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First Families of Old Buncombe

First Families of Old Buncombe(FFOB)

Information & Application 

The First Families of Old Buncombe Committee in conjunction with the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society is continually accepting applications for membership!  The purpose of this organization is (1) to honor our pioneer ancestors who were the founding families of the Western North Carolina area covered by Old Buncombe County, (2) to identify and recognize the descendants of these families, and (3) to promote research into the genealogical, cultural, and social history of the area. 

For your convenience, the application (below) is set up so you can type all the answers in the lines provided and then you can print the pages with the typewritten answers in place. Otherwise, you can print the pages and fill them in by hand or typewriter at your leisure. When mailing the application, please include your check for $25.00 made payable to OBCGS and a stamped self-addressed envelope.

 **Click here for application**


To avoid delay in the processing of an application, be sure it meets the specifications outlined below


Below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) with the answers provided to the best of our capabilities. If you still have questions, please click the following link and send us an e-mail with your question(s) and we will respond as soon as possible.

Questions about the FFOB program or your application form?

How can I contact you by e-mail?


Who is eligible for membership?

Any person who can provedescent (using acceptable documentation) from a qualifying ancestor may apply for membership in First Families of Old Buncombe.


* What is acceptable proof and/or documentation?

see primary and secondary source examples below


What constitutes a qualifying ancestor?

Any person who can be proven to have been in Old Buncombe County at any time between the formation of the county in 1792 and December 31, 1800, is a “qualifying ancestor”.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any person listed on the 1800 Federal Census in Buncombe County. 
  • Any person listed on the 1790 Federal Census in the Eleventh and Twelfth Company in Burke County, NC or in the Thirteenth or Fourteenth Company in Rutherford County, NC.  (These companies encompassed the area which became Buncombe County in 1792.)
  • Any person listed in the Buncombe County court records between 1792 – 1800.
  • Any person listed on the original petitions for the Formation of Buncombe County.

A listing of all persons in the above documents is available on our website (, or may be obtained via mail.  The address to which a mail request should be submitted is listed on the membership & certificate application which follows.  A stamped, self-addressed envelope must accompany the request. 

Application is solicited from any individual who can offer any proof that his/her ancestor was present in Old Buncombe County during the designated time period, regardless of the presence of the ancestor’s name on the above listings.  The final decision to accept any proof submitted will lie with the FFOB committee, but in general, any public document will be accepted.  Applicants should provide all information known about the qualifying ancestor on membership & certificate application and list the source of proof (i.e. 1800 census, etc.) on the first line of the proof document list. 

 What proofs of line of descent are required?


Applicants must present documented proof of each step of descent from the qualifying ancestor.  Primary sources are strongly preferred, but secondary sources will be accepted  When using secondary sources, it is preferable to submit 2 separate source documents. 


Primary Sources


A primary source is defined as a document which was created at the time of the event, such as a marriage bond or will.




Marriage Records Bible Records
Census Records Military Records
Court Records Tax Records
Maps & Deeds Newspapers
Wills, Probate & Estate Records Institutional Records
Birth Records Business  Records
Death Records Employment Records
Church & Cemetery Records City Directories


Secondary Sources


A secondary source is described as a document which was created some time after the event.




Letter written by someone years after the event
 Story told verbally to someone after the event


For more information on documentation, check out our article on the subject      



Sources which are NOT accepted for proof:


County Heritage Book Articles Family Group Sheets
Pedigree/Ancestor charts DNA Test Results


If in doubt about any source, please contact the FFOB committee via e-mail or telephone  (828-253-1894)

Additional Points…


  • A well-documented family history or genealogy book will be accepted for one generation/step only.  (However, books and publications of abstracts or transcriptions of documentation, such as a published volume of abstracts of deeds, do not have to follow the one book rule.)

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit more than one source for any step in which any proof other than a primary source is submitted.

  • NO ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS are to be submitted, ONLY PHOTOCOPIES OR DIGITAL COPIES.  (Please be sure the submitted copy is readable!)

  • While copies of original documents are preferred, transcripts and published abstracts are acceptable if accompanied by a copy of the title page from the original publication showing title of publication, publisher and date of publication.

  • In the case of records which cannot be photocopied & for which no microfilm is available (for example, a land record in a sewn-in book), a notarized statement that the transcription is genuine is acceptable.

  • Certified copies are NOT required.
  • The final decision regarding acceptance of any proof will be made by the FFOB committee on an individual basis.


What happens to the documentation I submit to FFOB?


All documentation submitted with any application becomes the property of FFOB and OBCGS and will not be returned.  However, all non-private information is placed in the society for the use of researchers. There will be a file for each proven ancestor containing the documentation submitted by all applicants under that ancestor.  These files will be available for research.  Absolutely no private information will be placed in these folders,  nor will any information on living persons will be available to the public.  This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.  The applicant should indicate his/her preference regarding the sharing of his/her contact information with other researchers of the same surname/ancestor on the application.

May I use the same documentation as another applicant?


Once any ancestor has been proven, subsequent applications under that ancestor need provide proof only to a common ancestor in the line of descent.  This must be indicated on the application.  While each member will be listed with his qualifying ancestor, a note will be a made in the records of the first applicant who proves any ancestor.  See the current list of qualifying ancestors who have descendants who are already members.

What will I receive as a member?


Upon acceptance for membership, the applicant will receive a handsome certificate suitable for framing bearing the name of the member and of the ancestor from whom he/she descends, as well as a distinctive lapel pin bearing the FFOB logo and name.  A plaque will be placed in the OBCGS library bearing the name of each member of FFOB and the ancestor from whom the member descends.  In addition, members will be recognized at the annual meeting in November of each year, and new members will be invited to participate in a special induction ceremony.  Members may also serve as greeters at OBCGS meetings and as ambassadors to local functions and surrounding county genealogical and historical societies.

What is the cost of application?


Each application must be accompanied by a check or money order (NO CASH) in the amount of $25.00 made payable to the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society.

What if I have multiple qualifying ancestors?


A separate application including documentation and application fee must be submitted for each ancestor.  Each member will receive a certificate and pin for the first ancestor under which he is accepted for membership, and a certificate for each additional ancestor.

What are the future plans for FFOB?


The FFOB committee hopes to compile a volume similar the Buncombe County Heritage Book.  Each qualifying ancestor will be included in the volume in the form of an article containing information submitted by the applicants under that ancestor.  Information on this volume will be available on the website, at the society, and in ALOB as it becomes available. 

Where can I find more information?


For further information or to obtain brochures and/or application forms, you may also contact the FFOB committee at the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society Library at 128 Bingham Road, Suite 950, in Asheville or at 828-253-1894.  Members will be delighted to visit any organization to present our program.  (You may feel free to photocopy all parts of the application as well as this article, and to publish it in any publication such as your local genealogical society journal.)

Need a gift idea?

Membership in First Families of Old Buncombe makes an excellent gift for any person in your family!! Every effort will be made to process any application received by December 15 in time for Christmas giving.  Please make a special note of this need on the application.






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