The New York State Society of the Cincinnati has developed, over the years, a series of steps that applicants for membership should follow, the better to assist both the applicant and the Society in determining eligibility for admission. The final decision for admission rests with the membership of the Society. However, there are a series of intermediate actions which should be followed prior to election at one of the formal meetings of the Society. Membership in the Society is based on descent from a New York officer of the Continental Army, Navy or Marine Corps who served at least three years in that capacity, was an original member of the Society or died in service. Only one person may represent that officer as a full hereditary member at any one time. Although the Society strives to accord that privilege to the applicant with the most direct and most senior line of descent, in cases where such cannot be identified, a collateral line is acceptable.

Applicants should begin the process by determining their eligibility. If the applicant believes himself eligible after reviewing his genealogy and the service record of his ancestors, this should be made known by contacting the Secretary of the Society for advice and assistance.

If, in the Secretary's judgement, the applicant's line looks promising, he will direct the inquiry to the Claims and Admissions Committee for further evaluation. Prior to any formal application for membership, the applicant will be invited to attend one of the regular meetings of the Society, the better to get to know the members and the members, him.

Applicants should be prepared to authenticate their lineage with the standard genealogical proofs.

The Society welcomes inquiries regarding membership. Beyond eligibility, one of the key elements in membership is a genuine commitment to the original goals of the Cincinnati, of honoring those who sacrificed so much to bring us independence (particularly George Washington), and of keeping alive a clear picture of the history of the American Revolution.

For more information, please contact the New York State Society of the Cincinnati:

Signing the membership book

John Delafield Jr. signs the membership book at Anderson House during the the fall meeting of 2014