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.
You may inquire about membership by using the form below.
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.
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 to complete the form are available here.) When complete, submit two signed copies of the application to the Registrar of the Society to which you are applying along with photocopies of all documentation to support the lineage. Include a $150 check payable to “Treasurer General, OFPA” for the application fee.
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. The Registrar General will return the other approved Application to the Society Registrar. The application fee includes the cost of a membership diploma and the Order will have a diploma inscribed and issued to the new Associate.