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Western Michigan
Genealogical Society
c/o Grand Rapids
Public Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI
49503-3268
Email - wmgs@wmgs.org
 

KENT COUNTY PIONEER CERTIFICATES

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 Kent County history. Proudly display your Kent County Pioneer Millennium Centennial Certificate.
 
Eligibility: To qualify for a Pioneer Certificate, an applicant must be directly descended from an ancestor who settled in Kent County as follows:

Pioneers (Prior to 1841) Gold Seal
Settlers (Prior to 1881) Silver Seal
Early Family (Prior to 1921) Blue Seal

Each ancestor in the direct line must be proved. Anyone may apply. Applicants need not have ever been residents of Kent County. After proof of direct descent has been submitted and eligibility has been determined, we will mail the appropriate certificate. Separate certificates will be issued for each ancestor properly submitted. The fee for each application is $10.

Receive a packet one of 2 ways: Download the packet at the link below, or email your request to Mindy Koole at koole2@comcast.net.

Get Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Purpose: In cooperation with the Secchia Millennium Commission and to honor our pioneer forefathers, Western Michigan Genealogical Society, (WMGS), is promoting a Pioneer Certificate Program. Our threefold objects are as follows:

  1. We hope to recognize pioneers and early residents who otherwise would go unnoticed in our county's history. Each builder and craftsperson brought us one step closer to the county we know today.
  2. We encourage a basic knowledge of genealogical research by asking any direct descendant to put together their family history and apply for a certificate. We will provide easy instructions and help in researching early Kent County residents.
  3. We know the recorded information will become a valuable addition to the history of early Kent County citizens providing a source of genealogical information for future research.

Document copies will be scanned and placed in the database files on the WMGS website. Any documents less than 72 years old will be withheld for your privacy.

A Growing List: Kent County Pioneer, Settler and Early Family Ancestors

Name of Ancestor Year Arrived
Bailey, Sluman S 1846
Bell, Digby Valentine 1836
Berkenpas, Leendert 1904
Bird, Martha E 1869
Bont, Anna 1900
Brooks, Justin 1835
Byrne, William 1839
Buck, Seeley Sherman 1839
Carew, David 1894
Carey, Charles W 1873
Champenoy, William James 1900
Clinton, Simeon A 1860
Coffee, John 1840
Collins, Simon 1857
Cordes, Eberhard 1840
Crawford, Samuel 1860
DenBraber, Willem 1886
Dickenson, William Lewis 1870
Dutmer, Jacob 1904
Eaton, Harry 1850
Ellsworth, John C 1869
Evans, George Arthur 1912
Hall, Jonathan B 1844
Harmon, John 1837
Hartwell, Robert 1846
Hill, Hughes S 1860
Hills (Hill), Loan 1840
Hinsdill, Stephen 1840
Hoyt, Timothy, Jonathan, Benjamin 1843
Idema, Hendrick C 1860
Irwin, Samuel 1845
Irwin, Thomas H P & Lucinda 1845
Johnson, Sabin 1838
Krzyzanowski, Casmir 1887
Lapham, Smith 1843
Lincoln, Luther Sr 1830
Lynch, Thomas 1837
Lyon, Morgan 1838
Magennis, Charles Hudson 1885
McLellan, Samuel 1850
Miller, Alexander 1853
Miller, Ezra Collins 1844
Miller, Rachel T (Steele) 1844
Minisee, James 1852
Moffit, Eber 1848
Moore, Hiram 1860
Norris, A. Judson 1863
Osgood, Harry 1849
Palmer, Walter Atwood 1850
Parks, Edwin Ellsworth 1892
Reed, Nathaniel 1850
Rentsman, William 1883
Salyer, David 1898
Seymour, Henry 1842
Smith, Valentine "Philo" 1859
Sneden, Benjamin 1860
Snyder, William 1874
Starbuck, Delia Gertrude 1846
Steele, Rachel T 1844
Terpstra, Geert P 1900
Thompson, Calvin 1844
Tuttle, Hirman 1850
VanderLaan, John 1900
VanderWal, John 1900
VanderWeele, Neeltje 1885
VanEvery, George Wheaton 1850
Walters, James 1870
Walters, John Silas 1858
Warner, Andrew 1851
Warnock, William 1860
Weller, Lucinda 1845
Weller, Obediah & Nancy 1844
West, Frederick 1882

 

Latest Added April 2014

 

  *Includes Kent County and the counties immediately surrounding; namely Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Ionia, Barry and Allegan Counties. There is some extension beyond these counties into other areas of the Western Lower Peninsula.


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