The Origins of the National Society,
of the Sons of the American Revolution
In 1876 there were many celebrations to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. As part of this patriotic fervor, a group of men in San Francisco, California area, who were descendants of Patriots involved in the American Revolution, formed an organization called “the Sons of Revolutionary Sires.” Their objective was to have a fraternal and civic society to salute the men and women who pledged their lives, fortunes and their sacred honor to the battle for independence from Great Britain.
They desired to keep alive their ancestor’s story of patriotism and courage in the belief that it is a universal one for man’s struggle against tyranny -- A story which would inspire and sustain succeeding generations when they would have to defend and extend our freedoms.
Out of the Sires grew the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution which was organized on April 30, 1889 – the 100th Anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as our nation’s first President. We have used the acronym SAR to identify ourselves for over 100 years. The SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the men who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress, or otherwise supported the cause of American Independence.
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 9, 1906. The charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a member of the SAR. The charter authorizes the granting of charters to societies of the various states, territories and authorizes state societies to charter societies within their borders.
All but six Presidents of the United Sates were Patriots, sons of Patriots or grandsons of Patriots and qualified by lineage for membership in SAR. Six Presidents were real sons of Revolutionary War Patriots. Five were Grandsons of Revolutionary War Patriots and one was the great grandson of a Revolutionary War Patriot. Fourteen United States Presidents having lineage after SAR formed as a Society became members.