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The Society of Descendants of Militia Officers

serving from 1607 to 1861

Welcome to the Society of Descendants of Militia Officers

Our hereditary Society honors the contribution of the Militia and its commissioned and non-commissioned officers and members with the status of officers to national defense from the first colonies to the start of the Civil War.  As descendants of officers of the colonial and state militias, we work to tell the story of the militia and to preserve and make available information on the organization, equipment, uniforms, and service of militia units. 

Membership is open to lineal or collateral descendants of militia officers of the general levy militia as established under the laws and regulations of the colonies and states from 1607 to 1861.  Collateral descendants must be from the brother or sister of a militia officer.  Officers are defined as commissioned officers of the rank of Ensign, Cornet, or the most junior rank of Lieutenant to the most senior general officer appointed by the Governor of the colony or state, individuals who held appointments that bestowed officer status or pay, and non-commissioned officers in the ranks of Sergeant and Corporal or their equivalents. 

We have restricted membership to descendants of officers because the officer corps represented the only relatively permanent membership of the general levy Militia.  We have restricted the period that our Society covers because during this period perceptions of the threat, military technology, the absence of a strong national army due to political and budgetary constraints, and the concept of civic duty combined to make the Militia the largest military force available to Governors in the Colonies and States and to the President of the United States.  After the start of the Civil War, the Militia as formed by call of all adult male citizens was never again a realistic component of national defense.

Position Statements

From time to time issues arise that impact the Society and that, in our opinion, deserve a specific statement of the position of the Society.  Current position statements are linked below:

Site Updates

July 6, 2016

Our Governance section now has the Minutes of the November 2015 Muster, and the Captain's and Finance Reports from the June 2016 Muster.  We have added our first formal research paper on the manning of militia companies of foot in the War of the Regulation to the Militia Researcher action.

Updated Regsiter and Units

June 3, 2016

An updated Register of Officers (with 149 pages of individual service notes) and list of Militia Units (with 100 pages of unit data) is posted in the website.

Associate Membership

February 27, 2016

The Society by majority vote has adopted a new category of membership, Associate Membership, and our Membership page has been updated.  Eligibility extends to those with a substantial interest in the Militia and who either descend from a Private soldier or from a noncollateral ancestor who served in the militia, perform scholarly research, interpret the militia, curate military collections, have served in the National Guard, Naval militia, or a State Defense Force, or who are the spouse of a member.

Profiles

February 17, 2016

We have added a new section of profiles of Militia officers, written by our members as part of our educational mission.  The objective is to present a picture of these individuals that is not limited to a line in a muster roll, but rather provides as much information as we have to place the individual in their society at the time.  We think this is an important effort to highlight their scope of service, and we would certainly appreciate any comments the readers might have.

Check for BOLOs

February 17, 2016

When you visit our site, check the Be On The Lookout page.  Members can list current research needs for information about their ancestors, and they will greatly appreciate any help you can provide.

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