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Paradise Genealogical Society

Pioneer Settler Certificate
Modifications were made this date, (1/1/2020)

About Us


Johnson Family, Ramsey BarThe Butte County Pioneer Settler Certificate Program was initiated by the Paradise Genealogical Society as a way to celebrate the beginning of the new millennium. The descendants of early settlers in Butte County or the area which became Butte County may be eligible for a pioneer certificate on verification of their application and documentation. The certificates are issued for one of the following four time periods in county history based on when the pioneer settled in the area that is now Butte County.

1. 1844 to June 1846 -- during the period when Land Grants were issued by Mexico. 

2. June 1846 to March 1848 -- during the Bear Flag Revolt. 

3. March 1848 to 9 September 1850 -- during the period when gold was discovered in the county and the early years of the Gold Rush.

4. 9 September 1850 to 1921 -- during the period when California became a state and Butte County was organized by the Act of 1850, through 31 December 1920. 

To Be Eligible:

1. The applicant must be a direct descendant of the pioneer settling in Butte County during one of the designated periods above, but does not have to be a current or past resident of this county or a member of the Paradise Genealogical Society (PGS).

2. Verification of eligibility will be done by PGS. Your submitted paperwork will be returned if you are not eligible.

Preparation of Application:

On written request, and a #10 SASE, you will receive one application packet which will include instructions and application forms (or you may print these pages). A separate application packet must be submitted for each individual Pioneer Settler Certificate requested.

1. Application must be typed or legibly printed.

2. A family group sheet must be provided for each generation after the pioneer settler.

3. A minimum of two items of documentation is required showing evidence of the pioneer's       settlement in Butte County.

4. Dates should be shown as follows: Ex. 17 March 1899. Be sure to spell out the month and include the complete year.

5. Send photocopies only. Do not send original documents. The application and the documentation will not be returned. They will become property of the Paradise Genealogical Society and placed in the Pioneer Settler History File that will be available as an informational resource in our library.

6. Acceptable items of documentation are as follows:
    a. Birth, Marriage, Death:
    Copy of official certificate, bible record, church record, statement from cemetery on official   letterhead and including the tombstone inscription, newspaper notice or obituary with the       name and date of the paper.
    b. Census: Copy from the state or US census film or book, including the year and roll    number.
    c. Land Records: Copy of record, including the Grantee/Grantor Index.
    d. Directories: Copy from the city or county directory.
    e. County Histories: Copy must include date.
        Two suggestions are:
        1918 History of Butte County by George C. Mansfield
        1882 History of Butte County by Wells & Chamberlain.
    f.  Family Letters/Journals: Copy must include date.
    g. Military Records: Copy from National Archives or of original papers.
    h. Probate Records:
    i.  Will or Administration file:

Documentation that is not issued by an official source, must have a full reference, which includes the following: name of publication, publication date, page number, microfilm roll or microfiche sheet reference number, where the material was found (name and address of the location, call number of book or periodical).


Certificates for each pioneer settler will be $20.00, this includes the name plate for the Pioneer Settler Plaque located in the Paradise Society library.

You may have the name of both pioneer settler and spouse on the certificate, provided the spouse also meets the application criteria (see #3 under Preparation of Application) and the fee for both is included.

A Certificate for the pioneer settler and spouse will be $25.00, this includes the name plate for the Pioneer Settler Plaque located in the Paradise Society library.


We will be happy to answer any questions concerning the completion of the application form, however, this will not include doing free research. Please see our Butte County research fees elsewhere.

Please e-mail your request for any assistance to Butte County Pioneer Settler Certificate Program
or send your request for forms and/or any assistance with a business size #10 SASE (self-addressed-stamped-envelope) to:

Paradise Genealogical Society
Butte County Pioneer Settler Certificate Program
PO Box 460
Paradise CA 95967-0460

These instructions and forms may also be printed from this web site and may be freely duplicated as required.
Click here to download an application


The above image and many other historical photos can be found at: