How do I join?

Applications, Instructions, and lots of Resources

Let’s Get Started

Instructions for preparing the membership application form

  • Anyone who can prove direct descent from at least one Indiana pioneer is eligible for regular or junior membership in The Society of Indiana Pioneers. An Indiana pioneer is one who lived within the present boundary of a county on or before December 31, 1840 unless that county is one of the following, in which case the pioneer must have lived within the present boundary of that county on or before December 31, 1850: Adams, Benton, Blackford, DeKalb, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Starke, Steuben, Tipton, Wells, White, or Whitley .
  • If manually filling in the application, please type or print plainly in black ink. Please do not use a highlighter on documentation; underlining is preferred. For those who are familiar with computers, we have a downloadable application that can be found in the APPLICATION section that is a fill-in PDF template format.
  • When preparing the copies of your documentation, there is no need for staples or paper clips. The Genealogist asks that documentation start with the most current generation(your generation) at the top of stack and then work down through each generation. This will mean that the pioneer ancestor’s documentation will be at the bottom of the stack.
  • If you have a generation that needs explanation, please feel free to add a paper that includes your description of why a particular generation is correct and how you came to that decision. Feel free to note contacts that you made and stories that had been passed down (with names!) Please date and sign this page so that it can become your own piece of documentation.
  • Mail completed application form, required documentation and check to the society genealogist at the Senate Street address. If you are mailing in your very first application for membership in SIP, please remit a check for $50.00 which covers the application fee and your first year’s dues. The application and required documentation will be checked and additional documentation requested, if necessary.
  • Other eligible pioneer ancestral lines may be added at any time by submitting an “Added Line Application” and payment of required fees ($15.00 additional line fee). Simply use the main application form and check “Additional Line” box. The requirements are the same as those for the original ancestor. However, you do not need to send copies of documents that have been previously submitted. We just ask that you cite where the documents can be located in the Proof Section for each generation by noting something similar to, “See the 2019 application for [insert Ancestor’s name].”

Why should I check to see if my Ancestor has already been proven?

  • It is always a great way to get started! We continually update this Index and if you are fortunate enough to find your ancestor listed, you may send an email noting the ancestor you found and your line back to that ancestor to email:
  • With this information, the genealogist will gladly check previous applications and let you know what we have in our archive that might be helpful with your application.
  • Remember, this Society has been in existence since 1916 and is currently closing in on 10,000 ancestors and there has been a large amount of information submitted!

2016 Statehood Day at the Indiana Statehouse talking with 4th graders

What do I need to provide for documentation?

Society of Indiana Pioneers logo

What if I am already a member of another Lineage Society?

Do I need to supply copies of my documentation?

  • We would be the first to recognize the stringent requirements for various lineage societies, but we do request that applicants go ahead and make copies of their documentation that was used for a previously approved application and mail it in with their Society of Indiana Pioneer application.
  • Being a state-based lineage society, we would like to have our documentation available for future generations. You might think of it as placing your family history in multiple places for safe-keeping. While we are very careful to keep recent generations private, it is wonderful when we are able to share information with future generations and for those starting their family research into their early ancestors. Think of it as making our society a repository of Indiana pioneer history.

Should I use highlighters and staples?

  • Please do NOT use highlighter since over time it will fade and when making digital copies, it makes the information hard to read. It is helpful to have the important information underlined with a pen or pencil. That way the genealogist is certain to see the information that you have pointed out.
  • NO STAPLES are needed! The genealogist reviews the application from the top of the stack of documents to the bottom one page at a time. Each necessary item needed for birth, marriage and death is checked off on the application so there is NO need to staple or even paper clip. (Paper clips are optional and only necessary for the applicants use to keep generations separate.)

Cousins - wonderful resources!

Society of Indiana Pioneers logo

How to proceed if I have a relative that is already a member of SIP?

In general, you will ALWAYS need to fill out a membership application in full, BUT when it comes to documentation, that might change if the applicant has a relative that is a current member or was in the past.
  • Always provide documentation for your own generation including any spouses and/or divorces. (Think 100 years down the road on this and ability for your descendants to locate these types of information.)
  • Documentation will be necessary for any generation back until you have “tied” into your relative’s approved application.
    • For example. If you share the same grandfather with your cousin that is already a member (or was), then you would provide the birth and marriage information for your generation(Gen #1) and the birth, marriage and death information for your parents(Gen #2). Either the birth certificate or a death certificate for Generation #2 should then tie into your grandfather’s application since it would list parents.
  • Make sure to enter the names, dates and places for each generation back to the ancestor. This will help future generations!
  • IMPORTANT: When you are adding the generations that have already been proven by your relative, please note on each generation’s documentation line with something similar to, “See the 2018 application of [insert your relative’s name] for ancestor [insert the common ancestor’s name.] (Of course, the date will be whenever your relative made the application and you can verify that with your relative OR the office manager OR the Staff Genealogist!)
Society of Indiana Pioneers logo

Why should I encourage my family members and friends to join The Society of Indiana Pioneers?

  • That’s an easy one to answer! This lineage society is a wonderful way to pay tribute to our pioneer ancestors who braved the unknown wilderness for the prospect of providing a better home for their families. For a few members their ancestors played a well-celebrated role in our state and have been recognized in many ways over the years.
  • For the vast majority of Indiana pioneers, the recognition that they have received has been the knowledge that they worked hard and grew their families. The Society of Indiana Pioneers is a wonderful way to pay tribute to these ancestors of ours, well-known or not, and to make sure that their contributions to our wonderful state are not forgotten.
  • It is also important to consider our archives as a repository for Indiana genealogy. Your research and documentation will be preserved for future generations.

Starting the Application Process