Certificates for members of pioneer families remain available through the Brown County Historical Commission, vice chairman Jerry Spain said. Certificates are issued to local families whose ancestors settled in Brown County prior to Dec. 31, 1910.

“Since the program began in 1998, a total of 275 families have been approved and issued,” Spain said. “Many more people should be eligible for these certificates.”

To be eligible for a certificate, a descendant must prove family lineage or blood line and proved that the ancestor owned or purchased property in Brown County prior to the end of 1910.

To prove blood line, the applicant would need to show his or her birth certificate, which lists both parents, and provide other records such as birth certificates, death records, census records or other information that traces the family back to the earliest Brown County ancestor.

A copy of a deed or a census record can be the proof needed to show residence.

Documentation must accompany an application along with a $15 fee. Applications are available by writing the commission at 1507 Vincent St., Brownwood, or calling 646-2934.

“We encourage people to take advantage of this program for their personal sense of family and for the historical documentation it provides for our county,” Spain said.