Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ages on Tombstones

When you are looking at ages on tombstones, be careful not to just take the number at face value. When the stone says "died in her 27th year" that does not mean she was 27 years old - she was actually 26. If someome dies in their first year they haven't reached age 1 year yet. This was something that it took me along time to realize and I had to go back through my cemetery website and family files and make many changes.

When transcribing tombstones and other records make sure you write all the information down and don't make assumptions.

Does "Consort of" mean wife?

Yes. If a stone says "consort of " it means that the woman was married and her husband is still alive. " Relict of " means that her husband has already died. I have not seen a tombstone with " relict of " yet so if anyone has a picture of one, please post it or email it to me - I'd love to see it.

Research Sources - Sets


Quaker Genealogy set. Use index first to find which encyclopedia holds the appropriate information

98. Genealogical Publishing Co. Index to Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy by William Wade Hinshaw. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1999. (index)

This is the index to the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. It makes searching the encyclopedia much easier.

99. Hinshaw, William Wade, and Thomas Worth Marshall. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co, 1938.

The Quakers were very good at keeping records at their monthly meetings. These encyclopedias are organized by monthly meeting and with in those divisions, information is alphabetical by surname. Information such as birth, death and burial dates, marriage dates, disunity, complaints, condemned, disowned, joined another society, married out of unity, widow, etc.

Keyhole set. Use the index first to find the correct issue of the quarterly publication that holds the information required.
100. Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Keyhole Index 20 years, 2004. (index)

This is an index of articles that appear in the Keyhole publication from its inception in 1973 to 2003. Very helpful in navigating the quarterly publication.

101. Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Keyhole, 1973 to present. (periodical)

This quarterly publication contains family trees, historical articles, cemetery transcriptions, bible records, transcriptions of other records, queries and answers, etc. These are submitted by members of the Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Good resource for a variety of information.

Delayed Birth certificate set. Use index first, then subject specialized volume with actual certificates
102. "Delayed Birth Certificate Index Washington County Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse. (index - unpublished)

This index lists the person's name, file and number. You have to use this index to find the correct volume that contains the actual delayed birth certificate. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

103. "Delayed Birth Certificates Washington County Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)

These volumes hold delayed birth certificates. Official birth certificates were not always issued in early years. When a person needed proof of birth for some official reason, they would go back to the county of their birth to have a delayed birth certificate issued. These certificates hold some very useful information: name, date of birth, place of birth, father of child, mother of child, children born to this mother, applicant's signature, current address. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses.

Crumrine Set. Use the all name index first to find names of people in the very large Crumrine History. This index was created many years after the original book was published. The index really increases the usefulness of the Crumrine book. Every genealogist who studies Washington County cites Crumrine.

104. Index of Washington County, Pennsylvania edited by Boyd Crumrine. (index)

All name index for Crumrine's History of Washington Co. No publishing information available. This index makes it easier to search for individual people in the original book.

105. Crumrine, Boyd, Franklin Ellis, and Austin N. Hungerford. History of Washington County, Pennsylvania : With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men Philadelphia: H.L. Everts & Co, 1882. (subject specialized resource)

Contains biographical sketches of pioneer families and prominent men, maps, illustrations, overall history of Washington Co, boroughs 7 Townships, schools, churches, photos.

Accounts set. Use the index first to find the correct volume where the actual account of estate is recorded.

106. "Index to Accounts - Register's Office, Washington County." Washington, PA: courthouse. (index - unpublished)

This resource contains information about estates of deceased (sometimes for people that did not have a will so this is an important supplement to the will books). It has the name of the accountant (many times a relative), how the accountant was acting, book-vol-page, #-term-year, remarks, audit vol-page. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses. These date back to the late 1700s early 1800s.

107. "Accounts - Register's Office Washington County Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)
Contains valuable information that may not be in the will books as not every deceased person had a will. A sample account listed payments to different people, some heirs of the deceased. Ideally should be digitized and made searchable electronically. This multiple volume set must be accessed by using the index. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

Orphan's Court set. Use Index first to find the correct volume where the actual orphan's court documents are recorded.

108. "Index to Orphan's Court Docket Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse. (index - unpublished)

This source lists: Estate of, proceedings, book-vol-page, #- term- year, remarks. Many things took place in the orphan's court. One of the important things relating to genealogy was the appointing of guardians for minor children. This index guides you to the appropriate docket book where the actual proceedings and information is recorded. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses.

109. "Orphan's Court Docket Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)

Actual proceedings of the Orphan's court are recorded here. They contain much information that is useful to genealogy research such as estates, appointment of guardians, etc. You must use the index to access these many volumes successfully. Ideally these should be digitized and made searchable electronically. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

Bates set. Use the index first to search the Bates History book.
110. Russell, Harold A. Index to Samuel P. Bates History of Greene County, Pa, Published 1888, Reprinted 1975 Waynesburg, Pa: Mildred H. Russell, 1984. (index)

An all name index to the Bates History from 1888. This index makes it easier to search the original book for individuals.

111. Bates, Samuel P. History of Greene County, PA. Chicago: Nelson, Richford & Co, 1888 (subject specialized resource)

This book is similar to the other county histories. It includes a lot of biographical sketches of representative families, some photos and portraits, history of Greene County, its townships, etc. These types of histories are very helpful.

