Patriotic Societies


Daughters of the American Revolution

The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

DAR members volunteer more than 60,000 hours annually to veteran patients, award over $150,000 in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and support schools for the underprivileged with annual donations exceeding one million dollars.

As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 165,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. 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, is eligible for membership.

Encompassing an entire downtown city block, DAR National Headquarters houses one of the nation's premier genealogical libraries, one of the foremost collections of pre-industrial American decorative arts, Washington's largest concert hall, and an extensive collection of early American manuscripts and imprints.

NSDAR is exempt from Federal income taxes under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and receives no government funding.

DAR Facts
Founded: October 11, 1890
Incorporated 1896 by an Act of Congress
Objectives: Historic Preservation, Patriotism, Education
Motto: God, Home, and Country

165,000 members
3,000 chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.; International chapters in Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom
More than 850,000 women have joined the DAR since it was founded.

Eligibility for Membership:

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.



Sons of the American Revolution 

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.

Historical Goals:

  • We commemorate and provide memorials for the people and events of the American Revolution.
  • We help preserve records relating to the events leading up to and during the American Revolution.
    • The National SAR was a major force behind the construction of the National Archives in Washington DC and the collection of historic documents there.
  • We support research and presentations (books, articles, and talks) related to the history and people of the period 1750-1800.
  • Educational Goals

    • We sponsor contests -- essay and oration -- for high school students, based on historical and patriotic themes.
    • We distribute history curriculum at no cost to the recipient.  This curriculum was developed by the Houston Independent School System in cooperation with the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.
    • We inform the community about the events and philosophical bases of the American Revolution and the Constitution.  Color Guards in Revolutionary War uniforms participate in civic events and patriotic celebrations throughout the United States, providing pageantry, drama and a sense of the nation's history.  Important events and persons of the Revolutionary period are portrayed for students and the public at large.
    • The SAR Magazine provides a public record of the activities of the society and has numerous articles detailing the history of the initial and continuing struggle for independence.




The headquarters of
The Colonial Dames
of America
and its Parent Chapter
is located at the
Mount Vernon Hotel
 Museum & Garden
417-421 East 61st St.
New York, NY 10065

The Colonial Dames of America

Founded in 1890, the Colonial Dames of America (CDA) is an international society of women members whose direct ancestors held positions of leadership in the Thirteen Colonies. The purpose of the society is educational. The CDA owns and maintains the accredited Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden in New York City, which is also the headquarters of both the CDA and the New York Parent Chapter. The CDA provides scholarships to institutions for graduate students in American history, encourages its thirty-two affiliated chapters in the United States and abroad to support educational and historic preservation projects of their choice, and presents an annual book award to an American author for a current work of non-fiction focusing on American history, politics, or culture.



The Mayflower Society
Any person able to document their descent from one or more of the following Mayflower Pilgrims is eligible to apply for membership in the Mayflower Society:
John Alden
Isaac Allerton
Mary (Norris) Allerton
John Billington
William Bradford
William Brewster
Peter Browne
James Chilton
Francis Cooke
Edward Doty
Francis Eaton
Moses Fletcher
Edward Fuller
Samuel Fuller
Stephen Hopkins
Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins
John Howland
Richard More
William Mullins
Degory Priest
Thomas Rogers
Henry Samson
George Soule
Myles Standish
John Tilley
Joan (Hurst) Tilley
Richard Warren
William White
Edward Winslow
Many families hold a tradition that they are descended from the Pilgrims, which often kindles an interest in finding out more. Sometimes the stories of a Mayflower heritage are true and it is easy to document a descent. More often the documentation is missing and must be researched and supplied to prove your line. The good news is it that advanced research techniques, improved genealogy library collections and computerized resources have made it easier to track down your Pilgrim roots.

The best documentation to look for is vital records such as the birth, marriage, and death certificates for each person. Other documentation might be published genealogies, family documents and other official records. If you have a relative who is a member of the Society, you may be able to use their lineage documentation to help you with your research.pilgrim

Memberships are handled through individual state societies. As a first step, you may contact your state society or you may inquire about a possible Mayflower line using the Preliminary Review Form below. The contact information for your state society can be found on our contacts page.

To aid in the application process, we offer an optional lineage review. Fill out the Preliminary Review Form online and submit it. It will be reviewed as quickly as possible and you will receive a report on the findings with complete instructions on how to proceed. There is a $10.00 fee for this service. The lineage review is not necessary in cases where a close family member has recently joined the Mayflower Society. In such cases, please contact your State Society.



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