Become a Member

Membership in the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford is open to any person who:

  1. Can prove that he or she is descended from someone who owned property or settled in Hartford before February 1639/40, as shown in the Book of Distribution of Land, or other authentic and reliable historical source(s). See a list of these settlers ›
  2. Is 18 years old or older; or is proposed by a family member older than age 18.
  3. Is of good moral character and good reputation; and
  4. Pays the Life Membership fee.

The Council (Executive Board) of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford will determine whether these criteria have been met.

How to Apply

Those wishing to apply for membership in the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford must fill out an application supplied by the Society. If you are directly related to a living or deceased member of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, you need not fill out the entire application. There is a short form application available. The same forms are to be used for supplemental applications identifying more Founder ancestors.

Download the Application:

Application in .DOC Format Application in .PDF Format

Enter the required information using your word processor following the guidelines below (abbreviate the References), print on legal size (8 ½" x 14") paper, preferably on both sides, fill it out, sign and send it, along with the needed supporting materials, to:

P.O. Box 270215
West Hartford, CT 06127-0215

Include with your application a check for $400 for Life Membership and $125 for Supplementals made out to SDFH. If your application is not approved, this check will be returned to you.

Note: Please keep photocopies of everything you send, including the application, in case the originals get lost in transit.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to do his or her own genealogical research. The Society will seek to verify information submitted, but the Society will not do original research into family lines. However, the Society Genealogist may be able to suggest a reputable genealogist to help you in the research and application process.

Guidelines for Filling Out the Application

  • Please type the information in the application. The applications are form-fillable and can be filled in on your computer. Some applicants report that the .doc format works better, as this uses Microsoft Word.
  • Documentation need be furnished only through the blood line. That is, if your descent is through your grandmother, you need not supply your grandfather’s proof of birth.
  • Full names (not initials) and maiden names of wives are to be used. If a woman is a widow, show her maiden name in parentheses.
  • Official Vital Statistics records should be furnished through the first three generations – that is, yours, your parents, and your grandparents.
  • An official copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, showing parentage, must be furnished. (A birth certificate that does not show the first and last names of both parents is unacceptable.)
  • Under Authorities as to Descent: After each generation number please show or cite the documents or papers submitted as proof on the application itself, using abbreviations (B/C for birth certificate, e. g., titles of genealogies only [author, publisher, etc. not needed], but always cite the pertinent page numbers). Please submit single copies of all material cited, marking in red on the upper right hand corners the generation(s) covered on the page(s)

Using the Short Form Application

Download the Short Form Application:

Short Form Application in .DOC Format Short Form Application in .PDF Format

Please fill out as much of the application as is necessary to show your descent from the member, and include supporting material showing that relationship. For example, if your mother is or was a member of the Society, you would fill out your information, and your mother's information. If you know your mother's membership number, please indicate that. Then send the application with a copy of your birth certificate (showing your mother’s name), to prove your descent from your mother. Please see information above about filling, signing, and sending the application with check and documentation.

The following materials may be helpful in proving your descent from a Founder of Hartford:

  • Birth, marriage or death certificates
  • Church records of births, marriages, or deaths
  • Compilations of Vital Records
  • Cemetery records (including clear photos of gravestones)
  • Wills and other official probate records
  • Land records
  • Reputable published family genealogies and town and county histories containing genealogical data.
    • Note: In such a case, please submit a copy of the title page and pages on which relevant material is found. Please underline in RED the pertinent data and place the generation number in the border. Where there are several generations in one volume, type the title of the volume once under “Authorities as to Descent” after the appropriate generation number, followed by the page number(s). For succeeding generations, type “ibid” followed by the page number.
  • Census reports
  • Family bible records
    • Note: The relationship of the parent to the child must be explicit. Photocopies of relevant pages, including title page, must be submitted. In cases where it is impossible to do this, a certified transcription is acceptable.
  • Newspaper or magazine obituaries, with the source and date of publication shown
  • Records of town or county governments
  • Court records

Or combinations of any of the above. A copy of the title page must be attached to copies of individual pages from published volumes.

The By-Laws of the Society do not allow the usage of any other Society’s approved applications as proof.

Please note: In general, online genealogical material by itself is not acceptable as proof of descent except when these are scanned copies of original material. Online family trees are never acceptable.