Beers set. Use the index first to find people in the large Beers biographical book. This index was created several years after the original work was published and makes it much easier to use. Along with the Crumrine book, the Beers book is another must for Washington County researchers.

112. (1987). Index to the Commemorative biographical record of Washington County, Pennsylvania, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, and of many of the early settled families, illustrated, by J.H. Beers & Co., 1893. Pennsylvania. (index)

All name index to Beers created many years after the original publication of the book. Makes it much easier to search for people.

113. Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of Many of the Early Settled Families. Chicago J.H. Beers & Co, 1893. (subject specialized resource)

Contains biographical sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and of many of the early settled families. Illustrations, portraits, family genealogies, index of portraits and index of main people.

Wills set. Use the index first to find the correct volume and page number for the actual will is recorded.

114. Index to Wills Washington County PA. Washington, PA, courthouse. (index - unpublished)

This index contains information for finding wills, some dating back to 1781. Info: file #, testator, date of death, date of probate, volume, page. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

115. "Will Books Washington County Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)

This is a many volume set. These ledgers contain handwritten and typewritten copies of wills that were registered at the courthouse beginning in 1781. They are an invaluable source to genealogy researchers as many times family relationships are spelled out. These ledgers were microfilmed at one time but the quality of some of the earlier film is not so good and some wills are illegible. Ideally the originals should be digitized and made searchable electronically. Some of the earliest ledgers are locked in a vault at the courthouse with limited access as they are very fragile. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

Inventories and appraisements set. Use the index first to find the correct volume and page number where the deceased's inventory of possessions is recorded.

116. Inventories and appraisements index Washington County, PA. Washington PA, courthouse. (index - unpublished)

This is another source that is helpful when a deceased person did not have a will. Many times family heirlooms are passed down and sometimes you can find the item listed in an inventory. The index lists the name, vol-page-no. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses.

117. Inventories and Appraisements. Washington PA courthouse. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)

These volumes contains inventory lists of possessions of deceased and the appraisals of possessions and real estate. This is important for people that did not have a will.

Marriage License Sets. This is a three step process. Index first, then docket of licenses, then actual applications, consent of minor to marry and marriage certificates. Must complete all three step to prove a marriage actually took place.

118. "Men's Index to Marriages Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse, 1885 to present. (index - unpublished)

This source is the first step to finding marriage license information. It lists; year, name of man, name of woman, book, page, no. There is a women's index arranged the same way but alphabetically by woman's name. From this source you go to the Marriage license docket as step 2 in a three step process. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

119. "Women's Index to Marriages Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse, 1885 to present (index - unpublished)

This is also the first step to finding marriage license information. For some reason, some marriages are listed in the women's index that are not listed in the men's index. They should just be reverse look ups but not all the information is the same. Therefore it is best to have both indexes.

120. "Marriage License Docket Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse, 1885 to present. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)

This is step 2 in the marriage license process. From the index, the book number, page and license number was found. In these volumes, you find the page and license number. The marriage license is recorded here with the certificate number. With this cert # you proceed to step 3. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

121. "Marriage Licenses and Related Information Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA: courthouse, 1885 to present. (subject specialized resource - unpublished)

This is the last step of the marriage license search. This information contains the application filed by the man and woman, consent of marriage of a minor that was signed by the father of either the bride or groom if they were minors, any divorce documentation if there was a previous marriage, and the marriage certificate. Not everyone that applied to be married actually got married so it is important to follow all three steps to prove a marriage actually took place. The applications sometimes contained birth dates and locations, previous marriages and how they were dissolved (death, divorce). Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

Bates Set. Use index first to make it easier to search the original books.

122. Bates, Samuel P. History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, Index Edited by Janet Hewitt and Rickie Broadfoot. Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Pub. Co, 1993 - 1994. (index)

This is a much more comprehensive index of the Bates multivolume set. The original index was not an all name index.

123. Bates, Samuel P. History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5; Prepared in Compliance with Acts of the Legislature. Harrisburg, PA B. Singerly 1869. (subject specialized resource)

Contains regimental rosters with name of soldier, muster in date, term of service, remarks, some regimental histories.

Fayette County History set.

124. Donovan, L., J. W. Jordan, et al. (2001). Genealogical and personal history of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : every-name index Butler, Pa, Mechling Bookbindery. (index)

This is an every-name index that was created many years after the original publishing of this book. This comprehensive index makes it much easier to find people in the book.

125. Jordan, John W., and James Hadden. Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania 3vols. New York Lewis historical Pub. Co, 1912. (subject specialized resource)

Genealogy and biographical sketches. Index in the back for main names. This is similar in style to the other county histories.

Research Sources - Web Sources


89. "Ancestry.Com."
This web site requires subscriptions to access certain information. The message boards can be access without subscriptions but access to scanned images of original census forms, birth, marriage and death records, Social Security Death Indexes, Immigration and military information, county land and probate records, Historical Newspaper collections, etc require payment. It would be advisable to have paper forms of the census indexes as well but this site is good because it provides the scanned images of the original census forms. The paper forms will help narrow down where to search for your ancestor.

90. "Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet."
262,000+ links to different genealogy web sites. Cyndi Howells, creator of the website has been a genealogist for more than 20 years. She has authored two books for genealogical research on the internet. She is a columnist for Heritage Quest Magazine. Is a member of the National Genealogical Society board of directors. The site gives links to every kind of internet website that has information for genealogy research, including international sites. It is updated constantly and is very comprehensive.

