The SAR Magazine

Fall 2018

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

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Memorial Membership – A Legacy to Give By Registrar General C. Bruce Pickette I f it hasn't reached you yet, the big news is that the cost of a Memorial application has been significantly reduced! At the 2018 Congress in Houston, your delegates decided that the fee and dues for a Memorial application would be the same as a regular application. Both the fee ($80) and dues ($35) are combined to make a one-time cost of $115. That's a savings of $315 from the previous cost of $430. To be clear: The $115 is a one-time payment; there are no annual dues for a Memorial member. Monies from Memorials formerly were allocated into different funds but now go into the NSSAR operating budget. There are two points to keep in mind. First, there is no distinction between Memorial memberships for a junior (younger than 18) or a regular (18 and older). No matter the age of the applicant, the cost is $115. Second, there is no "Family Plan" associated with Memorial applications; each application "stands alone" as a submission with its documentation, and, again, each costs $115. What is an SAR Memorial membership? If you consulted the Membership Cost Reference Manual (found on SAR forms on the website), you would read that it "qualifies a male who is a deceased close relative within two genealogical connections to an active SAR member and whose application is based on most of the same lineage as that SAR member." If you consulted the governing bylaw, you would read, "The deceased family members eligible for memorial membership shall not be prior to the second generation prior to the generation of the current member." What do those definitions really mean? Compatriot Douglas Collins of the Kentucky Society describes his personal experience. He writes: "Upon becoming a member, I learned the SAR has a program, whereby within two generations of a Compatriot along the same lineal descent (i.e., father, grandfather), a Memorial membership may be submitted for approval. I thought, 'What a great idea, my dad died 25 years ago, and I would be able to provide him with one last legacy gift.' So, I completed a Memorial application for my father. It was a simple process, as I reduced the line from one of my patriot ancestors by removing myself and provided my SAR record copy and my father's death certificate along with appropriate payment. In normal processing time, I received his approved member certificate. I purchased duplicate certificates and multiple member badges from the Merchandise Department so my two siblings and I could each have one. It was one last gift I could provide to my father and was proud to know that Earle V. Collins (1929-1984) is an SAR Memorial member." Compatriot Collins continues, "When my wife's DAR membership was approved on her paternal line, we realized her only family member in the last four generations who was not a member of a heredity society was her father, who died in 2004. I submitted SAR supplemental applications for our two sons using my wife's patriot ancestor. When these were approved, using the two-generation policy, we completed a Memorial application for my father-in-law, using his grandsons as sponsors. Their SAR record copies along with their grandfather's death certificate and the appropriate fees were submitted for approval. As a result, my wife's father is also an SAR Memorial member." Since the news of the Memorial reduction was first sent out in early August, there have been several questions posed by members. Let's take a look at how the National Society handles Memorial applications and how states should handle them. By NSSAR Bylaw 1, Section 6, Memorial applications are to follow the same procedure and requirements as a New Member application. National is looking for the same things it considers every day, including connecting proof documentation and the signature of the sponsor and co-sponsor. Make sure that the names, dates and/or places on the application agree with the supporting documentation submitted. Consult the application and documentation "Dos and Don't's" paragraphs of the Application Preparation Manual for guidance. The genealogy staffs of SAR, DAR and C.A.R. occasionally make handwritten corrections to information submitted by bracketing unsupported information or by annotating a correction on the Record Copy. When submitting the application, make sure the information listed on the Memorial application reflects these annotations and not the information that has been corrected. Of special note is that the filing of Memorial applications is only available to active SAR members. Also, a death certificate for the Memorial member and proof of connection to the SAR member are required pieces of information that must be sent in with the application. The two genealogical connection stipulations are not straight-line generational requirements. For example, an uncle of an SAR member for a Memorial will be acceptable. An uncle would require three documents: (1) the uncle's death certificate, (2) the uncle's birth certificate to prove him to his parents (unless the death certificate correctly names parents), and (3) the birth certificate of the SAR member's parent (whose line is being used) which would name his/her parents (if not part of the SAR Record Copy being used). (If a nephew is to also be submitted, it is recommended that the uncle be submitted and approved separately first.) How should states handle Memorial applications? As implied, there really is no difference; they should be handled the same as any new application. Please note, however, that any state society or chapter fees and dues are the province and decision of the state or chapter. It is known that some states impose a fee to process, while others charge nothing. A final note for state and chapter secretaries: Although Memorial members (and only the new ones) are reported in State Annual Reports, membership numbers for states and chapters do not include Memorial members. Registrar General C. Bruce Pickette is a member of the Alabama Society. Contributors include Treasurer General Davis Wright, Genealogist General Jim Faulkinbury, Librarian General Douglas Collins, NSSAR Staff Registrar Jonathan Toon, NSSAR Staff Genealogist member Denise Hall and Alabama State Society Registrar Ronald Bearden. Memorial members receive the usual Membership Certificate. The larger Memorial Certificate pictured here may be presented, as adopted by state societies, to families of deceased SAR members. It is available for $5 from SAR Merchandise. The certificate is in vertical, portrait orientation, printed on 65 lb., 8½" x 11" card stock, and may be caligraphed for an additional $4. Also available through Merchandise is the SAR member grave marker that may be placed on the graves of Memorial members. 14 SAR MAGAZINE

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