The Society of Colonial Wars is a hereditary society composed of men who can trace their ancestry to a forebear who, in a military, naval, or civil position of high trust and responsibility, by acts or counsel, assisted in the establishment, defense, and preservation of the American Colonies (for a complete explanation of ancestral criteria, click here). The General Society comprises some 32 constituent state societies. The organization was founded in New York in 1892, originally as a state society. The General Society was founded in 1893.
The total membership of state societies has for many years steadily stayed in the range of 4,000 to 4,500. Approximately 21,000 men have joined the organization during its history, including many prominent Americans. Members are typically well-educated and accomplished.
The Society has long sought to improve public awareness of the importance of colonial events and individuals in the shaping of America. A number of monuments, plaques, and other markers have been installed by the Society at provenient sites. The Society also funds research and educational initiatives of colonial relevance. In recent years, the goal of improving understanding of the colonial period has additionally been addressed by Samuel Victor Constant Fellowships, awarded annually for postgraduate study of colonial American history.