Have you heard people talking about their membership in the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) or the Mayflower Society and wondered what it was all about? These are just two examples of lineage societies which are an important part of the genealogy world.
According to the Lineage Society of America, “A lineage society is an organization created to honor a specific heritage or event. Members of lineage societies must prove their descent of that heritage or event through industry approved genealogical proof standards.” Thus belonging to a lineage society is more than just filling out a simple application. Hard and fast proof must be made, according to strict genealogical proof standards, that a person’s direct ancestor belonged to the group to which the society was formed to honor. In addition, many of these societies carry out service projects or charity works related to their society.
The DAR and the Mayflower Society can be difficult to get into because so many of us have immigrant ancestors that came after the Mayflower and the American Revolution. You may be interested to know, however, that there are several Civil War lineage societies on both sides of the conflict. We had someone ask about Civil War societies recently, so we put together a list for anyone who is interested:
- Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
- National Society Daughters of the Union 1861 – 1865
- Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861 – 1865
- Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic
- Sons of Confederate Veterans
- United Daughters of the Confederacy
If you’re interested in delving more into other societies besides the Civil War ones mentioned here, take a look the following links.
Family Tree Magazine has a post about a few of the bigger lineage societies, including the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Society of the War of 1812, and the Mayflower Society.
Cyndi’s List has a category on lineage societies that includes many more in addition to those dealing with Military and War societies.
The aforementioned Lineage Society of America, which is sort of a society of societies, lists a few societies on their “Quick List of Societies” page, with a more detailed list under the List of Lineages tab.