|Those persons, either male or female, who can prove direct
from an individual who conducted a tavern, inn, ordinary, or other type of
hostelry prior to 4 July 1776 (within any of the the American Colonies that existed at that time).
The dates shown below correspond to the first settlements known to exist in their respective colonies. The first known colonial tavern was established in the year 1633/4 in Boston.
There is no age restriction for members. Feel free to enroll your children and grandchildren!
In colonial times, taverns, inns, ordinaries, pubs, and other hostelries were usually kept in a person's home and no other building usually existed for this purpose. Therefore, the majority of the these businesses as we think of them in that time probably did not have names. In smaller municipalities, named taverns were probably not the rule. In larger ones, these businesses had names to distinguish them.
The key to establishing membership is proving that your ancestor was licensed by the local authority (usually the Colonial Court) to conduct the business of keeping taverns, inns, ordinaries, pubs, and other hostelries, or to sell spirituous liquors. The name of the establishment is not necessary. Brewers and distillers do not qualify unless they were also licensed taverners or innkeepers.
You must complete our application form, providing your lineage to a verifiable qualifying ancestor. A copy of the documentation for each fact must be included. "Copy" means either certified copy of a record or photocopy of the original. DO NOT send original documents.
There is a life membership fee of $200 which includes a nonrefundable examiner’s fee, our membership insigne, and a handsome membership certificate. There are no annual dues. After your membership is established, we welcome supplemental applications on other qualified ancestors. The current fee for a supplemental submission is $50.
If you have any questions, contact the Keeper of the Tavern Records at
The current membership insignia and certificate is shown below.
In the event you joined the Society prior to March 31, 2017, you may have paid the former membership fees, in which case you may not have received a membership insigne. In this event, an order form is provided by clicking on the hyperlink below to facilitate that purpose.