The Jefferson County Genealogical Society in Madison, Indiana is launching a lineage program specifically aimed at discovering and honoring the founding families of Jefferson County.
The lineage program recognizes three categories of early settlers:
--Frontier Families are those who blazed the trail into the wilderness, settling in the county on or before 7 August 1820.
--Founding Families are those who drove the county's major growth period and brought it prosperity and national prominence, settling in the county before 1 June 1860.
--First Century Families are those who helped move the county into the modern era, settling in the county before 11 February 1911.
Applicants to the program must prove their direct descent from an early settler as well as that settler's residence in the county before one of the category dates. Applicants do not have to be current residents of the county. Those who apply before 15 April 2009, and are approved by the evaluation committee, will be eligible to participate in the Madison Bicentennial Founder's Day Parade. All approved applicants will receive a certificate and lapel pin to commemorate their achievement.
The Jefferson County Genealogical Society encourages all those with an interest in family history to make the effort required to document their personal connection to the pioneers of the county. Compiled applications will be archived by the society for the benefit of other researchers, and the preservation of this link to the past. A book honoring the founding families is also planned.
For more information about the First Families program, visit the society's website (http://www.jeffersoncountygenealogicalsociety.org).