The VGS has been asked by the Florida State Genealogical Society to undertake the project of digitizing the Florida Pioneer applications.
The Villages Genealogical Society

Florida Pioneer Project

Pioneer Logo Image
Barb & Scrib Kelly at work...
The VGS has been asked by the Florida State Genealogical Society to undertake the project of  digitizing Florida Pioneer applications.  Currently paper copies are only available at the Florida State Library and Archives in Tallahassee and the Florida History Museum in Cocoa Village.  FSGS needs digital copies for preservation and to be able to make them readily available on the internet.  Family Search is assisting us with the loan of a high-speed scanner and will host the images on its website.
The Florida Pioneer Descendant Certification program started in 1979 as a way to honor those men and women who lived in Florida before it became a state on March 3, 1845.  To date, 1,859 Pioneers have been identified, and 2,977 descendants have received Pioneer certificates.   Many of these Pioneers have multiple descendants, and many descendants come from multiple Pioneers.  Each application has a "Line of Descent" chart and the required documents to prove each name, date, and location.  They usually range from 30 to 100 or more pages each.
We Need Your Help!
1.  Pat Rand will be heading up the project for The VGS.  Volunteers will be needed for a variety of tasks, ranging from numbering the items and making labels to preparing the files for scanning.  The scanning is a fairly simple process, preparing the files for scanning takes much more time.
2.  We also have a special need for people who have experience with software to improve images that haven’t scanned well – usually dark and/or illegible photographs specifically.  If you have particular skills with any photo editing software, we could really use your help.
3.  The work will be done at the home of Pat Rand in the Village of Bonita, usually in 3-hour sessions.  If you are interested in helping,  please contact her at
4.  Work sessions are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1-4 pm.  (Additional sessions may be scheduled later for mornings.)   Please contact Pat to sign up for the days that you wish to volunteer. The more volunteers we have, the faster the work will progress on any given day.  The project will probably last at least through the end of the year.
5.  There are detailed instructions for each step of the project, so you shouldn't have any problem getting started. The steps are as follows:
  • Assigning an application number
  • Typing an envelope label with names and number
  • Typing an application label with number
  • Preparing the file for scanning, removing paperclips, running reduced copies, etc
  • Actual scanning, one to a TIF file and again to a searchable PDF file
FSGS Pioneer Descendant Certification Program
FSGS Pioneer database
Sample Application
See a Sample Certificate