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First Families of Belmont County

The prime objectives of the First Families of Belmont County, State of Ohio are to identify and honor the memory of the early settlers of Belmont County and to show the proved settler’s lasting mark on the County they helped to settle.

The research and work necessary to discovering the settlers and their descendants is to promote and encourage interest in the people who contributed in any way great or small, and to the establishing of Belmont County, State of Ohio, the customs, culture, genealogy and history.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the First Families of Belmont County – please read – the requirements for membership in First Families of Belmont County, Ohio by 1831 below.

Deadline for First Families of Belmont County, Ohio is August 1. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for the next year.


  • Only members of the Belmont County Genealogy Society Chapter may apply for membership in First Families of Belmont County. (Note: Membership into the county chapter may be acquired by submitting a Membership Application.)
  • Applicants must fill in First Families of Belmont County Application, showing their Belmont County ancestor(s), listing their line of descent from applicant back to the ancestor(s) proving each line of descent with acceptable documents.
    • The ancestor must be a resident of Belmont County by 1831.
    • Proof may not be omitted for any step.
    • Copies of documents must be
      • (1) Copy-machine, photo, or other facsimiles of the original documents; or
      • (2) EXACT copies of the original document, certified as TRUE Copies by a COURTHOUSE official, GENEALOGICAL librarian or other official.
    • All proof must show its source.
  • The application and documents must be accompanied by a $15.00 application fee (application fee is NOT refundable), which covers as many ancestors as can be proven, either at the time of first application or at any time later.
  • First Families of Belmont County applications may be legibly hand written, printed, or type. The First Families of Belmont County committee will review the application and proof of lineage. The applicant will be notified of acceptance.

Basic Rules of Evidence for First Families of Belmont County by 1831

  1. Applicant’s birth record and marriage record if ever married.
  2. Parent’s birth and/or death record. Marriage record if going through Mother’s side.
  3. From #3 on, the proof of relationship for each generation must be given on the lineage being proved.
  4. The object of this application is to prove your ancestor(s) residency in Belmont County, Ohio by or before 1831 and the earliest date possible. Belmont County became a county in 1801. Land records may be found in Belmont County as early as 1801.
  5. Primary or collateral evidence, from vital statistics from court and other government records, church and school records are usually considered to be beyond doubt, and excellent proof. Example: birth, death, marriage, wills, deeds, and land records.
  6. Secondary evidence such as census records, newspaper clippings, old letters, bible records are considered almost authentic.
  7. Circumstantial evidence or hearsay is not considered proof, unless backed up by primary or secondary evidence.
  8. Oral, written, or published family histories and traditions are very often wrong, and not accepted proof.
  9. Printed or manuscript genealogies, genealogical records are not accepted as proof, unless they are well documented and proved in themselves.
  10. Lineage papers from other patriotic or hereditary societies are not considered proof on their own.
  11. Material authored by the applicant, or his family cannot be considered proof, unless they are well documented.
  12. Documents used as proof must, either by themselves or in conjunction with other acceptabel documents, actually state the fact to be proved. If the document merely implies the fact, this is not considered proof. For example: the expression, “Heirs” or “Heirs-at-Law” used in some estates. This indicates different things in different States and at different times. If these statements are to be used as proof of direct descent, the applicant must include with his application a copy of the inheritance law of that State, showing that the year the proving document was dated, it was proof of descent “in the blood line”, and must also include proof that the testor had at least one child. Ohio’s laws on inheritance changed many times in it’s history and what was true one time period may not be true at another time.
  13. A Father is not proved as being in the area just because a child was born there. A birth proves only that a Mother was certainly there on the birth date.
  14. Old letters, family records, can be accepted only when a date of the letter and identification of the writer can be proved.
  15. County histories or other published biographies can be used only when other legal information can back up the information given.
  16. Land transations (deeds, warrents, grants, etc) can only be accepted as evidence.
  17. The ancestor(s) proven in Belmont County, Ohio before or by 1831 must be in a direct line back from the paternal or maternal ancestor of the applicant. MUST BE BLOOD LINE.
  18. All proof documents must indicate source.
  19. Only photostat copies of documents are necessary. Certified copies are required only when document is typed or handwritten by a Courthouse or other government official. Certification may not be done by the applicant.
  20. When a Mother or Father are above the normal age for having children, the parentage is suspected, and must be proven beyond a doubt.
  21. Married female applicants must include a copy of their marriage license or record to prove their married name.
  22. A copy of the 1830 census or census index showing the ancestor in Belmont County, will be accepted as proof.
  23. If more than two (2) ancestral lines are to be submitted, it is requested separate applications be used.
  24. Please list proof being used for each line of descent in spaces on page of lineage.
  25. The Five Generation Ancestor Chart must be filled out and signed by the applicant.

List of Proof as Acceptable

  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Marriage Records
  • Wills
  • Census
  • Land Records
  • Bible Records
  • School Records
  • Church Records
  • Cemetery Records (pictures of tombstones)
  • Court Records
  • Obituaries
  • Newspapers
  • Letters

First Families of Belmont County Application