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 and sharing that rich history with others through the First Families of Utah Database (coming soon).


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:

Founding Pioneer

Arrived in Utah before 1851

Territorial Pioneer

Arrived in Utah between 1851 and January 4, 1896

Application Instructions

  • Complete the online form and submit PDFs of the necessary documentation.
  • At least one document per generation should be included to prove your lineage. If possible, please provide documentation for the birth, marriage and death of each generation. A list of acceptable types of documentation is shown below. Each generation must be documented adequately, including proof that the pioneer was in Utah before 1851 (for “Founding Pioneer”) or 1896 (for “Territorial Pioneer”).
  • Pay the application fee online ($25 per application for adults age 18 and older; free for youth age 12-18).

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing. After the application has been reviewed and eligibility verified, the certificate will be mailed to the address in the application.

You are welcome and encouraged to submit a short sketch of your ancestor’s life and a photograph of your ancestor along with the application. These will be added to our pioneer project database online. Information about living people will be kept in our files but will NOT be included in our online database.

In the short bio section, please include your email address so we can contact you if we need anymore information from your application.

Acceptable Types of Documentation

  • 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.
  • Birth, marriage and death entries may include 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.
  • Compiled family group records and pedigree charts, while they may be accurate, are NOT acceptable without adequate source documentation.
  • 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.