Membership Information

Membership Eligibility
Any male above the age of eighteen years, of good moral character and reputation, shall be eligible to membership in the Society of Colonial Wars, provided he be lineally descended in the male or female line from an ancestor:

  1. Who served as a military or naval officer, or as a soldier, sailor, or marine, or as a privateers man, under authority of any of the Colonies which afterward formed the United States, or in the forces of Great Britain which participated with those of the said Colonies in any wars in which the said Colonies were engaged, or in which they enrolled men, during the period from the settlement of Jamestown, May 13, 1607, to the battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775; or
  2. Who held office in any of the Colonies between the dates above mentioned, as
    • Director General, Vice Director General, or member of the Council, or legislative body, in the Colony the New Netherlands;
    • Governor, Lieutenant or Deputy Governor, Lord Proprietor, member of the King's or Governor's Council, or of the legislative body, in the Colony of New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Delaware;
    • Lord Proprietor, Governor, Deputy Governor, or member of the Council, or of the legislative body in Maryland, the Carolinas, or Georgia;
    • Governor, Deputy Governor, Governor's Assistant, or Commissioner to the United Colonies of New England, or member of the Council, body of Assistants, or legislative body, in any of the New England Colonies.
    • Justice, Judge, Justice of the Peace or other judicial officer.

Membership Procedures
Any male above the age of eighteen years, of good moral character and reputation, shall be eligible to membership in the Society of Colonial Wars, provided he be lineally descended in the male or female line from an ancestor:

  1. You will need a Proposer. This is a member of the Connecticut Society of Colonial Wars who knows you personally. The Society of Colonial Wars values fellowship, thus you are encouraged to apply for membership in the society of the State in which you reside. If you have found us on the internet and do not have a Proposer, please contact our Membership Chairman, who will direct you to an appropriate Proposer.
  2. Your Proposer will request a Preliminary Application from the Membership Chairman, who will send it to you. After you have completed the Preliminary Application, return it to your Proposer.
  3. Your Proposer will sign and send the completed Preliminary Application to the Genealogist for approval of the eligibility of your qualifying ancestor.
  4. Upon approval of the Preliminary Application by the Genealogist, he will send you the Application for Membership. If you need help in the preparation of your lineage, the Genealogist will offer assistance.
  5. When completed by you, the Application for Membership (two typed copies) is to be returned to the Genealogist, who will then forward one copy to the Registrar General. Both will review the authenticity of your completed ancestral line and, when approved, the Genealogist will notify the Council for its approval.
  6. Upon approval of the Council, the Society Governor will then notify the Genealogist and Registrar General of the Council's approval and they will assign State and General Society numbers. The Genealogist will also notify the Recording Secretary who will inform you of your membership and will instruct the Corresponding Secretary, the Treasurer, and the General Society in Baltimore to place you on our mailing lists.

A member of the Society of Colonial Wars in another state wishing to transfer or hold dual membership with the Connecticut Society shall submit to the Membership Chairman certification that he is in good standing and a certified copy of his proof of descent, together with dues for one year or life membership. Upon recommendation of the Membership Chairman, the Council may then admit the applicant to the Connecticut Society.

Application for Membership
When you have received the Genealogist's approval, he will send application forms to you. Guidelines for preparation of the application are listed below. The primary concern of a society with strict genealogical requirements for membership must be the preservation for posterity of family so your observance of the following requirements will be deeply appreciated and of mutual benefit.

  1. Please be sure that TWO original typewritten copies of the final application are submitted.
  2. Full names are to be given on first use and where a name is repeated initials may be used.
  3. In every generation, beginning with and including that of the applicant, references are required for all statements as to names, dates and places.
  4. The previous application of a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin or any other male relative may not be used as a reference in itself, although any pertinent references to recognized authorities appearing thereon may be cited. The same rule applies to lineage papers of any relatives who are, or have been, members of other hereditary organizations.
  5. References must be: (1) to recognized published authorities, with title, volume and page number cited, and/or (2) to privately printed family histories, wills, deeds, "family" bible entries, tombstone inscriptions, newspapers or other periodical notices, census returns, birth, death, marriage or baptismal records from civil or church sources, etc. In the case of all except published authorities, again duplicate photostatic or certified copies must be submitted.

What Happens to All This Stuff?
As all members of the Society are painfully aware, completing the application for membership is an arduous process. But, what becomes of those papers after the candidate has been approved and elected? One set is retained by the member's State Society. The second set of papers have previously been in the custody of the Registrar General, however, in the summer of 1997 these were deposited at the Society's Archive at the Langsdale Library at the University of Baltimore. Col. Ober, a member of the Maryland Society is Chairman of the General Society's Committee on Archives and Records Management. He describes what happens next:

The application papers filed by members for admission to the Society of Colonial Wars contain genealogical information, as well as data regarding the qualifying services of the ancestors under whom they claim, that are not readily available elsewhere and not as well documented. These records are therefore the most valuable records of the Society and their preservation has been, at the direction of the Executive Committee, a major project of the committee on Archives and Records Management.

The first step was to remove 18,828 application papers from 349 over-size hard-back books that were deteriorating with age and file each in a separate archival quality acid free folder, along with supporting documents and supplemental papers, if any, with each document being separated by a slip sheet. These folders are filed by General Society number in archival quality boxes at Langsdale. Intellectual control of these documents is maintained in two sets of card indices, one of members' names and addresses and one of ancestors' names, each cross referenced to the other.

Microfilm copies of all these files, which are kept at locations away from Langsdale, provide security. The Registrar General has the original card files and the library of the Latter Day Saints in SaIt Lake City has microfilms of the papers. Since such film has a limited life, these microfilms will be reviewed and re-filmed when necessary — some years hence.

The final step is to modernize the records by establishing a "digital warehouse" by entering them into an electronic database. In early 1999 a test was undertaken to determine how much data in each paper it would be practical to enter, considering time and expense. It quickly became apparent that to try to include the detailed genealogy of each member as shown in his application would take approximately 12 man-years, so as authorized by the Executive Committee at its meeting in the Spring of 1999, the Roster of members will consist of each member's name, dates of birth (and death when known) and admission to the Society and the name of each ancestor under whom he claims. A Separate Roster of ancestors will include each progenitor's name, dates of birth and death, description of his qualifying services as compiled from all applications naming him, and the names of all members claiming under him. The information in these databases will not be available on the Internet but may be obtained from the Society Archivist at Langsdale with proper authorization. (The genealogical information may be accessed, upon authorization, from the papers themselves or from the microfilmed copies.)