Peter, for DAR applications, and I've been told SAR applications are very similar, you need to prove each generation from your self back to your ancestor. Starting with yourself, you will need a copy of your birth certificate which should give the names of your parents. If your married, you may be required to provide a copy of your marriage record. For your parents you will need each of their birth certificates, their marriage record, and if they are deceased you will need their death certificates. Their records should name their parents. If their records do not name their parents you can use census records that show them in the household of their parents, or if they are named in the wills/estate records of their parents you can use these records. If the estate records do not name all heirs, check records for any lawsuits that may have been filed in regard to the estate. Also check for any guardianship records if any of the heirs were minors. Going further back in time where no birth records are available, you can use bible records (always include the copyright date of the bible), census records that show the individual as a minor child living with their parents, marriage records and census records after they have married. If death certificates are not available, published obituaries in newspapers, give the name of the paper, publication date, etc., and photo's of tombstones, with the location of the cemetery, etc. Deeds where the parent gave a "Deed of Gift" to the child are proof of parentage. These are just some of the types of documents you can use. The DAR in many cases will not accept genealogies that have been published in books as proof of your ancestry, due to many published genealogies being poorly documented and inaccurate. You will need to locate records to tie each generation to the next generation back to the ancestor that aided the cause of Independence. For the DAR you do not have to prove that your ancestor actually fought in the Revolution. You do have to prove that your ancestor aided the cause of American Independence and this can be done in a number of ways, i.e., he or she signed a petition supporting the local Militia; provided supplies for the Militia, or served in an elected or appointed office that supported American Independence. I hope this helps answer your question.