To initiate the process, you should begin by ensuring that you can satisfy membership requirements and that you descend from an accepted Patriot. We do not restrict membership on basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, nation of citizenship or residency. To establish eligibility you must be able to link yourself to a Patriot with appropriate documentation. Legitimacy of an ancestor is not a factor as long as appropriate proof of descendancy is provided to create a solid link. Plural marriage families are not excluded from SAR membership. Proving bloodline descent, whether legitimate or illegitimate, from a patriot ancestor to yourself is what is required and is what must be documented. Additionally, you must be sponsored by two current SAR members.
Any male shall be eligible for membership in the SAR who is a citizen of good repute in the community; and a lineal descendant of an ancestor who was at all times unfailing in loyalty to and rendered acceptable service in the cause of American Independence. 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: Furnishing supplies with or without remuneration; lending money to the Colonies, munitions makers, and gunsmiths; or 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 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: the Oath of Fidelity and Support, the Oath of Allegiance or 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 proof. No preliminary decision will be given with respect to a line of descent, service, or whether proposed evidence is acceptable. When properly examined in context with all available evidence, preliminary decisions might prove to be incorrect and the SAR will not participate in rendering improperly formed evidentiary decisions. We reserve the right to accept or reject any evidence submitted.