91. "Daughters of the American Revolution."
Thru this website you can access the library catalog as well as information about the society. From the website: As one of the largest genealogical centers in the United States, the DAR Library is an essential destination when researching your family history. Since its founding in 1896, the library has grown into a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications. The DAR recently completed a project to digitize over 9 million membership applications and supporting documents. They are in the midst of a large volunteer effort to create a searchable all name index with dates, etc. Currently these images are only accessible from the DAR Library in Washington, DC. In the future this database may be accessible to the public over the internet. This database is a huge source of valuable, verified information. Professional genealogists must verify all submitted information before membership is granted.

92. "Ellis Island."
Enables researches to NY passenger arrivals and view manifests, photos of ships. Good source for information on immigrants.

93. "Historic Pittsburgh."
This website it hosted by the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh. From this site you can search the catalog from the Library and Archives of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society locate in the Heinz History Center. You can search images of Hopkins Map collections ( maps of greater Pittsburgh area through the years of 1872 to 1939.) You can also access 9,700 visual images from thirty-four collections held by the Archives Service Center at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, Chatham College Archives, and the Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center. You can also access finding aids for the archive collections. Documenting Pitt is a new part of the website that gives you access to Pitt year books, Chancellors reports, commencement programs, and other information pertaining to the history of Pittsburgh. These are searchable.

94. "Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System. " This web site is sponsored by the National Park Service and is a great resource for searching for Civil War information. It covers soldiers, sailors, regiments, 14 National Cemeteries, battles, prisoners, medals of honor, National Parks

95. "Beallsville Cemetery, Washington Co., Pa.", 2006. This website is important to people doing research in the Scenery Hill/Beallsville area of Washington County. The National Road goes right thru these two towns and since this was a main avenue for families traveling west, many pioneer families passed thru here or settled in this area. Beallsville Cemetery burials date back to 1823. The cemetery is still in operation today and has approximately 9000 burials. Many pioneer families are represented in this cemetery. The website is still under construction but to date has an all name index of burials from 1823 - 1963. It also has scanned images of the original interment records from the cemetery. This is important because many people buried do not have tombstones or the stones are no longer legible. When the site is complete it will have tombstone photos, plot maps, scanned images of the lot owner books, obituaries, photos, and other genealogical information that can be accumulated relating to the people buried here.

96. Dept, United States. War. "The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." Govt. Print. Off, .
The original multi volume set was printed by the Government Printing Office and is a compilation of official records of the Union and Confederate armies. It includes formal reports, correspondence, orders, etc. This collection in now available and searchable on line. Great source of information concerning the Civil War.

97. Saints, Church of Latter Day. "Family Search."
This website is sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints. This organization is known for its efforts to collect, microfilm, preserve records pertaining to family history. They have a huge library facility in Salt Lake City Utah along with secure storage for its valuable records, plus several branch research facilities around the country where you can order "inter library loan" items from the main library. Their collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm, more than 742,000 microfiche, over 300,000 books, serials, and other formats

Research Sources - Subject Specialized

50. "Greene County, Pennsylvania Cemetery CD-ROM's" compiled by James Fordyce, 2000-2004.

This 5 volume set of CD-ROM's and paper indexes cover over 150 cemeteries that are located in Greene County. The compiler visited each of these cemeteries and photographed and transcribed the tombstones. The indexes give the name list in alphabetical order and the name of the cemetery where the person is buried. The CD has the photo of the tombstone and the transcribed information. The Cornerstone Genealogical Society of Greene County sells these CD's as part of their fundraising. If every county had a set of CDs like this, genealogists would jump for joy.

51. "Cemetery Maps of Soldiers Grave Registrations of Washington County Pennsylvania." Washington, PA: courthouse.

This is a great source of information for veteran burial information. These maps are professionally drawn. They list the name of the cemetery and location, the layout of the cemetery and the location of the veteran's tombstone. It lists the veteran's name and the war he fought in. The maps were done in the 1930's. Included is a map of Washington County with the location of the cemeteries noted. There are many small family burial plots that are located on farms around Washington county that are included as well as very large cemeteries. Great source of information.

52. "County Tax Rolls - Washington County, Pa." Washington, PA.

This is an important source for establishing if a person lived in a certain township. These records date back to 1781 so they are some of the earliest records kept. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

53. "Death Record Washington County." Washington, PA: Courthouse, 1893-1906.

This source is held at the Washington County Courthouse. This 2 volume set has the deaths recorded from 1893-1906. The information listed: Full name of deceased, color, sex, age, condition (married or single), place of birth, occupation, date of death, place of death, cause of death, duration of last illness, place and date of interment, name of father, name of mother, date recorded. Again an excellent source of genealogy information. Ideally this source should be digitized and made searchable as the original ledgers are well used and showing a lot of wear. Similar records can be found at other county courthouses

54. Genealogical and Personal History of the Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania. Edited by LL.D. (Librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) John W. Jordan. New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co, 1913.

Contains some photos of people and family histories. John W. Jordan's name appears as editor of several Western Pa genealogy resources. I would consider any publication with his name on it to be authoritative and a welcome addition to a collection.

55. "Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania Pedigree Charts and Family Sheets."

