Ruth Bowie Houghton, a lifelong area resident who belonged to civic and patriotic organizations and who traced her ancestry to prominent early Marylanders, died Sunday at her apartment in Washington. She was 91.

Mrs. Houghton was the daughter of the late Walter Worthington Bowie and Elinor Clagett Bowie, through whom she was related to five former governors of Maryland. In 1914 she married Arthur Clifton Houghton, a real estate broker in Washington. He died in 1962.

Born near Upper Marlboro, Mrs. Houghton was graduate of the old Business High School here and later taught there as a substitute teacher. In 1905 she joined the Daughters of the American Revolution and was an active member of the Continental Dames Chapter until her death.

During World War II, Mrs. Houghton was national chairwoman of the DAR war program, "Buddy Bags," sending more than 300,000 bags to service personnel overseas. She also served on the speakers' bureau of the Treasury Department and headed the women's organization under the department's D.C. war finance devision. She was awarded the Treasury medal for outstanding service.

Mrs. Houghton was a charter member of the District Society of Daughters of Colonial Wars and served as its second president in 1947. She was member of the National Society, Colonial Dames of America, Descendants of the Lords of the Maryland Manors, Barons of Runnymede, the Women's Guild of American University, Springfield Garden Club, Twentieth Century Club. Prince George's County Historical Society and the Maryland Historical Society.

Mrs. Houghton is survived by a son, Worthington Bowie Houghton, of Boonsboro, Md., three grandchildren and one great-grandson.