The National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century is comprised of 48 state societies and one international society in Canada, which are further divided into chapters. Our 11,500 national members share a common interest in American history, love of and respect for our nation, and a desire to work together in harmonious fellowship to achieve the goals listed in the Object of the Society.
Organization of the California State Society: The first California organization meeting for Colonial Dames XVII Century was held in Los Angeles in 1948. In June 1949, 56 members met in Alhambra to elect officers and receive the charter. Chapters in Los Angeles, Alhambra and San Diego were organized in close succession in 1950 and 1951. Other chapters have been organized in various cities since then. California currently has 20 Chapters with over 560 members.
Any woman of good moral character, eighteen years of age or over, is eligible for membership, provided she has been invited by the Society and is the lineal descendant of an ancestor who lived and served prior to 1701 in one of the Original Colonies in the geographical area of the present United States of America. Membership is in the National Society but members join through Chapters. Admission into the Society is by invitation and the endorsement by two members, to whom the applicant is known personally, and approval of lineage papers by the President General, Registrar General and Treasurer General. Documentary proof of an ancestor's service prior to 1701 is required. There are 18 categories of eligible service as detailed in the list below, including both male and female ancestors. No person may enter the Society under known false lineage records.
The following are the 18 categories of eligible service, including both female and male ancestors:
- Historic Founder of Jamestown or Historic Founder of any of the original Colonies
- Member of the London, Plymouth or Virginia Companies who came to the Colonies to live.
- Colonial Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Governor, or Colonial Officer.
- Member of the House of Burgesses.
- Member or Delegate to the Council of the Assembly.
- Deputy or Representative to the General Court.
- All civil and church officials and services.
- Founder or Trustee of any college or school.
- Minister of the Gospel or Commissary of the Bishops of London.
- Member of the Council of Safety of 1689.
- Signer of the Mayflower Compact.
- Member of the House of Delegates.
- All Professions, Trades and Crafts.
- All Military and Naval services of the colonies.
- Any who furnished funds or supplies.
- Member of Provincial Congress.
- Landowner, Freeman or Planter.
- Headright, Transportee.