonderful and educational opportunity for to visit and pay our respects to the man who made it possible for us to enjoy our beautiful museum.

Annual Awards Day February 2006
2006 Annual Awards Luncheon

Our chapter held its annual Awards Luncheon at the Lafayette House Restaurant in February. Bea Kota, our regent, welcomed over 150 guests. Bonnie Matthews, treasurer, introduced our Community Service award winner, Diane Taylor. She started a wonderful service program in Sussex County called Pass It Along, which has benefited so many of our residents in varied ways. Martha Domonkos, historian, introduced Betty Allen who was our History Award winner. Betty is the president of the Franklin Historical Society and she has spent years promoting Sussex County history. Wendy Wyman, vice regent, presented the Stamy/Ayers Award to the Lost Art Lacers. This award is named for two wonderful women who supported our chapter and museum for years and the award is presented to someone who is not connected with DAR but has given us outstanding support. The Lost Art Lacers attend our Christmas In July event every year and delight our visitors with their beautiful lace making skills. Lee Daly, Susan Keenan, and Clara Eastby accepted the award for their organization. The DAR Preservation Award was given to Alan Terwilliger and Robert Coates of Wantage. They are both school teachers and they had their classes create a totem pole in Wantage Twp. to replace a long standing totem pole landmark that was destroyed in an auto accident. A wonderful time was had by all.

October 2005

October 2005 project - display of hats in the Sussex/Wantage Library

Jean Zwirek, Barbara Sauvé, and Muriel Robertson have placed a display of hats from our museum collection in the Sussex/Wantage Library for the month of October. They used hats from all different eras and complimented the hats with a parasol, gentlemen’s spats and gloves, decorative hair combs, hat pins, fans, and vintage hat boxes.

The Friends of the Library have thanked us for our displays and have asked us to do one for November (toys) and one in June (crystal and china).


Chinkchewunska Chapter Officers
Left to right standing: Irene Cosh, Valerie Seufert, Elaine Eberhart, Bonnie Matthews, Joanne Cosh, Bea Kota.
Sitting: Muriel Robertson, Jean Zwirek, Barbara Sauvé, Wendy Wyman

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