Mecosta County Genealogical Society
P O Box 1068, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307
FORM FOR PIONEER FAMILIES OF MECOSTA COUNTY, MICHIGAN
The prime objective of the Pioneer Families of
Mecosta County is to identify and honor the memory of
the earliest settlers of this county showing their
lasting mark on the land and honoring their descendants.
The research necessary to prove descent is intended
to stimulate increasing interest in the pioneers of this
county, their customs, culture, genealogy and history,
and to awaken the descendant to the sacrifices and
contributions of his/her ancestor.
Encouraging descendants of the settlers to identify
and prove their lines will honor as many as possible of
the courageous pioneers of Mecosta County.
WHERE DO YOU BEGIN? BEGIN WITH YOURSELF.
On the last page of this application is an ancestor
chart, use it as your guide. Hand print your name, then
your father and mother, grandfathers and grandmothers,
great-grandparents, etc. Follow the family line back to
the ancestor that lived in Mecosta County on or before
December 31, 1899. Now fill in the birth dates, marriage
dates and death dates.
Then type or hand print the names and dates on the
application, make photocopies of birth, marriage, death,
census records and/or other materials used as proof and
mail with your completed application.
List ALL of your direct ancestors that were in
Mecosta County by 1899, both paternal and maternal, that
you can prove. Their names will be placed on your
PLACES TO LOOK FOR RECORDS
LIBRARY: census records, county atlases, military
records, obituaries, genealogies, city or county
COURT HOUSE: birth, death, marriage records, deeds,
wills, military records, maps and plats, tax records,
MICHIGAN DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH: birth, marriage, and
death records since 1867 to present (PO Box 30035,
Lansing, MI 48909)
When a record is located get a copy to submit with
your Pioneer Family Application.
Mail completed applications to:
Mecosta County Genealogical Society
Pioneer Families Committee
PO Box 1068
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Any questions, write:
Mecosta County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1068
Big Rapids, MI. 49307
Or email Barb Place
firstname.lastname@example.org or Maureen Nelson
email@example.com. You may call 231-250-5555 if you
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PIONEER FAMILIES OF MECOSTA
1. Applicant must be a member of the Mecosta County
Genealogy Society for the year the application is
submitted; current fee is $15 per family per year (Aug 1
- Jul 31).
2. There is a one-time $15.00 fee for each
application. Fees must accompany completed application.
If the application is rejected for insufficient proof,
the fee, proofs, and application will be returned for
further research by applicant.
3. At least a four-generation chart showing names of
every ancestor claimed.
4. (Optional but strongly recommended) A biographical
sketch for each ancestor claimed; subjects could include
the person's occupation or profession; church
affiliation; political, patriotic or community
involvement; migration; an interesting family story;
physical description--anything which will give dimension
to that particular person.
5. Any person who is a direct descendent of an
individual who lived for a time in Mecosta County before
December 31, 1899, is eligible to make application to
PIONEER FAMILIES OF MECOSTA COUNTY.
6. BASIC RULES OF EVIDENCE:
Primary evidence from vital statistics (birth, death,
and marriage certificates), courthouse or other
government records (military, land records, deeds,
wills, land warrants, naturalization records, tax list,
guardianship, ward and trustee, and civil dockets),
church (birth and baptism, marriage, death,
membership-communicants), and school records (enrollment
and school census) is considered to be excellent proof.
Secondary evidence such as census [must include
photocopy of census sheet including heading and
enumeration lines of the family—can be on 2 sheets of
paper. People who are in the same household on the
census are not necessarily relatives unless expressly
stated on the census; additional evidence is required.],
newspaper clippings, and obituaries (name of newspaper
and date of publication are necessary), old letters
(dated), Bible records (with title page and publication
date of the Bible), or other family records created at
the time of the fact reported, and county histories
(supported by primary evidence) are considered almost as
Circumstantial evidence implied by facts or hearsay
is not considered as proof unless backed up by primary
or secondary evidence. This includes family histories
with no source documentation. Oral, written or published
family traditions or histories are often wrong and are
NOT acceptable as proof.
7. Indexes and books of county records compiled by a
genealogy society for library use may be copied as
secondary proof, listing book title, author/compiler and
page. They must be well documented. Well-documented and
proven family histories are considered secondary proof.
Material authored by the applicant, or his family,
CANNOT be considered as proof.
8. Photographs or "true copies" of tombstones
inscriptions usually only prove birth and death dates.
However, sometimes relationships are shown on the
tombstone and are considered good proof.
9. If a family member or relative has been accepted
as a member of Pioneer Families of Mecosta County. You
may refer to their certificate number and need only
submit proof showing the connection, to their proofs. No
need to duplicate proofs already submitted.
10. Proof of each step shown on the application MUST
be submitted with the completed application, use
photocopies of the proofs. Volume and page of book
references including a copy by copy machine, photo, or
other facsimile copy of the pertinent pages, and all
published or unpublished records used for proof. Typed,
hand printed, or written copies of documents, not
certified as "True copies", are NOT acceptable as proof.
Published or manuscript material authored by the
applicant or his family will NOT be accepted as proof.)
Information for additional ancestral lines may be
included on additional paper showing how they tie in
with the lines on the basic application. If more than
two family lines are submitted, include an ancestral
chart to show the interconnections.
11. The information must be typed or hand printed on
the application. Submit proof beginning with yourself
going back in time to the ancestors that are to be
listed on your certificate.
12. A PIONEER FAMILIES OF MECOSTA COUNTY CERTIFICATE
will be awarded to each accepted applicant at a
specified annual Certificate Awards meeting; if so
desired, the Certificate can be mailed if you are unable
to attend the meeting.
13. This application, information, and all supporting
documents and data becomes the property of the Mecosta
County Genealogy Society, and will remain in the Society
files. The information may be shared with others doing
genealogy research and duplicated.
14. All completed applications are checked for
completeness and accuracy by the Pioneer Families
Committee, and if approved, given to the Board of
Directors of the Mecosta County Genealogy Society for
final approval and where the Pioneer Families
Certificate will be printed and held pending the awards
15. REMINDER: A statement is not necessarily true
just because it is in print.
APPLICATION TO PIONEER FAMILIES OF MECOSTA COUNTY,
as you want it printed on your certificate
name of spouse date
address city state zipcode
telephone & email address
MY ANCESTORS WHO WERE IN MECOSTA COUNTY BEFORE
December 31, 1899.
(List women’s names as they were when they entered
the county, married or unmarried) (List names in the
order you would like printed on certificate.)
NAME OF ANCESTOR first year township settled in
One or more of the above ancestors connects to
Pioneer Family # _____
If more spaces are needed, attach separate sheet with
This application, information and all supporting
documents and data become the property of the MECOSTA
COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY.
I do hereby swear (or affirm) that the statements set
forth in this application, are true to the best of my
knowledge and belief.
signature of applicant
FOR GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY USE ONLY
Date application received__________ Gen. Soc. Dues
Certificate fee received __________ Acceptance date
Pioneer Family Number _________
Chairman of Pioneer Family Comm.
President of Mecosta Co. Gen. Soc.