Honoring Adams County Ancestors and Veterans

There are currently 4 ways one can honor their Adams County Ancestors.


  1. Roster of Pioneers –The Roster of Pioneers certification honors a DIRECT ANCESTOR who settled in Adams County by December 31, 1830. A certificate will be issued to the Applicant in recognition of the Pioneer(s).
  2. Early Settlers –The Early Settler certification recognizes a DIRECT ANCESTOR who settled in Adams County between January 1, 1831, to December 31, 1860. A certificate will be issued to the Applicant in recognition of the Pioneer(s).
  3. War Veteran – The War Veteran Certification recognizes a DIRECT ANCESTOR who served in any American war or conflict. The Ancestor must have lived in Adams County, even if settling here after the war or conflict ended. For instance, a Revolutionary War Veteran could have settled here after the war. In some cases, war veterans could also qualify for Roster of Pioneer or Early Settler certification also. Proof documentation of ancestry would only need to be provided once if this is the case.
  4. Adams County Veteran –This recognizes ANY Adams County Veteran. The applicant does NOT have to be a direct descendant; however, the relationship to the Veteran should be included. Adequate proof DOES have to be provided that (a) veteran was from Adams County, (b) when they served (c) branch of service and (d) years of birth and death. Photographs are requested, if available. A certificate will be provided ONLY to the veteran (if living) or a PROVEN family member, but ALL veterans will be recognized in a collection that will be maintained at the Adams County Heritage Center. This collection will be made viewable by all patrons of the Heritage Center. If the veteran is living, then he/she must grant permission, in writing, for the submission
    to be accepted.

Rules of Eligibility

  1. The applicant must be a current member of the Adams County Genealogical Society.
  2. The applicant must be a direct descendant of the Ancestor to be honored (with exception of Adams County Veteran).
  3. Each generation from Applicant to Ancestor must be proven with proof documentation as outlined below. If more than one ancestor qualifies for certification (for example a husband and a wife), then documentation of the lineage only needs to be provided once, although each ancestor must be proven individually.
  4. Each Ancestor must meet the guidelines for the category for which they are being submitted.

Basic Instructions

  1. Applications may be typed or handwritten.
  2. A single application may be used for multiple ancestors; however, proof is required to
    substantiate each Ancestor for the category for which they are submitted.
  3. Female Ancestors must be proven as individuals by their maiden names.
  4. An Ancestor Chart must accompany the application and show the Applicant’s line of
    descent from each Ancestor.
  5. All proof materials must be certified as “true” copies and indicate the source.
  6. Do not send original documents. Copies may be made by copy machine, photography
    or exact copies certified by a Court Official or Librarian.
  7. All material submitted will become the property of

Acceptable Proof Records

  1. Official Courthouse Records – Wills, Estate Inventories, Vital Statistics (births, marriages, deaths and divorces), Court Suits, Naturalization Records, Tax Listings and Land Transactions (includes deeds, warrants, grants, patents, executor and administrator deeds and mortgages). These documents can be accepted as evidence of living in Adams County IF the document actually states that the individual was “of Adams County” or is worded in such a manner as to indicate that the Ancestor actually RESIDED in Adams County. Executor’s and Administrator’s deeds may be accepted as proof IF the Pioneer is specifically named in the document.
  2. Government Records – Census, Military and Pension Records
  3. Miscellaneous Records – Church, School, Bible Records, Voting Lists, Obituaries, Newspaper Clippings, Old Letters and Family Records. The latter two can be accepted as proof ONLY for facts the writer of records would logically know of his own contemporary knowledge. Any “unusual” record that the Applicant “believes” to be proof will be considered by the Committee.

Unacceptable Records

The following records are unacceptable as proof records UNLESS accompanied by an acceptable proof record.

  1. Oral, written or published family traditions
  2. Biographical sketches from histories and atlases
  3. Published or unpublished manuscript genealogies or genealogical compilations
  4. Lineage papers from patriotic, heraldry or family societies UNLESS supporting proof material providing such lineage is also provided
  5. Printouts from web sites such as Family Search, Ancestry.com and Find A Grave

Tips for a Successful Application

  1. If handwritten, write legibly.
  2. All information for EACH generation should be labeled and submitted as one entity, either by stapling together, clipping together or by putting each generation into a separate envelope. If there are a lot of supporting documents to be included, the preferred method is to have one envelope for each generation and all supporting material for that generation put into that envelope and labeled appropriately. If there are 7 generations, there should be 7 envelopes or 7 stapled or clipped packets. The Applicant should be Generation 1, parents Generation 2, etc.
  3. Although proof records are required for each generation, please submit supporting records also, as this aids the Committee in verifying the application. For instance, in support of a Census records, you may submit a biographical sketch from Evans and Stivers “A History of Adams County, 1900” listing parents and children. This, then, could be considered proof of parentage.
  4. Ancestry Charts, Family Group Sheets and other such print-outs from genealogical computer programs are welcome submissions to serve as supporting documentation.

Print An Application

ACGS Roster of Pioneer and Veteran Application