Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois


As last amended in the month of October, in the year of our Lord, two thousand Thirteen and of the Independence of the United States, the two hundred thirty seven


Section 1.  Name.  The Society shall be known by the name, style and title, "Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois".

Section 2.  Purpose.  The purpose of this Society is charitable and educational within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954, and for perpetuating the memory of the men who achieved American Independence, furthering the proper celebration of the anniversaries of the birthday of George Washington and of prominent events connected with the War of the Revolution, inspiring the members of the Society with the patriotic spirit of their forefathers and promoting the feeling of friendship among them.


Section 1.  Membership.   Any male person shall be eligible to membership in this Society who is descended from an ancestor, as the propositus, who, either as a military, naval or marine officer, soldier, sailor or marine, or official in the service of any one of the thirteen original Colonies or States, or of the National Government representing or composed of those Colonies or States, assisted in establishing American independence during the War of the Revolution, between the 19th day of April, 1775, when hostilities commenced, and the l9th day of April, 1783, when they were ordered to cease.

Provided: That when the claim of eligibility is based on the service of an ancestor in the "minutemen" or "militia", it must be satisfactorily shown that such ancestor was actually called into the service of the State or the United States and performed garrison or field duty; and

Provided further- That when the claim of eligibility is based on the service of an ancestor as a "sailor" or "marine", it must in like manner be shown that such service was other than shore duty and regularly performed in the continental Navy, or the Navy of one of the original thirteen States, or on an armed vessel, other than a merchantship, which sailed under letters of marquee and reprisal, and that such ancestor of the applicant was duly enrolled in the ship's company, either as an officer, seaman or otherwise than as a passenger: and

Provided further: That when the claim of eligibility is based on the service of an ancestor as an "official" such services must have been performed in the civil service of the United States or of one of the thirteen original States and must have been sufficiently important in character to have rendered the official specially liable to arrest and imprisonment, the same as a combatant if captured by the enemy as well as liable to conviction of treason against the Government of Great Britain, Service in the ordinary duties of a civil office, the performance of which did not particularly and effectively aid the American Cause, shall not constitute eligibility.

The civil officials and military forces of the State of Vermont, during the War of the Revolution, shall also be comprehended in the same manner as if they had belonged to one of the thirteen original states.

No service of an ancestor shall be deemed as qualifying service for membership in this Society where such ancestor, after assisting in the cause of American Independence, shall have subsequently either adhered to the enemy or failed to maintain an honorable record throughout the war of the Revolution.

No person shall be admitted unless he is eligible under one of the provisions of this article nor unless he be of good moral character and be judged worthy of becoming a member. Any member convicted of a felony shall forfeit their membership.

Section 2.  Regular Membership.  Regular Membership is open to all male persons that meet all of the requirements in section 1. Regular members shall pay dues annually.

Section 3.   Life Membership. Applicants and regular members may elect to become Life Members at any time by paying the Life Membership fee. All male persons under eighteen years of age may obtain membership in the Society only as Life Members provided they meet all of the requirements set forth in section 1, when application is presented by a parent, grandparent or guardian, because of applicants age to decide his desire to become a member.

Section 4.   Approval.   Membership in the Society can be obtained by recognition of the Registrar or by the election of the Board of Managers, provided that the requirement of section 1, and either section 2 or section 3, which ever would apply, must be met.

Also, two hand typed original application forms must be filled out, signed by the applicant in the proper places, notarized in the proper place and signed by two members of the Society who are in good standing, along with one set of proofs and the proper fee. If the application is approved by the Registrar, then the application is presented to the Board of Managers for approval.


Section 1. Application Fees.  The application fee shall be an amount set from time to time by the Board of Managers

Section 2. Dues.   Regular members shall pay annual dues of an amount set from time to time by the Board of Managers payable on or around the first day of January of every year. Life Membership shall be a one time additional fee of twenty times the annual dues. Regular Members aged 65 years or over may obtain Life Membership for a one time additional fee of ten times the annual dues. Junior Members aged under 6 years may obtain Life Membership for a one time additional fee of ten times the annual dues. A perpetual membership shall be a one time fee of one hundred times (100x) the annual dues. A perpetual membership shall be transferred through the instructions of the member. In instances where the member has not identified a recipient, the first eligible claimant successfully petitioning the Board of Managers for a perpetual membership shall be considered the recipient. The amount paid for Life Membership and Perpetual Membership shall be placed in the Permanent Fund. Any member elected in the last quarter of the fiscal year shall not be required to pay annual dues for that year.

