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.