28 volumes currently. This source is a collection of pedigree charts and family sheets that are contributed by family researchers to the Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pa for inclusion in the genealogy section of the library at Citizen's Library in Washington County, PA. Ideally this collection should be digitized and made searchable electronically. This could be a good source of starting information. Personal family research must be looked at with caution because not all research is done correctly with proper standards and documentation. However, this is such an extensive collection and can provide good beginning information for other researchers.

56. Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families : From the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 2vols. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1981.

Provides various family genealogies from various locations around Pennsylvania.

57. The National Road, Commemorative Pictorial History Edited by Jim Willis. Monongahela, PA Historic Towns Publishing, 1998.

This is a concise history of our nation's first national highway which is now U.S. Route 40. Route 40 goes right thru the heart of Washington PA and many pioneer families traveled this route on their way west. The book is illustrated with many very old photographs from Washington Co locations which makes it very interesting

58. "Program Syllabus - Celebrating the National Genealogical Society's 100th Anniversary." Paper presented at the National Genealogical Society 2003 Conference in the States, Pittsburgh, PA 2003.

This program syllabus is a great source of information for various topics in genealogy research. The conference spanned four days and brought together many knowledgeable professionals in the field of genealogy research to teach over 140 classes. Each class has a summary of its contents, bibliographies of sources that can be used for research in that particular topic. Ex - Quaker collections, Revolutionary War Records, Tracking Pennsylvania Ancestors, Oral History, Census records, etc. This is a great one-stop-shop for information. There are books from previous years when the conferences were held. A complete set would be great.

59. "Record of Births - Washington County." Washington, PA, 1893-1906.

This source is held at the Washington county Courthouse in Washington, PA. It consists of three large ledgers in which the births between 1893 and 1906 are recorded. The information contains: name of child, sex, color, full name of father, full name of mother, residence of parents, occupation of father, date of birth, place of birth, date recorded. The same records should be held at each county courthouse. Excellent source of genealogy information especially when all fields are filled in. Ideally these records should be digitized and made available electronically as they are heavily used and showing a lot of wear.

60. Albert, George Dallas. History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co, 1882.

Information on boroughs and townships, biographical, illustrations, history, prominent nationalities of the settlers, portraits, maps.

61. Bates, Samuel P. History of Greene County, Pennsylvania Chicago Nelson, Rishforth, 1888.

History, biographical sketches by township, portraits, maps, military roster, county officers, education. Biographical sketches give a lot of family tree information.

62. Boucher, John Newton, and John W. Jordan. History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania,. New York, Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co, 1906.

Early history of the county, soldiers in War of 1812, taverns, canals, Mexican War, railroads, church history, bench and bar, medical profession, Civil War, court houses, Agriculture, Iron, Coal, Coke industry, townships, special biographies.

63. Connors, Patrick. Pennsylvania Historic Towns of Washington County 4vols. Monongahela, PA Historic Towns Publishing, 1996 - 1998.

This is a series of 4 booklets each focusing on different townships in Washington Co. PA. # 1 = Beallsville, Burgettstown, California, Canonsburg, Charleroi, Finleyville, Monongahela, Washington, West Alexander, West Middletown. # 2 = Avella, Bentleyville, Claysville, Donora, Eighty Fou, Hickory, Houston, Morris Township, New Eagle, West Brownsville. # 3 = Centerville, Cross Creek, East Washington, McDonald, Meadow Lands, North Charleroi, Peters, Roscoe, Elco, Stockdale, Allenport, Long Branch, Scenery Hill, West Finley. # 4 = Amwell, Blaine, Buffalo, Cecil, Hanover, Jefferson, Union, Coal Center, Cokeburg, Ellsworth, Marianna, Midway, Speers, Lower Speers. These books have many, many old photos, descriptions and histories of the townships.

64. Creigh, Alfred. History of Washington County from Its First Settlement to the Present Time : First under Virginia as Yohogania, Ohio, or Augusta County until 1781, and Subsequently under Pennsylvania, with Sketches of All the Townships, Boroughs, and Villages, Etc.; and to Which Is Added a Full Account of The Celebrated Mason and Dixon's Line, the Whiskey Insurrection, Indian Warfare, Traditional and Local Historical Events Harrisburg, Pa: B. Singerly, Printer, 1871.

Chapters include: Its Primitive History Under Virginia; A General Outline of History of Pennsylvania; Original Act Establishing Washington County; Proceedings of the Supreme Executive Council; Townships and Boroughs in Washington County; Elected Officials from 1790; Military History; History of Associations, Indian History of Western PA and VA, Whiskey Insurrection.

65. Cushing, Thomas. History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania : Including Its Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time ; a Description of Its Historic and Interesting Localities ; Its Cities, Towns and Villages; Religious, Educational, Social and Military History ; Mining, Manufacturing and Commercial Interests, Improvements, Resources, Statistics, Etc. ; Also, Biographies of Many of Its Representative Citizens. 2 vols. Chicago, Ill: A. Warner & Co, 1889.

The sub-title of this book is a good summary of what is included in the book. The biographies many times go back several generations and are good sources of family genealogies.

66. Daughters of the American Revolution. Canonsburg Chapter (Canonsburg, Pa.). Miscellaneous Cemeteries, Washington Co., Pa. 6 vols. Washington, PA: Citizens Library Genealogical Records Group, 1977.

