Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Allegheny County

Guide to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page in courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.


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Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded September 24, 1788
County Seat Pittsburgh
Courthouse
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Allegheny County Courthouse
436 Grant St/
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Allegheny County Website
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Allegheny County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1788
1789
Paallegheny.jpg

Parent Counties: Formed from Washington and Westmoreland Counties 24 September 1788.[1]

County Seat: Pittsburgh

Neighboring Counties

Description

It is named a Native American name, being named after the Allegheny River. It's county seat is Pittsburgh. It was organized September 24, 1788. It is located in the west section of the state.[2]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Records Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Allegheny County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Findagrave.com

Family History Library

Findagrave.com

Interment.net

WorldCat

Names in Stone

PA-Roots

Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy

Epodunk

Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy

Ancestry($)

Rootsweb

USGW-transcripts
USGW-photos

See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Allegheny Cemetery

BillionGraves:

Census

For tips on accessing Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Federal (or United States) census records online, see: Pennsylvania Census.

There are no county or state census records available for Pennsylvania. County and city tax records can be used as a substitute when census records are not available.

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. In Pennsylvania, church records are often used as a substitute for birth, marriage, and death information. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, view the Pennsylvania Church Records wiki page.


Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:


Allegheny county pennsylvania churches.png
Multi-denominational
Contains church records of:
  • Bridgeville: Bethany Presbyterian Church
  • Carnegie: Christ United Presbyterian Church
  • Coraopolis: Greystone United Presbyterian Church
  • Duquesne: First Presbyterian Church
  • Gibsonia: Hampton United Presbyterian Church
  • Green Tree: Mount Pisgah United Presbyterian Church
  • Imperial: Valley Presbyterian Church
  • Jefferson: Jefferson Congregation of the American Reformed Church
  • McKeesport: Mount Vernon Community United Presbyterian Church
  • Monroeville: Hillcrest United Presbyterian Church
  • Mount Lebanon: Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church
  • Oakmont: Redeemer Lutheran Church; St. Thomas Memorial Episcopal Church
  • Pitcairn: Dutilh United Methodist Church; McGinnis Presbyterian Church
  • Pittsburgh: Ascension Episcopal Church; Bailey Avenue United Presbyterian Church of Mt. Washington; Church of the Epiphany; Edgewood Presbyterian Church; First Hungarian Reformed Church; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of South Hills; Grace Episcopal Church; Protestant Episcopal Church; Springdale United Presbyterian Church; St. Luke's Memorial Lutheran Church; St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church; West End United Church of Christ; Zion Lutheran Church
  • Ross: Hiland Presbyterian Church
  • Shaler Township: St. Luke's Lutheran Church
  • Sharpsburg: Church of the Epiphany; First Evangelical Lutheran Church; Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Turtle Creek: First United Presbyterian Church
Catholic
Episcopalian
Pittsburgholdroundchurch.jpg
German
Jewish
LDS Ward and Branch Records
Methodist
Presbyterian

Learn if the records of the individual parish or Church your ancestors attended are available.

Bellefield Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh

Central Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh

First Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh

Presbyterian Church, Sharpsburg

Third Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh

Court Records

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Courthouse. For many counties copies of court records may be found at the Pennsylvania State Archives and in the FamilySearch collection. Note that within these collections some films may contain the same records, but have different titles. Other titles are not duplicates. See Finding Court Records at other repositories within this section for links to the online catalogs for these two collections. Films at the Pennsylvania State Archives are not available for inter-library loan. If court records are available FamilySearch films may be ordered at a local Family History Center.


Records of genealogical value in the Allegheny County Offices are listed and described at the Allegheny County website. The webpage describes the availability of the records, the office where they are found, years covered, and links to the proper office or website. Records described include adoptions, census, birth, marriage, death,various court records, deeds, divorce, wills and estate, maps, naturalizations, and military records.

Department of Court Records Wills/Orphans' Court

Court of Common Pleas

The Courts of Common Pleas are the trial courts of Pennsylvania. Major civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts. Judges also decide cases involving adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships, charitable organizations and many other matters. The Common Pleas courts are organized into 60 judicial districts. Allegheny County has its own judicial district.[9]

Criminal Division( formerly the Clerk of the Courts)

The Clerk of Courts prepares and maintains the records for the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The Clerk signs and affixes the Seal of the Courts to all writs and processes, administers oaths and affirmations, and assumes custody of the seal and records of the Courts. The Clerk certifies and distributes orders of the Court. The Clerk also certifies and prepares bills of costs for the defendants and utilizes the computerized financial management system to disburse fines, costs and restitution.[10] For the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.


