Bay County, Florida, Genealogical Society

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News Flash! Ninth Annual First Families of Bay County Certificates Award Ceremony

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.

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, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Bay County, Florida, Pioneers

Certification Program
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.

First Families of Bay County Certificate
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.

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 prednisone 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 prednisone 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 nizagara the adequacy of the submission is final.

Rules of Evidence
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.

How to Apply
You may download a complete application package in PDF form here: 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;
Document Labels Template for Word 2003 or later.

Research Assitance
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.

Certified First Families of Bay County Pioneers

Name Birth-Death Yr. cert'd
Alexander, Purlieu (Harrison) 1877-1963 2017
Anderson, John Duncan 1858-1927 2010
Bailey, Samantha 1880-1965 2021
Boyer, Enos F. 1849-1928 2010
Boyer, Mary Frances 1910-2003 2010
Brown, Alice Lee (Porter) 1867-1930 2016
Brown, Benjamin Bartlett 1833-1913 2016
Brown, James 1800-1858 2017
Brown, Jr., John Ivey 1864-1937 2019
Brown, Mary Olivia (Spiva) 1872-1951 2017
Brown, Warren Hastings 1901-1992 2019
Bullock, Ferdinand 1866-1935 2008
Carden, Richard I. 1887-1951 2008
Carden, Thomas B. 1861-1939 2008
Chesire, Harriet "Hattie" Clifton 1869-1950 2019
Collins, Susan Charlotte (Porter) 1859-1913 2015
Daffin, James Horace 1867-1930 2009
Daffin, James Robert, Sr. 1897-1980 2015
Davis, Georgia Olene 1911-1998 2014
Davis, Lonnie Lamond 1883-1967 2014
Davis, Martin 1849-1929 2014
Dickens, Benjamin Hill 1883-1944 2018
Dybdal, Osten E. 1845-1925 2017
Dybdal, Thomas Jefferson 1895-1940 2017
Fowhand, Wesley Dowling 1874-1958 2011
Gainer, Andrew 1855-1940 2013
Gainer, Anna (Brown) 1806-1858 2017
Gainer, Annie Eugenia (Register) 1885-1963 2017
Gainer, Archibald Jesse 1868-1955 2017
Gainer, Mary Gainer 1862-1943 2013
Gainer, Sarah Elizabeth (Dybdal) 1899-1936 2017
Gainer, Shoemaker Ben Ren 1895-1937 2013
Gainer, Walter Raleigh 1836-1920 2017
Gainer, William A. 1787-1870 2017
Glisson, Delilah 1865-1908 2021
Gray, Idumea C. (Marshall) 1891-1985 2013
Harmon, Turner Hunt 1838-1910 2009
Harrison, Florine (Spiva) 1906-1980 2017
Harrison, William Jeremiah 1871-1925 2017
Hobbs, Estelle Mary 1911-2003 2014
Holley, John Calvin 1850-1916 2009
Holmes, Della Florence 1880-1922 2010
Holmes, William Leonard 1856-1936 2010
Holmes, William Wesley 1830-1884 2010
Hood, Arthur Erich 1862-1921 2011
Howell, Louis Henry 1876-1935 2014
Howell, Wilbur Brown 1907-1986 2014
Hulett, Artemissia Jewell 1832-1912? 2019
Jansenius, Anton Joseph 1849-1930 2015
Jansenius, Anton Joseph, Jr. 1874-1959 2017
Laird, John Henry 1873-1956 2009
Laird, Ruby Kade (Welch) 1909-1991 2009
Landgraf, Valentine 1831-1912 2011
Lassiter, Eula 1884-1973 2014
Loftin, Eliza (Porter) ca1811-<1870 2009
Loftin, William Marion ca1785-ca1838 2009
Marshall, Wayne Harold 1910-1990 2013
Marshall, William Henry 1879-1951 2013
Mashburn, Elizabeth Jane 1849-1916 2011
Mashburn, James Manon 1821-1856 2011
Maxwell, Agusta Viola (Wallace) 1870-1959 2013
McDaniel, Annie Elisabeth 1887-1958 2018
McDuffie, Sophronia (Holley) 1859-1940 2009
Moates, Annie C. (Porter) 1866-1961 2011
Moates, Francis M. 1837-1897 2011
Moates, Mary Peel 1842-1928 2011
Montgomery, Edward M. 1838-1915 2018
Nayor, Harriet Evelyn (Spiva) 1852-1938 2017
Nelson, Frank McGill 1877-1937 2011
Parker, Retha Vann 1881-1975 2010
Porter, Ann M. (Vickery) ca1838-ca1894 2009
Porter, Charles T. ca1804-<1860 2009
Porter, Charles Turner 1877-1933 2011
Porter, Elizabeth Jane (Gainer) 1872-1969 2017
Porter, John Henry 1854-1928 2015
Porter, John Henry 1870-1931 2016
Porter, Joseph Martin 1842-1907 2011
Porter, Mary Frances 1884-1949 2014
Porter, Ola Sue (Brown) 1895-1921 2015
Porter, Verna Vernell (Singletary) 1897-1981 2016
Register, Alexander Erastus 1874-1947 2017
Riley, Florida Ann (Stephens) 1862-1924 2015
Ross, David Monroe 1876-1965 2010
Ross, Lee Monroe 1910-1990 2010
Russ, Custer Patrick 1887-1961 2014
Russ, Lola Elizabeth 1870-1921 2015
Russ, Robert Samuel 1840-1913 2014
Scott, Oscar 1851-1922 2011
Sealey, Clara Rebecca 1823-1900 2011
Sharpless, William Thomas 1854-1938 2012
Singletary, Sylvanus Ithamar 1896-1958 2016
Singletary, Willliam Ithamar 1862-1935 2012
Smith, Charlie Caper 1879-1932 2011
Smith, Kittie Maria 1910-1993 2011
Smith, Victoria (Stephens) 1892-1971 2015
Sowell, George Leslie 1890-1973 2008
Spiva, Ernest Raymond, Sr. 1904-1979 2017
Spiva, Stephen Andrew 1835-ca1903 2017
Spiva, William Etheridge 1871-1933 2017
Steele, Rea 1866-1929 2015
Stephens, John Devine 1858-1931 2015
Stephens, Marvin Hercules 1862-1924 2015
Strange, Jane L. (Dybdal) 1867-1898? 2017
Tabor, Margaret (Brown) 1840-1912 2017
Taylor, Jessie May (Steel) 1882-1966 2015
Vickery, Ella Sophronia (Holley) 1880-1960 2009
Vickery, Lelon Ephriam (elder) ca1826-1892 2009
Vickery, Lelon Ephriam (younger) 1869-1954 2009
Walker, Nora Lee (Smith) 1881-1945 2011
Wallace, Coe 1890-1970 2013
Wallace, Waldo W., Sr. 1893-1964 2013
Wallace, William Craig 1848-1930 2009
Watts, Jane (Gainer) 1797-1837 2017
Weeks, Louisa Virginia (Holmes) 1840-1930 2010
Welch, Adam Levi 1840-1916 2021
Weller, Alfred Daniel 1872-1964 2009
Zorn, Ada Victoria (Laird) 1875-1912 2009

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