These 6 volumes contain cemetery transcripts for various cemeteries located around Washington County, PA. The transcriptions were done by members of the Canonsburg Chapter of the DAR. Many of the listings were done in the 1930s. Although there are some errors, this listing was done long enough ago that they have information for some tombstones that are no longer legible or are missing or damaged. There are many other cemetery listing at Citizens Library that come from various sources. Ideally all of these transcriptions would be put together in one electronic database. These types of records are available for all counties.

67. Doyle, Joseph B. 20th Century History of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio and Representative Citizens. Chicago, Ill: Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co, 1910.

This is a book similar to the other county histories. They have a lot of very good historical information about the area they cover. The biographical sketches contain a lot of great information on pioneer families and those that were prominent in early days. Many people from Southwestern Pa moved west to Ohio and settled in Jefferson County so this book has many connections to PA families. These old histories have been reprinted and one of the big advantages to the reprints is the all name indexes that were added to the original. It makes searching for specific people much easier.

68. Durant, Samuel W. History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania / with Illustrations Descriptive of Its Scenery, Palatial Residences, Public Buildings, Fine Blocks, and Important Manufactories, from Original Sketches by Artists of the Highest Ability. Philadelphia L.H. Everts & Co, 1876.

Major divisions: Illustrations, historical and descriptive, biographical sketches, Allegheny County in the Rebellion, Roster of soldiers, Roll of Honor.

69. Ellis, Franklin. History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men Philadelphia L.H. Everts & Co, 1882.

Chapters include Histories of boroughs and townships. Historic ground of Fayette (locations, boundaries, topography), the Works and relics of an Extinct People, Indian Occupation, biographical sketches

70. Elwood, John W. Elwood's Stories of the Old Ringgold Cavalry, 1847-1865; the First Three Year Cavalry of the Civil War. Coal Center, Pa: The author, J. W. Elwood, 1914.

This book tells mainly about Co A and the battles they were engaged in. The good part of this book for genealogy research are the short bios of soldiers at the end of the book. These were current at the time of the books publication and therefore gives updates of many of the soldiers such as recent deaths, burial locations, etc.

71. Farrar, Samuel Clarke. The Twenty-Second Pennsylvania Cavalry and the Ringgold Battalion, 1861-1865. Akron, O. and Pittsburgh: New Werner Co, 1911.

This book gives the history of this Civil War Regiment. The members of the many companies that comprised this Cavalry regiment were all from Southwestern PA - mostly from around Washington Co. In the back of the book it lists the rosters of the different co, the muster in and muster out dates, etc. It also gives short bios of many of the company members. The bulk of the book gives accounts of the battles that this cavalry unit was engaged in, plus photos of some of the cavalry members. It was written by a soldier who served in Co C and went on to be a principle in the Pittsburgh City School district. Great source if your ancestor served in this regiment.

72. Forrest, Earle Robert. History of Washington County, Pennsylvania 3vols. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co, 1926.

This book concentrates more on the history of the county from 1910 till present (1926) but has comprehensive coverage of older history. These was a subject only briefly touched on by the three previous major histories of Washington Co. (Creigh, Crumrine, McFarland). Includes illustrations.

73. Hanna, William. History of Greene County, Pa.: Containing an Outline of the State from 1682 until the Formation of Washington County in 1781 : History During 15 Years of Union. . Apollo, Pa: Closson Press, 1983 reprint of 1882 publication.

This resource contains the history of the running of Mason's and Dixon's line, whiskey insurrection, history of churches, families, judges, senators, assembly-men and other related information for Greene county. Most of these old county history books are formatted in a similar manner. Indexed in the back.

74. Hastings, Charles Cummins. Pioneer Settlers of Western Pennsylvania, and Their Descendants : 2300 Persons, 250 Surnames San Fernando, Calif.: Custom Print. Co., 1976.

Covers pioneer families that settled Allegheny and Washington Co. PA. The information came from elder surviving descendants, family bible records, record of birth, marriage, death, tombstone, cemetery and church records.

75. Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Research : County and Township Records. Washington, D.C.: PA Genealogy Books, 2006.

Lists by county: courthouse contact info and website, county records available on microfilm, other county wide sources, townships and what records are available such as taxes and warrantee maps, special census. A great current source however, for some reason Butler County was overlooked. The publisher has been notified so hopefully an addendum or supplement will be published.

76. Iams, Elisha B "Iams Notes and Queries Washington County Pa." Washington , PA.

(from description of the book from the Later Day Saints Library Catalog) "During the 1930's and 1940's, genealogist Elisha B. Iams traveled throughout the Upper Ohio Valley, abstracting records. To help him find material in his abstracts he created six indexes. "The name which Mr. Iams abstracted did not always appear in the document itself, but sometimes in the account papers relating to that document. The page number which he listed was usually the page in the original, but sometimes [he used] the page number in his abstract book. Since the time of his work with the documents, some of them have disappeared".
The manuscript collection contains Iams correspondence regarding research he did for several people. It also contains family trees, letters to county clerks, genealogy societies, county of common pleas for various locations, Assoc. of American Railroads, etc. This is a unique, one of a kind collection. The collection was microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1993.

77. Jordan, John W. Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania; Genealogical and Personal Memoirs. New York, Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co, 1911.

Biographical sketches, photos and portraits of prominent men and families in Western Pennsylvania. The First entry is about Westinghouse. Not an extensive source but covers some of the earlier families.

