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The Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc.  issues certificates to persons who are directly descended from a Barron County, Wisconsin Pioneer or Century ancestor. The purpose of the Pioneer and Century ANCESTOR Certificate Program is to recognize families with Barron County, Wisconsin roots, encourage people to undertake genealogical research, develop a database of information for researchers, and to improve the quality of genealogical research.

Applicants must submit qualified evidence to prove direct descent and to prove that the ancestor:

  • Pioneer Ancestor Certificate settled/lived in Barron County, Wisconsin prior to Jan. 1, 1871

  • Century Ancestor Certificate settled/lived in Barron County, Wisconsin over 100 years prior to the date of application

 Applicants must provide evidence of direct descent and provide evidence that the Ancestor lived in Barron County, Wisconsin prior to Jan. 1 1871 in the case of Pioneer Ancestors, or  100 years or more preceding the date of application in the case of Century Ancestors.   Applicants may apply for certificates to be issued to themselves or someone else. The person to whom the certificate is issued need not currently live in Barron County, Wisconsin. Only one (1) Ancestor per Application Form. The fee is $10.00 per Ancestor.

Click here to see the Certificate Recipients of currently documented Pioneer Ancestors and Century Ancestors, Barron County, WI.




1. A separate signed Application Form is required for each Ancestor Certificate being requested. More than one Ancestor may be listed on a single certificate, but a separate Application Form is required for each ancestor claimed. Each Ancestor claimed must meet the eligibility requirement/qualifications.  All entries must be clearly and legibly printed or typed.   I understand that Submission of this Application Form, if approved,  grants the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. permission to publish my name on genealogical data contained herein in printed indexes or online indexes, and to release copies of the Application Form to genealogical researchers.  An Unsigned Application Form  will be returned!  Certificates are accepted and evaluated throughout the year.  A completed Application Form must be sent to the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. by September 1 each year to be reviewed, evaluated and presented at the Annual Banquet.  If approved the Certificates will be awarded at the annual "members only" banquet, typically held in October or November.  Membership is not mandatory; to apply for, or to be awarded a Pioneer and/or Century Ancestor Certificates.


2. A completed application will  include the following:

    a. An Application Form fully completed. Only the current version of the form provided by the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. will be accepted.   Applications submitted on other forms, including obsolete versions will be returned.  We suggest, when requesting the application by US mail, make a copy of the application, so one copy may be used as a working draft; persons who download the application from the Internet are urged to print out a copy of the form to be used as a working draft.


Check:  payable to Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. for $10.00 (US) for each certificate requested (Effective May 11, 2009).


We also accept PayPal:


   b. A Pedigree Chart  showing the ancestral line(s) of the person to whom the certificate is to be issued. Identify that person as number 1 on the chart. A link to a Family Search  pedigree chart has been provided, however, any standard Pedigree (or Ancestral) Chart form, or a computer-generated form, on 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper may be used.

    c. A
Family Group Record print and complete the form.


   d. Evidence of settlement: by the date claimed, and evidence of direct descent. The guiding principles for such evidence are that it should permit reviewers to reach conclusions as to the validity of the claim without having to undertake additional research, and the sources should be specifically identified and copies provided of each so that reviewers can locate and verify them. List the documents enclosed with the application.

    e.  Photographs (optional) :  When applying for the Pioneer/Century Certificate, the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. would like photographs of the ancestor being submitted. It can be of the ancestor alone or as  he or she was doing something with his or her family or at their homes.  These photographs can be either, a paper copy or a flash drive and attached to your Pioneer/Century Certificate application.  These are not returned to you and would become the property of the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. to use at will. Note:  Photographs are not a requirement to be approved.

   f.  Certificates are awarded at a banquet ceremony generally in October or November.  The applicant will be hosted at the banquet free of charge.  Additional persons may attend the banquet  at the cost of $20 per person.


  g.  MAIL the completed application, pedigree chart, family group record and a check and to:

                 Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc.

                    410 East LaSalle Avenue, Suite C
, WI

 An application based on a previously issued certificate does NOT require resubmission of the proof of settlement, just cite the previous certificate in the Evidence Section or attach a copy of the previous certificate, Pedigree Chart and evidence of direct descent IS required.


 Names and dates


   a. Enter names of the person to whom the Certificate is to be issued and Ancestors EXACTLY as you want them to appear on the certificate.


  b. Enter women's surnames in the order in which acquired, e.g., Mary, the daughter of John Jones, who married first Sam Brown and second Amos Black would be entered as Mary Jones Brown Black. Do not use parentheses.


  c. Enter dates in (day month year) format, example:12 Feb 1805.  Use three letter abbreviations for the month, example: Feb.


 Forms of evidence:

 Do not submit your original records, as all documents submitted to BHGS-BC, Inc. for the Certificate program are retained.


  a. Evidence must be provided in the form of copies of documents establishing the fact claimed. Examples of Evidence include Census, Land, Church, School, Naturalization (including Declarations of Intent), Probate and Vital Records. Copies must clearly identify the nature of the document, the agency or office which created it, the volume, page, sheet, line, etc. by which it may be located, and where it may be located. Bible records, county histories and published transcripts of records must include copies of the page(s) establishing the fact claimed and a copy of the title page including publisher and date.


