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Mecosta County Genealogical Society
P O Box 1068, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307


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.


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 CERTIFICATE.


LIBRARY: census records, county atlases, military records, obituaries, genealogies, city or county directories, etc.

COURT HOUSE: birth, death, marriage records, deeds, wills, military records, maps and plats, tax records, etc.

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  or Maureen Nelson You may call 231-250-5555 if you have questions.


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.


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 authentic.

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 ceremony.

15. REMINDER: A statement is not necessarily true just because it is in print.


Your Name ____________________________________________
as you want it printed on your certificate

_______________________ ____________________
name of spouse date

address city state zipcode

__________________ ____________________________
telephone & email address



(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 Mecosta County:






One or more of the above ancestors connects to Pioneer Family # _____

If more spaces are needed, attach separate sheet with information.

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


Date application received__________ Gen. Soc. Dues paid ________

Certificate fee received __________ Acceptance date ____________

Pioneer Family Number _________

Chairman of Pioneer Family Comm. ________________________________

President of Mecosta Co. Gen. Soc. ________________________________

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Mecosta County Genealogical Society | P.O. Box 1068 | Big Rapids, MI  49307

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Common Corners