Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Logo
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Image of Men by Train Engine

First Families of Western Pennsylvania

SPECIAL NOTICE:  Due to the passing of this Committee’s chairperson, if you submitted a First Family application for review, we request your patience while the committee gets reorganized to review those applications already in the queue.
WPGS is not accepting any new applications until further notice.

First Families of Western Pennsylvania (FFWP) is open to: 
  • WPGS members only.
  • Any WPGS member who can prove descent from a person who resided in what is now the area covered by the 26 counties of Western Pennsylvania listed below before 31 Dec 1810.
  • Evidence submitted as proof must be sufficient to prove that the applicant is directly descended from the claimed ancestor.
  • Evidence submitted as proof must be sufficient to prove that the ancestor resided in this 26-county Western Pennsylvania area prior to 1811.  
You can search the list of First Families Ancestors by surname in the Members Only section of this website.
Western Pennsylvania Counties and Years of Formation
Allegheny 1788 Armstrong 1800 Beaver 1800
Bedford 1771 Blair 1846 Butler 1800
Cambria 1804 Cameron 1860 Clarion 1839
Clearfield 1804 Crawford 1800 Elk 1843
Erie 1800 Fayette 1783 Forest 1848
Greene 1796 Indiana 1803 Jefferson 1804
Lawrence 1849 McKean 1804 Mercer 1800
Somerset 1795 Venango 1800 Warren 1800
Washington 1781 Westmoreland 1773  
How to Apply
If you believe that your ancestor qualifies you for membership in First Families of Western Pennsylvania, please
  • Download the application and save it to your computer, then you can either type in your responses, save it again, then print it or print the form and fill it out by hand.  
  • Send the completed application, along with a non-refundable, one-time fee of $40.00 (check payable to WPGS-FFWP) to:
First Families of Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Pennsylvania Department, 4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15213-4007
After the initial application fee for a particular ancestor, there is no extra fee if you need to resubmit additional research documents for that ancestor. You may submit applications for as many ancestors as you like (every ancestor has a separate fee). Each application is considered individually.
Applications are evaluated according to our Rules of Evidence. You may be asked to provide additional documentation for an application, but there will be no extra fee for that documentation. Certificates of FFWP membership are mailed throughout the year as earned.
New members are announced and recognized once a year.