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4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
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First Families of Western Pennsylvania

The First Families of Western Pennsylvania (FFWP) is a lineage society dedicated to honoring the early residents of Western Pennsylvania and preserving the family history of their descendants. 
The First Families of Western Pennsylvania is now accepting applications for 2021 using our updated application and Rules of Evidence.  If you have completed an application using the previous version, you may still submit it.  However, all applications will be subject to the revised Rules of Evidence.
Applications are due by Nov. 30, 2021, to be considered this year.  
Please email the FFWP Chair, Megan Clark Young at FirstFamilies@wpgs.org if you have any questions about the revised application process.
If you submitted an application and would like an update, please email FirstFamilies@wpgs.org.  

First Families of Western Pennsylvania (FFWP) is open to: 
  • Any Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society member who is able to prove direct descent from an ancestor who lived in Western Pennsylvania before 1811.  Not a member?  Join Now
  • The first family ancestor must have been a documented resident of one of the 26 Western Pennsylvania counties (or in the appropriate section of the parent county) by 31 December 1810.
  • The applicant must provide proof of bloodline descent (birth, marriage, death and relationship) for each generation to the first family ancestor.  See Rules of Evidence for more information.
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 and complete the application and assemble your documentation according to the instructions and the Rules of Evidence.  
  • Include a non-refundable check made payable to WPGS-FFWP in the amount of $40.00 for an initial application or $10 for a supplemental or immediate family member short-form.  Read more about the short-form application.    
  • Mail your completed application, documentation, and application fee to:
First Families of Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Pennsylvania Department, 4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15213-4007
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.  Be sure to check out the additional Tips for a Successful Application.   
Certificates and First Families of Western Pennsylvania membership pins are mailed throughout the year as earned. New First Families members are announced and recognized annually.