Pioneer Certificate

Pioneer Certificate

Calling All Pioneers!

        If your ancestor paved the way in this county when pine was king, we welcome you to apply for your Montcalm County Pioneer Family Certificate.
        Flat River Historical Society and Museum
        213 N. Franklin Street, Greenville, Michigan 48838
        (616) 754-5296
You can E-mail Kelly @ for an application.

Montcalm County Pioneer Family Certificate Application
Flat River Historical Society and Museum


  • A direct descendant of an individual who can be documented as living in Montcalm County prior to December 31, 1899 is eligible to apply for the Montcalm County Pioneer Family Certificate.
  • Application and $25 payment for the Montcalm County Pioneer Family Certificate will tie to one pioneer ancestor only. If you have multiple direct pioneer ancestors, an application and payment must be submitted for each.
  • Proof for each generation leading back to the pioneer ancestor must be submitted with the application. Submit documentation of proof along with the provided generation sheet. Start with yourself and go back generation by generation to the ancestor who makes you eligible for the certificate.
  • Submit photocopies only of documents for proof, as submissions will not be returned to the applicant.
  • Various types of documents may be used as proof, with the exception of handwritten extracts of documents, manuscripts/stories written by the applicant or applicant’s family, and any unsited work gleaned from any undocumented source. (see additional instructions sheet).
  • All applicants must pay the $25 application fee at the time of submitting. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks to receive your certificate upon review and approval of your application.
  • If the application is rejected for insufficient proof, you will be contacted and given the opportunity to submit the necessary documentation. No refunds will be given.
  • If you wish to have the research of proof of your pioneer ancestor completed for you by the museum archivist and genealogist, you may do so for a $75 fee plus any additional costs that may be required to obtain documentation. This fee includes the cost of the certificate you will receive.
  • Applicants who receive the Montcalm County Pioneer Family Certificate will be announced in our quarterly Logmark

Montcalm County Pioneer Family Certificate Instructions

  1. Montcalm County persons living in the county prior to December 31, 1899 qualify as a Pioneer.
  2. You must prove your direct relationship to this person through each generation with supporting evidence.  Follow your family line starting with yourself back to the pioneer ancestory using the Family Tree Chart provided. Fill in the appropriate data on the family line (father’s, mother’s, father’s father, etc) that corresponds with the pioneer ancestor you wish to prove.
  3. Submit photocopies of supporting evidence (primary and secondary) with your ancestor’s name highlighted for easy viewing.PRIMARY evidence includes: vital statistics including birth, death, and marriage certificates. Courthouse documents or other government records: military, land records, deeds, wills, naturalization records, tax lists. Church records of baptism, birth, marriage, death. School records.SECONDARY evidence includes: Census (federal and state) with year, town/township and page number recorded. Newspaper clippings and obituaries with the name of the publication and page number. County histories and genealogical society articles and publications with source citations. Tombstone inscriptions, cemetery and funeral home records.

CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence is not considered proof but can be used in support of primary or secondary sources. Such circumstantial evidence may include family histories (oral or written) that are not sourced.

  1. Handwritten forms must NOT be in cursive and must be legible. To avoid confusion, dates are best written in day, month, year form with the month spelled out. Ex. 20 JAN 1899. Year MUST NOT be abbreviated. Use 1899, not ’99.

Questions may be addressed and answered by emailing the Flat River Historical Society and Museum archivist at

** Applications may be submitted in person or by emailing scanned documents to the museum email listed above. Email submissions will not be reviewed until $25 payment has been received.