Section 3. Contributions.   All contributions not given for a specific function shall be deposited into the Permanent Fund.


Section 1. Permanent Fund.   There shall be a Permanent Fund, to be derived from the Life Membership fees and all monetary contributions not given for a specific function. The income earned by this fund shall be deposited into the General Fund.

Section 2. General Fund. There shall be a General Fund to be derived from the income earned by the Permanent Fund, all fees other than those of Life Membership and all annual dues. This will be the general operating fund the Society.

Section 3. Commemorative Fund.   There shall be a Commemorative Fund, to be derived strictly from monetary contributions specifically designated for this fund. This fund shall primarily be used for the Flags of the Society, their general upkeep, replacement, or expansion as the Society should see fit.


The officers of the Society shall be a President, Vice-President(s), Secretary, Treasurer, and Registrar. Other officers may be as directed by the Board of Managers. These officers shall be chosen by ballot from among the members of the society. Officers may be elected by written vote prior to the annual meeting by procedures approved by the Board of Directors. When a written vote for the Election of Officers is held the results shall be reported at the annual meeting.


The President shall preside at all meetings of the Society and over the Board of Managers and shall exercise the usual functions of a presiding officer, under general parliamentary rules, subject to an appeal to the society, in proper cases under those rules. In his absence the ranking Vice-President shall preside and in the absence of the President and the Vice-Presidents a chairman pro tempore shall preside. The President shall be ex officio a member of all committees other than the Committee on Nominations. He shall have power to convene the Board of Managers and appoint the place of such meeting when called by him.

He shall also perform such other representative duties on behalf of the society, either personally or by correspondence, as the Board of Managers may find desirable or necessary, or as customarily appertain to his office and he shall enforce a strict observance of the Bylaws of the Society.

No member shall be eligible to hold the office of President for more than six terms consecutively. However, any past president shall be eligible for nomination and re-election after an intervening period of one year or more following his term of office.

In case of his decease, resignation, neglect to serve or inability from any cause to act as President, the duties of the office shall devolve on the First Vice-President until the vacancy caused by such decease, resignation or neglect to serve, shall be filled, or until the inability shall cease.


In addition to the duty of the Vice-President(s) to act in the circumstances set forth in article VI of these Bylaws, the Vice-President(s) shall have such other duties as the Board of Managers may from time to time designate.


The Secretary shall conduct the general correspondence of the Society and keep a record thereof. He shall notify all qualified and accepted candidates of their admission and perform such other duties as the Society or Board of Managers or his office, may require of him. He shall have charge of the Seal, Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws, historical and other documents and records of the Society other than those required to be deposited with the Registrar and shall affix the Seal to all properly authenticated certificates of membership and transmit the same without delay to the member for whom it shall be issued or to his proper representative. He shall also notify the Registrar of all admissions to membership and transmit to him the applications and proofs of eligibility of all persons so admitted. He, together with the presiding officer shall, when necessary, certify to all acts of the Society and in proper cases authenticate them under Seal. He shall have charge of all printing and publications directed by the Society or by the Board of Managers. He shall give due notice of the time and place of all meetings of the Society and of the Board of Managers and shall attend the same. He shall keep fair and accurate records of all the proceedings and orders of the Society and of the Board of Managers and shall give notice to the officers of all votes, orders, resolves and proceedings of the society or of the Board of Managers, affecting them or appertaining to their respective duties: and, at the annual meeting and more often, if required, shall report to the society the names of those candidates who have been admitted to membership and also the names of those members whose resignations or voluntary withdrawals have been consented to and accepted and also the names of those members who have been expelled or dropped for non-payment of dues or for failure to substantiate claim of descent. In his absence from any meeting a Secretary pro tempore may be designated therefore, unless the Assistant Secretary shall be present to act in such capacity.


The Treasurer shall collect and keep the funds and securities of the Society and as often as those funds shall amount to one hundred dollars they shall be deposited in some bank in the State of Illinois which shall be designated by the Board of Managers, to the credit of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois and such funds shall be drawn thence on the check of the Treasurer for the purposes of the Society only. Out of these funds he shall pay such sums only as may be ordered by the Society or Board of Managers and shall perform such other duties as the Society or the Board of Managers or his office may required of him. He shall keep a true account of his receipts and payment and at each Annual meeting, render the same to the Society with a full statement of the financial condition of the Society, when a committee shall be appointed to audit his accounts. For the faithful performance of his duty he shall give such security as the Society or Board of Managers in lieu of its action thereon, may from time to time require.


