A Badge of Double Honor.
Membership in the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America is challenging by design. With its double generational requirement and the need for a Founder prior to 1657, the Order is considered one of the most exclusive lineage societies one can aspire to join.
First and foremost, the applicant must be a gentleman of good character and standing. Furthermore, you may join if you or any direct male ancestor who was alive on or after March 16, 1896, descends in the same direct male line of either parent’s surname from both a Founder and a Patriot. A founder is defined as an ancestor who settled in the British colonies now included in the United States before May 13, 1657. A Patriot is an ancestor who adhered to the cause of American Independence between April 18, 1775, and September 3, 1783.
Youth are eligible for membership, and annual dues are waived until a Youth associate reaches the age of 25 or elects to become a dues-paying associate on or after age 18 with all rights and responsibilities. In addition, more than one applicant joining concurrently on the same founder and patriot lines are eligible for a discounted family application fee.
If you can answer these questions with “yes” you may be eligible to join:
- Are you a gentleman of good character who supports the principles of the Order?
- Do you–or any male ancestor who was alive on or after March 16, 1896–have a good line through either parent’s surname that goes unbroken back to an ancestor who served the cause of independence during the American Revolution?
- Does that SAME surname trace to an immigrant who arrived in a British colony before May 13, 1657?
Surnames Must Match From Founder through Eligible Applicant or Ancestor Alive on or After March 16, 1896
How to Apply.
To inquire about membership, please submit the form below to our Registrar General so that he may send you a Preliminary Application. The application will help us identify your founder and patriot and verify your qualifications for membership.
Application for membership is made through one of the various Societies of the Order, typically where one resides or lives near. There is also an At-Large Membership for applicants in a state without a Society if one purchases a Life Membership. The Preliminary Form will be reviewed by the State Registrar where membership is sought or by the Registrar General if applying for “Member-At-Large status.
Once reviewed, the appropriate Registrar will contact the applicant and the application process will be initiated. Applicants should work with the Registrar of the chosen Society and must be proposed and seconded by Associates of that Society. If confident that ancestor lineage eligibility requirements can be met, Applicants should download and complete the application form. (Instructions and requirements to complete the form are available here.) Be sure to read requirements carefully.
Upon completion of the final application, submit two signed copies of the application to the designate Registrar you are working with along with one set photocopies of all proof documentation by generation that meet the stated requirements to support the lineage. Also include:
- A $200 check payable to “OFPA” for the application fee.
- A separate check payable to “OFPA” for one of the two types of membership:
- Annual or life membership in a state society. (The State Registrar will convey appropriate fees for their state.), or
- Life “Member-At-Large” membership in the General Society. (The Registrar General will convey appropriate fees for this designation.)
Note: If the application is not approved all fees will be reimbursed except the $200 application fee.
A short-form application may be used when an applicant is no more than two generations removed from a current or past member – typically a father or grandfather. The form may be used by sons, grandsons, or nephews. If confident that ancestor lineage eligibility requirements can be met, Applicants should download and complete the short-form application.
- Adult Associate applications (18 years of age and older). Whenever an applicant is linked to a father or grandfather who is a current or past member, the adult short-form application fee is $150 as long as the applicant uses the same Founder and Patriot. The fee includes a small diploma. State dues will be assessed for each approved applicant unless the new Associate is joining At-Large.
- Youth Associate applications. Sons, grandsons, and nephews of current or past members who have not reached 18 years of age may be admitted to the Order as Youth Associates. The short-form application fee for Youth Associates on an already approved line is $100. No diploma is issued to a Youth Associate.
The Society Registrar will conduct an initial review of the Application and will advise the applicant if anything further is required. It is the responsibility of the Society to obtain the required signatures of a proposer and seconder from Society Associates, as well as that of the Society’s Secretary and date of election of the applicant. The Society Registrar will then give preliminary approval of the application and assign a Society number to the applicant. The completed Application, along with supporting documentation and the application fee, will be sent to the Registrar General for his final review. Following his review and approval, the Registrar General will assign a National Order Number. One original Application and all supporting documentation will be retained with the Order’s permanent archives.
Existing members may submit a supplemental application to establish descent from an additional Founder and/or Patriot. The application fee for a Supplemental Application is $150. If a small diploma is requested, there is an additional $50 fee. Applicants should download and complete the application form. (Instructions and requirements to complete the form are available here.) Be sure to read requirements carefully.
Request a Preliminary Application
To inquire about membership, please complete the form below to receive a preliminary application.