Do You Qualify?
In general, military or government service under the Colonies from April 19, 1775 to November 26, 1783, inclusive, by your ancestor, will qualify you for membership in the SAR. Additionally, certain "pre-war" service is acceptable, such as participation in the Battle of Point Pleasant (October 1774), the Boston Tea Party (December 1773), and others too numerous to list here. Certain civilian services, such as supplying provisions, manufacturing war materiel, or membership on Committees would also be acceptable. If there is any doubt about an ancestor's service, the General Joseph Bartholomew Chapter will be glad to help clarify your eligibility.
How To Apply
The first step is to determine what membership option you are interested in pursuing. Selection of an option will determine the application fee and annual membership fee. Application fees for standard applications are $190. This covers all National and State application fees and the first year annual dues for General Joseph Bartholomew Chapter.
The SAR worksheet is available for your own records or to provide information to the General Joseph Bartholomew Chapter Registrar. However, all members (current and prospective) are encouraged to use the new online SAR application process at www.sar.org. Information about the new online application is available in the Online Application Manual.
Once you have filled out the worksheet or online application with information from your genealogical research, it should be reviewed with the Chapter Registrar to identify possible problems in processing the application, and to advise or assist you with them. As you work through the application and generations, the necessary sources will be collected that will be sent with your application. When the worksheet appears acceptable, the Chapter will prepare the formal application on the necessary watermarked paper for submission to the National Society.
In addition to two signed copies of the application, two checks will be needed, one for the National Application Fee (NSSAR - $150), one for the Illinois State Society Fee (ILSSAR - $40). We must have these before the final application can be submitted. Reduced fees apply based upon the type of membership selected as indicated above (supplemental, junior or memorial).
We can provide a worksheet that has proven helpful to many applicants in organizing the genealogical proofs necessary for membership. But, what are acceptable proofs?
Official copies of birth or baptismal records showing the names of parents should be submitted wherever possible. When birth or baptismal records are not available, a combination of the following may be substituted therefore: photocopies of actual census records, land records that mention relations, marriage records which show parentage, wills, probate court records (or other court records in which relationships are mentioned, such as land dispute or divorce matters), church records or Bible records (include a copy of the title page).
Family histories and genealogies may be accepted as evidence. If the family history or genealogy was authored by the applicant or a member of his immediate family, copies of the sources used for the compilation must be furnished.
The National Society Sons of the American Revolution has provided some sample scenarios and information which may be of assistance when putting together your application.
You may rely on the application of a SAR or DAR relative to gain membership, but you should be aware that many older applications may have been based on proofs that do not meet modern genealogical criteria, so you may be asked to provide additional documentation.
The record of the service of your Patriot Ancestor should be as complete as possible. Dates of birth and death are especially important. Indicate all sources of information regarding military or civil service, with photocopies of each document relied on for the information. Indices of patriotic service are not acceptable.
Last but not least, don't give up because some information is questionable, or because you seem to have run out of places to look for information or documents. Check with your local chapter for guidance over the rough spots.
Our goal is to help you get in, not to keep you out!
Also, please consider your children for membership in the Illinois Society Children of the American Revolution.
If you are considering membership in one of our adjoining counties, please visit our Illinois state or National SAR websites for more information.