Order of the Founders and Patriots of America

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Order of the Founders and Patriots of America
Logo of the OFPA.jpg
TypePatriotic-hereditary society
Col. Rev. Daniel C. Warren, MD
Deputy Governor-General
Richard M. Wright, Jr.
Secretary General
William Allerton III

The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America (OFPA) is a highly restrictive, United States-based, hereditary fraternal organization [1] whose self-declared purpose is to collect and preserve records related to the original American colonists and their descendants, and to promote camaraderie among descendants of original colonists.[2] Its strict bloodline mandates and small size (currently slightly more than 1,000 members), has earned it a reputation as the most exclusive lineage society in the United States.[3] However, unlike the Society of the Cincinnati, membership eligibility does not descend through family lines by order of agnatic primogeniture, meaning more than one member of the same family can simultaneously hold membership.


A menu cover from the 1904 general court of the OFPA features the portrait of Admiral George Dewey, then the society's governor-general.


The OFPA was founded in 1896.[4] At that time, there were several hereditary organizations for descendants of Patriots of the American Revolution as well as for descendants of early American colonists (i.e. Founders). The OFPA is the only organization to require descent from both a Founder and a Patriot. Its first annual meeting was held in the Governor's Room at New York City Hall.[5]


Membership is limited to male U.S. citizens of "good moral character" who are directly descended in the paternal line from a person who settled, prior to 1657, in the territory that would become the thirteen colonies and whose family later helped achieve, through military service, United States independence.


The OFPA is organized into 28 regional chapters, known as societies. These, together, form the general society, which is headed by a governor-general. The society is headquartered in Ohio. Individual members are referred to as "associates."[6]



The 1-126th Aviation battalion of the Rhode Island National Guard was recognized by the OFPA in 2012. The certificate is being presented by Governor John Eastman of the Rhode Island Society.

The OFPA annually presents an award to an outstanding college Army ROTC unit. The "Order of the Founders and Patriots of America Award" has been called "the Heisman Trophy of Army ROTC"[7] and is awarded based on a criteria that includes the number of United States Army officers a unit commissions and the academic performance of cadets.[8] A separate award is periodically presented to an outstanding National Guard unit.[9] The society also underwrites individual awards named after its deceased members. The George Dewey Award is annually presented to a United States Naval Academy midshipman, and the John Wright Award, named after former 101st Airborne Division commander Gen. John M. Wright, is given to an outstanding West Point cadet.

Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder escorts OFPA associate David Miller as he recognizes the 238th Aviation Regiment of the Michigan National Guard as Michigan's best all-around National Guard unit in 2014.

Archives and Monuments[edit]

The OFPA and its member societies fund the erection and installation of monuments and markers at the sites of historical occurrences in early United States and colonial American history.[10] The organization also maintains genealogical archives on its members. This includes 162 boxes of material deposited at Langsdale Library at the University of Baltimore.[6] Additional records curated by individual societies are stored elsewhere, including Rutgers University, and the Connecticut State Library.


The general society's annual meeting, known as the general court, is held each May. The 117th general court, in 2013, was convened in Williamsburg, Virginia. The 118th general court, in 2014, took place in Lexington, Kentucky. To commemorate the general court being held in Kentucky, all of its associates were commissioned as Colonels by the governor of Kentucky.[6] The 119th general court will be held at Anderson House in Washington, DC.


The OFPA periodically publishes The Register, an index of the genealogical pedigree of members, and The Bulletin, a semi-annual magazine for members.

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Order of the Founders and Patriots of America. New Jersey Society. Records". Rutgers University Libraries. Retrieved 6 July 2005.
  2. ^ "Objectives". Order of the Founders and Patriots of America. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  3. ^ Szucs, Loretto, ed. (2006). The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. Ancestry Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 978-1593312770.
  4. ^ Kammen, Michael (1993). Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture. Vintage. p. 218. ISBN 978-0679741770.
  5. ^ The Spirit of '76. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "The Secretary-General's Report". The Bulletin. Fall 2014.
  7. ^ "Notre Dame Army ROTC to receive Order of the Founders and Patriots of America Award". Notre Dame News. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  8. ^ "NAU university Army ROTC program wins national recognition". Cronkite News. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Guard Aviation Unit Receives Prestigious Award". Louisiana National Guard. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  10. ^ U.S. Congress Serial Set vol. 6310. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1912. p. 528.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Publications of the New York Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America. Ch. Van Benthuysen & Sons. 1904. p. 12.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Membership". Order of the Founders and Patriots of America. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  13. ^ "American Navy Best in the World Says Admiral Dewey". Lowell Sun. 14 May 1904. p. 1.
  14. ^ "Order of the founders and patriots of America [extracts from the constitution and by laws, objects and purposes, organization, officers, membership, etc". Open Library. Retrieved 25 December 2013.