While there are numerous lineage societies, there are few larger and more active societies. Learn a little more about these societies, their qualification requirements, and their mission.
- Daughters of the American Revolution: A woman’s society, DAR requires that its members be descended from someone who supported the American side during the Revolutionary War. Members are involved in a number of projects supporting the society’s mission of “promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.”
- Sons of the American Revolution: A men’s society, SAR has similar membership requirements to DAR. SAR defines its mission as ” The Objects of this Society are declared to be patriotic, historical, and educational; to unite and promote fellowship among the descendants of those who sacrificed to achieve the independence of the American people, to inspire them and the community-at-large with a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers; to foster true patriotism; to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom. ”
- General Society of Mayflower Descendants (The Mayflower Society): Open to both men and women, GSMD requires that its members be descended from Mayflower passengers. GSMD defines its mission as “The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, GSMD, is committed to research on the lineal descent of the Mayflower Pilgrims and education about the Pilgrims who travelled aboard the Mayflower in 1620.”
- National Society Colonial Dames of America (“Colonial Dames”): An invitation only women’s society, NSCDA has the requirement that its members be: ” lineal bloodline descendants from an ancestor of worthy life who, residing in an American colony, rendered efficient service to our country during the Colonial period, either in the founding of a State or Commonwealth, or of an institution which has survived and developed into importance, or who shall have held an important position in a Colonial government, or who by distinguished services, shall have contributed to the founding of our nation. ” Members “actively promote[s] our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects.”
- The Colonial Dames of America (“Colonial Dames”): An invitation only women’s society, CDA requires that members be descended from an ancestor holding public office, holding a commission in the military, or having fulfilled another role in the founding in the colonies. CDA chapters drive their activities and mission.
- General Society of Colonial Wars: An invitation only men’s society, SCW requires that its members be descended from individuals who served in America’s colonial conflicts or held a limited number of governmental positions. SCW seems to state its mission as: “to collect and preserve manuscripts, rolls, relics, and records, to hold suitable commemorations and to erect memorials relating to the American Colonial period, to inspire in its members the fraternal and patriotic spirit of their forefathers, and to inspire in the community respect and reverence for those whose public services made our freedom and unity possible “