Did an ancestor run a tavern before the American Revolution? You qualify for The Flagon and Trencher Society, a group established in 1962 for the descendants of tavern, inn and pub owners working in America before 1776.
Did a grandparent fight in World War II? You qualify for one of the newest lineage societies, The Sons and Daughters of World War II Veterans, established 2011.
Have a Salem witch among your ancestors? Learn more about the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches (membership by invitation only).
Lineage societies are groups of people organized around a genealogical heritage they have in common. The heritage may be as common as being of Scottish ancestry – many cities have St. Andrew’s Societies, including Milwaukee. It may be as esoteric as the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, established in 1638 (oldest in North America) and still going strong. Societies number in the hundreds, see Cyndi’s List – Societies & Groups – Lineage Societies for lists. All societies limit membership to those who meet the heritage criteria established for the group. Many organizations also limit membership by gender and may require an invitation to join from current members. Prospective members will be asked to supply genealogical proof of the heritage requirement. Most maintain libraries of genealogical research on the families of their members and the history of their topic of interest.
Some of the better known societies include the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (commonly called the Mayflower Society), the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Descendants of the Illegitimate Sons and Daughters of the Kings of Britain (aka “The Royal Bastards”).
For more information on joining lineage societies, see the staff in Special Collections, 1230 Andersen Library.