Membership

Membership in this society is open to anyone age 18 or older who can prove lineal descent from an ancestor who served as a judge or a lawyer prior to 12 April 1861 in any part of what is now the Continental United States of America.

The applicant must be sponsored by two members of the Society or be a member of another nationally recognized lineage society. If the applicant’s lineage has been approved by another recognized hereditary society, a record copy of that paper may be sufficient for the generational proof.

An individual age 18 or older, who can prove lineal descent from an ancestor who served in lands now comprising the Continental United States of America prior to 12 April 1861 as a judge or lawyer in any court – trial, intermediate or Supreme:

  • under any laws applicable to the original thirteen English colonies
  • under the laws of the various Colonial Powers (such as England, France, Spain, the Netherlands, or Sweden)
  • under laws applicable to States and Territories of the United States
  • under the laws of the Republic of Texas
  • under the laws of the Republic of Mexico
  • under laws of the National Government enacted pursuant to either the Articles of Confederation or the Constitution of 1789

The fact that in the colonial era there were no clearly separated judicial, legislative, and executive branches does not prevent members of those colonial bodies having multiple functions including, a judicial function from qualifying as “judges” and thus eligible propositus for this Society. The following also qualify as “judges”:

  • Justices of the Peace
  • Colonial Governors
  • Members of the Governor’s Council
  • Lords of the Manor with the privilege of Court Leete and Court Baron

A. Regular: Regular members are those whose application papers have been approved by the Genealogist General after 17 April 1996. They are assigned a membership number as their papers are approved, beginning with the next number after that of the last Charter Member.

B. Charter: Charter Members are those individuals who, prior to midnight 31 December 1995, requested application papers and whose papers were approved prior to the Second Annual Meeting held on 17 April 1996. They are assigned membership numbers as their papers are approved, preceded by the word “Charter”.

C. Founder: The Founder Members, all of whom attended the Organizational Meeting on Thursday, 14 April 1994, in the Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square and who subsequently – but prior to the First Annual Meeting held on 17 April 1995 – proved their descent from a judge or lawyer as defined in Article III, Section 1 of the By-Laws. Founder Members have no membership number. On their membership certificates and on the official records of the Society, they are simply described as “Founder Members”.

Life Time: New members by application shall pay the initiation fee and life membership dues (currently $230.00) as established by the society. Annual membership was discontinued April 10, 2015.

Honorary: Upon recommendation of the Council, the Annual Meeting may elect to honorary membership, by vote of two-thirds of members present and voting, judges or lawyers of high regard. Lineal descent shall not be considered a requirement for honorary membership. Honorary members shall be accorded all social privileges, but shall not be entitled to vote or hold office and shall not be required to pay any initiation fee or dues. The status of honorary membership does not become effective until it is accepted in writing by the proposed recipient of the honor.

Annual: Annual members are those who, in addition to an initiation fee, pay dues each year and were approved by application prior to April 10, 2015. Annual members who have been dropped for non-payment of dues may be reinstated upon payment of Life Member dues.

  1. Every applicant for membership in this Society must be sponsored by two members; one of whom must request that the Chancellor General mail a Propositus Sheet to the applicant.
  2. On this Propositus Sheet, the Applicant must state the name of the Ancestor from whom he claims eligibility for membership. He or she must state the exact capacity in which the ancestor served as a judge or lawyer. The Applicant bears the burden of proving this issue by sending to the Chancellor General photocopies of any published authority along with the Propositus Sheet and one photocopy of it.
  3. The Chancellor General may request further proof or the Chancellor General, in doubtful cases, may refer the matter to the Council for decision. The Chancellor General may deny this claim. In this event, the applicant may appeal to the Council. If the Chancellor General approves this claim, he signs the Propositus Sheet and the photocopy, filing the original in his files and sending the photocopy to the Genealogist General.
  4. Only after receiving the approved Propositus Sheet does the Genealogist send one lineage form to the Applicant. On the lineage form, the genealogy must be traced from the Applicant to the qualifying ancestor. Proof must be given for each statement of date and place of birth, marriage and death by sending photocopies or certified copies of published or other authority, the original lineage form and one photocopy of it.
  5. If the lineage has already been approved by another recognized hereditary society it may be sufficient to furnish as proof a photocopy of the approved lineage form of that society. The Genealogist General, however, in his sole discretion, may call for further proof. In no instance will any application be reviewed by the Genealogist General unless two members of this Society have signed the paper certifying that the applicant is known to them and is recommended for membership and unless a check is enclosed covering the required initiation fee and dues.
  6. Should the Genealogist General not approve the application, it is possible to take an appeal to the Council. After signing his approval of the application, the Genealogist General sends the photocopy to the Secretary General and keeps the original for his files.