I first came across the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution when I visited a cousin in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, almost 15 years ago. They have a very fine library and reading room. Membership of the Society is open to any adult male who can prove direct descent from an ancestor who actively supported the American Revolution, including those from other countries, mostly France, Germany and Spain, but, of course, also some people in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England; for example, John Paul Jones who was born in Kirkcudbrightshire. It was founded in 1889; and a similar society for women, Daughters of the American Revolution, was started in 1890.
The proof of direct descent has to be evidenced using certificates of birth, baptism, marriage, cemetery records, census records, legal documents and published books, so can be a very good source of information.
I'm a bit suspicious of some of the books that I've seen cited on membership records, as some of those books were written by authors who invented people.
The Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications let you trace generations of ancestors in a single document, showing your lineage back 235 years to the Revolutionary War, and there are examples of 3 famous Americans' membership applications, John D. Rockefeller, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, and Charles Edison, son of the famous Thomas Edison.
This weekend, Ancestry.com is providing free access to more than 145,000 applications between 1889 and 1970 and over a million records, so possibly you can discover if your forefathers were founding fathers or other patriots who fought for America's independence. Try searching the Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications here.