Skip to main content


Special Projects and Programs at the GFO

First Families of Multnomah County

In 2009, the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Inc. (GFO) established a program to recognize some of the "First Families" of Multnomah County, Oregon, by issuing a certificate to descendants in one of three categories to qualified descendants.


Pioneer 22 Dec. 1854 Formation of Multnomah County
Early Settler 11 Sept. 1883 Completion of the transcontinental railroad to Portland
Lewis & Clark Expo 15 Oct. 1905 Closing date of the Lewis & Clark Exposition


Applications for a certificate will be accepted from anyone who is attempting to prove direct descent from an individual residing within Multnomah County before 15 October 1905. Once verified by standard genealogical rules of documentation, certificates will be issued by mail to the applicant.

The application fee is $20 and is non-refundable. The applicant may request additional certificates for documented descendants of a previously submitted settler for an additional $15 each.

All verified material may be published and made available for purchase. Descendants, including certificate holders, born after 1940 (the date of the last public federal census) will be listed only as "Living," unless their consent is given to use their name. Any supporting documents dated after 1915 will be shredded.

Additional application forms can be downloaded here or may be requested by sending a #10-sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

GFO - First Families of Multnomah County
2505 SE 11th Ave., Ste. B-18
Portland, OR 97202-1061

Completed forms may be photocopied if certificates are being requested for more than one settler or for more than one descendant. A separate application must be submitted for each ancestor for whom a certificate is requested, including one primary or two secondary proofs of the earliest date of residency within Multnomah County. All applications and documentation becomes the property of the GFO and will not be returned. Send only photocopies of documentation, DO NOT submit original documents.