Joining the Society of the War of 1812 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

We welcome your interest in joining the Society of the War of 1812 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Prospective members are asked to complete two membership application documents: the first being the Short Proposal Form with basic biographical and contact information, and the second being the longer “Work Sheet” application form which includes specific ancestral information.

The initial Short Proposal Form assists our Membership Committee, Registrar, and Genealogist in offering guidance and assistance to applicants.  In cases where a prospective member is a relative of a current or past member of the Society, the Short Proposal Form provides the Society with an opportunity to research our records and archives to determine what materials might already be in place to assist the prospective member in the application process.  Please note any family members who are current or past Society members on this form.

The Short Proposal Form is also useful for prospective members who may not have an immediate family connection to current or past Society members.  By learning the name of an applicant’s War of 1812 veteran ancestor, the Society can also check its archives to see if there might be any extant information relating to this ancestor that might have been used on other members’ application materials.

The longer Work Sheet application form is accompanied by a range of supporting documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) that provide the proof of lineal descent from an ancestor who played a role in the War of 1812.

Society members and officers stand ready to assist prospective members with completion of their application forms.  Upon receipt of the initial Short Proposal Form (which can be mailed or emailed to the Society), a representative of the Society will reach out to the applicant to acknowledge receipt of this form and to provide some guidance on how to proceed with completion of the longer Work Sheet form.

Upon successful completion and review of all of the submitted application materials and supporting documents, the Society’s Admissions Committee and Society’s Board of Direction vote upon election to the Society.

The Society’s Admissions Committee, as well as various members of the Society’s Board and general membership stand ready to assist prospective members in answering questions and providing assistance in completing the proposal and admission forms, as well as in gathering the necessary supporting documentation.

Qualifications for Membership:

Any male person who is a lineal descendant of one who served during the War of 1812, in the army, navy, revenue-marine or privateer service of the United States, of good moral character and reputation, may become a member of this Society when approved by the Board of Direction of the Society.

If the prospect does not find a lineal descendant of an actual participant, collateral descendants such as the descendants of either a brother or sister of the participant, may be acceptable. 

Society of the War of 1812 Member Benefits:

– Opportunities to participate in the ongoing activities of the Society and to advance its mission of honoring and commemorating the service of our ancestors who served the United States of America in the War of 1812, including a broad range of historical, educational, and patriotic outreach programs;

– Concurrent membership in the Society’s national organization, the General Society of War of 1812;

– Invitations to attend the various social functions of the Society, including the Society’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon; the Society’s Annual Church Service and reception, usually held on or near Armed Forces Day; Special Events commemorating and honoring our War of 1812 ancestors and particular anniversaries associated with the War of 1812.

– All publications of both the Pennsylvania Society and the General societies, including the Pennsylvania Society’s Yearbook, the Pennsylvania Society’s Newsletter, the General Society’s “War Cry” Newsletter, and special publications of the Society.

Benefits to Candidates for Membership:

  • Assistance in preparing your lineage papers, including: – professional advice on potential sources of documentation, definitions of genealogical ‘proof’, and
  • Verification of the service records of eligible ancestors.

Fees Related to Admission to Membership:

  • Genealogist’s Examination Fee, $100.00, to be paid when completed “Work Sheet” forms and supporting documentation are submitted;
  • Initiation Fee for newly elected members, $30.00.

Fee for filing Supplemental Claim Papers, $50.00 each, and payable within 30 days after Supplemental Claims are approved.

Membership Fees

Annual Dues.  The annual dues shall be $40.00 regardless of residence, in accordance with the motion carried by the Board of Direction at their meeting of December 5, 2017.

Dues are payable in the early months of the year and can be paid by mail (through the annual dues mailing) or over the Internet through the Society’s website.

Life Membership.  “The payment at any time of $800.00 shall entitle the member so paying to a life membership. Life members shall be exempt from the obligation of paying annual dues.”  In accordance with the motion carried by the Board of Direction at their meeting of December 5, 2017.

New Member Initiation Fee.  The initiation fee for new members is currently $30.00.

Application/Geneaological Fee.  The Society assesses a fee of $100.00 to cover the expenses of genealogical verification.