Q:  What is the Col. Henshaw Chapter?  What is the SAR?  Who Can Join? 

A:  The SAR is a “lineage” society. The Colonel William Henshaw Chapter of MASSAR is comprised of a  large membership of Compatriots, primarily in  central Massachusetts.  Through our many social gatherings, programs and civic activities, we strive to perpetuate the memory of those who, by their services or sacrifices during the war of the American Revolution, achieved the independence of the American People.

We are patriotic Americans.  We love our history and our country and the principles on which it was founded.  In order to become an SAR Compatriot, each member has documented their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor (in many cases, more than one) who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.  

Q:  Why do people join the SAR?

A:  Many of us joined the SAR to honor our Patriot Ancestors to whom we owe our very freedoms.  There are many ways we achieve that.  We enjoy the fellowship of social gatherings with our compatriots and their families throughout the year.   We’re involved in historical research and work to preserve sites and documents related to the American Revolution.  We visit local schools to offer in-depth lessons about American history.

We honor America’s military veterans, past and present, at every possible opportunity. We appreciate the dedication of our local police, fire and rescue personnel, and we recognize them for their bravery.  We work closely with local Boy Scout troops and sponsor an annual Eagle Scout award program.  We work with local schools to sponsor annual patriotic essay contests and award scholarship funds to students.

We’re also active in cataloging and marking Revolutionary War Patriot graves to ensure that America’s first veterans are remembered with the respect they deserve.  There are many, many reasons to join the SAR.

Q: Where do you meet?

A:  The Col. William Henshaw Chapter meets regularly at various locations, primarily in central Massachusetts.  Depending on the event, however, we may assemble in other parts of the state.

Q: How involved can I be if I become a member?

A:  We encourage all members to participate in SAR chapter and state events whenever possible.  New Compatriots learn that becoming more involved in their communities and participating as an SAR member can be a very rewarding experience.  We also encourage all members to consider the future of the SAR by assisting their chapter’s officers and eventually becoming leaders themselves when the time is right.  Many wish to join our Color Guard, which is the public face of the SAR.  The Massachusetts Continental Color Guard is made up of uniformed SAR members.  They participate in civic and patriotic events and observances such as Independence Day, Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Patriots Day (April 19), Bill of Rights Day, Yorktown Day, Constitution Day, and important battles of the Revolutionary War.  They serve as the honor guard at funerals for compatriots and military veterans.  The Massachusetts Continental Color Guard also appears regularly in various public and private venues, such as local ROTC graduation ceremonies and town historical celebrations, as a means of community outreach.

Q:  Where do I start?

A:  Contact one of our Chapter Officers at either of the following e-mail addresses: vlthayer@comcast.net  or  ma.compatriot@yahoo.com   We’ll be glad to help you get started, answer any of your questions, and welcome you to our next chapter event.  You may also start here, at http://www.massar.org/membership/ where you will find an online application that will get you headed in the right direction.  The SAR application requires listing your lineage and must be accompanied by copies of the documents that support this lineage; this may mean finding documents linking parents to children through seven to nine generations or more.  It may seem complicated, but the task can be easier if someone in your family has already done some of the research.  Our Compatriots specializing in membership and genealogy are also available to help.