Clerk's Office
U.S. Post Office & Federal Court Bldg.
7th Avenue Grant Street
Room 829
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Prothonotary

This court is now under the Department of Court Records since it was combined in 2008 with the Clerk of Courts and Register of Wills.

Allegheny County Court Records Director
City-County Building
414 Grant Street – First Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2469
Phone: (412) 350-4200
Email to: civil@alleghenycounty.us
(In 1908 the office of Prothonotary in Allegheny County was combined with the Court Records Director)

Orphan's Court (see Vital Records )

Department of Court Records
Wills/Orphans' Court Division

City-County Building
414 Grant Street, First Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 350-4180


On January 7, 2008, the Department of Court Records combined the offices of the Prothonotary, Clerk of Courts and Register of Wills. In June, 2006, the microfiche for the following Birth and Death Registers* were transferred from the Allegheny County Offices to the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:

Genealogy Department
Pennsylvania Room
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Birth Registers
City of Pittsburgh (1870-1905)
Allegheny City (1885-October, 1907)
Allegheny County (1893-1905)
McKeesport (1892-1905)
Sewickley (1896-1905)
Wilkinsburg (1899-1905)

County Death Registers
City of Pittsburgh (1870-1905); Online Index for City of Pittsburgh Only
Allegheny City (1875-May, 1907)
Allegheny County (1893-1905)
McKeesport (1887-1905)
Sewickley (1894-1905)

After 1906 birth and death certificates are available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records in New Castle, PA.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Court Records in online catalogs like:


Directories

Fold3 ($) has Pittsburgh City Directories 1861-1923 (3 yrs. missing) available online.

"Historic Pittsburgh - Full Text Collection" has Pittsburgh City and Allegheny City Directories (and outlying areas) from 1815 through 1930. Directories were not issued annually until the mid-1850s. Homestead Directories may be found on the same site.

Don's List contains 1761, 1812, 1815-1816, 1826, 1837, 1839, 1841, 1844, 1852, 1854, 1857, 1864-1865, 1867, 1872, 1875, 1877-1879, 1884-1885, 1890, 1895, 1897-1903, 1905, 1907-1908, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1918, 1922, 1930, 1936, 1946, 1951, and 1962 Pittsburgh directories.

Emigration and Immigration

For information about emigration into Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration page.


Ethnic Groups

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Land and Property

Land records in Allegheny County began in 1788. These records are filed with the Department of Real Estate office (formerly the Record of Deeds) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If your ancestor lived in the area which became Allegheny County, they may have filed land claims with Virginia when the area was know as the District of West Augusta.

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, and maps. Property records include liens as well as livestock brands and estray records.

The following are examples of available resources:

Online Land Records

Land Records on Microfilm

Maps

Note that the "Maps" section below includes maps related to land ownership.

Additional Resources

See Pennsylvania Land and Property for more information about using land records, especially about original land warrants, surveys, and patents filed at the state land office.

Additional resources can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Allegheny County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps

Migration

Military

Revolutionary War

Men living in what is now Allegheny County (then Westmoreland and Washington counties) served in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.[11]

Civil War

Regiments

Service men in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania:
- 70th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company E


Naturalization and Citizenship

Naturalization records can contain information about immigration and nativity. Prior to 1906, it is rare to find the town of origin in naturalization records. See Pennsylvania Naturalization for more information about the types of records and availability.

Naturalizations granted at the county level were kept by the office of the Prothonotary. Naturalizations could also be granted on the Federal Court level.


Where to find Allegheny County naturalization records:

For addresses of these courts, visit Additional Sources for Research of Naturalization Records.

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

Additional naturalization indexes can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy naturalization in online catalogs like:

Newspapers

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, historical/genealogical societies, college or university libraries, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published.

For information on state-wide newspapers see Pennsylvania Newspapers


Newspapers of Allegheny County

Online Newspapers

The following are some of the online newspapers available in Allegheny County. To learn if there are newspapers on line for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see news.google.com/newspapers and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.

