Pioneer Certificate

Fill out and print your application

The Adams County, Illinois Great River Genealogical Society will issue Adams County Pioneer Certificates to the direct descendants of early settlers of Adams County. This is a excellent way to get to know our ancestors and help preserve their history. Each certificate may be obtained for $15.00. To be eligible, the following criteria must be met:

  1. TYPE OR NEATLY PRINT. All applications will become the property of the Great River Genealogical Society. They will be put in book form and placed in the Quincy Public Library. Be as neat as possible when filling out applications.
  2. Complete an application and present documented evidence that at least one ancestor was an early settler of Adams County. (DO NOT SEND AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT. Send copies only. THEY WILL NOT BE RETURNED.)
    1. Ancestor arriving before 1831 will receive a gold seal certificate.
    2. Ancestor arriving 1831 through 1840 will receive a blue seal certificate.
    3. Ancestor arriving 1841 through 1875 will receive a red seal certificate.
  3. Documented evidence of the early ancestor must accompany the application. Only one document showing proof of residence in Adams County is necessary. Documented evidence may include any of the following records:
    1. Birth - Birth certificate, Bible record, or Church record.
    2. Marriage - Same as above.
    3. Death - Death certificate, Bible record, Church record, Cemetery record, Tombstone inscription, Mortuary record, Dated obituary or newspaper notice.
    4. Estate File - Probate, Will and Administration, etc. In Adams County an alphabetical name file at the reference department of the Quincy Public Library will provide the number of the box which you may then examine.
    5. Land Records - Also, at the reference department, Grantee and Grantor Indexes. These will have the deed book and page number of the record. Dates of land purchases, etc. can be found in this deed book.
    6. Census - Quincy Public Library has microfilm of Federal census for years 1830 through 1930 and the state census 1855 and 1865.
    7. City or County Directories - Available in the Illinois Room at the Quincy Public Library.
    8. Military Records
    9. County Histories
    10. Information on pioneer families may be obtained from County Histories, Family letters and Diaries.
  4. RULES:
    1. A separate application for each early ancestor. All applications and evidence will not be returned. They become the property of the Great River Genealogical Society.
    2. No more than four ancestors may appear on one pioneer certificate. For more than four, a second certificate must be obtained.
    3. You need not be a resident of Adams County to be eligible.
  5. The pioneer certificates, depicting various historical sites of Adams County will be of appropriate quality to frame.
  6. Eligibility shall be determined by a Committee and their decision shall be final. As soon as your eligibility has been determined your certificate will be mailed to you. If you are not eligible, your money will be returned.
  7. For information or assistance in completing the application, you may contact a member of the Society at the Quincy Public Library either Tuesday from 9 to 12 or via e-Mail.
  8. Mail completed applications and copies of evidence to:

    Great River Genealogical Society,
    c/o Quincy Public Library,
    526 Jersey Street
    Quincy, Illinois 62301-3927