San Joaquin Genealogical Society
First Families of San Joaquin County
The San Joaquin Genealogical Society and The San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum have partnered to offer the First Families of San Joaquin County Certificate Program.
We hope to identify early residents and pioneers and to honor their lasting contributions to the history of San Joaquin County by recognizing their descendants who submit genealogical information. 
One 8½" x 11” certificate will be issued for each qualifying ancestor. The certificate will be inscribed with the name of the ancestor, the date that ancestor settled in San Joaquin County, and the name of the applicant descended from the ancestor. Certificates are numbered, signed, and suitable for framing. 
We hope that you will join in our effort to enrich our historical records and preserve the rich lineage of San Joaquin County.
Categories of First Families
  • Founding Families – Settled in San Joaquin County before 1860
  • Pioneer Families – Settled in San Joaquin County between 1860 and 1880
  • Century Families – Settled in San Joaquin County at least 100 years ago
Application Process and Fee 
Anyone with the appropriate lineage ties to San Joaquin County may apply for a First Families certificate; applicants do not need to be current County residents. Applications may be submitted at any time and will be processed throughout the year. A separate application is required for each certificate requested.
The application fee is $10 for members of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society or the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum, and $15 for non-members. The application fee is non-refundable.
Incorrect or incomplete applications cannot be processed. You will be notified if you need to provide corrections or additions. Applications not approved will remain “Pending.” You may reactivate a pending application without additional fees in the future if you provide the additional documents needed for approval.
To download the application and instructions for completing it, please click HERETo expedite the application process, please provide your e-mail address, if you have one.

Submitted Materials
All applications and documentation become property of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society and the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. All material submitted will be housed in the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum's Research Library, both to preserve your family's history and to assist members of the public with their research. In the future, either organization might include and/or reproduce the submitted lineage information in any of its publications, digitization projects, website database projects, or unknown future technologies.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Vital information (dates and places of birth and marriage) of living persons will be kept confidential.

Important Instructions
  • Certified copies of vital records and other supporting documents are not required. “Informational" copies are acceptable. 
  • Do NOT send original documentation! Please send photocopies of any records needed to establish lineage.
  • Always use the maiden names of female members of your lineage.
  • Circumstantial evidence WILL NOT be accepted as proof unless supported by primary or secondary evidence and/or a written proof argument. Oral, written, or published family traditions may be in error and CANNOT be accepted as documentation. Printed or manuscript genealogies, genealogical records or compilations, family group sheets and charts, family reunion records and similar material are not considered proof on their own. All of the above must be submitted with additional documentation to support the claim.
  • County histories or biographies and published transcriptions of records must include copies of page(s) establishing the fact claimed, and a copy of the title page that includes the name of the publisher and the date of publication.
  • Please feel free to submit photos and biographical narratives of your ancestors in addition to the required lineage documentation.
  • Documentation you submit to the SJGS will not be returned, so please make a copy for your records if desired.