Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Allegheny County

This article is about a southwestern Pennsylvania county. For other uses, see Allegheny.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
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.
Founded September 24, 1788
County Seat Pittsburgh
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Allegheny County Courthouse
436 Grant St/
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Allegheny County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

Boundary Changes

  • Allegheny County was disputed between Virginia and Pennsylvania until the Mason-Dixon Line was finalized in 1780.
  • 1750: Southern half of Allegheny County was included in Cumberland County when Cumberland was created in 1750; northern half of Allegheny County was not included in any county until 1785.
  • 1771: Southern half of Allegheny County was included in Bedford County when Bedford County was created out of Cumberland County in 1771.
  • 1773: Southern half of Allegheny County was included in Westmoreland County when Westmoreland was created out of Bedford county in 1773.
  • 1783: Northern half of Allegheny became part of Depreciation Lands; part of the southern half of Allegheny County became part of Washington County when Washington County was created in 1781, while the rest remained part of Westmoreland County.
  • 1785: Northern half of Allegheny was annexed to Northumberland County.
  • 12 March 1800: Allegheny Co. boundaries were finalized as it appears today after the parts were set to form Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties. 


Bible Records


  • Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Personal and Genealogical. Vol. 1. Madison, Wis.: Northwestern Historical Association, 1904. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.


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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Family History Library


Names in Stone


Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy


Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy




See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Allegheny Cemetery


  • Allegheny County Cemetery Records, Vol. 1. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free. Includes Sharon Community Church Cemetery, Round Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Montour Cemetery, Fawcett (Brick) Methodist Episcopal Church Old Cemetery, Bethany Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Concord-Carrick Cemetery, Beulah Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Henderson Cemetery, Lutheran Cemetery, Springdale Cemetery, Deer Creek Cemetery, Dugan's Cemetery, and Old Covenanter Church Cemetery.


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:

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Allegheny county pennsylvania churches.png
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
  • Page, Oliver Ormsby. "Sketch of the 'Old Round Church,' 1805-1825, the Original Edifice of Trinity Church, Pittsburgh," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 19 (1895):351-358. For free online access, see WeRelate.

Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University

LDS Ward and Branch Records
  • 1888 - Manual and Directory of Smithfield Street M.E. Church for 1888: Containing Full Account of the Centennial Celebration of Pittsburgh Methodism, Held in the Smithfield St. M.E. Church, Sept. 16-23. Pittsburgh, Pa.: East Ender Print, 1888. Digitized by Ancestry ($).

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

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 available at a local Family History Center. Call ahead for availability.

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, Pennsylvania Genealogy County has its own judicial district. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[3]

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.[4] 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


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
(In 1908 the office of Prothonotary in Allegheny County was combined into the Court Records Director)

Orphan's Court (see Vital Records )

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:


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





Published Histories

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.

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

  • 1733-1957 Pennsylvania State Archives, Records of the Land Office, Warrant Registers, 1733-1957, Allegheny County (South and East of the Ohio River)
  • 1792–1857; 1986–present Allegheny County offers online access to indexes and images. Fees apply for copies.

Land Records on Microfilm


  • Fishman, Joel. The Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] : Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1982. Originally published by the Pennsylvania State Land Office ca. 1914. FHL Large Folio 974.885 E7wa Digital version of the 1914 edition available at the University of Pittsburgh's "Historic Pittsburgh Maps Collection."

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:


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Click the image to see an enlarged version



Revolutionary War

Men living in what is now Allegheny County (then Westmoreland and Washington counties) served in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.[5]

Civil War
  • Hively, Henry. "Black Civil War Soldiers, Allegheny County Pennsylvania," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1. (Summer 1990):39. FHL Book 974.B2wg

Naturalization and Citizenship

Where to find Allegheny County naturalization records:

  • 1734-1906 - Common Pleas Court #2
  • 1799-1894 - Common Pleas Court #1
  • 1799-1906 - Quarter Sessions Court
  • 1906-Present - Index only at Clerk's Office, Pittsburgh
  • Before 1906-Present - Federal Archives & Records Center Archives Branch, Philadelphia[6]

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

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:


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 and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.

Online Newspaper Abstracted Articles


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


Indentured Servants


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:

  • 1788-1971Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994 at - 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).

