Selected Hereditary & Lineage Societies
Hereditary societies offer their members a number of advantages. Along with the opportunity to meet and socialize with people of common ancestry, members may enjoy access to extensive collections of genealogical and historical material.
Many societies maintain their own libraries, museums, and archives; some of these resources are available to non-members and may be available online. What follows is a list of selected lineage and hereditary societies that have strong connections to New York. The first listing links you to a website with a more comprehensive listing of many dozens of lineage and hereditary societies of all kinds.
Hereditary Society Community of the United States of America
A community of historians, genealogists, educators, and patriots dedicated to the compilation of American historical and genealogical material for the use of the public. Their website includes guidelines for research, information about heraldry, and links to a number of different American hereditary societies.
Selected Societies with Connections to New York
Colonial Dames of America
An international organization of women whose ancestors held positions of leadership in the original thirteen North American colonies. The website includes information on their national headquarters and museum located in midtown Manhattan, descriptions of their activities (including preservation, scholarship, and commemoration), and links to regional chapters. This organization is different from the National Society of Colonial Dames (see below).
Order of Colonial Lords of Manors in America
A society of men and women whose ancestors held feudal rights in the original thirteen colonies. They do not have an online presence.
Donald M. Liddell Jr., treasurer
350 5th Avenue Suite 5019
New York, NY 10118-0199
Daughters of the American Revolution
A society of women whose ancestors performed military, civil, or patriotic service for the future United States during the American Revolution. The website includes an extensive genealogy database and library catalog, information on education and scholarships, and links to regional chapters. There are many chapters in New York City and State. www.dar.org
Daughters of the Cincinnati
A society of women whose ancestors were officers in the American Revolution. The link below provides information on academic scholarships offered by the society and contact information; they do not have a general website. Their headquarters is in midtown Manhattan.
Holland Society of New York
A society of men and women who can trace their ancestry to inhabitants of New Netherland before or during 1675. "Members" are men who can trace their ancestry through their direct male lines. "Friends" are men and women who share an interest in the society's mission. The website includes descriptions of their activities, a list of their publications, their library catalog, and links to regional chapters. Their headquarters is in midtown Manhattan.
Huguenot Society of America
A society of men and women descended from French Protestants who fled from their home country in the wake of religious persecution. The website includes an index of members’ ancestors, information on the library and academic scholarships, and a list of upcoming events. Their headquarters is in midtown Manhattan.
A society of men and women descended from Mayflower passengers. The website includes information on their library and museum; a list of books, insignia, and educational materials; and instructions for subscribing to their publication, The Mayflower Quarterly. The New York Chapter is located in midtown Manhattan.
National Society of Colonial Dames
An association of forty-five individual societies and a self-described “leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration, and the interpretation of historic sites.” The website includes descriptions of current and past projects, a list of museum properties, and information on scholarships. The National Society of Colonial Dames has its headquarters in Washington, DC and maintains an office and museum in Manhattan; the organization also manages the Van Cortlandt House, a museum in Van Cortlandt Park, New York City. This is a different organization from the Colonial Dames of America (see above).
New England Society in the City of New York
A society of men and women associated with New England through their education, residence, or ancestry. The website includes information on scholarships and events and a list of resources.
New York State Society of the Cincinnati
A society founded after the Revolution by officers who served under Washington and sustained into the present by their male descendants. Since its inception it has expanded to include the male descendants of all the officers who served during the war. The website includes descriptions of their activities, projects, and publications and information on the Mount Gulian Historic Site, the reconstructed 18th-century residence of merchant Gulian Verplanck. See also Society of the Cincinnati below.
Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York
A national society of men -- with a New York chapter and office in midtown Manhattan -- whose ancestors played noteworthy roles in the foundation and development of the North American colonies from the settling of Jamestown to the Battle of Lexington. The website includes descriptions of their activities, including preservation and commemoration, a list of officers, and links to online resources.
Society of Daughters of Holland Dames
A society of women descended from the early Dutch settlers of New Netherland. The website includes a list of members’ ancestors, an activity calendar, and a list of online resources. The Society’s archives are currently housed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; selected records are available online to NYG&BS members.
Society of the Cincinnati
A national organization of men, comprised of fourteen individual societies, whose members are descended from Revolutionary War officers. The website includes information on their library, their collections and exhibitions, and the Anderson House, the early 20th-century mansion that serves as the Society’s headquarters.
Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York
A society of men whose ancestors served in the American Revolution, signed the Declaration of Independence, or supported the struggle for independence in some other manner. The website includes a timeline of the Revolution, information on the Fraunces Tavern Museum and restaurant, and a list of upcoming events.
St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York
A society of native-born Scottish persons and persons of Scottish descent, founded in 1756. The website includes full access to their publication, Two Hundred Fifty Years (1756-2006): The History of Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York; information on scholarships and events; and a list of online resources.
St. George’s Society
A charitable organization and fellowship society established in 1770 for the purpose of helping needy Englishmen in New York. The website includes a history of the organization and a list of projects and events. Though not a heritage or lineage society per se, it provides cultural connections to the United Kingdon.
St. Nicholas Society of the City of New York
A society of men descended from a person who resided in New York State prior to 1785; founders included Washington Irving. The website provides access to past issues of their publication, The Weathercock; a description of activities and events; and a list of resources.