First Settlers of the Shenandoah Valley







Where FSSV Members can be found
The FIRST SETTLERS OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY, a non-profit organization, is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for membership.

We strive to invite men and women of good character who have an appreciation for genealogical preservation. Joining FIRST SETTLERS OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY is by invitation. {See NOTE below under How To Apply via the website.} The qualifying FIRST SETTLER ancestor is an individual who, prior to 31 December 1799, resided in an area that is located in a SETTLEMENT in the present-day Shenandoah Valley. (Please click on the First Settlers page for detailed information on qualifying towns, settlements, and locales.)

You can be a Charter Member - Approved Members during this first term will be noted as CHAPTER MEMBERS. The first approved 100-Members will be designated ORGANIZING CHARTER MEMBERS. For our purposes, the postmark and order of receipt to the Registrar General will define and determine the first 100 Members.

NOTE: Applicants may submit your Supplementals, Spouse', Children's applications ALL AT THE SAME TIME-with your initial application.

Please click on the links below to download the FSSV Application Instructions and the FSSV Application. You may select either the PDF or the Microsoft Word files to download:

Complete the FSSV Application (see NOTE below), attach the application fee and documentation, and mail to the Registrar General:

Terry R. Mitchell, USAF (retired) Registrar General, FSSV
PO Box 2153
Staunton, VA 24402-2153

1.) During the Charter Membership period, FSSV applicants will be automatically endorsed by the Governor General.
After the Charter Term applicants must be endorsed by a current member.

2.) Applicants may submit a copy of a previously approved society application naming your ancestor (i.e., DAR, SAR, Colonial Dames, etc.) as proof of your ancestor instead of sending copies of proof. This has been approved by the board as it is our feeling that such registrars/genealogists are qualified to approve societal links, thereby making the process simpler for the applicant, as well as acting as conservationists by not requiring unnecessary paper copies.

A lovely 10” x 12” FSSV Certificate with your name beautifully hand-lettered will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks of approval of your application. The certificate was commissioned and designed to depict colorful vignettes characterizing eighteenth century Shenandoah Valley...the peopling, events, occupations, the wilderness and the distinctive beauty of the Valley of the Daughter of the Stars. Only one First Settler name is permitted on the certificate.

Children and Grandchildren and Niece/Nephew Certificates are available on your approved ancestor. These make great gifts. Your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews must be age 18 or under in order to be eligible to receive their certificates at a reduced fee.

Spouse Certificates are available as well at a reduced rate. Spouse is defined as your First Settler’s Spouse. A spouse of a Supplemental First Settler is eligible for this discount as well.

The LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP fee for Charter Members in First Settlers of the Shenandoah Valley is $50 which is to be submitted along with the application. Your check or money order should be made out to: FIRST SETTLERS OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY or "FSSV."

SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATIONS on other direct ancestors who qualify as FIRST SETTLERS are welcome at a fee of $30 for any member of the society. No letter of intent is necessary for supplemental applications. A certificate with the new ancestor’s name will be sent to you following approval.

A certificate fee on the SPOUSE of the FIRST SETTLER ANCESTOR is $20. As long as the spouse’s data includes proof of marriage and/or settlement with the FIRST SETTLER, then s/he will be also approved on the initial FIRST SETTLERS application without the need to put in an additional application.

A certificate for each Children, Grandchildren, Niece and/or Nephew age 18 years or under is $18/ea.

Your membership application submission grants and proves your permission for this society to publish your FIRST SETTLER(S) on the list of FIRST SETTLERS OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY for the purpose of recognizing the early founders of the Shenandoah Valley. This genealogical project will be an on-going, educational, ultimately inclusive list of those documented early adventurers and their descendants.

I hope to welcome you as a descendant of a FIRST SETTLER of the SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

Janie Sherman,* Governor General

*Professional Genealogist for over 20 years whose specialty area has been old Augusta County, Virginia.

To contact us regarding genealogy research services for Augusta County, VA, please click here

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