Why is documentation necessary? It was easier in 1885.
Applicants to HSSC often wonder why they have to complete a full lineage with documentation when their parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents were members of the Society. The reason is that many of the early member files contain only one sheet of paper – the application form itself, sometimes including a few dates and locations, but often a simple list of names back to the ancestor.
One of the missions of the Society is “to gather and preserve the genealogical history of families form the landing of the first immigrant to the present time…each family so traced constitutes a link in the complete history of the immigration and its results.” – quoted from Transactions 3: 13. Since we want the genealogical history to be correct, proof of parentage as well as references for dates, locations and names in each lineage are required.
Pictured is an original application from 1885 when the Society was founded.