The Registrar shall receive from the Secretary, file and keep on record all the proofs upon which memberships have been granted, declarations of members on admission of adherence to the Bylaws of the Society, together with a list of all diplomas countersigned by him and all documents, rolls or other evidences of service in the War of the Revolution of which the Society may become possessed; and he, under the direction of the Board of Managers, shall make or cause to be made and filed in his office, copies of such original or certified documents as the owners thereof may not be willing to leave permanently in the keeping of the Society.


The chaplain shall be a regularly ordained minister of a Christian denomination and it shall be his duty to open and close all meetings with customary chaplaincy services and perform such other duties as ordinarily appertain to such office.


The Historian shall keep a detailed record, to be deposited with the Secretary, of all the historical and commemorative celebrations of the Society, and he shall edit and prepare for publication such historical addresses, essays, papers and other documents of an historical character, other than a Register of Members, as the Secretary may be required to publish, and at every annual meeting, if there shall be a neurological list for the year then closing, he shall submit the same, with carefully prepared biographies of the deceased members .


The Board of Managers shall have the power to appoint an Assistant Secretary, who shall assist the Secretary in the performance of such duties of that office as the latter may from time to time devolve upon him and may in such cases give required notices and certify and authenticate, when necessary, any acts, documents or records of the Society. In case of the absence of the Secretary from any meeting of the Society or of the Board of Managers or of his decease, resignation, neglect to serve, or inability from any cause to act in that capacity, the duties of the office shall devolve upon the Assistant Secretary until the Secretary shall return, or until the vacancy caused by such decease, resignation or neglect to serve shall be filled or until the inability shall cease.


All references made to the "Board of Managers" shall also be known as the “Board of Directors" and/or the "Board of Trustees".

The Board of Managers shall comprise the current Officers, all living Past Presidents, ex officio, and nine others who shall be chosen by ballot at each annual meeting from among the members of the Society.

The Board of Managers shall judge the qualifications of every candidate who shall make proper application for admission to the Society and shall have the power to admit him to membership therein, if found eligible under the Bylaws of the Society. Three negative votes shall be a rejection of the applicant.

They may, through the Secretary, call special meetings of the Society at such times as they may see fit and they may arrange for commemorative celebrations by the Society. They shall recommend plans to the Society for promoting its purposes, and, when practicable, may digest and prepare business for its meetings and shall supervise all publications issued in its name and decide whether copies of records or other documents or papers may be furnished on request of any party, in cases not pertaining directly to the business of the Society and the proper conduct of its affairs. They shall generally superintend the interests and shall have the control and management of the affairs and funds of the Society.

They shall also perform such duties as may be prescribed by the Bylaws or required by any standing rule or resolve of the Society: provided, however, that they shall at no time be required to take any action nor contract any debt for which they shall be jointly or severally liable. They shall be competent to consent to and accept the resignation or voluntary withdrawal from membership of any enrolled member of the Society.

They may require the attendance of any member of the Society or any official or Committee thereof, at any meeting, for consultation and advice. The Board of Managers shall meet as often as they may desire or at the call of the President or upon the written request of any three members of the same, addressed to the Secretary. Five members of the Board of Managers shall be a quorum for the transaction of business. At every annual meeting they shall submit to the Society a general report of their proceedings during the year then closing and at such other times as may be required by the Society.


Whenever an officer of the Society shall die, resign or neglect to serve or be suspended or be unable to properly perform the duties of his office, by reason sickness or other cause and whenever an office shall be vacant, which the Society shall not have filled by an election, the Board of Managers shall have the power to appoint a member to such office pro tempore, who shall act in such capacity until the Society shall elect a member to the vacant office or until the inability due to such suspension, absence, sickness or other cause shall cease. Provided, however, that the office of President or Secretary shall not thus be filled by the Board of Managers, when there shall be a Vice-President or Assistant Secretary to enter upon the duties of those offices respectively.

In like manner, the Board of Managers may supply vacancies among its members, under the same conditions and limitations: and in case any member thereof, other than an officer, shall be absent from three consecutive meetings of the same, his place therein may be declared vacant by the Board of Managers and filled by an appointment which shall continue in full effect until the Society shall elect a successor.

Subject to these provisions, all officers of the Society and the members of the Board of Managers shall from the time of their election or appointment, continue in their respective offices until the next annual meeting and until their respective successors shall be duly chosen.


