As we celebrate the founding of this great nation, many will wonder, “What role did my ancestors play in establishing the freedoms we enjoy today?” You may be surprised by what you discover. As a nation, we honor the founding fathers, who risked their lives and liberty to declare our independence, but many others contributed to bringing about the success of the Revolution. We pay tribute to all who fought and gave support to establish the United States of America.
Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Of the numerous patriotic societies in America, membership in the Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence stands as one of the most distinguished and honored.
The Declaration of Independence is considered one of the three greatest documents in the English-speaking world. The other two include the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. Fifty-six men signed their name to this inspired document, demonstrating one of the greatest acts of patriotism ever known to humanity. Their bravery and courage was the foundation for the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this great nation.
Membership requirements for the Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence:
Membership is available to proven descendants of those men who signed the Declaration of Independence. What is the difference between related and descended? If you are a grandchild, great-grandchild, etc. you are a descendant. If the Signer is a cousin, great uncle, etc., you are related to the Signer. While it is impressive to say you are related to a Signer, you must be a descendant to qualify for membership in this Society.
Out of the 56 signers, 43 of them had descendants.
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) or (DAR)
Founded in 1890, this society was created to “perpetuate the memory and spirit of the women and men who achieved American Independence.” This is a charitable organization dedicated to historic preservation, education and patriotism.
NSDAR includes 180,000 members, known as “Daughters,” with 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C, as well as international chapters. Membership is available to any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution.
The NSDAR defines a “patriot” as one who provided service or direct assistance in achieving America’s independence, such as signers of the Declaration of Independence, military service, civil service, or patriotic service.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) or (SAR)
This society was founded in 1889 with the goal to “perpetuate the memory of those who, by their services or sacrifices during the war of the American Revolution, achieved the independence of the American People.”
SAR is a patriotic, historical, and educational society, that boasts a membership over 34,000. Members are known as “Compatriots” in 50 societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies.
Membership in the NSSAR:
Membership is open, but not limited to, men of lineal descent from the patriots who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in the battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress, or otherwise supported the cause of American Independence. You can search Ancestry’s U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 database to learn if your ancestor is already an approved patriot.
It is our privilege to honor those who built this great nation. With reverence, we remember their courage and sacrifice and seek to continue the quest for freedom for all.
If you think one or your ancestors was a Revolutionary War patriot, or a signer of the Declaration of Independence AncestryProGenealogists would love to help you gather the necessary documentation for membership. Visit our website ProGenealogists.com for more information on this and other research services available.