Genealogy website one of the "Best"

August 23, 2010
Press Release
Vital Records

Clerk David Orr's Cook County Genealogy Online has been named a "Best Website" by Family Tree Magazine, the country's largest magazine for ancestry enthusiasts.

The "101 Best Websites," featured in Family Tree's September issue, honors the top free sites for genealogical resources, records and historical data. In its description, Family Tree called a "slick site" for finding Chicago-area ancestors.

"This recognition reinforces what are users have been saying: our site is a great tool for researching your Cook County roots," Orr said.

Launched July 1, 2008, boasts an online index of 8 million genealogy records. As defined by Illinois statute, birth records older than 75 years, marriage records older than 50 years and death records older than 20 years are considered genealogical records and are available to people researching their family tree.

The index is available to users for free. Users who wish to immediately download and print records pay $15 per record. The cost of building was repaid through record sales in just four months. To date, the website has sold about 63,000 records totaling nearly $950,000. More than 100,000 users from dozens of countries have created accounts, and the website has drawn 3.3 million hits.

" has exceeded our expectations and is now a profit center for our office," Orr said. "Millions of records are now just a keystroke away for genealogists around the world."

The Clerk's online genealogy site also won a 2009 National Association of Counties Achievement Award.

The full list of Family Tree winners is available on the magazine's website. Publisher/editorial director Allison Stacy said: "The goal of our '101 Best' list is to point readers to websites that will make their research faster, easier and more productive -- and to recognized those outstanding sites for the valuable resources they provide."

Family Tree contact: Diane Haddad, 513.531.2690 or