About the National Society

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America promotes appreciation for the people, places and events that led to the formation and development of our country. We are an unincorporated association of 44 Corporate Societies in 43 states and the District of Columbia, with more than 15,000 members. The NSCDA has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortlandt House in 1897. The National Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House, a Federal period house museum in Washington, D.C.



The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America actively promotes our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects.

Objects of the Society



“The objects of this Society shall be to collect and preserve manuscripts, traditions, relics, mementos of bygone days; to preserve and restore buildings connected with the early history of our countryto educate our fellow citizens and ourselves in our country’s history and thus diffuse healthful and intelligent information concerning the past, to create a popular interest in our Colonial history, to stimulate a spirit of true patriotism and genuine love of country, and to impress upon the young the sacred obligations of honoring the memory of those heroic ancestors whose ability, valor, sufferings, and achievements are beyond all praise.”

From Article II of the National Constitution

Membership Inquiries in Tennessee

Membership in the organization is by sponsorship only. Members must be lineal descendants of an ancestor who rendered significant service to his country during the Colonial period before July 5, 1776. Membership is sponsored and managed by each state.

The NSCDA Constitution, Article III, sets forth the eligibility of members as follows:

MEMBERSHIP The Corporate Societies shall be composed entirely of women who are lineal bloodline descendants from an ancestor of worthy life who, residing in an American colony, rendered efficient service to our country during the Colonial period, either in the founding of a State or Commonwealth, or of an institution which has survived and developed into importance, or who shall have held an important position in a Colonial government, or who by distinguished services, shall have contributed to the founding of our nation.

DATE OF ANCESTOR’S SERVICES All services which constitute a claim to membership must have been rendered before July 5, 1776, but this date shall be held to include all signers of the Declaration of Independence.