The Board of Managers shall have power to expel any enrolled member of this Society, who by a conduct inconsistent with a gentleman and a man of honor, or by any opposition to the interests of the community in general or of this Society in particular, may render himself unworthy to continue as a member, or who shall persistently transgress, or, without good cause, willfully neglect or fail in the performance of any obligation enjoined by the Bylaws or any standing rule of this Society. Provided, that such member shall have received at least ten days written notice of the complaint preferred against him, and of the time and place for hearing the same, and have been thereby afforded an opportunity to be heard in person. Whenever the cause of expulsion shall not have involved turpitude nor moral unworthiness, any member thus expelled may, upon the unanimous recommendation of the Board of Managers, but not otherwise, be restored to membership by the Society at any meeting.

The Board of Managers shall also have power to drop from the Roll the name of any enrolled member of the Society who shall be at least two years in arrears in the payment of dues, and who, on written notice to pay the same, shall fail and neglect to do so within ten days thereafter, and upon being, thus dropped, his membership shall cease, but he may be restored to membership at any time by the Board of Managers, on his application therefore, and upon his payment of all such arrears and of the annual dues from the date when he was dropped to the date of his restoration. The Board of Managers may also suspend any officer from the performance of his duties, for cause, which proceeding must be reported to the Society and acted upon by it within thirty days either by decision of the suspension or removal of the suspended officer from office, or otherwise the suspension shall cease.

ARTICLE XVII -Disqualification

No resignation or voluntary withdrawal from membership of any member enrolled in this Society shall become effective as a release from the obligations thereof unless consented to and accepted by the Board of Managers.


No person who may be enrolled as a member of this Society shall be permitted to continue in membership where the proofs of claim or qualification by descent shall be found to be defective and insufficient to substantiate such claim, or not properly authenticated. The Society or the Board of Managers, may, at any time after thirty days' written notice to such person to properly substantiate or authenticate his claim, require the Secretary to erase his name from the list of members, and such person shall thereupon cease to be a member; provided, he shall have failed or neglected to comply satisfactorily with such notice.

When the Board of Managers shall direct the erasure of a person's name for a cause comprehended under this article, such person shall have a right of appeal to the next Annual Meeting of the Society but he shall not be restored to membership unless by a vote of three-fourths of the members voting on that occasion, or at a subsequent meeting to which the consideration of the appeal may have been specifically postponed.


The Society shall hold an annual meeting during the Calendar Year. Newly elected officers will begin their duties at the conclusion of the annual meeting and the outgoing officers will transfer records of their offices and transfer of signatures within thirty days.

If for any reason an annual meeting cannot be held, the Board of Managers may hold an election of officers by a mail ballot with the names of nominees for each office. In that event written ballots will be mailed to each member in good standing with details on the specifics of the written votes. The Board of Managers shall establish the procedures to be used for voting. In the event of a lack of quorum, a mail ballot shall be required for the election of officers.

In such election the polls shall be open one half hour and a majority of the ballots given for any office or for a manager shall constitute a choice therefore but, if on the first ballot no member shall receive such a majority, then a further balloting, in such case shall forthwith take place, in which a plurality of votes given shall determine the choice therefore.

Special meetings shall be held by direction of the Board of Managers, or upon the written request of five members of the Society, at such time and place as said Board may direct.. Ten day’s notice of time and place of annual or special meetings shall be given to every member of the Society. At all meetings of the Society, three members, two of whom must be officers, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Lacking a quorum the Board of Mangers may ask for a written vote to confirm or deny each action at the annual meeting or defer actions until the next meeting of the society. In the event of a lack of quorum for election of officers a written vote shall be required of the membership.

The meetings of the Society for business shall be generally conducted according to parliamentary law, and the following Order of Business shall as far as the same may be applicable, be followed.

              ORDER OF BUSINESS

         1.  Meeting called to order by Presiding Officer
         2.  Prayer by the Chaplain
         3.  Reading of minutes of prior meetings not previously acted upon
         4.  Election of officers and managers, when necessary
         5.  Communications from or report of Board of Managers
         6.  Reports of officers
         7.  Reports of special committees
         8.  Unfinished business
         9.  Written communications requiring action of the Society
        10.  Specially noticed business
        11.  Notices of motion for subsequent meeting
        12.  Miscellaneous business
        13.  Closing prayer by Chaplain


It shall be the duty of every member to inform the Secretary, by written communication, of his place of residence and of any change thereof, and of his post office address. Service of any notice under the Bylaws upon any member of the Society, addressed to him at his last recorded place of residence or post office address and forwarded by mail, shall be deemed sufficient service of such notice.


