I neglected to mention one item in yesterday's post. With some of the organizations you can piggy-back on someone else's ancestor.
For example, if you file an application with the Sons of the American Revolution on your ancestor Hiram Prescott and someone else has already filed and been accepted, then all you have to do is prove your line back to a common ancestor. If the ancestor is on file with the DAR, the same applies.
SAR application DAR member
John Prescott [b. 1955], son of Ann McMurray [1937-2008], daughter of
Lucas Prescott [1920-1993], son of Diana Keller McMurray [1919-2000], daughter of
William Prescott [1897-1946], son of Charles McMurray [1897-1936], son of
Raymond Prescott [1869-1927], son of James McMurray [1855-1890], son of
Samuel Prescott [1845-1880], son of Maude McMurray Slate [1827-1884], daughter of
Hiram Prescott III [1816-1857], son of Ellen Prescott Slate [1803-1866], daughter of
Hiram Prescott II [1780-1836], son of Hiram Prescott II [1780-1836], son of
Hiram Prescott I [1751-1829], patriot Hiram Prescott I [1751-1828], patriot
If John Prescott has the documentation back to Hiram III and can prove a familial relationship to Ellen Slate, he should be good to go.
Check membership requirements for those societies that interest you to see if this is an option.