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Pioneer of Cook County Certificates

The Chicago Genealogical Society will issue Pioneer Certificates to direct descendents of early residents of Chicago and Cook County. In documenting your pioneer ancestors, you will be helping to preserve the records of your family and the history of the Chicago area.

Applicants need not be residents of Cook County, but must be directly related to a pioneer who settled in this area before the Chicago Fire of 9 October 1871. Certificates will be issued for each ancestor documented and submitted as follows:

    1) Complete the Application Form and Direct Lineage Chart as fully as possible.
    Please use maiden names where applicable. If unsure of any dates or information, 2) Proper documentation must accompany the application form; Include copies of census records, land records, birth/marriage/death records, church records, burial records (cemetery name and location, or whatever applicable material proves residency in Cook County at the above designated time. DO NOT SEND THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. All applications and supporting documents become the property of the Chicago Genealogical Society.
    3) Send your application form, direct lineage chart, proper documentation for each certificate, and a check for $5.00 to the Chicago Genealogical Society, Pioneer Certificate, P.O. Box 1160, Chicago, IL 60690-1160.

You may submit as much additional information about your ancestor as you wish. Consider sending a short narrative of how your ancestor arrived in the Chicago area (by sea, wagon, train), first residence, or experiences during the Great Fire, or in the early days of Cook County. We may publish your story in our quarterly publication, the Chicago Genealogist.

This page was updated 04/15/04.
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