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Society of the Cincinnati

At the close of the Revolutionary War, the officers in the Continental Army sought to provide a means of ongoing fellowship for the officers, and to develop charitable funds to assist the families of original members. This desire soon gave birth to the Society of the Cincinnati. The Society also acted on behalf of the Army's officers in an effort to secure military pensions for surviving Revolutionary War veterans.

The structure of the Society is multi-faceted, with significant authority residing within the individual State societies, of which there are thirteen, as well as a French society. The General Society of the Cincinnati was established by the leading officers of the Continental Army, and representatives from each State line in 1783.

Hereditary membership in the Society is generally passed to the eldest son according to the rule of primogeniture. When such an individual is lacking, a collateral male descendant may be eligible for membership, if properly qualified and approved by the Society of the Cincinnati. Only one male descendant may represent an eligible officer at any time.

Membership in the Society of the Cincinnati is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious and sought-after accomplishments in the hereditary society community. My ancestor Lieutenant Robert Rankin has only been represented twice, from 1944-45 and from 1945-71. In Sep 2006, my application for membership was approved and on 21 Oct 2006 I was officially elected to the Society. It is my honor and privilege to be the person to once again represent Robert Rankin in the Society of the Cincinnati.