How to become a member
A Lineage Society
The SAR is a “lineage” society, which means you must have an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.
Do You Have A Patriot Ancestor?
You are off to a great start if you already know that you have such an ancestor, you know who it is and what he/she did, and you have a family tree that shows all the people in between you and this “Patriot Ancestor.” But you should not lose heart even if you are not sure whether any of your ancestors lived in the United States during the Revolution. Many people who never set foot in the United States supported the American colonists struggle against British domination — for example the king of Spain. Many patriots (or their descendants) moved to foreign lands and their descendants moved back later, not knowing their ancestors were here before. Many French, German, and Spanish soldiers and sailors fought in support of American independence and returned home without making their descendants aware of their participation in gaining American independence.
Suppose You Don’t?
Do not become discouraged if you cannot find a Patriot with your surname or because your family are recent immigrants. Patriots are often found through a mother’s lineage. Do you have any relative who is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Sons of the American Revolution? If so, they may have already done most of the work for you.
While lack of a documented patriot ancestor will prevent you from joining the SAR, there are many other societies that can help you explore your family history, meet other people of the same lineage that you have, and support the political institutions that make the United States a great nation.
Where Should You Start?
The first thing to do is to determine the chain of ancestors connecting you to by bloodline (not through adopted children) descent from a Patriot Ancestor. That means that you do not need to know an entire family tree, but just a single line back.
Be brave! Even though this chain may be seven to ten generations long and you are not sure that you have a patriot ancestor, there are now large databases of ancestral chains and records showing links between generations (birth certificates, wills, etc.). Many genealogical societies, Web sites, and lineage organizations provide assistance with family history searches. The SAR has many volunteer helpers to guide prospective members in their development of a lineage to a patriot ancestor. In many cases a quick scan of the resources at the helper’s elbow will reveal a likely ancestor, promising leads, or suggestions of good references in libraries near to the prospect.
The application listing your lineage must be accompanied by copies of the documents that support this lineage. This means finding documents linking parents to children through seven to nine generations, so it may seem rather overwhelming. However, the task is usually much simpler, since if the information is already on file with the SAR or DAR (from an earlier application) you need not submit it again, but can simply refer to the earlier application. There is good news: our chapter registrar actually fills out and submits your application for consideration by the State and National SAR. Your job is to help gather and submit your family information to him. See the GENEALOGY page for more details.
Example #1 — In the last century many SAR and DAR members have submitted documentation for lineages from their Patriot Ancestors to themselves. If your great-aunt or your second cousin (a person you may not know) is a member of the SAR, they have already submitted the documentation to cover the generations from your Patriot Ancestor to your great-grandfather. Your SAR helper can look into the SAR and DAR records to see if we already have information about some of your lineage.
Example #2 — You know your lineage only back to your great grandfather, who lived in upstate New York. Was he the descendent of a Patriot? Your SAR helper may know where to get county biographical histories that tell the ancestry of the citizens of that county. Or he may know how to contact a contract researcher in upstate New York who can get the information you need for a modest fee.
The Cradle of Texas Chapter welcomes anyone interested to attend our meetings. They are usually Saturday luncheons at different locations in our area. We have informative and interesting speakers at most meetings who present a program of historical nature. The date and time of our next meeting is posted on the Home Page.
For assistance in determining your eligibility and preparing your application please contact our Registrar: