Cook County Clerk David Orr's new genealogy website has won a 2009 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties, NACO announced today.
The program entitled "Piecing Together the Past: Clerk David Orr's Genealogy Online" was selected as an example of an "effective and creative program" in the 40th year of the Achievement Awards.
CookCountyGenealogy.com, launched July 2, 2008, allows visitors to conduct free searches of birth, marriage and death indexes dating to 1872. Once a document is located, genealogists can download a high-resolution scan of the original for a $15 fee.
The new site received immediate, enthusiastic response from around the world. Users from 88 countries have generated more than 9.6 million hits to the site -- and bought enough genealogy records to pay for the project in just 12 weeks.
"This project was not a response to a publicly-perceived problem or a legislative mandate," Orr said. "We found an inventive way to expand and improve services, make our office more efficient and capitalize on an underutilized funding source."
The NACO Achievement Award will be presented July 26 during NACO's 2009 Conference in Nashville, Tenn.