Lineage Society, Sources of Service

How do I document a new Revolutionary War ancestor?

If you’re interested in joining a Revolutionary War lineage society, it’s recommended that you use an ancestor already on file. However, with the exception of the Society of the Cincinnati, the recommendation is not a requirement. Most Revolutionary War lineage societies allow you to add new ancestors – provided that the ancestor meets their requirements.

So, how do you document a new ancestor?

  1. Identify an ancestor who meets their requirements for “qualifying service,” the specific activities that the society uses to decide whose ancestors do and do qualify for membership.
  2. Document that service using original sources: pensions, muster rolls, town meeting minutes, etc. Debbie Duay’s “Revolutionary War Service” provides a good starting list.
  3. Confirm and document your ancestor’s residence during the American Revolution, using a marriage record, children’s birth records, land records, and more. This helps confirm that it was your ancestor and not another of the same name who provided that service.