Acceptable Service for a Patriot Ancestor
The National Society reserves the right to determine the acceptability of all service and proof thereof. The National Society accepts service, with some exceptions, for the period between 19 April 1775 (Battle of Lexington) and 26 November 1783 (withdrawal of British Troops from New York), as follows:

  • Signers of the Declaration of Independence
  • Military Service, such as participation in
    • Army and Navy of the Continental Establishment
    • State Navy
    • State and Local Militia
    • Coast Guard and Privateers
    • Military or Naval Service performed by French nationals in the American theater of war
  • Civil Service (holding office under authority of the Provisional or new State Governments) such as:
    • State Officials
    • County and Town Officials (Town Clerk, Selectman, Juror, Town Treasurer, Judge, Sheriff, Constable, Jailer, Surveyor of Highways, Justice of the Peace)
  • Patriotic Service, which includes:
    • Members of the Continental Congress, State Conventions and Assemblies
    • Membership in committees made necessary by the War, including service on committees which furthered the cause of the Colonies from April 1774, such as Committees of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety, committees to care for soldier's families, etc.
    • Signer of Oath of Fidelity and Support, Oath of Allegiance
    • Members of the Boston Tea Party
    • Defenders of Forts and Frontiers, and Signers of petitions addressed to and recognizing the authority of the Provisional and new State Governments
    • Doctors and nurses and others rendering aid to the wounded (other than their immediate families)
    • Ministers who gave patriotic sermons and encouraged patriotic activity
    • Furnishing a substitute for military service
    • Prisoners of war or refugees from occupying forces
    • Prisoners on the British ship Old Jersey , or other prison ships
    • Service in the Spanish Troops under Galvez or the Louisiana Militia after 24 December 1776
    • Service performed by French nationals within the colonies or in Europe in support of the American cause
    • Those who rendered material aid, such as furnishing supplies with or without remuneration, lending money to the Colonies, munitions makers, gunsmiths, etc.


Documenting Your Lineage
The following sources of documentation are suggested by the NSDAR Genealogy Office.

BIRTH
Complete Birth Certificate Birth Record
Delayed Birth Certificate Baptismal Certificate/Record
Church Records Newspaper announcement
Census-State, Federal, School School Records
Social Security Application Hospital Certificate/Record
Passport Application Baby Book
Doctor and Midwife Records Work Permit Application
 
MARRIAGE
Complete Marriage Record Marriage Certificate/Record
Marriage Bond Published Marriage Banns
Newspaper Announcement Divorce Record
Engraved Article (caution) Tombstone
 
DEATH
Complete Death Record Delayed Death Certificate
Tombstone/Cemetery Record Church Notice
Commercial Cemetery Record Obituary
Mourning Cards Professional Organizations
Funeral Home Records Fraternal Organization Records
Coffin Sales & Burial Permits Insurance Policy
 
CLASSIC SOURCES
Census-Federal & State Probate Records
Land Records Bible & Family Records
Military & Pension Records Church Registers & Records
Tax Records Encounters with the law
 
CONTEMPORARY SOURCES
Employment Record-private industry Telegrams
Church Personnel Resumes (caution)
Mortgage or Loan Applications Passport & Visa Applications
Business/Trade License Applications Institutional (Orphanage, prison, police)
Letters from Town Clerks and Town Historians Cemetery Associations
 
PROBLEM AREAS
Certificate of Failure to Locate Record Sworn Statements & Affidavits
Records in Foreign Language Unreadable Records