I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. How do I find a qualifying ancestor for another society?

Many people start the lineage society application process with the Sons of the American Revolution or the Daughters of the American Revolution. The fact that these societies allow applicants to reference previously submitted applications makes that first application seem manageable for most. But when it comes to doing a second application for a pre-Revolutionary War society, things can start feeling overwhelming fast.

Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Ask how much of your application you can reuse. Don’t expect to reuse your application paperwork, but the documents are a different story. Only very rarely will you need to start completely from scratch. In most cases, you’ll be able to use some of the documents you submitted for your first application. In some cases, you’ll even be able to use all of them! Think how much easier it will be to document a colonial line when you already have the documents back to the American Revolution.
  2. Pay careful attention to “qualifying service” dates. Societies require to an ancestor to have performed a certain activity during a certain time period in order to be considered qualifying. A few of the colonial societies end their qualifying service dates during the American Revolution. That may mean the same ancestor will qualify you for both the colonial and Revolutionary War society.
  3. Think through the history. The French and Indian War impacted the colonies in the 1750s. Men who served in that war were most likely in their 20s – 40s. They would still have been active in the Revolutionary War period. It’s fairly common for men who had civil service during the American Revolution to have military service during the earlier War. Although you’d need to document a different type of service, a Revolutionary War ancestor might qualify for a colonial society for their activities during the French and Indian War.
  4. Ask for resources. Some of the colonial societies will search for previously submitted applications that may overlap with yours on request. Others have published works documenting some of the lines in question, such as the Mayflower Silver Books.

Questions? Contact us.

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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