Requirements An officer of the Continental Army or Navy could qualify as an Original Member if he (a) served to the end of the war as an officer with a Line (not Militia or State) regiment, (b) resigned with honor after a minimum of three years service, or (c) was rendered supernumerary or was honorably discharged after three years of service. Officers who served with the French forces under Rochambeau or DeGrasse were also eligible. Hereditary Membership includes the eldest male in each generation, following the rule of primogeniture. Collateral descendants are allowed if there is a failure of male descendants.
Eligibility for Hereditary Membership shall be determined in the manner hereinafter set forth. A person shall be eligible for Hereditary Membership who is at least eighteen years of age and who is of good moral character and repute. He must be judged by the Society as worthy of becoming a supporter and member. Every applicant to be eligible must have the qualifications stated in The Institution of the Society of Cincinnati of 1783 or under the Rule of 1854 of the General Society.
The law of inheritance offers a candidate only the privilege of having his application considered. Among descendants of original members or others who shall be eligible, this Society, reserving to itself the absolute right of choosing among eligible persons that one who in the Society’s judgment is best suited to promote the ends and purposes of the Society, will ordinarily observe the following principles in electing a member:
The propositus was an original member of the Society; or
He died or became permanently incapacitated by wounds or illness while serving in the capacity of officer from Connecticut in the Continental Army or Navy between April 19, 1775 and April 19, 1783, inclusive; or
He was serving in the capacity of officer from Connecticut in the Continental Army or Navy at the end of the Revolution on April 19, 1783; or
He was deranged by resolution of Congress while serving in the capacity of officer from Connecticut in the Continental Army or Navy; or
He died or became permanently incapacitated by wounds or illness while serving in the capacity of officer from Connecticut in the Militia, State Troops or Navy between April 19. 1775 and April 19, 1783, inclusive; or
He must have resigned with honor after three (3) years of Continental service in the capacity of officer from Connecticut between April 19, 1775 and April 19, 1783, inclusive.
The succession shall descend by primogeniture in the eldest male line so long as it continues unbroken.
If a line from eldest son to eldest son shall fail of male heirs, the eldest male line next in relation to the last surviving son entitled to membership shall be taken and the succession shall descend by primogeniture in that line.
In case of the failure of the male line, the line which descended the greatest number of generations from the original member before a failure of males shall ordinarily be taken.
The claims of descendants through female lines shall be determined by the same rules of primogeniture as in the case of claims through the male line, so far as applicable.
A waiver by any person shall be regarded only as a renunciation of a claim, not as a transfer of a right.
No waiver, express or implied, shall be considered as affecting the rights of a minor son.
As the Society for the support of the principles to which it is pledged may justly require its membership to be kept full, it may, upon satisfactory evidence that an eligible person has had knowledge of his claim and has neglected to apply within two years of the date he became eligible or that he has been considered for membership and failed therein because he did not receive the favorable vote of two thirds of the members present and voting, shall treat, such failure as a waiver of the claim. If a vacancy has existed for twenty years, the Society may admit any descendant of the original member or a collateral representative at its discretion.