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North Dakota Pioneer Certificate

North Dakota Sample Certificate 

The Red River Valley Genealogical Society issues Pioneer Certificates to individuals who can prove their ancestors lived in North Dakota prior to statehood in 1889. 


Descendants of Thor Hegland qualify for a North Dakota Pioneer Certificate.  He became a US citizen in Grand Forks county in 1882 and is listed in the 1885 Dakota Territorial Census. 


Descendants of Kristi (Hegland) Gilbertson are also qualified for a North Dakota Pioneer Certificate.  This website does not include a proof of residence document. Proof of descent documents are available on the Minnesota Pioneer Programs page.


Visit the RRVGS website for more information and the application.  The following documents can be used as proofs (all are presented in pdf format):



Proof of ND Residence prior to 1889

Thor's 1882 Naturalization was issued in Grand Forks County, Dakota Territory.

     Click Here for the document image 


The 1885 Census provides proof that Thor resided in Rolette County, Dakota Territory.

    1885 Dakota Territorial Census - Rolette County

    Page 33, Supervisor's District 3, Enumeration District 40

    Enumerated June 22, 1885

    Household 368, Family 371 

    Click Here for the document image 


Proof of Descent

Thor's children

Thor's obituary lists all of his children

Obituary of Thor Hegland - McIntosh MN Times, October 30, 1941 Page 1

        Click Here for the document image


Proofs for Thor's Grandchildren

Click on the parent's name(s) below to view a document that can be used to prove  relationship to their children.


*Lorentz: Proof  of descent provided by his wife's memorial folder


Proofs for Successive Generations

Proofs for successive generations may/may not be on the website.  Copies of published obituaries, memorial folders that include obituaries, birth/death certificates, official church, military or school records may be used to verify the relationship between parent and child.
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