Do I need to have an ancestor identified before I start the lineage society membership process?

Not necessarily.

A few societies have a very restricted list of qualifying ancestors. The Society of the Cincinnati is the prime example. In order to begin the membership application process, the ancestor needs to be available – which means you need to know under which ancestor you are applying. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants provides more options but also works from a limited list.

Other societies, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, do not restrict their ancestor list. Provided your ancestor meets their criteria – such as public support of the Revolutionary cause – and you can document your line, you’ll be considered eligible to apply, even if the ancestor is not yet on file. Some societies even offer limited assistance with research. If you think you have a line that might qualify, you’re more than welcome to begin the process.

If you need to have an ancestor identified, how do you proceed? You can try to identify an ancestor yourself by tracing your tree out to the appropriate period. Alternatively, you can hire professional help. Contact us to learn how we can assist.

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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