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Who can join the Sons of Confederate Veterans?

The simple answer is nearly anyone! We have a number of types of membership.

Full Membership in the SCV is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. Membership can be obtained through either lineal or collateral family lines and kinship to a veteran must be documented genealogically. The minimum age for full membership is 12.

Cadet Membership in the SCV is open to all male descendants under the age of 12 years old  of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. Membership can be obtained through either lineal or collateral family lines and kinship to a veteran must be documented genealogically.

Associate Membership in the Camps is open to anyone, male or female, young or old, who do not meet the requirements of Full or Cadet Membership. It is important to note that the Associate Member is a not a member of the SCV, but is a member of the Camp. If your local Camp does not offer an Associate Membership, you may join another Camp that does offer Associate Membership, or you may join the Friends of the SCV Program at the International Headquarters Camp.

What does lineal and collateral mean?

Lineal – You are a blood descendant of the veteran; grandson, great-grandson, great-great-grandson, etc.

Collateral – You are not a direct descendant of the veteran, but you share a common ancestor; so the veteran is your great-uncle, great-great-uncle, etc.

If you have a blood relative who is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the United Daughters of the Confederacy you should be able to get the needed information from them. They have already performed the research and documented your veteran ancestor.

Once you have located your Confederate ancestor you will need to obtain proof of his service, contact the archives of the state from which the soldier fought and obtain a copy of the veteran’s military service record. All Southern states’ archives have microfilm records of the soldiers who fought from that state, and a copy of the information can be obtained for a nominal fee. In addition, the former Confederate states awarded pensions to veterans and their widows. All of these records contain a wealth of information that can be used to document military service.

One of the easiest and least difficult ways to get started is to join your local Camp as an Associate Member and then work with the Camp Genealogist to correctly trace your lineage and document your Confederate Ancestor. Please contact your local Camp for Associate Membership information. If your local Camp does not participate in the Associate Membership Program please contact the KY Webmaster using the contact link at the bottom of the page for further assistance.

For those who have their genealogical research completed:
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The Sons of Confederate Veterans was created in 1896 by Confederate veterans concerned that as they aged and passed on, there should be someone to carry on the memory of Confederate soldiers and sailors. To better understand the benevolent, fraternal and heritage mission of SCV, please read the charge of Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee, given to SCV at the New Orleans reunion of United Confederate Veterans in 1906:

"To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we submit vindication of the Cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations."

Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. Membership can be obtained through either direct or collateral family lines, and kinship to a veteran must be documented genealogically. You will need you ancestor's name, unit, state of service, and information as to his honorable service: discharged, captured, wounded, killed. The minimum age for membership is 12.


Proving Ancestry

Many members use family histories, Bibles and oral traditions as a starting point in their search for ancestor information. Proof of kinship to a Confederate soldier or sailor can take many forms. The easiest method is to contact the archives of the state from which the soldier fought and obtain a copy of the veteran's military service record. All Southern state archives have microfilm records of the soldiers who fought from that state, and a copy of the information can be obtained for a nominal fee. In addition, the former Confederate states awarded pensions to veterans and their widows. All of these records contain a wealth of information that can be used to document military service.

The Kentucky Division of the SCV would be pleased to get you started off in the right direction in your research. Please contact our camp about your interest in joining the SCV and any questions you may have. 

Benefits of membership include participation in local, state, and national events, a membership certificate, and a subscription to Confederate Veteran magazine, published 6 times a year. Join us in honoring the memory of the Confederate soldier and sailor. Good luck, and we look forward to your compatriot-ship! 

 Tracing your Confederate Ancestors

Remember, Confederate ancestry can be found on both paternal & maternal sides of your family, so trace as much as possible!

1. Begin by investing in some form of genealogy tools to record your family tree.

There are several books available such as: 

Tracing Your Ancestry Logbook by E. Wilbur Helmbold 
Unpuzzling Your Past : The Best-Selling Basic Guide to Genealogy 
The Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook both by Emily Croom

There are also a variety of computer programs available such as Ultimate Family Tree or Family Tree Maker
You can also hire a private genealogist to work on your family tree for you. If you want to hire a researcher, write to the following address for a list of qualified individuals:  Board for Certification of Genealogists, 1307 New Hampshire Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

2. Gather your family information such as family bibles, deeds, wills, marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, christening records, etc. Talk with members of your family. Take pictures of headstones. Record as much information as possible with as much detail as possible.

3. If you hit dead-ends, don't give up! If you have a surname(s), try posting a message at www.genforum.com or www.ancestry.com or www.rootsweb.com under the list of surnames for more help. You may try signing up for the mailing list(s) for that particular surname or area as well.

4. If you have family that seemed to have stayed in one particular area, try the library/archives for that County/State. In Kentucky, you can find a list of public libraries at this link or you can contact that particular county for more information.

5. Once you have found a Confederate ancestor(s) and have an idea of the unit/regiment in which they served, you will want copies of muster rolls, pension records, etc.

Other resources to try are the United Daughters of the Confederacy libraries (www.hqudc.org), or even the Museum of the Confederacy (www.moc.org). Many researchers do charge fees for their time/service. You may want to try to do this on your own or pay for someone else to do the research if you stumble upon a "brick wall" within your own family tree.

6. Once you have documented your family tree and have found your connection to your Confederate ancestor, remember to share! Share with other family members! Take a copy to that area's library and ask that it be filed for other researchers and/or contact those resources above and ask if they would be interested in copies as well. This preserves your hard work for future generations!

7. Most important tip: NEVER GIVE UP & HAVE FUN!!