Who Can Join?
A Lineage Society
The SAR is a "lineage" society. This means that each 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.
Do You Have A Patriot Ancestor?
If you already know that you have such an ancestor, then you may want to continue on to our "Why We Join" page or even go straight to our "Where to Start" page.
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.
Suppose You Don't Have a Patriot Ancestor?
Even if you do not identify an ancestor who participated in the struggle for American Independence you can still have hours of fun searching for information on your ancestors. Getting involved in your genealogy usually produces interesting family stories and an improved appreciation for the problems and opportunities that your ancestors had to deal with.
While the 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.
For membership questions contact Chapter Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Should You 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.
Costs and Benefits
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 and First Year's Dues: National $115, State $8, Chapter $35; Total: $158
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, State $20, Chapter $25; Total: $80
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: several newsletters, opportunities to participate in several chapter activities
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 Rev. 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