Our History


A few years ago, sisters Lynn Long and Gayle Coan, both descendants of a colonial high sheriff, began discussing the establishment of the Descendants of Sheriffs & Constables of Colonial & Antebellum America. In April 2010, after additional discussion, the Society was organized. Lynn was appointed President General and Gayle was appointed 1st Vice-President General. After contact with numerous friends and acquaintances within the lineage society community who also claim descent from a qualifying ancestor, organizing officers were appointed, an application was designed, and plans got underway to formally establish the Society.

Although the Society was founded in Illinois, its Organizing Meeting was conducted at Barnstable, Massachusetts, on July 24, 2010, at the Old Gaol, an historic jail dating to 1690. The jail held prisoners from 1690 through 1820, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The Society’s by-laws require that an Annual Meeting be held each year within the bounds of the City of Washington, DC. Additional meetings may be called from time to time, as desired. The by-laws also provide that officers may serve more than one two-year term, with elections being held in the even-numbered years.