Cyndy Richardson

ProGen Member Overview

Chicago genealogical research is not only my specialty, it's my passion.


Brigham Young University, BA in Japanese
University of Arizona, MEd in Language, Reading, and Culture
National Genealogical Society, American Genealogical Studies Certificate of Completion, 2019
ProGen 33 (student)
ProGen 43, 52 (coordinator)
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Courses (Technical Writing, 2020; Writing and Documenting for Peer Review, 2022)


I launched ChicagoGenealogy in the summer of 2003. Over the next twelve years, I retrieved thousands of vital records and many divorce and probate files. Helping researchers across the world learn more about their Chicago ancestors taught me a lot about Cook County research.

After a move from the Chicago area in 2015, I decided to turn my focus to acquiring professional-level genealogical skills. I research and write nearly every day, and, little by little, I am beginning to understand what it means to be a genealogist.

Publications & BLOGs

Cynthia Richardson, "James Ayer Smith: Hatter and Furrier," The Chicago Genealogist, 51 (Winter 2019): 35-45. (This was the winning entry in Chicago Genealogical Society's 2017-2018 writing contest.)

Blog: Chicago Genealogy: Insights from Study and Serendipity