I’d like to join The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA). How do I start?

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) honors ancestors who supported the founding of the United States. Like other Colonial Dames societies, it requires both an invitation and documentation supporting the relationship between you and the ancestor in question. Yet, the unique structure of NSCDA means that the application process works a little differently than that of other societies.

In all cases, your first step will be to obtain an invitation. If you happen to have a friend or acquaintance that is a member, contact them directly, as they’ll be best able to proceed. If you do not, contact the local society. They may be able to invite you to a meet and greet and help to establish relationships.

Once that invitation is received and you have become a candidate, you’ll be expected to complete two forms. The first is called the “Line of Ascent.” The Line of Ascent lists all generations between you and the ancestor, allowing the society to quickly confirm that the line does or does not seem possible. From that Line of Ascent, the genealogist will create a draft application (often called the “blue papers” ). Plan to fill in that draft with your full ancestral line, including birth, death, and marriage, and resubmit it to the genealogist along with the documentation supporting that line.

While the paperwork is the same no matter where you apply, the NSCDA application process varies slightly by location. If you join from one of the original thirteen colonies, your application will be processed in house by that colonial society’s genealogist. If you join from another society, your line of ascent and application will be sent to your ancestor’s home colony for review. These different review methods mean that the speed of processing can vary.

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