Tennessee Genealogical Society
for all of Tennessee since 1954

Tennessee Ancestry Certificate Program...
The Tennessee Ancestry Certificate Program was initiated during the 1986 Tennessee Homecoming Celebration. Under the program developed by Amelia (Pike) Eddlemon and Lincoln Johnson, certificates of ancestry are issued to persons providing documentary proof (family charts or computer printouts are not considered sufficient proof.) that their ancestors resided in the area that is now Tennessee at any time from the first settlement in 1769 through the year 1880. Applications for the certificates have come from thousands of persons across the country and overseas -- all of them proud to proclaim their Tennessee ancestry.

1. Save the writeable PDF to your computer. You can type in the blanks on the form or completed in black ink in legible print. Then print

2. Submit documents for each generation proving birth, marriage and death.

3. If proof is to be found in a published book/Bible, a copy of the Title page is needed along with the page or pages naming the ancestor(s). Such accounts will be considered authentic when approved by the Certificate Committee. ON illegible copies of Wills and Deeds, a translation of vital parts would be helpful for the Committee. All copies of any proofs sent in must be legible. If unable to read copies of any proof sent in, we will not be able to issue you a certificate. If using cemetery records, the name of the cemetery should use a heading of the place, state and city. If using micro-film or published records include the Title page and micro-film page showing the ancestor record and identification of the file. Unpublished family information and Family Group Sheets are not acceptable proof. Memberships in other Societies are not acceptable unless approved by the Certificate Committee.

4. Do not send originals of any document proving ancestors, copies work. Items  such as marriage licenses, census, birth certificates, death records, family bible records, sworn statements of acceptable published genealogy books, newspaper clippings of obituaries of death records, (with the date of the newspaper shown), and also pictures of tombstones with dates are acceptable.

5. The ancestor must have documentation when first in TN with proof of parentage for all generations. Dates and places are needed; however, you may use (c) in front of the date.

6. Use full names including middle names if known. The date to be shown on the Certificate if estimated must be approved by the Certificate Committee.

7. Unknown places should be left blank unless there is a strong indication of a certain place, in which case, use (ca) before that place name. This too must be approved by the Certificate Committee. Certain information may be omitted from the application through use of the “privacy clause”.

8. First and last names are needed for each Generation. Initials have been used on rare occasions when no given names have been known. Middle names are important if available. Unknown male and female spouse names are not required if that name is not used in the blood lineal descent. Do use any part of that name if known.

9. If more space is needed use a blank sheet of paper attached to the file and mark as children of Generation 1. If an applicant has more than 7 generations, x out the numbers on blank certificates and write the extra number of ancestor information there.

10. If sending in more than one request for a TN Ancestor Certificate, you must place all needed information for different requests attached to each file. We do not make copies from information on one file to place with another that may be included.

11. The Applicant must sign the release form. It cannot be signed by someone wanting to get the Ancestor Certificate for someone else. With proof, a parent wishing to receive a certificate for a child in most cases will be acceptable. This is only for the children under 18 years of age living in your home. The Privacy Law prohibits the TN Genealogical Society from issuing Certificates for older children and adult relatives without signing the release.

We invite you to place your ancestor(s) in this roll of honor. An application is available HERE if you want to pay with a check. A Paypal or Credit Card Option is HERE.

Attractive certificates suitable for framing are issued to each person whose application meets program qualifications. Additionally, two books, Tennessee Settlers and Their Descendants, have been published from these certificates. Volume 1 contains applications received before 31 December 1993. Volume 2 is a compilation of information submitted between 1, January 1994 and 31 December 2004. This volume reports on 266 early Tennessee families with over 1,400 surnames. Volume 3 is our newest book published November 2015. All volumes are fully indexed and may be ordered from TNGS.

You can honor your family by sending in information to be in Volume 4.

Let us include your Tennessee Ancestor.

For applications or additional information, go to www.TNGS.org or write the Tennessee Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 381824, Germantown, TN 38183-1824
Questions: certificate@tngs.org

Rev. 15 October 2015