The Society may, at the annual meeting, choose a Nominating Committee, of three members, to nominate officers and members of the Board of Managers, for election for the next term of office and shall recommend the length of the term of office for a 1, 2, or 3 year period. In the case the Society shall not choose such a Committee, the President shall, appoint such a Nominating Committee.

The Nominating committee shall select and nominate a ticket of the names proposed to fill the respective offices as well as the term of office, to be elected by ballot, the ticket shall be printed and distributed as the Regular Ticket at the ensuing annual election or be mailed for voting purposes.

Nominations from the floor or write in candidates (with their permission only) shall be in order. Mail Ballots shall be processed by the Chairman of the Nominating Committee and shall be held until the succeeding meeting and then shall be destroyed.


The Seal of the Society shall be one and seven-eights of an inch in diameter and shall consist of the figure of a "minuteman in Continental Uniform, standing on a ladder leading to a belfry and holding in his left hand a musket and an olive branch and grasping in his right hand a bell rope. Above the cracked "Liberty Bell"; issuing therefrom a ribbon bearing the motto of the "Sons of the Revolution"; "Exegi Monumentum Aere Perennius". Across the top of the ladder, on a ribbon, the figures "1776" and at the left of the "minuteman" and also on a ribbon, the figures "1883", the year of the Centennial Commemoration of the permanent evacuation by the British Army of American Territory the whole encircled by a band three-eights inch wide thereon at the top portion, thirteen stars of five points each and at the bottom the legend, "Sons of the Revolution". The Secretary shall be the custodian of the seal, which shall be identical in every particular with this description.


The Insignia of the Society shall consist of a badge pendant from a ribbon by a ring of gold. The badge shall be elliptical in form, with escalloped edges, one and one-quarter inches in length and one and one-eighth inches in width; the whole surmounted by a gold eagle, with wings displayed, inverted. On the obverse side a medallion of gold in the center, elliptical in form, bearing on its face the figure of a soldier in Continental uniform with musket slung beneath, the figure; "1775"; the medallion surrounded by thirteen raised gold stars of five points each upon a border of dark blue enamel. On the reverse side, in the center, a medallion corresponding in form to that on the obverse, and also in gold, bearing on its face Houdon's portrait of Washington in bias relief, encircled by the legend, "Sons of the Revolution" beneath, the figures "1883," and upon the reverse of the eagle, the number of the particular badge engraved the medallion surrounded by a plain gold border conforming in dimension to the obverse, upon which members may have their names engraved in script. The ribbon shall be dark blue, ribbed and watered, edged with buff, one and one-quarter inches wide and one and one-half inches in displayed length the insignia shall be worn by member conspicuously and only on the left breast on all occasions when they shall assemble as such for any stated purpose or celebration. The badge shall never be worn as an article of jewelry.

The Secretary of the Society shall procure and issue the insignia to the members and shall keep a record of all issued by him. Such insignia shall be returned to the Secretary of the Society by any member who may formally withdraw or resign or be expelled, but otherwise it shall be deemed an heirloom. No member shall receive more than one badge, unless to replace one, the loss or destruction of which shall first be satisfactorily established. On occasions other than the meetings for any stated purpose or celebration, members may wear a rosette of the prescribed ribbon and pattern in the upper button-hole of the left lapel of the coat. The Secretary shall procure and issue the rosettes to members.

The President’s star and past President’s star of the society may be worn suspended from the society neck ribbon at all appropriate occasions where it would not be in conflict with General Society’s requirements. At a General Society meeting the General Society rules will take precedence.


Every member shall be entitled to receive a certificate of membership giving the name and military services of his Revolutionary War Ancestor, which shall be authenticated by the President and Secretary, and counter-signed by the Registrar of the Society and to which the seal of the Society shall be affixed.


The President of the Society may, from time to time, in his discretion, designate a member to act under his direction, as Marshal for the Society in its commemorative celebrations, parades and other meetings, and to perform such duties as usually appertain to such a position .


No alteration of the Bylaws of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois shall be made unless such alteration shall have been adopted by a majority of the members Voting at any meeting of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois, ten days notice by mail thereof having been given to each member. Any section not in conformity with the laws of the State of Illinois or with regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service necessary to obtain and maintain a tax exempt status under various regulations as may be required by State of Illinois or the Internal Revenue Service shall be embraced and included in the Bylaws of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois. Any section not conforming will be void and any needed additions or corrections will be included without subsequent action by the society.

Revised: November 19, 2013