Become A Member - Frequently Asked Questions
The best place to start is to click here to download the SAR Worksheet Application! Then you can contact our Chapter Genealogist, and we can begin the process of helping you complete your ancestry research and submit your SAR application.
Who Can Join?
The SAR is a “lineage” society. This means that each male 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.
What are the Qualifications for Membership with SAR?
Any male shall be eligible for regular membership in this Society who,
- being of the age of eighteen years or over(under 18 may join as a junior member),
- 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.
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 preliminary decision might prove to be incorrect and the National Society cannot accept responsibility for such a decision.)
(Above, Mecklenburg chapter members enjoy social networking during a chapter membership meeting.)
I Don’t Know if I Have a Patriot Ancestor?
If you aren’t sure whether any of your ancestors lived in the United States during the Revolution, don’t lose heart. 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. We can help you too!
Where Do I Start?
Begin by determining which branch of your family tree leads you by bloodline (not through adopted children) to a Patriot Ancestor; this means that you don’t need to know an entire family tree, just a single line back.
Be brave! Even though this branch of your family tree may be seven to ten generations long and you are not sure that you have a patriot ancestor, there are 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 some of the resources on this site or a linked site could reveal a likely ancestor, promising leads, or suggestions of good references in libraries located near the prospective member.
You can click here to download the SAR Membership Application Worksheet. This is the actual worksheet to help you organize your SAR application for membership!
The SAR application requires listing your lineage and 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 or more. It may seem rather overwhelming at the start, however, the task can be simple if someone in your family has already done some of the research.
Why Should I Join the SAR?
As in any organization, you get out as much as or more than you put into it. We are an organization of people who make good things happen.
What can compare to the thrill of hearing a young child at a parade saying “There goes George Washington!” when he sees your SAR Color Guard marching by with their flags flying?
How do you measure the value of reading essays in the Knight Historical Essay Contest and then hearing the winner read the essay at a meeting?
What about participating in an Eagle Scout award ceremony and giving him an award representing the best wishes for continued success from several hundred members of your state society? Or making parents and cadets proud by presenting a JROTC or ROTC award?
Wouldn’t you be proud to help build a fine national library dedicated to providing comprehensive documentation and analysis of the thoughts and deeds that played critical roles in the founding of our nation?
Would you like to praise some people in your community for civic contributions for which they have never received public acknowledgement?
You can help make the dream of our patriot ancestors a reality by joining and participating in our programs to sustain the system of representative government and participatory democracy that they fought with words and weapons to create.
What Are the Costs & Benefits of Membership?
While you can give and get significantly more from the SAR than the basic costs and benefits of membership, we list them here because they are where most of us start.
Application Fees (typical): National $80 application fee and $35 dues, State $20
application fee; Total $135.
Benefits of Joining (typical):
National: review, registration, and archival storage of lineage and documentation; membership certificate
State or Chapter: membership insignia (rosette); booklet with constitution, bylaws, officers, membership list
Annual Dues: National $35, NC State $20, Mecklenburg Chapter $20; Total: $75
Annual Benefits (typical):
National: four issues of The SAR Magazine; access to SARtalk (on-line discussion group); opportunities to participate in the District Meeting, Trustee meetings, and the Annual Congress
State: several newsletters, opportunities to participate in several state events
Chapter: quarterly dinner programs, social lunches, opportunities to participate in 15+ annual chapter events like grave markings and historic observations
Members are encouraged to participate in a number of activities:
– come to meetings, pay dues on time, read the newsletters
– recommend good people for awards, help present the awards
– encourage youth to enter contests, sponsor their awards
– help with an activity, join a committee, become an officer
– get information on patriot graves, mark a grave site
– learn about local historical markers, tell your friends
– volunteer to talk at a local school or civic association
– join or start or support a color guard with Revolutionary War uniforms
– support local historical research, get it published or on the Web
– fly the flag of our nation correctly and often at your home
Transferring Your SAR Membership from Another State?
Use the following form if you wish to change your primary membership affiliation to a new state. Note: If you have paid National dues to the State which you are leaving, you do not need to pay National dues for that same year to the State to which you are transferring.