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Arms of the Society of Descendants of IrelandThe Society of Descendants of Ireland

The Society of Descendants of Ireland (originally the “Order of Descendants of Ireland”) was organized for the purpose of gathering together persons of Irish origin, and for preserving and cherishing the memories of our ancestors of Ireland, and to reflect with affection upon the Emerald Isle.

The Society of Descendants of Ireland was authorized by the Board of Directors of The Augustan Society, Inc. on 5 April 1980.

Membership is available in two exclusive classes:

Royal Life Member (RLM): Eligibility is restricted to persons who can demonstrate through research and scholarship that he or she has an unbroken descent from any historic Irish High King, Provincial King, or Sub-King, residing in Ireland prior to 1170 (the date of the beginning of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Henry II).

Many people can prove descent through Diarmait MacMurchada (Dermot Mac Murrough, 1100–1171), King of Leinster, and his wife Mor O'Toole, father-in-law and mother-in-law respectively of Richard de Clare (“Strongbow,” circa 1130–1177), 2nd Earl of Pembroke, Justiciar of Ireland, whose daughter Isabel married the great Sir William Marshall (1146–1219), 3rd Earl of Pembroke and Regent of England (1216–1219). However, any pre-1170 Irish High King, Provincial King or Sub-King is acceptable if lineages are proven.

Hereditary Life Member (HLM): Eligibility is restricted to persons who cannot demonstrate Royal Life Membership (because of the vast destruction of genealogical records at Four Courts, Dublin in 1922, or for other reasons), but who can prove descent from some Irish family. There is no restriction as to time period, but proof must be provided of descent from ancestors who lived in Ireland a minimum of three generations.

The entry fee for either class of membership is $100; $50 is charged to upgrade from Hereditary to Royal Life Membership at a later date; plus a Genealogist Fee of $4/generation for each lineage submitted, including corrections and extensions. Credit will be granted for well-recognized portions of lineages documented in Wikipedia or previously approved by the Society.

For both classes, applicants are to send a copy of their lineage and list genealogical sources together with their entry fee. GED files are preferred, but not required.

Pedigree lines based upon the works of O'Hart or O'Duirnin are not acceptable. Acceptable references for lineages include the (New) Complete Peerage 1910–1959; Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists... (5th edition, 1976); Magna Charta Sureties, 1215... (3rd edition, 1979); and Francis John Byrne's Irish Kings and High Kings (1973).

The arms of the SDI are as shown above, an inescutcheon of a green shamrock on a field of silver upon the shield of The Augustan Society. The insignia consist of a lapel pin with the design from the inescutcheon. A membership certificate is also given to each member. Members who are also Augustan Society members in good standing may also purchase a breast badge showing the arms while supplies last (this insignia has been discontinued and is no longer authorized for wear except by the Dean of the Society).

The Irish-American Genealogist was long the designated Official Publication of the Society of Descendants of Ireland, and the funds paid to the SDI were primarily used to fund that publication, as well as in funding research projects which will be published in the journal. Today, The Augustan Omnibus serves the same role.

In addition, lineages submitted by members will be published from time to time in the journal of the Society, as well as in proposed lineage books. They are also employed by the “Family of Augustans” project.

One of the initial projects which we hope to fund is the compilation, alphabetization, and indexing of some hundreds of passenger lists of Irish to North America, covering especially the years 1848 through 1860, but not limited to that span of time. Since the foundation of the Irish Genealogy and Research Committee of The Augustan Society, special efforts have been made to obtain passenger lists of Irish to America. We now have a large number of these, but they are made nearly useless without indexing and publication. The ultimate value to all Irish researchers will be great, and we look to the members of the SDI to carry this project to its conclusion.

As a longer-term project, funding will be available through the SDI for providing research scholarships, stipend support, and other types of funding to those engaged in Irish family research.

We also wish to greatly expand the Irish materials in the Augustan Society Library.

For additional information, or for a petition for membership, please contact Headquarters.

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This page is maintained by the Webmaster in consultation with the Dean of the SDI. Last modified 21 October 2022 bam.