Patriot’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday of April and is a state holiday in both Massachusetts and Maine. This holiday commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first in the War for American Independence and was originally celebrated on April 19, the day that the “shot heard round the world” was fired on Lexington Green in 1775.
If you are interested in your family history and you think you might have one or more ancestors who contributed to the cause for American independence, there are four hereditary organizations that would love to help you prove your connection.
National Society Children of the American Revolution offers membership to children from birth through the 22nd birthday to qualified applicants. Membership requirements are the same as those for DAR.
C.A.R. is the nation’s oldest patriotic hereditary organization for children in the world. Its activities help children develop leadership skills and learn a love of American history through fun-filled activities.
Its national headquarters office is in the DAR building in Washington, DC.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is, by far, the largest and best known of these four societies. DAR celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015 is is going strong.
Service categories for patriot ancestors include:
Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Military service during the Revolutionary war
Civil service in state or local governments during the war
Patriotic service, such as signing Oaths of Allegiance, doctors who tended to the wounded and ministers who served in the war
Men and women who gave material support, such as food or horses
The DAR Library has some free databases available to the public online to help research efforts. There are local chapters in every state. If you contact one and let them know that you are working on your family history and would like some guidance in proving your ancestor’s service, the chapter registrar will likely be able to help you.
The National Society Sons of the American Revolution and the General Society Sons of the Revolution have similar, but not exactly the same, requirements for membership as DAR. SAR has a genealogy help link for prospective members.
The national websites provide contact information if you are interested in pursuing membership. DAR, SAR and S.R. are not your grandparents’ organizations. Today’s focus is not on social gatherings, but on being active, informed citizens (no political stances are taken by any of these societies) who make positive contributions to their communities.
If you have never looked into membership, take a closer look. You will be pleased with what you learn.