This page describes the procedure for adult members. For Junior Members click here.
Your application goes through a process on the journey for you to become a member. The average time for candidates is nine months, but it can be as short as two from this office's receipt of your application to your being mailed the acceptance of your membership.
First you receive your preliminary application form. It can be mailed to you, emailed to you, or downloaded from this website. Fill it out completely and return it with a check for the appropriate amount for the options you have chosen for membership.
The Historian will return a worksheet that details what is known about your lineage after researching in our library and membership files in the Massachusetts Society, and the General Society. This is generally takes a week or two. If further primary documentation is needed, there will be bolded comment in the references section of the worksheet. This indicates that you will need to provide more documents to support that claim (of birth, marriage, or death).
This is the time when you will personally research any gaps remaining on your application. When you are ready to return your documentation to support the items in bold, you do not need to send in a copy of the worksheet as we will have one here. Please remember that you need to send two photocopies of every item. You also do not need to wait until you have obtained every piece of information required -- especially if you are having a problem documenting some part of the lineage. You are urged to submit what you have with a letter explaining the area you are having problems with and list the things you have already done to try and solve the problem. It is not uncommon to send in more documents on several occasions.
You also have the option of scanning your documents, and sending them in as PDF file attachments. It usually works best to only send 3 PDF attachments at a time to an email. Of course, you can send as many emails as you wish. Please remember to include your name in either a mailing or an email –people forget that the Historian is dealing with multiple applicants, and assume that he is going to know whose application the documents are for.
The Historian will review all the documents you have supplied. If further documentation is needed, the Historian will email a revised worksheet with the remaining issues highlighted. There may be an explanation of the different steps you can take to solve the problem areas. Please feel free to call or email with any questions you might have (anytime during this process). Just remember that the Historian is only in the office two days a week.
Once all the documentation has been received to the satisfaction of the Historian, you will be mailed a copy of your "final" application form on acid-free paper. At this point you are allowed to jump up and down for a few minutes of course keeping your fingers crossed. Please sign the form in black ink on the first page. Do review the document one last time to make sure there are no typographical errors. If you find one, on a separate piece of paper, (do not write on these final forms other than your signature), write out the correction you feel needs to be made and the Historian will deal with it when your final papers are returned. Include any fees outstanding as noted on the letter accompanying your final application.
When your signed final application is returned, it will be forwarded to the Historian General in Plymouth, Massachusetts, along with one set of documentation, where the application will be reviewed one last time. The Historian General has the final say over what is approved. This review process takes about eight to twelve weeks.
When it is approved and returned to the office, our Historian will mail you a certificate, a membership card, and a copy of your final application as approved by the Historian General. Congratulations!