I want to join the Society of the Cincinnati. How do I start?

Unlike the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, the Society of the Cincinnati does not accept just any ancestor with Revolutionary War military service as qualifying descendants for membership. For your ancestor to qualify you for the Society of the Cincinnati, they cannot have served in the militia or held a non-commissioned rank. They must have been commissioned, served in the Continental Army or Navy, and in most cases, have served for at least three years.

So, how do I know if my ancestor qualifies?

  • You know that you are either a direct descendant or a niece or nephew.
  • You’ve determined that they were of age to serve in the American Revolution. An officer is generally between their 20s and 50s. 30s and 40s is most likely.
  • You know that they lived in that area and that there is not another man of the same name who may have served instead.
  • You know that they served. Check Fold3 for Revolutionary War service records and pension files.
  • You know that they were an officer and served for the required period. Heitman’s Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army can help you confirm.

All conditions met? Contact the constituent society to see if the line is available.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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