The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America is comprised of 44 Corporate Societies in 43 states and the District of Columbia, with more than 15,000 individual members nationwide. Membership is sponsored and managed at the state level. It is based on lineage and dedication to the Society’s mission.
The NSCDA Constitution, Article III, sets forth the eligibility of members as follows: MEMBERSHIP. The Corporate Societies shall be composed entirely of women who are lineal bloodline descendants from an ancestor of worthy life who, residing in an American colony, rendered efficient service to our country during the Colonial period, either in the founding of a State or Commonwealth, or of an institution which has survived and developed into importance, or who shall have held an important position in a Colonial government, or who by distinguished services, shall have contributed to the founding of our nation.
DATE OF ANCESTOR’S SERVICES. All services which constitute a claim to membership must have been rendered before July 5, 1776, but this date shall be held to include all signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Article V, Section 4, further explains the Corporate Societies role: The members of the Corporate Societies of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America at the date of the certificate of incorporation of the Corporate Society shall be elected members of the corporation at the first meeting of the said Society subsequent to the incorporation, and thereafter no person shall be a candidate for admission unless invited and proposed by one member and seconded by another member of the Society, to both of whom the candidate must be well known, and by whom she shall be recommended. The Board of Managers of each Corporate Society may decide whether to accept a candidate proposed by a member of another Corporate Society.
Additional information is found in Bylaws, Article XVIII, Corporate Societies: SECTION 3. Admission to Membership. a. A candidate for admission to a Corporate Society shall be proposed and seconded by any two members of the Corporate Society. A candidate may also be proposed by a member of another Corporate Society if the Board of Managers of the receiving Corporate Society approves.
Inquiries may be made directly by email to HQAssistant@DumbartonHouse.org. Please include information regarding relatives who are or were members of the Society, your location and other details you wish to share in your communication. Note some of our Corporate Societies may not be taking membership inquiries at this time.