When you join the DVF, you honor your revolutionary ancestor through our many activities and have the opportunity to form lifelong bonds with other members of the society. Any person of any age, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution who wintered at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War between December 19, 1777 and June 19, 1778, is eligible for membership. Members under the age of 18 are Junior members.
The Valley Forge National Historical Park Visitor Center displays the Muster Roll that lists many patriots at Valley Forge who are already accepted as qualifying ancestors. While it is not an all inclusive list, however, it may contain your ancestor's name. Having your ancestor listed on the Muster Roll is not a requirement to join; however it can be referenced as proof of your ancestor being at Valley Forge. You must, however, provide acceptable proof that the individual listed, military unit and rank, is in fact your ancestor. Similarity of name only is insufficient.
The following information is to assist you in filling out your application and avoid delays. Please read the entire instructions and make a working copy before beginning to type/print on the Application Form. It is also recommended to download the DVF Application Instructions before you begin.
1) Download the Application Instructions. Follow all guidelines when completing your application. This will speed up the processing of your application. Not following the guidelines delays evaluation of your application packet. If the guidelines are not followed, your application will be returned and will not be reviewed until you submit an application that follows the guidelines.
2) Download the application before completing it, otherwise your work will not be saved.
3) The application needs to be filled out completely through your Patriot ancestor, either typed or printed.
4) You are required to include documentation copies for each generation. Following are types of documentation that are needed for each generation: birth certificates or baptismal records showing the names of the parents, certified copies of church or governmental records, marriage records, obituaries, death records or certificates showing the names and birthplaces of the parents, census records, wills, pension records and/or probate records giving the names of the children of the descendant by full name, court records and/or land patents in which the name of the parent and children are explicitly stated, Bible records, either certified transcripts or photocopies of the title page of family records and muster roll(s) — showing dates and stating "Valley Forge". Official (approved) Record Copies from NSDAR, NSSAR or GSSR may be used as proofs for those ancestors in common with your application. See application instructions.
5) If you do not have documentation proving your Patriot ancestor served at Valley Forge between December 19, 1777 and June 19, 1778, one of the best sources for military service records is The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). To order the military record, you either purchase the (Pre-WWI) Military Service Records (NATF Form 86) online or complete the form and mail it to them. NARA will research their records, charging a fee, and return copies of their search, if found, to you.