            1) Abstracts of Records prepared and authenticated by the custodian thereof are acceptable in lieu of copies. An example would be an abstract of a church  baptismal record.


            2) Other abstracts or summaries compiled from records are acceptable only if  they clearly identify the person who did the abstract or compilation, the      specific identification of the record on which the abstract or compilation is based, and the location of the original.


  b. Photocopies of diaries, letters, business and other personal records may be submitted, but proof of authenticity must accompany them and the name and address of their current custodian must be stated.

  c. County histories may be submitted (copies of appropriate pages and title pages are required). Some recent commemorative publications (usually issued in connection with a community or organization anniversary) containing family histories submitted by modern family members are not acceptable.


  d. Documents that infer rather than establish the fact being claimed require corroboration. Two such common documents are census records and naturalization records. It is a fact that census records often contain errors. Thus an 1860 Milwaukee County population schedule enumerating a 14-year-old child born in Wisconsin does not prove that the family settled in Milwaukee in 1846. An 1870 Declaration of Intention from a Rock County court stating that the ancestor arrived at the port of New York in 1868 does not establish when he settled in Wisconsin, only that he was present in Rock County on the date of the Declaration. In both such cases corroborating evidence should be submitted before inferred dates will be accepted.


 e. Published or unpublished genealogies and family histories and family group sheets are generally not acceptable as proof. Instead, submit the documents (or abstracts) that were used as proof for them.





BHGS will return any Pioneer and Century Family Certificate applications to the applicant for corrections or additional information when needed. This tip sheet LISTS the most common reasons an application will be returned.

The instructions have been "field tested" and we believe they are clear and complete.


Do not submit your original records, as all documents submitted to BHGS-BC, Inc. for the Certificate program are retained.


Here are some tips that we hope will make the instructions clear and the submission of an application easier:


1. Print legibly or type the application form completely. Be sure to complete all pages/sides.


2. Note:  Authorization granting Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. permission to publish and release data submitted must be signed for the application to be processed.


3. Enter dates in standard genealogical format for example, 12 Feb 1901   Day, month (use 3 letters, not numbers or the entire month name), year(4 numbers).


4. Each application form must have a Pedigree Chart attached to it. The starting individual (no. 1) on the Pedigree Chart must be the person to whom the certificate is to be issued as identified on the application form. The chart must extend at least through the generation that includes the Pioneer/Century Ancestor (as identified on the application form) from whom descent is claimed. Make the chart as complete as possible. Use continuation sheets if necessary.


5. Immediately after the Pedigree Chart attach your evidence to show when and where the Pioneer or Century Ancestor settled in Barron County, Wisconsin. Normally this will be one document; perhaps a census schedule, a marriage record, or a deed will show this.  Acceptable Forms of Evidence (proof) are discussed above.


6. Next, attach the evidence to establish each link in the chain of descent. Start with the Pioneer or Century Ancestor and attach the document(s) that shows that he or she was the parent of the next person in the chain. Do the same thing for each generation in the chain of descent: for example, if Johann Schmitt, the Pioneer Ancestor was the gr-gr grandfather of Susan Ellen Jones, the person to whom the certificate is to be issued, you should provide something to link Johann to whichever son or daughter of his was Susan's gr-grandparent, and then something to link that gr-grandparent to the grandparent, next to the parent and finally to Susan. Read the instructions to see what is acceptable evidence.


7. When you have provided the evidence for date and place of settlement and evidence for each link in the chain of descent stop there. Do not submit extraneous materials that only confuse the issue.  Do not submit books, pamphlets, or genealogies compiled by you, a relative or a professional genealogist, regardless of how well documented they may be. We want to see the evidence.


8. When you have direct evidence, most of what you submit will consist of only one document for each fact or link to be proved. When the evidence is indirect or inferred you must provide corroboration. For example, our instructions tell you that because census records so often contain errors, an 1860 Milwaukee County population schedule enumerating a 14-year-old child born in Wisconsin, does not prove that the family settled in Milwaukee in 1846. If you were able to find an 1870 population schedule listing that same child, now 24 years old and having been born in Wisconsin that would be corroborating evidence and you should submit copies of both schedules.


9. Evaluate your entire submission before sending it in. Be as objective as possible.  You should ask yourself  "Would I believe this if some stranger tried to explain it to me."


10. Be sure that every document you submit is properly labeled as to what it is, where it came from and where the original can be found. In almost all cases you will be submitting copies. Be sure they are legible. Try to keep them to 8 1/2 x 11 inches in size. Do not submit original records, they will not be returned.  Your application and supporting documentation will become part of a permanent genealogical database created by the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc.


11. If you are completing applications for certificates to be issued to more than one person; (for example, 1 for yourself and 1 for each of your children) based on the same ancestor, you do not have to provide copies of all the evidence with every application. Enclose a complete set of evidence for one application (the one for yourself in our example, and then provide only the additional evidence to complete the chain of descent for each of the remaining applications (in our example that would be a birth certificate or other such evidence for each of the children).  Each person receiving a Certificate must have a completed separate Application Form


12. The last tip: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!



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