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THE PIONEER AND CENTURY ANCESTOR CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

BLUE HILLS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY-BARRON COUNTY, INC. (BHGS)

The Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. will issue certificates to persons who are directly descended from Barron County, Wisconsin pioneer or century ancestors. Applicants must submit evidence to prove direct descent and to prove that the ancestor:

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

                            or

  • lived in Barron County, Wisconsin over 100 years preceding the date of application for a Century Ancestor Certificate.

Applicants may apply for certificates to be issued to themselves or to someone else. The person to whom the certificate is issued to need not currently live in Barron County, Wisconsin.

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BLUE HILLS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY-BARRON COUNTY, INC.

APPLICATION FOR PIONEER OR CENTURY ANCESTOR CERTIFICATES

 

Instructions

 

            The Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. issues ANCESTOR certificates to persons who are directly descended from Barron County Pioneer or Century Ancestors. 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 over 100 years 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.

 

The purpose of the Pioneer/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.

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

1. A separate signed application is required for each certificate being requested. More than one ancestor may be identified on a certificate, but a separate application is required for each ancestor claimed. Type or print all entries. Legibility is important. A signed authorization granting permission to publish and release data is required. Unsigned applications will be returned.  Completed applications must be sent to the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. by September 1 to be reviewed and evaluated. If approved the certificates will be awarded at the annual "members only" banquet, typically held in October.  Membership is not mandatory; to apply for, or to be awarded Pioneer and/or Century Ancestor Certificates.

 

2. A complete application includes the following:

    a. An application form completed on BOTH sides. 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.

 

   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 copy of a BHGS 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. 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 that 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 in the space provided in the EVIDENCE/REMARKS section on the second page of the application. Specific considerations related to forms of evidence are presented below.

 

   d.  A check, payable to Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. for $10.00 (US) for each certificate requested (Effective May 11, 2009).  Certificates will be awarded at a banquet ceremony the January following the September the applications are received.  The applicant will be hosted at the banquet free of charge.  Additional persons may attend the banquet  at the cost of $20 per person.

 

  e.  MAIL (on/or before September1)the completed application to:
                 Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc.,

                 P.O. Box 383
                
Cameron, WI 54822
 

 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. 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

 

  a. Evidence must be provided in the form of copies of documents establishing the fact claimed. Such documents 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. Do not submit original records, they cannot be returned.

 

  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.


 

TIPS FOR SUBMITTING PIONEER / CENTURY FAMILY

CERTIFICATE APPLICATIONS

 

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

 

We include an instruction sheet with each application set we distribute. The instructions have been "field tested" and we believe they are clear and complete. READING THE INSTRUCTIONS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION and FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS is just as important.

 

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 both pages/sides.

 

2. Note that the 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:  day, month (use 3 letters, not numbers), year(4 numbers), for example, 12 Feb 1901.

 

4. Each application form must have a Pedigree Chart attached to it. The starting individual (no. 1) for 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/Century Ancestor settled in Barron County, Wisconsin. Normally this will be one document; perhaps a census schedule or a marriage record, or a deed. Acceptable forms of proof are discussed in the instructions.

 

6. Next, attach the evidence to establish each link in the chain of descent. Start with the Pioneer/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-grgrandfather 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 Family Group Sheets, they do not prove anything. 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, not the pudding.

 

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 of 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. If you are not from Missouri act as if you are. You should ask yourself "Would I believe this if some stranger tried to palm it off on 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 send us things you want 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. When submitting a set of applications for certificates to be issued to more than one person (e.g., for yourself and 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).

 

12. The last tip: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS OF PIONEER/CENTURY FAMILIES

 

When applying for the Pioneer/Century Certificate, the Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. would like photographs of the ancestor being submitted as he/she was doing something, his/her family, or homestead, if possible.  These photographs can be either, a paper copy, a jump drive or a CD 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.

 

 

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