The SAR is a "lineage" society. This means that each member has traced their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783. Therefore, any man shall be eligible for membership in this Society who:
Qualifications for Membership
Is the age of eighteen years or over, and a citizen of good repute in the community, is the lineal descendant of an ancestor who was at all times unfailing in loyalty to and rendered active service in, the cause of American independence, either as an -officer, -soldier, -seaman, -marine, -militiaman or -Minuteman, in the armed forces of the Continental Congress, of any one of the several Colonies or States; or as a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, or as a member of a Committee of Safety or Correspondence; or as a member of any Continental, Provincial, or Colonial Congress or Legislature; or as a recognized patriot who performed actual service by overt acts of resistance to the authority of Great Britain.
The applicant must also be personally acceptable to the Society. Family tradition in regard to the services of an ancestor will not be considered. No preliminary decision will be given on a line of descent, service or evidentiary value of proposed evidence. (When examined with all available evidence, such preliminary decision might prove to be incorrect and the National Society cannot accept responsibility for such a decision.)
Acceptable Service by a Patriot Ancestor
Participation in one or more of the following types of service is required of an ancestor if a descendent is to be admitted into the Sons of the American Revolution:
Signer of the Declaration of Independence · Member of any of the Continental Congresses · Rendering material aid, such as
furnishing supplies with or without remuneration, lending money to the Colonies, munitions makers, and gunsmiths any other material aid which furthered the Cause.
Military or naval service: service at the Battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774 ,service from April 19, 1775 to November 26, 1783, furnishing a substitute for military service.
Members of the: Boston Tea Party , Kaskaskia Campaign, Galvez Expedition, Cherokee Expedition, Ededton Tea Party.
Defenders of forts and frontiers; rangers, Prisoners of war, including those on the British ship "Old Jersey," and other prison ships.
Physician, surgeon, nurse, or others rendering aid to the wounded.
Civil service under the Colonies from April 19, 1775, to November 26, 1783, inclusive.
Member of committees made necessary by the war, such as: Committee of Correspondence, Committee of Inspection and Safety, Committee to care for soldiers' families or any other Committees which furthered the cause of the Colonies from six months before the Battle of Point Pleasant.
Any pledge to support the cause of the Colonies, such as signing the, Oath of Fidelity and Support, Oath of Allegiance, Articles of Association ,
Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration, 1775 , the Albemarle, Virginia Declaration and similar declarations.
Signers of petitions addressed to and recognizing the authority of the provisional and new state governments.
Persons accepting obligations or acting under direction of the provisional and new state governments, such as persons directed to hold elections, to oversee road construction, to collect provisions, etc. Ministers known to be in sympathy with the Colonies, either by sermon, speech, or action.
Collect and Organize Documentation
You will need proper documentation to prove your lineage. This documentation includes certified birth, marriage and death certificates, wills, federal census and other records. Printed genealogies may be accepted as proof only if the genealogy is adequately documented. However, it is best to rely on primary documents, i.e., a birth certificate clearly showing parents' names or a will in which the writer clearly identifies a child through whom the applicant's lineage is traced. Contact the State Registrar or the Registrar of the local chapter you plan to join. You will also need adequate documentation which proves that your ancestor provided eligible service.
Please visit the National Society Sons of the American Revolution website to find complete details and applications for membership:
The National Society also has a Patriot and grave index search engine which may prove useful to you: