Revolutionary War Veterans' and Lineage Society Records
Researchers who trace their family line to a Revolutionary War veteran often submit their information to a lineage society. These lineages are usually required to have extensive documentation. Societies such as the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution have published indexes to their membership lineages. The Society of the Cincinnati is another lineage society with Revolutionary War veteran information.
See Applying to Lineage Societies of the Revolutionary/Colonial Era in the FamilySearch Learning Center.
National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
This society was organized in 1890. The following DAR sources are helpful to researchers:
- Researching a Patriot Ancestor is an online tutorial. It teaches how to get started researching, finding records of a Revolutionary War patriot, and how to document a lineage back to that patriot in order to apply to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
- DAR Patriot Index. Three volumes. Washington, D.C.: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 2003 (FHL 973 C42da 2003.) An alphabetical list of over 100,000 patriots whose service has been established by the Daughters of the American Revolution between October 1890 and October 2003. The information was compiled from extracted data of membership applications and other sources.
- DAR Patriot Index. An Index to the Spouses of the DAR Patriots. Volume 3. Washington, D.C.: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1986. (FHL book 973 C42da V.3.) An alphabetical list of the wives of patriots named in the first two volumes of the 1986 edition of the Patriot Index.
- Lineage Books. . . . 166 Volumes. Washington, D.C.: DAR, 1895–1939. (FHL book 973 D2d; fiche 6051226.) Compiled lineages taken from membership applications with national numbers between 1 and 166,000.
An index to these is:
Copies of membership applications can be obtained for a fee from the national headquarters:
National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution
1776 D Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
This web site links to information about headquarters buildings, membership requirements, work of the society, state chapters, overseas units, their genealogy library (including an online library catalog search), museum, and news.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) have gathered and preserved many records and many lineages related to people who served in the Revolutionary War:
- 1720-1960 - Grandparent Genealogical Forms of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Index and forms which are supplements to the DAR lineage books. Originals located at the Western Reserve Historical Society Library, Cleveland, Ohio FHL film 887589 (first of 367 films) Index FHL film 1476279 (first of 8 films)
- Patriot Index Lookup Service
- DAR library site and online catalog
- GRC National Index Some of the Genealogical Records Committee Reports of the DAR is searchable online in the GRC National Index. Not all states have been indexed yet, but presently the online index contains more than 18 million names and is continually growing. Once names of interest have been found in the index, you can order copies of the pages from the DAR Library’s Search Service.
- Colonial Hall This site has biographies of the founding fathers and the signers of the Declaration of Independence and some of their wives.
- Revolutionary War Records at About.com Article on how to get copies of your Revolutionary War patriot's military records.
- National Archives and Records Administration, home to many military records.
- Rootsweb These pages contain the email and/or URL addresses of descendants or persons who can give you some background on the revolutionary soldier that is listed with each email address.
- Rootsweb DAR Message Board
National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
This society was organized in 1889. For this society, the Family History Library has the following:
You can also obtain microfilm numbers for the above sources using the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under
UNITED STATES - SOCIETIES
The society’s address is:
National Society, Sons of the American Revolution
1000 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40203
This web site has information about the society’s patriotic, historical, and educational efforts, links to state chapter websites, and their online genealogical library catalog search.
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published in 1998 a Patriot Index on compact disc with over 450,000 records. The 1999 edition will contain an additional 140,000 records.
Ancestry.com offers a database of more than 145,000 applications approved between 1889-1970. ($)
Society of the Cincinnati
The Society of the Cincinnati was organized in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army. Hereditary membership is through the eldest male and his posterity. Published lists of society members include:
- Thomas, William Sturgis. Members of the Society of the Cincinnati. Original, Hereditary and Honorary: with a Brief Account of the Society’s History and Aims. New York, New York: Tobias A. Wright. 1929. (FHL book 973 C4sct.) Lists original hereditary and honorary members in the United States, with a separate list for members in France. Includes name, rank, whether or not an original member, and state society of the member.
- Metcalf, Bryce. Original Members and Other Officers Eligible to the Society of the Cincinnati, 1783–1938. Strasburg, Virginia: Shenandoah Publishing House, Incorporated, 1938. ( FHL book 973 C44mb.) A list of original members and the years they served in the society. It lists their descendants eligible for the society and includes rules of eligibility and admission and officers of state societies.
The society’s address is:
Society of the Cincinnati
2118 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008-2810
Cincinnati Fourteen is the Society’s newsletter (FHL book 975.3 C45.)
Daughters of the Cincinnati was established in 1894 by female descendants of Revolutionary War officers. The society’s address is:
Daughters of the Cincinnati
122 East 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
The following sources are available at the Family History Library:
- Ancestor index file, A–Z. (FHL film 0915852.) Index lists ancestor’s name, regiment and rank, with name of applicant.
- Eligible ancestors index, A–Z. (FHL film 0915853 item 1.)
- Application packets, membership list and roster of ancestors. (FHL film 0915853 item 2.)
Other Veterans' Groups
For details about records of American Loyalists (United Empire Loyalists), see Canada Military Records and Ontario Military Records. For records of German mercenary troops known as “Hessians,” many of whom settled in the United States, see Germany Military Records. For records of British forces who served in the American Revolution, see England Military Records, Ireland Military Records, and Scotland Military Records. For records of French forces who fought as United States allies, see France Military Records.