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 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?
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.
The NSSAR Bylaws do not provide for “associate members.” Chapters and State Societies may have “associates” or “friends” who attend meetings, march in parades with the color guard or generally support the chapter. However, the term “members” is reserved for gentlemen whose documented lineage has been approved by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. A chapter or State Society shall not collect dues from an associate, but may collect the actual cost of printing and mailing a chapter or State Society newsletter.