Lineage Society, Sources of Service

My ancestor has been red lined because of the “Last Act” policy. How do I get their status updated?

The Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution have a policy often referred to as the “Last Act” policy. In brief summary, that policy says that your ancestor’s ability to be considered “qualifying” for either DAR or SAR is based on their documented last act – and that to qualify, that act must be in support of the American cause.

This policy most commonly impacts individuals with ancestors from Long Island, as the area was under British control for a long period of the War. Residents were often forced to take loyalty oaths to the British in order to protect their homes and property, no matter their actual affiliation. Because it’s left the ancestor’s affiliation impossible to document, they are often removed as qualifying ancestors. Other ancestors fall under this policy because they became Loyalists. Some who served in 1775 and early 1776 joined the British when they saw where the War was heading. In those cases, the status is likely to be permanent.

And then there are the ancestors who have fallen under the policy by chance. Sometimes an ancestor missed a muster by accident, or there was someone sick at home. For some, there was just a record error – or a misspelled name. Red lining can often be reversed for these ancestors. How do you do it? Find an original source with a later date that provides evidence of their support from the American cause.