78. Jordan, John W. Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co, 1915.

John W. Jordan LL.D is a name that keeps surfacing as editor and compiler of Western Pennsylvania genealogy sources. He was a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Ex-General Registrar of Sons of the Revolution and Registrar of Pennsylvania Society. This 3 volume source lists several family genealogies of Colonial and revolutionary families.

79. Kellogg, Lucy Mary, Edna W Townsend, Robert S Wakefield, and General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Mayflower Families through Five Generations : Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 1620. Plymouth, MA General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1975.

Contains family genealogies for the Mayflower families, 23 volumes, indexed

80. Leckey, Howard L. The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 2001 reprint.

This book concentrates on the geographical area near Ten Mile Creek which flows between Washington and Greene Counties. It provides historical and family sketches of some of the early families that settled this area. It has a surname index at the back of the book to make it easy to find the person you are searching for. Mr. Leckey was a nationally recognized genealogist and historian who was born and raised in Southwestern PA.

81. Mackenzie, George Norbury, and Nelson Osgood Rhoades. Colonial Families of the United States of America, in Which Is Given the History, Genealogy, and Armorial Bearings of Colonial Families Who Settled in the American Colonies from the Time of the Settlement of Jamestown, 13th May, 1607, to the Battle of Lexington, 19th April, 1775. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., , 1966.

The extended title gives a good description of what is contained in this source. The editor was a member of the American Historical Association, National Genealogical Society, Old North-West Genealogical Society, Member of the Committee on Heraldry and genealogy of Maryland Historical Society.

82. Munger, Donna Bingham. Pennsylvania Land Records: A History and Guide for Research. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources Inc,, 1991.

Book Description (from editor) The genealogist trying to locate families, the surveyor or attorney researching old deeds, or the historian seeking data on land settlement will find Pennsylvania Land Records an indispensable aid. The land records of Pennsylvania are among the most

83. Office., Pennsylvania. Adjutant-General's. Record of Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Spanish-American War, 1898 Harrisburg, Pa. : W.S. Ray, State Printer, 1901.

Contains name, rank, company, date of enrollment, muster in date, muster out date, etc. There is a list of abbreviations at the start. This publication was authorized by the House of Representatives.

84. Searight, Thomas B. The Old Pike : A History of the National Road, with Incidents, Accidents, and Anecdotes Thereon Uniontown, Pa: Thomas B. Searight, 1894.

Illustrated. Contains information about the inception of the road, origin of the fund for making the road, the act of congress authorizing the laying out and making of the road, life of the road threatened, life on the road, old wagoners, stage drivers, first mail coaches, old taverns and tavern keepers, etc. This book is very interesting and covers the history of a major travel route for families moving west from

85. Sharon Cook MacInnes, Ph.D. Early Landowners of Pennsylvania: Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Washington County, Pa. Apollo, Pa: Closson Press, 2004.

This is also available on a CD. It contains Maps of Washington Co townships and the names of the early land owners, and the names of their tracts of land. Along with each map is a chart that lists the Warrantee name, tract name, size, warrant date, survey date, patent date, patent book, coordinates. The introduction of the book gives an explanation of the land purchase process, the land office chronology, how to use the maps, further source suggestions. In the back is an all name index to make searching the book easier. Great resource.

86. Society., Western Pennsylvania Genealogical. A List of Immigrants Who Applied for Naturalization Papers in the District Courts of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 3vols. Pittsburgh, PA: Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society., 1978.

This source lists immigrant's name, date of application, birth location, date of naturalization and sponsor. It covers years 1798 - 1869 in this 3 volume set.

87. Stotz, Charles Morse. The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania: A Record of Building before 1860 Based Upon the Western Pennsylvania Architectural Survey a Project of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects with an Introduction by Fiske Kimball. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.

The original book was published in 1936 by the Buhl Foundation, An introduction was written in 1966 by Charles Morse Stotz who was the chairman of the Western Pennsylvania Architectural Survey. In 1995 "The Story of the Book" was added. One of the most wonderful things about this book are the large amount of photos of old buildings around Western Pennsylvania and some of their history. It gives the history of the builders, materials, methods, etc. (The original publication of this book was engraved with the picture of a door that was from the house my grandmother was born and raised in - the Dorsey House in Denbo, PA)

88. Waychoff, Andrew J, and Waynesburg Greene County Historical Society, Pa. Local History of Greene County and Southwestern Pennsylvania : A Project of the American Revolution Bicentennial Observance, 1776-1976. Waynesburg, Pa.: Greene County Historical Society, 1975.

The author of this source taught genealogy for many years and was considered an authority especially for Southwestern Pennsylvania. This contains a series of articles that he wrote about Greene Co. These articles contain lots of genealogy information.

Research Sources - Periodicals

48. The Keyhole: Quarterly Publication of the Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1973-present.

This quarterly publication contains family trees, historical articles, cemetery transcriptions, queries and answers, transcriptions of other records, bible records, etc. These are submitted by members of the Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

49. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, . Western Pennsylvania History
Pittsburgh Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1918 - present.

Quarterly publication sent to members of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (HSWP). Has a variety of information provided by member researchers. Includes cemetery transcriptions, family histories. family group pages, queries, and much more historical and genealogical information.

Research Sources - Newspapers

45. Washington Reporter. Washington, PA.
This is one of the Newspapers that was published in Washington. The microfilm at Citizens Library begin in 1808. This publication was later merged with the Washington Observer and is now known as the Washington Observer-Reporter. If this is to be a reliable source, ideally they should be digitized and searchable electronically. The Washington County Historical Society is donating its newspaper collections to an organization in Baltimore that collects newspapers and they will in turn give the Society digitized images so hopefully this will soon be a searchable source.

