Download current membership application download here.
Why should I become a member?
Membership in the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage (SDUSMP) honors and preserves the legacy of your ancestor(s). For around two hundred and fifty years, your ancestors endured the cruelties of slavery to emerge resilient in their pursuit of freedom and equality. We applaud their bravery, strength, great faith, skill, ingenuity, undying hope, and persistence. We believe they were driven by the hopes for their own freedom and the freedom of their descendants. We are the freedom they dreamed about and we celebrate each other.
We, their descendants, also owe them our very lives. As a member of SDUSMP, through participation in the Society’s various programs and activities, you can honor this legacy by actively supporting historic preservation, promotion of education, and patriotic activities.
SDUSMP provides the opportunity to:
- educate others about the contributions of enslaved people, the institution of slavery in the United States, and the current day effects of slavery;
- connect to other people who have done the work of identifying their enslaved ancestors and who are passionate about helping others;
- participate in the preservation of their legacy by helping us form the “Book of the Remembered”, a major project. It is a collection of the names, stories, and other historic information about all of our ancestors who were enslaved;
- honor the patriotism of our ancestors and their descendants;
- honor and preserve the forced sacrifice legacy of our ancestors;
- network with members of your community, nation, and worldwide;
- participate in unique social and service-oriented programs within your community;
- be involved in a variety of programs that provide something for everyone;
- gain valuable leadership experience;
- help fund research about the history of slavery in the United States and its economic, social, and individual effects on our country and the world;
- help other members trace their genealogy and become members;
- form local chapters to impact your community; and
- create a comprehensive database of all enslaved people of African descent and their descendants, in the United States, including its colonial days.
Any person is eligible for legatee membership in the National Society of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage (SDUSMP) who is not less than eighteen years of age and who can prove lineal descent from a man, woman, or child who is of African descent and was forced into slavery, including indentured servitude, in the United States of America, including its colonial days, prior to the end of slavery as marked by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, effective December 1865.
For the initial application, a fee of $65 must be enclosed. The $65.00 is composed of a $40.00 application fee and $25.00 for current annual dues. A check or money order in the amount of $65.00 must accompany the Membership Application form and copies of all supporting genealogy documentation. For a copy of the application, email us at email@example.com OR download the application on this page.
How does one trace their ancestry to an enslaved person?
Starting with yourself, document your parents, grandparents, their parents, and so on, going back as far as you can, through interviews with parents and older relatives. You can use this document to record your progress. Using online genealogical databases, such as familysearch.org, ancestry.com, and Fold3.com, locate documentation, such as census data, and birth, death and marriage certificates, substantiating dates for each generation. Some people will be able to use family histories, ship manifests, slave narratives, wills, newspaper articles, and other information. These are all acceptable as documentation to prove lineage. Consider joining genealogical societies like the Afro-American Genealogical Historical Society to help with your research.
Use our worksheet to help document your ancestry. All birth dates shall be supported by birth certificates or other evidence, naming both parents’ and child’s full date of birth. Proof must clearly tie each generation to the preceding one. Acceptable proof includes birth and death certificates, wills, probate records, Bible records, church records, court records, and census records. Please identify all family members that served in the United States military, documenting the branch, dates of service, capacity, and name of the war.