Online Newspaper Abstracted Articles

Obituaries

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died. However, sometimes an obituary is found in the location from which he or she originated. To find an obituary, see the information under the Newspaper heading

Online Obituary Abstracts

Occupations

Indentured Servants

Periodicals

Placenames

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Allegheny County Workhouse Records, 1866-1971. The site lists the records, including conduct books, 1870-1906, discharge and descriptive dockets, 1873-1971, escaped prisoners, 1882-1971, prison registers 1869-1951, and more. The records are at the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Probate Records

Probate matters in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy are handled by the Orphans' Court and start when the county was created. To obtain original probate records, contact the Orphan's Court in the County Courthouse.

In addition to wills and administrations, the Orphans' Court also handles: audits of accounts of executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians; distribution of estates of decedents, incompetents, and minors; appointment and control of guardians; adoptions; appeals from the Register of Wills involving probate matters; inheritance tax appeals and various petitions and motions.


Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:


Online Probate Records

Many original Allegheny County probate records are available free online as digital images at:

  • 1788 - 1971 Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994 at FamilySearch.org - free. Includes Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Estate Index (1788-1971); Will Books 1-141 (1788-1917); Proceedings Index Vols. 1-95 (1788-1971); Power of Attorney Index (1851-1901), Powers of Attorney Vols. 1-39 (1851-1901); Orphans' Court Dockets Vols. 1-154 (1789-1905).

Online Probate Indexes

Probate Record Images and Abstracts

Original Probate Records on Microfilms

Department of Court Records Wills/Orphans' Court

Repositories

Archives


Courthouse

Allegheny County Courthouse
436 Grant St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 350-6500
FAX:(412) 350-6512

This Prothonotary is now under the Department of Court Records since it was combined in 2008 with the Clerk of Courts and Register of Wills.

Allegheny County Court Records Director
Room 115 Courthouse
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2469
Phone: 412-350-4200
Email: civil@alleghenycounty.us
In 1908 the office of Prothonotary in Allegheny County was combined into the Court Records Director.

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Also see below:


Libraries
Museums
Societies

The focus of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society is the 26 counties west of Centre County. The Society is based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and maintains its library and offices in the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library. The WPGS Library collection is complemented and augmented by the Pennsylvania Department's enormous holdings of local and family history information. It has extensive onsite resources for both in-library research, and out-of-town queries.

Taxation

Vital Records

Vital records are handled by the County Orphans' Court. Between the years 1852-1855 Pennsylvania made a failed attempt to record birth, marriage and death events at the county level. While the records for that time period are available, there were few events recorded. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. Abstracts and copies of vital records are available for some counties, but most are incomplete. For the most complete set of records, always contact the County Orphans' Court.



See also How to order Pennsylvania Vital Records

Birth

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of of Health for 1906 and 1907. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified Birth certificate can be obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103


Marriage

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.

Divorce

Divorce records are handled by the Department of Court Records Civil/Family Division (formerly the office of the Prothonotary). While no on-line indexes or records are available, records may be obtained on site or by correspondence. An index to divorce records is included in the Ejectment and Miscellaneous Index. Request at the main desk. Older records may be in storage and have to be ordered.

Department of Court Records Civil/Family Division
City-County Building
414 Grant Street, First Floor
Pittsburgh PA 15219-2469
Phone: (412)350-4200
Fax: (412)350-5260
civil@alleghenycounty.us

Death

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania death records are available through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1962. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified death certificate can be obtained obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103


Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:


Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Allegheny County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Allegheny County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Pittsburgh, Forest Hills, Aleppo, Leet, Versailles, Braddock, more...

Allegheny County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/1/2017
  3. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  4. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  5. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  6. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  9. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  10. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  11. Harold Frederic, William C. Frederick III with William J. McMaster Sr., Path of Blood: The Untold Story of the Kittanning PA. Regiment in the American Revolution (Kittanning, Pa.: W.C. Frederick, 1998). FHL Book 974.8 M2ff
  12. "Naturalization Records," Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Government, http://www.alleghenycounty.us/wo/natural.aspx, accessed 11 September 2012.
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  14. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/b/b5/Igipennsylvaniaa.pdf.
  15. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  16. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  17. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  18. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.
  19. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6d/Igipennsylvaniaaa.pdf.


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