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 an invitation made to those with qualified ancestors. {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 still! - Approved Members during this term, following the first 100 Members, are noted as CHARTER MEMBERS. The first approved 100-Members were designated ORGANIZING CHARTER MEMBERS (at an introductory fee of $50); those persons following the first 100 members are CHARTER MEMBERS and the Application Fee is: $70. (The application fee will increase at the close of Charter Membership.

***Please Note that the Application Forms are the original 2009 Application Forms showing the Application Fee to be $50, BUT THE APPLICATION FEE ON YOUR FIRST ANCESTOR PRESENTLY IS $70.)***

NOTE: Applicants may submit your Supplementals, Spouse', Children's Applications ALL AT THE SAME TIME-with your initial OR supplemental 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, c/o:

Elizabeth J. Sherman, Governor General
701 Donaghe Street
Staunton, VA 24401-2838

1.) During the Charter Membership period, FSSV applicants will be automatically endorsed by the Governor General.

2.) PROOF: 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 noted registrars/genealogists are qualified to approve societal links, thereby making the process simpler for the applicant.

A lovely 10” x 12” FSSV Certificate 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 of $20 each.

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.

CURRENT FEE STRUCTURE (disregard other notations): Lifetime Membership (for an adult): $70;
Supplemental: $40; Spouse: $30; Grandchild(ren)/nieces/nephews: $20 each. (Child under 19 yrs.)


The LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP fee for Charter Members in First Settlers of the Shenandoah Valley is $70 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 additional direct ancestors who qualify as FIRST SETTLERS are welcome at a fee of $40 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 for the SPOUSE of your FIRST SETTLER ANCESTOR is $30. 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 supply an additional application.

A certificate fee for each Children, Grandchildren, Niece and/or Nephew age 18 years or under, on your initial or supplemental ancestor, is $20/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 more than 30 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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