First Families of Utah Certificates
The Utah Genealogical Association issues First Families of Utah Certificates to direct descendants of early Utah settlers. Many of these people have gone unnoticed in history, and this program is a means of gathering information to honor them. In addition to receiving a First Families of Utah Certificate, applicants will be helping to preserve the history of ancestral Utah pioneers and sharing that rich history with others through the First Families of Utah Certificates Index that we are working on posting as soon as possible.
To qualify for a First Families of Utah Certificate, the applicant must document direct descent from an ancestor who came to Utah prior to statehood in 1896 or was born in the territory of Utah before that date. There are three types of First Family Certificates available:
(Arrived in Utah before 1851)
(Arrived in Utah between 1851 and January 4, 1896)
(Born in Utah before 1896)
- Applicants need not be residents of Utah.
- After proof of descent has been submitted with application fee and eligibility verified, the appropriate certificate will be mailed to the address on the application. A separate certificate will be issued for each properly documented ancestor.
- Multiple certificates for the same ancestor may be obtained by providing the name of the previously documented ancestor with $15 for each additional certificate desired.
- Please type or print the application using black ink. Include a pedigree chart showing your descent from the pioneer and a family group sheet for the pioneer ancestor as a parent.
- Always use a maiden name for females and include given names of ancestors.
- One copy of at least one document per generation should be included to prove your lineage. Do not send originals. A list of acceptable types of documentation is shown below. Each generation must be documented.
- Include a check or money order, payable to Utah Genealogical Association in the amount of $15 for each application you send. You may also order online and indicate in special instructions that your documentation and application has been sent.
- All applications must be mailed to:
Utah Genealogical Association
First Families of Utah Certificate Committee
P.O. Box 1144
Salt Lake City, UT 84110
- Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for the processing of the application. Anyone wishing faster service must request so and will be accommodated to the best of our ability.
Acceptable Types of Documentation:
- Census schedules may be used to prove date of arrival in Utah. The 1850 census of Utah territory may be used to document a Founding Pioneer.
- Birth entries may include Bible entries, baptismal or church records. After 1910, a copy of the birth/adoption record which shows parentage, date and place must be enclosed to document descent.
- Death records may be used to document earlier generations.
- Marriage records should be used to document marriages of ancestral families.
- Compiled family group records and pedigree charts, while they may be accurate, are not acceptable without adequate source documentation. If book references are used, please give full title, author, publisher and dates, volume (if applicable), page number, repository name and address and (if known) the repository call number.
- Published manuscripts that are authored by the applicant or his/her family will NOT, of themselves, be acceptable as proof without additional documentation.
You are welcome to submit a short sketch of your ancestor (maximum of five pages) along with the application to be included in our files and added to our pioneer project database online.
While it is the policy of the Utah Genealogical Association to provide applicants modest help where necessary to submit qualifying application for pioneer certificates, applicants must realize that the Utah Genealogical Association shall be the sole arbiter of the acceptability of an application, supporting documentation, and the decision to issue (or not) issue a First Families of Utah Certificate.