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 2023 using our application and Rules of Evidence.
Please email the FFWP Chair, Megan Clark Young at FirstFamilies@wpgs.org if you have any questions about the revised application process or if you submitted an application and would like an update.
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.
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. Supplemental applications may only be submitted after the initial application has been approved.
- 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
A short-form application may be completed by an existing First Families of Western Pennsylvania (FFWP) member for a supplemental application or by a direct family member of an existing FFWP Member.
- A direct family member is defined as: children, parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt and uncle, cousin, and great-aunt and great-uncle. If your relationship falls into one of those categories, then you may use the “short form” procedure.
- You must be a member of WPGS, and you may submit a completed application form that describes the descent from the ancestor to yourself. However, you need to submit documentation only for the generations that differ from your relative FFWP member’s lineage.
- At the most recent generation that appears on both applications, you should note “See application of [name of relative], First Families member [number].”
- A non-refundable $10 application fee must accompany your application.
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.