This year 4 brand new pioneers and their descendants were recpgnized, and 1 researcher certificate was presented at the Annual Pioneer Picnic on June 1, 2019, hosted by the Historical Society of Bay County. There are now 111 certified pioneers. Check for your ancestor at the bottom of this page. News Flash! Ninth Annual First Families of Bay County Certificates Award Ceremony
If you missed this event in previous years, please take a look at our
First Families of 2008 photo review from the Pioneer Picnic when the very first certificates were awarded to charter members of the First Families of Bay County and to our
First Families of 2009,
The First Families of Bay County, Florida, Certification Program seeks to identify and
honor the first families of Bay County, recognize their proven descendants, and promote
interest in the rich genealogical heritage and history of Bay County. This program is
administered by the Bay County Genealogical Society of Florida. Certification Program
The certificate will be awarded to any person who shall provide documentary evidence sufficient to
establish that said person is credibly descended directly from a pioneer who settled within
the present-day boundaries of Bay County, Florida, before the county was created. First Families of Bay County Certificate
The evidence submitted must establish, in the opinion of the First Families Committee,
that the specified pioneer was, in fact, a bona-fide resident of what is now Bay County
on or before 24 April 1913; and that the applicant is credibly descended from that pioneer.
The applicant need not be a resident of Bay County.
The applicant need not ever have been a resident of Bay County.
The applicant must submit a complete package of information, as described below, that credibly
establishes residency of the pioneer and descendancy of the applicant.
The applicant must include a non-refundable fee of $25 (check or money order - no cash)
with the application.
However, if the applicant is a member in good standing of BCGS, the fee will be $15
(check or money order; no cash).
Applications may be submitted at any time. Initial applications must be postmarked by 31 January, and revisions, if any, must be submitted by 30 April to be eligible for the annual June awards ceremony.
Decision of the judges regarding the adequacy of the submission is final.
The Bay County Genealogical Society places great emphasis on the credibility of its
certificate program. We believe that to be meaningful, each certified pioneering family
and its descendant connection must be historically accurate. Therefore, BCGS adheres to
the highest standards presently in effect for genealogical evidence. Rules of Evidence
You may download a complete application package in PDF form here: How to Apply Application Package. Study the instructions carefully.
When you are ready to begin filling out your application, you have several choices.
Most applicants prefer to type their information into their computer using one of these forms:
Application Forms for WordPerfect;
Application Forms for Word.
You may also download the forms in PDF format and fill them in with a typewriter or pen (please print clearly): Application Forms for PDF.
Document labels may be printed on adhesive mailing labels. Select Avery type 5260 if you use a laser printer or type 8160 for an ink jet printer. They are supplied with 30 labels per sheet. If you do not wish to purchase an entire package of 25 sheets, you may buy them from BCGS for $1.00 per sheet. You may download a document labels template here:
Document Labels Template for WordPerfect;
Document Labels Template for Open Office.org; Document Labels Template for Word 2003 or later.
If you feel you need help with your family research or with filling out the forms, here
are a few researchers who may be able to help. Research Assitance
Certified First Families of Bay County Pioneers
Alexander, Purlieu (Harrison)
Anderson, John Duncan
Boyer, Enos F.
Boyer, Mary Frances
Brown, Alice Lee (Porter)
Brown, Benjamin Bartlett
Brown, Mary Olivia (Spiva)
Carden, Richard I.
Carden, Thomas B.
Collins, Susan Charlotte (Porter)
Daffin, James Horace
Daffin, James Robert, Sr.
Davis, Georgia Olene
Davis, Lonnie Lamond
Dybdal, Osten E.
Dybdal, Thomas Jefferson
Fowhand, Wesley Dowling
Gainer, Anna (Brown)
Gainer, Annie Eugenia (Erastus)
Gainer, Archibald Jesse
Gainer, Mary Gainer
Gainer, Sarah Elizabeth (Dybdal)
Gainer, Shoemaker Ben Ren
Gainer, Walter Raleigh
Gainer, William A.
Gray, Idumea C. (Marshall)
Harmon, Turner Hunt
Harrison, Florine (Spiva)
Harrison, William Jeremiah
Hobbs, Estelle Mary
Holley, John Calvin
Holmes, Della Florence
Holmes, William Leonard
Holmes, William Wesley
Hood, Arthur Erich
Howell, Louis Henry
Howell, Wilbur Brown
Jansenius, Anton Joseph
Jansenius, Anton Joseph, Jr.
Laird, John Henry
Laird, Ruby Kade (Welch)
Loftin, Eliza (Porter)
Loftin, William Marion
Marshall, Wayne Harold
Marshall, William Henry
Mashburn, Elizabeth Jane
Mashburn, James Manon
Maxwell, Agusta Viola (Wallace)
McDuffie, Sophronia (Holley)
Moates, Annie C. (Porter)
Moates, Francis M.
Moates, Mary Peel
Nayor, Harriet Evelyn (Spiva)
Nelson, Frank McGill
Parker, Retha Vann
Porter, Ann M. (Vickery)
Porter, Charles T.
Porter, Charles Turner
Porter, Elizabeth Jane (Gainer)
Porter, John Henry
Porter, John Henry
Porter, Joseph Martin
Porter, Mary Frances
Porter, Ola Sue (Brown)
Porter, Verna Vernell (Singletary)
Register, Alexander Erastus
Riley, Florida Ann (Stephens)
Ross, David Monroe
Ross, Lee Monroe
Russ, Custer Patrick
Russ, Lola Elizabeth
Russ, Robert Samuel
Sealey, Clara Rebecca
Sharpless, William Thomas
Singletary, Sylvanus Ithamar
Singletary, Willliam Ithamar
Smith, Charlie Caper
Smith, Kittie Maria
Smith, Victoria (Stephens)
Sowell, George Leslie
Spiva, Ernest Raymond, Sr.
Spiva, Stephen Andrew
Spiva, William Etheridge
Stephens, John Devine
Stephens, Marvin Hercules
Strange, Jane L. (Dybdal)
Tabor, Margaret (Brown)
Taylor, Jessie May (Steel)
Vickery, Ella Sophronia (Holley)
Vickery, Lelon Ephriam (elder)
Vickery, Lelon Ephriam (younger)
Walker, Nora Lee (Smith)
Wallace, Waldo W., Sr.
Wallace, William Craig
Watts, Jane (Gainer)
Weeks, Louisa Virginia (Holmes)
Weller, Alfred Daniel
Zorn, Ada Victoria (Laird)
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