First Families of Wythe County

The Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association has established a certification program to recognize, honor, and perpetuate the memory of early Pioneers who were residents of Wythe County, Virginia, on or before December 31, 1810. The information submitted through First Family applications provides valuable documentation on the family history of many of Wythe County’s founders and will be available for genealogical research. Click here to see the list of documented First Families of Wythe County.

First Families of Wythe County Certificate



The applicant must directly descend from an ancestor who settled in Wythe County by December 31, 1810. The applicant must be able to prove residency of the ancestor as well as descent for each generation, including proof of the applicant. Current Wythe County residency is not required. The applicant does not need to be a member of The Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association to become a member of the First Families. The application must be accompanied by documentation of such descent and the payment of a non-refundable $20.00 application fee per applicant. Applications with documentation for additional qualifying ancestors will be submitted with payment of a non-refundable $20.00 application fee per applicant.


As a genealogical organization, we encourage genealogical research and request photocopies of original documents as proof of lineage, including dates of birth, marriage, and death for each generation. Do not send original documents as they cannot be returned. Each date entered on the line of descent chart should have accompanying documentary proof. While primary sources offer the best proof, secondary sources may be considered if primary proof is not available.

Primary Sources Include

Birth, death, and marriage records, wills and probate records, deeds/land, church, tombstone, Bible, military, letters, pages from diaries, court cases, tax, census records, and other eye-witness accounts.

Secondary Sources Include

Newspapers clippings (include name of newspaper, location, and date of publication), published biographical histories and/or sketches, private family papers, and other records made by persons who did not witness the event.

All documents must include a full citation of source. The location, title, volume, and page number must be written on the copy itself. For secondary sources, a copy of the actual page where the fact was found, plus title of source, author, and page number, must be submitted. Bible records must include a photocopy of the title page with publication date and current owner’s name and address.

Female ancestors should be identified by their maiden name. Exceptions are made in cases where the maiden name/surname cannot be proven.

If an ancestor has already been proven by another individual, the applicant may submit proof only to the nearest common ancestor, if so desired. A citation to the name and First Families number of that individual must be included.

Inadmissible Documentation

Hearsay, oral, or written family group sheets, and online family trees that do not have full citation including title, volume, and page number of source for each fact (marriage, will, etc.) will not be accepted. Evidence that appears to have been altered will not be accepted.

Application Instructions

Complete the following forms:

  1. Line of Descent Chart
  2. First Families Application Form
  3. Source Records Sheet

Applicants that have more than one qualifying ancestor should complete a separate First Families Application Form, Line of Descent Chart, and Source Record Sheet for each ancestor. Additional material is strongly encouraged, such as newspaper articles, photos of people, homes and tombstones, and other material that may be of interest to future researchers.

Applications and photocopied proofs should be mailed with a $20.00 check or money order payable to:

Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association
First Families of Wythe County
P. O. Box 1601
Wytheville, Virginia 24382

Genealogical research from the Association (276) 228-2445 may be requested to assist in documenting lineage. A list of researchers is available. Any questions or comments, please contact:

Linda Brogden or
(276) 228-7895

Incorrect or incomplete applications will be returned for additions and corrections, and the applicant will need to resubmit. The committee’s decision will be final.

Submitted Materials

All applications and supporting documentation will become the property of The Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association. Eligibility shall be determined by a committee appointed by The Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association.