The following is a very informative press announcement from Ancestry.com:
“New collection to help families discover connections to American freedom fighters is available FREE from June 30 – July 4.
In honor of Independence Day, Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today launched theSons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970, a collection of more than one million applications from men with a direct link to either a supporter or participant in the fight for United States independence during the 18thcentury. Like its well-known sister organization, The Daughters of the American Revolution, also available through Ancestry.com, the Sons of the American Revolution applications contain precious handwritten historical information that can take a family back through two centuries of history in a single document. The applications contain references to Revolutionary War pension files, documented family and local histories, family Bible records, deeds, court documents, census records and typically include a short summary of the ancestor’s service.
In celebration of America’s Independence, Ancestry.com invites the public to discover proof of their own link to the founders of freedom by searching in theSons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 for freeduring a long weekend of access, Thursday, June 30ththrough Monday, July 4th. To begin searching users can visit www.ancestry.com/Independence.
Nearly 165,000 members of the Sons of the American Revolution(SAR) can trace their family tree back to an ancestor who supported the cause of U.S. Independence during the years 1774-1783. Founded in April 1889, the Sons of the American Revolution seeks to honor the people and events of the American Revolution, and inspire the community with the principles on which our nation was founded. Its members include 16 former U.S. Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman as well as famous generals like Douglas MacArthur and John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, and even notable world figures like Sir Winston Churchill and Juan Carlos I, King of Spain. The collection sheds light on the family histories of famous world figures, including:
- Gen. Douglas MacArthur – His SAR application was accepted by the committee just six days before he officially accepted Japan’s surrender at the conclusion of World War II. The legendary military hero has roots in the Revolutionary War through John Barney, who was a private in the Massachusetts Militia.
- Sir Winston Churchill – Known for his leadership in WWII, and as the only British Prime Minister to have received a Nobel Prize in Literature, the collection contains Churchill’s application to the Sons of the American Revolution. Churchill claimed Revolutionary War roots through his New York-born mother’s family, citing his ancestor, Lieutenant Reuben Murray of the New York Militia.
- Theodore Roosevelt – Just two years before Roosevelt became the 25thPresident of the United States, he applied for membership with the Sons of the American Revolution. The application proved his relation to Jacobus (James) I. Roosevelt, who acted as commissary for the New York troops and was remembered as being “always understood and accepted in the family. He gave his services without pay or reward.”
- Harry S. Truman – Truman’s application was accepted five years before his death in 1972. The record not only includes the relation to his Revolutionary War ancestor, but the names of his grandchildren as well. Truman’s revolutionary ancestor, James Holmes, served as an Ensign for the Virginia State Regiment.
TheSons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 provides a valuable resource for anyone trying to trace their ancestors back to the time of American independence. All applications required a pedigree and accompanying information to demonstrate a generation-by-generation link to a patriot ancestor. Over one million application records make it even easier to discover family members who might have been veterans of the Revolutionary War, members of Continental Congress or even signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Starting a family history research project can be as simple as entering a name into Ancestry.com, allowing the powerful search technology to comb through millions of records and help uncover facts to develop family stories. To begin searching The Sons of the American Revolution Applications, visit