Probate Record Images and Abstracts

Original Probate Records on Microfilms

Department of Court Records Wills/Orphans' Court


  • The Pennsylvania Archives collection contains county archive records that can be searched onsite. Currently the Archives' staff cannot provide research or make copies of these records. Their collections include Almshouse Registers; Tax records; Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes and Records; Midwife records; African American records; Wills; Deeds; Naturalizations; Coroner's inquests; and Orphan's Court dockets. A list of the Archive's county holdings are on Microfilm or Manuscript form.

  • Merrick Archives
    Allegheny College
    Pelletier Library
    520 N. Main Street
    Meadville, PA 16335
    Phone: (814) 332-2398 Call in advance for an appointment with the Archivist or to confirm current hours.
    The Merrick Archives has records and biographical information for faculty, staff, and alumni.

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
(In 1908 the office of Prothonotary in Allegheny County was combined into the Court Records Director)
Kate Barkman
Room 115 Courthouse
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2469 
Phone: 412-350-4200 
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Family History Centers

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: 
  • Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
    4141 Fifth Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Telephone: 412.621.4253
    Fax: 412.683.9339
    The museum was originally built to honor veterans of the Civil was but was later expanded to honor soldiers of all conflicts. It contains artifact, interperative displays, letters, journals, and more.
Historical Research Inquiries
Library and Archives Reference Desk
Phone: 412-454-6364
This library's collection includes 3,500 individual archival collections of families and businesses; over 40,000 books, pamphlets, and monographs, plus 500 maps and atlases.

Rich in history, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy contains a number of societies dealing with the history of the area. A list of Allegheny County historical and genealogical societies is available on US GenWeb. Some of the major societies include:

  • West Jefferson Hills Historical Society
    The WJHHS Genealogy Committee meetings are the first Thursday each month at the Archive Room at the Jefferson Hills Municipal Building, 925 Old Cliarton Road, Jefferson Hills, PA 15025 at 6:30 p.m. The Society collects historical documents, artifacts, photographs and pertinent memorabilia  from the area, and, in addition, is serving as an information source for genealogical research and record keeping.
  • Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
    4400 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-4080
    Library Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 10:00am - 5:30pm, Sunday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
    Tips for planning a visit
    The focus of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society are 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.
  • North Hills Genealogists
    This group of genealogists is located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. They publish a monthly newsletter and hold monthly meetings at the Northland Public Library, 300 Cumberland Rd, 15237. They have published several books on pioneer cemeteries in the area.
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
    1300 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
    Telephone: (215) 732-6200
    Fax: (215) 732-2680
    Tips for planning a visit
    The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania collects genealogical materials from Pennsylvania and every other state east of the Mississippi River. Its collections also cover pre-migration from Europe, the genealogical “stepping stones” across the Caribbean, and out-migration to Canada. Its collection includes 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items.

    It is one of the largest family history libraries in the nation, has preeminent printed collections on Pennsylvania and regional history, and offers superb manuscript collections renowned for their strength in 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century history. By acquiring the holdings of The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in 2002 and those of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 2006, the Society has become a chief center for the documentation and study of the ethnic communities and immigrant experiences between the late 19th century century and our own times. In


  • 1791 - Returns of Taxables for the Counties of Bedford (1773 to 1784), Huntingdon (1788), Westmoreland (1783, 1786), Fayette (1785, 1786), Allegheny (1791), Washington (1786) and Census of Bedford (1784) and Westmoreland (1783). (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 22). Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
  • 1798 - Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

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.

  • 1726-1930 - Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is an electronic index for the years 1726 to 1930. It is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.

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


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

  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1786-1925 Marriage notices from newspapers index 1786-1910; Pennsylvania Marriage records,1852-1854; and Allegheny County Marriages index, 1885-1925, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages – ($) Index with images.
  • 1885-1950 - Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. This database is incomplete for all counties. May also contain marriage records earlier than 1885.
  • 1888-1911 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
  • Search and order Allegheny County marriage records online or visit in person.

    Department of Court Records
    Wills/Orphans' Court Division
    Marriage License Bureau
    414 Grant Street
    1st Floor, City-County Building
    Pittsburgh PA 15219

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


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:

Web Sites


Populated Places

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


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  4. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  5. 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
  6. "Naturalization Records," Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Government,, accessed 11 September 2012.