sponsored by
Whatcom Genealogical Society

PO Box 1493, Bellingham, WA 98227-1493

Web site: http://members.aol.com/whatcom59/wgs.html

Eligibility: To qualify for a Pioneer or Old Settler Certificate, an applicant must be directly descended from an ancestor who settled in Whatcom County as follows:
==> Pioneers (Prior to 1890 - Washington Territory) - Gold Seal

==> Early Settlers (1890 to 1910) - Silver Seal

Each ancestor in the direct line must be proved. Applicants need not have ever been residents of Whatcom County to apply. After proof of direct descent has been submitted and eligibility has been determined, we will present you with the appropriate certificate. Separate certificates will be issued for each ancestor properly submitted. The nonrefundable fee for each application packet is $15.

Purpose: To honor our Whatcom County pioneer forefathers, and to keep their memory alive. To encourage a basic knowledge of genealogical research by asking any direct descendant to put together their family history and apply for a certificate. The information gathered from this project will become a valuable research tool, and will add to our knowledge of the history of Whatcom County.

Document copies submitted as proof will be kept by the Whatcom Genealogical Society, and, if permission has been granted by applicant, the information will be made available for family history research. Documents pertaining to living relatives will be noted and returned. A list of surnames/ancestors may be made available on the WGS Web site in the future.

Linking oneself to the past is an excellent way of building family pride and self-esteem. We hope you will join in our effort to record and preserve our early Whatcom County history.


1. Please type or print the application.

2. Please use maiden names where applicable, and all given names of ancestors.

3. Dates should be written as day month year (example: 1 Jan 2000)

4. If unsure of a date, place a ? behind that date.

5. Follow one direct line from the applicant to the ancestor.

6. Documented evidence connecting each generation must accompany the application. Copies only, please, as all items will become the property of WGS.

7. Send a check or money order made payable to WGS for each application to: Whatcom Genealogy Society, PO Box 1493, Bellingham, WA 98227-1493.

Additional certificates for other family members: If brothers and sisters of the applicant wish a certificate and apply in the same packet, the cost will be $7.50 for each additional certificate. Each must be on a separate sheet and prove relationship only to the applicant. If the applicant wishes to provide certificates to children or grandchildren the same situation occurs. Each must be on a separate sheet and with appropriate proof of relationship to the applicant. The cost is $7.50 for each additional certificate, and all must be sent together.

Additional Pioneer/Old Settler ancestors: This would be an entirely new application and would cost $15.

Acceptable Documentation:
Primary Sources:

Vital records (birth, death, or marriage)

Church, mortuary, cemetery records

Probate records

Land records

Tax records

Census records

Military records

Court reports (wills, deeds)

Official school records

Secondary Sources:     (Inclusion of the following Secondary Sources is encouraged but may not be acceptable as proof of lineage.)

Bible records




Private papers

Newspaper clippings

Tombstone inscriptions

Published family and county histories

City or county directories

Atlas or plat books

A committee of WGS members shall determine certificate eligibility. The committee decision shall be final.

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