Programs & Workshops
San Joaquin County First Families Certificate Program

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society and the San Joaquin County Historical Society have partnered to offer the First Families of San Joaquin County Certificate Program. The Societies hope to identify pioneers and early residents and to honor their lasting contributions to the history of San Joaquin County by recognizing descendants of theirs who submit genealogical information. The First Families Certificate Program builds on, revises, and expands the longstanding San Joaquin County Pioneer Register, which also recognizes early county residents. All applications and documentation submitted will be housed in the San Joaquin County Historical Museum Research Library, along with documentation related to the San Joaquin County Pioneer Register, and will be made available for public research. For each ancestor who qualifies for the First Families Certificate Program, an 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch certificate, suitable for framing, numbered and signed, will be issued. The name of the ancestor, date settled in San Joaquin County, and the name of the applicant who descends from the ancestor will be inscribed.

There are three 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 prior to application date

Anyone can apply. Applicants need not be residents of San Joaquin County.
Applications may be submitted at any time. They will be processed throughout the year. A separate application is required for each certificate requested.

Application Fee

Ten dollars for members of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society or San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum; fifteen dollars for non-members.  If you wish to become a member of either society, membership application forms can be found on each society's Web site. San Joaquin Genealogical Society: San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum: The application fee is non-refundable. Incorrect or incomplete applications cannot be processed. Applicants will be notified if they need to provide corrections or additions. To speed the process, please provide email address. Applications not approved will remain “Pending.” Applicants may reactivate their applications without further fees if in the future they provide additional documents needed for approval.

Submitted Materials

All applications and documentation become property of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society and the San Joaquin County Historical Society and will be retained in the custody of the San Joaquin County Historical Museum Research Library. In the future, either society may wish to include and/or reproduce the submitted lineage information in any of its publications, digitization projects, Web site database projects, or presently unknown future technologies. Note: Vital information (dates and places of birth and marriage) of living persons will not be made available.

Helpful Hints

1. Certified copies are not required. “Informational Copies” are acceptable.
2. Do not send original documentation. Please send photocopies.
3. Always use the maiden name of females.
4. 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 claims.
5. County history or biographies and published transcriptions of records must include copies of page(s) establishing the fact claimed. Copies of the title pages, including publisher and date, must be included for all published material.
6. Applicants are encouraged to submit photos and biographical narratives of ancestors, in addition to required lineage documentation.

To download the application, click the following link:

Historical Society General Meetings and Programs

The Historical Society holds its quarterly general meetings on the fourth Monday in January, April, July, and October. In January, we usually have our annual Soup Supper and in July we have a barbeque on the Big Lawn at the Museum. An informative and educational program is presented at each meeting. Refer to the Museum calendar for future meetings/programs. Historical Society members will receive notice in the newsletter, but the meetings/programs are open to non-members.

Other Programs and Workshops

Watch the newsletter or this website for additional programs and workshops.

See also Special Events and Exhibits