46. The Washington Observer 1872-. Washington, PA.
This is one of the Washington county papers that was published. The publications on microfilm start in 1872. Later it was merged with the Washington Reporter and is today known as the Washington Observer-Reporter. Good source of birth and death announcements, and other articles containing genealogical information. If this is to be a reliable source, ideally they should be digitized and searchable electronically. The Washington County Historical Society is donating its newspaper collections to an organization in Baltimore that collects newspapers and they will in turn give the Society digitized images so hopefully this will soon be a searchable source.

47. Washington Observer-Reporter. Washington, PA.
This publication is the result of the merger of the Washington Observer and the Washington Reporter. The microfilm on file at the Citizen's Library starts in 1968 and continues to the present. Current issues are available on CD. If this is to be a reliable source, ideally they should be digitized and searchable electronically. The Washington County Historical Society is donating its newspaper collections to an organization in Baltimore that collects newspapers and they will in turn give the Society digitized images so hopefully this will soon be a searchable source.

Research Sources - Indexes

32. United States. Census Office. 6th Census, 1840. A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services : With Their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshals of the Several Judicial District under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census : Pennsylvania Edited by Bob Closson and Mary Closson. Apollo, Pa.: Closson, 1986.

Index taken from special 1840 census. Includes name, age, and place of residence as well as name of family whom pensioner resided with as of June 1, 1840. Does NOT include actual information from the census microfilm readings. The information contained in this publication was originally published in 1841 by authority of an Act of Congress, under the direction of the Secretary of State.

33. Watkins, Linda Tinker, and Daughters of the American Revolution. DAR Patriot Index Baltimore, MD Gateway Press 2003.

This index lists people that have been recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution as qualified to be Revolutionary Patriots. It is organized alphabetically by surname and contains birth date and location, death date and location, name of spouse, rank and state served. Good starting place for people researching Revolutionary ancestors.

34. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Family Genealogies in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Oakland, Pennsylvania) : Holdings as of March 1, 1993. Edited by Bob Closson and Mary Closson. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1993.

An index to a collection of over 2,000 family genealogies accumulated by the Carnegie Library in Oakland, Pennsylvania since its founding. Includes family name, author, publication date, and number of pages for most books or records. Listings are national in scope, but primarily cover PA heritage

35. Hoffman, Marian. Genealogical & Local History Books in Print 4vols: Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co,, 1996.

This book provides a list of vendors, general reference sources, world resources, family histories, US sources and resources for each state. It provides the name of the sources, a brief description, vendor and cost.

36. Genealogical Periodical Annual Index : Key to the Genealogical Literature Edited by Karen T. Ackermann and Laird C. Towle. 40 vols. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc, 2001.

According to the introduction in this book, "this is the only comprehensive surname, locality, topical and book review index to English-language genealogical periodical literature available today". It provides a list of periodicals, publishers, and contact information for genealogical periodicals.

37. Index to Pennsylvania's Colonial Records Series. Compiled by Dr. Mary Dunn. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1992.

This is a 16 volume set that brings together Pennsylvania Colonial records which include William Penn's charter and rules of government, chronological minutes of Pennsylvania's governing bodies from the time of its founding until the State's constitution in 1790. It includes executive minutes, church , military, land and tax records, listings of names of prominent people. It provides a list of books for further reading and research. There is an index of names with volume and page numbers referenced.

38. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536 - 1910. Edited by F.S.A. Sir Arthur Vicars. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1897 - reprinted in 1997.

There were a large number of immigrants that came from Ireland that ended up in Southwestern PA. Early records from Ireland are sometimes hard to find because of a large fire that destroyed many of them. In Genealogy research, wills are considered very valuable tools. This book list, alphabetically by last name, the prerogative wills that can be found. Along with the name, is the date of the will, residence of the deceased and occupation (when available)

39. Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. A List of Immigrants Who Applied for Naturalization Papers in the District Courts of Allegheny County, Pa. 7 vols. Pittsburgh, PA: Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1978.

Seven Volume set that lists names, data and place of naturalization, date born, date first intentions were filed, occupation, emigrated from, arrival, county, township, sponsor, witness. After you find this information, it is sometimes possible to go to the county and obtain copies of the actual papers filed for naturalization.

40. Iscrupe, William L. Naturalization Records 1802-1852, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania 2vols. Laughlintown, Pa: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1978.

Contains information on early naturalization requirements, index of naturalization records for 1802 - 1852, sponsor index, county maps for England, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland)

41. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index: A Guide to Published Arrival Records of About 500,000 Passengers Who Came to the United States and Canada in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. . Edited by P. William Filby and Mary K. Meyer. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1981-2007.

This source lists of sources indexed, name of passenger listed alphabetically, age, place of arrival, year of arrival, source book code and page. Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library, maintains copies of all works indexed in Filby's. Contact the library for current policy on obtaining photocopies of the pages.

42. Sons of the American Revolution Society. Pennsylvania. Patriots Index : Members and Ancestors, 1893-1993 Monongahela, PA Sons of the American Revolution. Pennsylvania Society., 1995.

