What does this word being used by my lineage society mean?

Lineage societies have a vocabulary of their own. If you’re in the process of applying, knowing what the terms mean can make your life much easier!

Here are a few common terms:

  • Lineage Society: Also called a hereditary society, this is an organization that decides membership based on the actions of an applicant’s ancestor.
  • Qualifying ancestor: An ancestor who meets the qualifications set out by the society.
  • Patriot: A qualifying ancestor for a Revolutionary War lineage society, typically the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution.
  • “The line”: The line between the applicant and the qualifying ancestor.
  • “Line carrier” or “Line bearer”: The person through whom the line runs. If the qualifying ancestor is on your mother’s side, your mother would be the “line carrier.”
  • Papers: A term sometimes used for the application.
  • Chart: A term sometimes used for the application.
  • Supporting documentation: The sources used to document the line. Also called proof.
  • The application packet: A completed application with supporting documentation.
  • To prove the line: “Proving the line” means establishing the relationship between the applicant and the ancestor using the standards of the society.
  • Marking the application: Adding red underlining and generation numbers as requested by the society.

Have you heard a different term? Would you like help with a definition?

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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