New member applications for presentation to the Board of Governors in Norfolk, April 20-22 2012 must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2012. Applications received after that postmark date will be held for presentation at the Philadelphia meeting, July 3-4 2012.
Many families have stories tying this generation to one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately many of those stories will not survive genealogical scrutiny. The links on the left will explain in great detail what you would need to do to qualify for membership in the Society.
There are several good sources of genealogical data on the Signers descendants. A source document, The Leach Manuscript, may be seen on microfilm at an LDS Family History Library, in Salt Lake City, or in more than 3,500 Family History enters located around the world. For the FHC nearest you, visit Family History Centers
In addition, there is a seven volume series, The Genealogical Register of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, by The Rev. Frederick Wallace Pyne. These volumes are arranged by State. Each volume contains detailed genealogical data on the descendants of each Signer from that State. The books are available from Picton Press
Another source is Signers of the Declaration, Index and Images for the Applications to the descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. This book is published by Willow Bend Books This book and CD collection contains the index to the material in the FHL mentioned above as well as copies of 2,673 application for membership in the Society.
If you think you are a descendant, download the application form, follow the instructions and submit the form. We look forward to hearing from you. While the sources referenced above are thorough, they are not complete. You may be able to add to our knowledge of the descendants.
Only 15 of the 56 signers have male descendants today.
These Signers have no descendants: William Whipple (seven children, all died with the first year of their life), John Hancock (two children, one died at 1 year, the other at age 11), Samuel Huntington (raised two adoptive children, had none of his own), James Smith (five grandchildren, none had children), James Wilson (one grandchild, never married, had no children), Caesar Rodney (never married, no children) , George Wythe (one child, died as newborn), Francis Lightfoot Lee (had no children), Joseph Hewes (never married, had no children), Thomas Lynch, Jr. (he and his wife died at sea, no children), Button Gwinnett (had one daughter, who had no children), Lyman Hall (one son, never married, no children), and George Walton (one great grandson, George Walton Reab, a bachelor, no children).
These Signers have no same surname (male) descendants: Matthew Thornton, Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, William Williams, Francis Lewis, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, George Clymer, George Taylor, George Ross, Thomas McKean, Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, Thomas Jefferson, William Hooper and John Penn.
These Signers have very doubtful same surname (male) descendants: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery, Oliver Wolcott, Abraham Clark, Carter Braxton, Edward Rutledge.
The remainder of the Signers are known to have same surname (male) descendants.