Instructions for submission:
1. Complete the application form. You can save the editable PDF (CertificateApplication 20200917.pdf) to your computer and type in the blanks on the form. Then print it out. Or complete the form in black ink in legible 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. Typically, the better sourced a published book is, the more likely it is to be considered authentic. 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 Unpublished family information and Family Group Sheets are not acceptable proof.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 records, birth certificates, death records, family bible records, sworn statements of acceptable published genealogy books, newspaper clippings of obituaries (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 Tennessee 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.