A: Any male, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. SAR defines a "patriot" as one who provided service or direct assistance in achieving America's independence.
Q: What is meant by “lineal descent?”
A: Lineal descent means a direct bloodline descent, not a relationship through marriage. For example if your father is a member, you and your sons and grandsons are all eligible. If your wife’s father is a member, your connection is by marriage so you are not eligible. However, your sons and grandsons are lineal descendants through your father-in-law and are eligible to join SAR.
Q: I'm adopted can I still become a member?
A: Yes, but only through your birth parents' lineage, not that of your adopted family. All lineage for SAR membership must be bloodline descent.
Q: Does SAR accept members who are minorities?
A: Yes. SAR has many members of all races and ethnic backgrounds.
Q: Is SAR a political organization and does it lobby Congress?
A: No, the SAR is not a political organization, nor does it lobby. SAR is a patriotic society composed of members who subscribe to different political philosophies.
Q: Is membership limited to certain religious affiliation?
A: No. SAR is proud to have members from many different religions, including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and others.
Q: How many members do you have?
A: The Washington SAR has ten chapters and over 550 members. There are over 34,000 SAR members nationwide.
Q: Do I have to buy a uniform?
A: No. Only the Color Guard members wear special uniforms.
Q: Why should I become a member?
A: Membership in the Sons of the American Revolution honors and preserves the legacy of your Patriot ancestor. Over two hundred years ago, American Patriots fought and sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today. As a member of SAR, through participation in the Society’s various programs and activities, you can continue this legacy by actively supporting historical events, promotion of education, and patriotic endeavors.
A: Yes, providing the application was approved after January 1, 1985.
Q: My patriot is listed in your Patriot Graves Index; do I still need to complete an application?
A: Yes, each member is required to complete an application. You can start your application HERE.
Q: I have a problem completing my application to SAR. I need some help in gathering a list of required paperwork to enter my app. I was wondering if the SAR has a "checklist" for required paperwork."
A: Yours is not an uncommon question. Keep it simple. Start with the basics.
For the first three generations (you, your spouse, your parents and grandparents), gather birth, death and marriage certificates. Beyond three generations, obtaining such certificates gets decidedly harder. SAR requires, for each generation, a reliable source of proof of lineage. That is where websites such as ancestry.com and familysearch.com can provide enormous benefits. Also, remember that census information for years from 1950 and earlier is generally available and considered reliable.
Do not try to overwhelm SAR with documents. Volume of records does not help. SAR needs one reliable document to support each entry on the application. Omit any entries for which you do not have reliable proof.
Once you can establish generational proof of a direct line going back to a patriot ancestor, you will be in good shape to have your application formally prepared by a chapter registrar.
Here are some resources that may help: