A Lineage Society
The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is a male "lineage" society. This means that each member has traced and documented their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor who supported the cause of American independence, generally Service between April 19, 1775 and November 26, 1783.
To be eligible for SAR membership, a male applicant must be 18 years of age, a citizen of good repute in the community, and the lineal descendant of an ancestor who was at all times unfailing in loyalty to the cause of American independence. The patriot ancestor must have rendered acceptable service by overt acts of resistance to the authority of Great Britain. The patriot’s service and line of descent must be documented through acceptable references.
Acceptable Service Examples
- Signer of Declaration of Independence.
- Military Service in the army, navy, or marines from April 19, 1775, to November 26, 1783, inclusive, in addition to: battle of Point Pleasant – October 10, 1774; Ft. William and Mary, December 14-15, 1774; and civil service under the Colonies from April 19, 1775, to November 26, 1783, inclusive.
- Patriotic Service by men or women during the Revolutionary period, or any pledge to support the cause of the colonies, including: furnishing a substitute for military service; physician, surgeon, nurse, or others rendering aid to the wounded; and ministers known to be in sympathy with the Colonies, either by sermon, speech, or action.
- Defenders of forts, frontiers and rangers.
- Prisoners of war, including those on the British ship, “Old Jersey,” and other prison ships.
- Rendering material aid, such as, furnishing supplies, with or without remuneration; lending money to the Colonies; munitions makers; gunsmiths; or any act that furthered the cause.
- Members of: the Boston Tea Party; Kaskaskia Campaign; Galvez Expedition; the Cherokee Expedition or Edenton Tea Party.
- Member of the Continental Congresses and its committees made necessary by the war, which could be as early as April 1774, such as: Committee of Correspondence; Inspection and Safety Committee to care for soldiers’ families; and other Committees that furthered the cause of the Colonies.
- Provincial, state or local service including: holding any position elected or appointed by a provincial or state executive or legislature; membership in a county, township, city or town governing body; and positions elected or appointed by a local government’s executive or governing body, or elected by the people.
- 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.
- Oaths, such as: Oaths of Fidelity and Support; Oath of Allegiance; Articles of Association; test Declarations, such as: Mecklenburg Declaration; Albemarle Declaration and similar declarations.
How to Apply
- As a Candidate, you must prove your lineage back to a Patriot of the Revolutionary War to genealogical standards. This requires source documents such as birth, marriage, and death records; census records; tax papers; or other government documentation. Bible records may be used only if written during the time of the ancestor. Family history books are not genealogical proofs, nor are ancestry family files or any other file which is a family recorded record (unless documented by the library of Congress). Often times, we are able to provide assistance regarding what qualifies as being up to genealogical standard. If you are a family member of an SAR or DAR member, you will need source documents proving your lineage back to that member’s Record Copy Application. For example, if you are claiming eligibility on the basis of your cousin, you would need your birth record (the Applicant), your parents’ birth and marriage records, and your grandparents’ birth and marriage records (proving your line of descent from your Grandparents). You would also need your aunt and uncle’s birth and marriage records showing their relationship to your grandparents, and your cousin’s birth record showing his or her relationship to your aunt and uncle (proving the line of descent from your Grandparents to your Cousin).
- You will send all of these proofs, along with a copy of the Record Copy Application, which the member should have. (This is the application form with checks and the National Membership Number and the stamp of approval on it.)
- You will need two sponsors who are members of the Sons of the American Revolution. To do so, contact a member of your local chapter. We will either assist you or help you contact a National membership assistant.
- You will need three watermarked Application forms, and you can get these from your local chapter Secretary. The Application forms can be found either on the National Society website (www.SAR.org), or by clicking on the Resources Menu above.
After getting all your information together you will then turn the records into the secretary or registrar of the chapter and they will check the form. If there is no missing information they will send your application package and dues check to the State registrar and he will send to the National Registrar. If there is missing information, we will contact you for the missing information. Both Chapter, State and National Registrars check applications and proofs for approval. Any Pensacola Chapter member will gladly help you get your application ready.
A male under the age of eighteen may file the appropriate lineage documentation and pay annual dues. Often, these are children or grandchildren of SAR or DAR members. As such, in many cases record copies of their elder relative(s) may significantly help facilitate their eligibility.