Daughters of the American Revolution
Children of the American Revolution
Sons of the Revolution
Atlantic Middle States of the Sons of the American Revolution
If you have a lineal connection to an ancestor who provided service to the cause of American Independence, you might be eligible to join the SAR.
The SAR accepts service rendered, with some exceptions, for the period between 19 April 1775 and 26 November 1783.
Determining your possible eligibility
Check that the SAR membership qualifications are satisfied and that your intended ancestor provided acceptable service. Please note that the SAR does not restrict membership based on race, color, religion, national origin, or nation of citizenship or residency. Marriage and appropriate documentation for the several generations going back to the patriot ancestor are desired but are not a requirement. Legitimacy in any generation is not a requirement. Descendants of plural marriages are not excluded from SAR membership. Bloodline descent, legitimate or illegitimate, from a patriot ancestor is what is required and is what must be documented. Individuals applying for SAR membership must also have recommendations from two current SAR members.
Qualifications for membership
Any male shall be eligible for membership in the SAR who:
• Is a citizen of good repute in the community; and
• 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.
Some of the possible definitions of acceptable ancestor service
The SAR accepts service rendered, with some exceptions, for the period between 19 April 1775 and 26 November 1783. Membership in the SAR requires documented, acceptable evidence that your ancestor participated in one or more of the following types of service. The patriot ancestor in question must have:
• been a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775, the Albemarle Declaration of 1779, or the Cumberland Compact of 1780;
• been a member of any of the Continental Congresses;
• rendered material aid, such as:
o Furnishing supplies with or without remuneration;
o Lending money to the Colonies, munitions makers, and gunsmiths; or
o Any other material aid which furthered the Cause;
• served in the military or navy, including:
• service during the dates falling on or between 19 April 1775 and 26 November 1783,
• service at the Battle of Point Pleasant on 10 October 1774 (this location and date only), or
o furnishing a substitute for military service;
• been a participant in the Boston Tea Party, Kaskaskia Campaign, Galvez Expedition, Cherokee Expedition, or the Edenton Tea Party;
• been a defender of forts and frontiers or a ranger;
• been a prisoner of war, including those on the British ship Old Jersey or other prison ships;
• been a physician, surgeon, nurse, or otherwise rendered aid to the wounded;
• rendered civil service under the Colonies during the dates falling on or between 19 April 1775 and 26 November 1783;
• been a member of committees made necessary by the violation of colonial rights by England or the War, such as committees of safety, observation, inspection, and correspondence;
• pledged to support the cause of the Colonies, such as:
o the Oath of Fidelity and Support,
o the Oath of Allegiance,
o the Articles of Association, or the Association Test;
• been a signer of petitions addressed to and recognizing the authority of the provisional and new state governments;
• accepted obligations or acted under direction of the provisional and new state governments, such as persons directed to hold elections, to oversee road construction, to collect provisions, or similar responsibilities;
• been a clergy member or other recognized leader of any religion who performed overt acts of resistance to the authority of Great Britain which could only be performed by religious leaders.
Please note that family tradition in regard to the services of an ancestor will not be considered as proof. 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 a preliminary decision might prove to be incorrect and the SAR cannot accept responsibility for such a decision.
The SAR reserves the right to determine the acceptability of all service and proof thereof.
The next step, if you think you are eligible, would be to contact an SAR member who is closest to you and can assist you through the application process.
A New Member Helper can review what information you already have and help you organize your membership forms. Visit the following page and click on your state of residence. This will give you information on someone that can either assist you or even direct you to someone closer to your area in a local Delaware Chapter.
With the assistance of your New Member Helper, you can review the documentation evidence that can establish your lineal connection and start the application process.
Documentation can be a challenge in some cases. Your Helper should be experienced in knowing what is acceptable for the SAR and what isn’t.
The following pages discuss some ideas on how to collect documentation, both difficult and straight forward materials, or offer some lessons learned by others when going through the process.
Documenting Your Line
Please understand that discovering and documenting a genealogical line to a patriot ancestor can often be accomplished with only a modest amount of effort, providing you know what to look for and where to find it. If you have an ancestor who lived in the United States prior to 1900, chances are likely that you could be the descendant of a Revolutionary War patriot.
This material will help you get a basic understanding of how to look for genealogical information. Please note however, that the primary focus of this resource is obtaining the documentation needed for an SAR application, so it does not cover immigration records or many other fascinating aspects of researching your ancestry. As you become more experienced at finding information, you will become a treasured resource for your local chapter, state-level society, and community.
Documenting Easy Cases
First, let’s take the easiest case. If you have a relative in the SAR, DAR, or C.A.R., then your patriot ancestor’s name, service, and a good portion of the lineage may have already been determined and documented. Thus, you could only need to be able to document and prove your relationship to the relative and what is called a record copy of the relative’s SAR, DAR or C.A.R. application.
While an SAR record copy is already on file at the national headquarters, the SAR chapter and/or state-level society registrars may wish to check your application against the existing application already on file. They will want to verify the accuracy of the dates and names shown on both yours and the relative’s applications.
As an SAR applicant, you typically need only your own birth certificate, your parents’ marriage license, and a record copy of your father’s or mother’s application. If the relative was a grandfather or grandmother, you would need the documents connecting your father or mother to them. Other connections to a previous or current SAR, DAR or C.A.R., especially prior to 1985, member may require additional materials.
An SAR chapter or society officer can request record copies
from the SAR, DAR, or C.A.R. Details concerning the DAR and C.A.R.’s record copy procedures can be found on their organizations website.
Other organizations may require military service for membership, but the SAR and DAR do not. Those who served in local governments; signed oaths of allegiance; or provided food, clothing, or services to the American Army are acceptable as patriot ancestors.
Documenting Difficult Cases
Not every applicant has an easy case though, one in which a family member has already completed much of the genealogical research. Some individuals may need to do some of the research for themselves. If this is your case, do not fear: it is becoming easier to find the required documents. Some of these resources are included below to help you get started.
Now you are ready to put together your SAR application and submit it along with the documentation to your local chapter or society.
As an applicant, there are several options of SAR membership. While most individuals who join are listed as a regular member, there is also a junior membership for those men under 18 years of age. Your Helper will be able to discuss membership types and related costs with you. For example if there are more than one family member who may also qualify for SAR membership, the Family Plan might be the most cost effective approach. Membership costs can vary slightly between chapters and state level societies depending upon location; your Helper will be able to share those details with you as well.
The following will give you some basic instructions on starting the paperwork:
Completing and Submitting Your SAR Application
By setting up a log in account
on the SAR website, you will be able to access and begin the new member application process. You can then transfer your collected data to your final SAR application form online. Your SAR New Member Helper or the Application User Guide
may assist in leading you comfortably through this step.
Applicants have many options of SAR membership levels when completing the SAR's application process. Please discuss these options with your new member helper to find out the actual membership levels available and applicable fees for your intended SAR chapter and state-level society.
Next, submit your completed application and all related documentation to your sponsoring SAR chapter for approval. The chapter will then forward your application and documentation to the respective state-level society and then in turn the national SAR Headquarters for final review and approval. On average, the approval timeline takes about eight to ten weeks from local chapter review to national processing. Your local sponsoring chapter will follow up with you should any additional documentation be required.
In completing this process, you will not only uncover a new appreciation for American history, become acquainted with others with whom you share a common interest, and experience the thrill of discovery; you will also come to realize that your history is the nation’s history.