First Families of Utah Certificates

The Utah Genealogical Association issues certificates to direct descendants of Utah settlers. This program seeks to honor the families that have made Utah what it is today. In addition to receiving a First Families of Utah Certificate, applicants will be helping to preserve the history of Utah pioneers.

These certificates will either be paper or digital. The digital certificate will be issued via email. The descendant could upload the digital certificate as a memory or image on FamilySearch, Ancestry, etc.


To qualify for a First Families of Utah Certificate, the applicant must document direct descent from an ancestor who came to Utah during one of the following periods:

  •   - A Founding Pioneer arrived in Utah with a pioneer company before 1851
  •   - A Territorial Pioneer arrived in Utah between 1851 and January 4, 1896

Application Instructions

  • 1. Complete the online form and submit PDFs of the necessary documentation.
  •     At least one document per generation must be included to prove your lineage.

  • 2. A list of acceptable types of documentation is found below. Each generation must be documented adequately, including proof that the pioneer was in Utah during the aforementioned periods.

  • 3. Pay the application fee online. For paper certificates: $25.00 per application for adults age 18 and older; free for youth under age 18. For digital certificates: $15.00 per application for adults age 18 and older; free for youth under age 18.

  • 4. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing. After the application has been reviewed and eligibility verified, the hard copy certificate will be mailed to the address in the application or the digital copy will be emailed to the email address in the application.

  • 5. We encourage you to submit a short sketch of your ancestor’s life and a photograph of your ancestor along with the application.

  • 6. Please be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if we need more information from your application.

Acceptable Types of Documentation

  • 1. Census schedules may be used to prove date of arrival in Utah. The 1850 census of Utah Territory may be used to document a Founding Pioneer.

  • 2. Birth, marriage, and death may be proven using civil certificates, Bible entries, baptismal, or church records. After 1910, a copy of the birth/adoption record which shows parentage, date and place must be used to document descent.

Acceptable Types of Documentation

  • 1. Compiled family group sheets and pedigree charts, while may be accurate, are NOT acceptable without adequate source documentation.

  • 2. Published manuscripts that are authored by the applicant or his/her family will NOT, of themselves, be acceptable as proof without additional documentation.

Click Here to Open Application for First Families of Utah Certificate

The Utah Genealogical Association shall be the sole arbiter of the acceptability of an application, supporting documentation, and the decision to issue (or not) issue a First Families of Utah Certificate.

Questions may be sent to the First Families committee.