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We are 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. 

Applying for membership is done in just 4 steps:

Step #1 - Determine Eligibility

When starting the membership process, you should ensure that you can meet the SAR eligibility requirements of being a direct descendant of a Revolutionary War Patriot.  The SAR does not restrict membership on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, nation of citizenship or residency.

To establish eligibility you must be able to confirm that you are a direct ancestral line descendant of a Patriot by providing appropriate SAR acceptable documentation. (This requires that the Revolutionary War Patriot is your great-great grandfather or grandmother of some degree.)

You will also need to provide proof that your ancestor “was at all times unfailing in loyalty to and rendered acceptable service in the cause of American Independence.”  Below are a types of acceptable service for your patriot ancestor.

Step #2 - Contact a Local Sponsor

If you think you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to find a Sponsor from the local chapter.  The SAR requires that each applicant be sponsored by two current member.  All you have to do is contact our chapter, and will be more than happy to help you with this step!

Step #3 - Collect Your Data

Properly documenting a genealogical line to a patriot ancestor can often be accomplished with only modest effort, provided 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 you may be the descendant of a Revolutionary War patriot.

These resources will help you get a basic understanding of how to look for genealogical information. Please note however, that the primary focus of these resources is obtaining the documentation needed for an SAR membership application, therefore it does not cover other fascinating aspects of researching your ancestry such as immigration records. Our chapter registrar and members will be happy to help you in the documentation process!

Step #4 - Start Your Application

Once you have completed all of the above steps, you’re ready to put your application together and submit it!  Your sponsor or our chapter Registrar will assist you with formatting and submitting your application, and they will discuss the associated costs!  If you would like to look at the application and work on filling it out prior to meeting with your sponsor our the Registrar, you can use one of the methods below.

NSSAR Digital Application

This option lets you use the NSSAR website to begin entering information, and it will allow your sponsor or the Registrar access your work-in-progress and offer real-time assistance.  See the SAR Digital Application Guide for more information.

Adobe PDF Application Form

If you don’t want to enter your information online or have limited internet access, you can use the .pdf version of the NSSAR Application Form to start entering your data.  Be sure to save the file as you are working to ensure none of your data entry is lost.

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