Provides alphabetical listing of ancestor with birth and death dates, name of wife, rank and state served, along with name of descendant and membership number. There is also a reverse listing alphabetically by name of member. Both DAR and SAR records are good sources of quality, verified information as their standards for membership are strict.

43. Washington County Pennsylvania Marriages 1780 - 1857. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1993.

This index is divided in two sections. The first lists marriages alphabetically by groom's name and the second by bride's name. Marriage records from this time period in Washington Co are very scarce so this is a good place to start. A note of caution however. It only contains 350 marriages and the original source is unknown. The information came from a Dr. Whisker and all he knew about the information was that it came from the Helen Greenberg collection. I am guessing that these were abstracts taken from newspaper announcements or from minister's records. The introduction to this source states "While better documentation would enhance the value of these records, we hope it will somehow help you in your genealogical endeavors.

44. Lloyd, Mark Frazier, Jefferson M. Moak, and Sons of the Revolution. Pennsylvania Society. Centennial Register, 1888-1988 Philadelphia The Society, 1990.

This book lists all of the SAR member names and their Revolutionary ancestor. It gives information on the Society itself such as the object of the society, qualifications for membership, charter, by-laws, the first 100 year history, monuments, collections and preservation activities. The member list gives the state society number, general society number, name of member, name of ancestor, year of birth of both, year of admission of member. The DAR and SAR resources compliment each other as one is for men and the other for women. This gives a wider collection of Rev War ancestors.

Research Sources - Handbooks

26. Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence! : Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian Baltimore Genealogical Pub. Co, 1997.

(4 stars in Book Index With Reviews) - Gives the fundamentals of providing citations for genealogy research. Also provides different formats, samples of documented family group sheets and ancestor charts. For genealogy research to be valid, it is extremely important that sources be cited so that others doing research can follow the footsteps of the researcher. This is a good book for amateur and professional genealogists to help them correctly cite their work.

27. Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States Edited by Robert B Matchette, Jan Shelton Danis and United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration,, 1995.

This source breaks down each record type, gives a brief history and then a list of the textual records for that type. An Example: Records of the U.S. Military Academy, Records of Veterans Administration, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc. It is a very comprehensive listing which includes a tremendous amount of information.

28. Handbook on Irish Genealogy; How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives in Ireland. Dublin: Heraldic Artists, 1973.

This book provides helpful information on how and where to search for records regarding Irish ancestors. Irish ancestors can be difficult to research as many vital records have been destroyed by several fires, wars and carelessness. There are still some helpful records but they are not easy to find.

29. Kemp, Thomas Jay. International Vital Records Handbook 4th ed. Baltimore, MD Genealogical Pub. Co, 2000.

Application forms and instructions on how to obtain copies of birth, death & marriage certificates. Also contains contact information for each agency that handles these records and requests. Includes international agencies as well.

30. Iscrupe, William L., and Shirley G.M. Iscrupe. Pennsylvania Line: A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History. Laughlintown: Southwestern Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1990.

This book is not published anymore and attempts to find the author to see if he would consider reprinting have been unsuccessful. Carnegie library keeps this book under lock and key and they told me that when copies become available on Ebay, they sell for big $$. (I just found a used copy at Barnes and for $12.00 and bought it) It contains lists of books, genealogical quarterlies, microfilm, maps and ordering information for Pennsylvania sources.

31. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Edited by Loretto Dennis and Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporation, 1997.

(4 stars in Book Index With Reviews) - Covers record types: The foundations of family history research; databases, indexes and other finding aids; Research in birth, death and cemetery records; in marriage and divorce records; in census records; in church records; in court records; in land and tax records; in military records; in business; employment and institutional records; in directories; in newspapers; ethnic origins; time and place. Very good comprehensive guide to conducting genealogy research.

Research Sources - Gazateers

24. Abate, Frank R. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America: A Guide to 1,500,000 Place Names in the United States and Territories. 11 vols. Detroit, Mich.: Omnigraphics, Inc., , 1991.

The names listed in this book can be schools, locales, historic places, streams, cemeteries, etc. It provides the county in which it is located, USGS Map, Latitude and Longitude coordinates, sources and other data.

25. Gordon, Thomas F. A Gazetteer of the State of Pennsylvania 1832. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999.

This source had name, location, description, number of dwellings, stores, taverns, population. Some of the older names are no longer the same. An example of a listing: "Hillsboro, West Bethlehem Twp Washington Co on the national road midway between Washington borough and Brownsville, 11 miles from each. It is built on a single street contains from 20 - 30 dwellings, 4 stores and 4 taverns and 160 inhabitants. It is elevated 1750 ft above tide water, 917 above the Monongahela at Brownsville and 1002 feet above the Ohio at Wheeling." This town is now called Scenery Hill. Good way to find old names and places.

Research Sources - Encyclopedias

21. Gresham, John M., Samuel T. Wiley, and Heritage Society of Pennsylvania. Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania: With New Index Laughlintown, Pa: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, original 1889, reprint with new index 1986.

Biographical sketches of prominent citizens by townships. Family genealogies, portraits. Also includes portraits of bios of the US Presidents from George Washington to Benjamin Harrison.

22. The Mennonite Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Work on the Anabaptist-Mennonite Movement. Edited by Cornelius Krahn, Melvin Gingerich and Orlando Harms. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Brethren Publishing House, 1969.

This encyclopedia covers the history, theology, and ethics of the Anabaptist-Mennonites. It covers some of the family histories of the more significant people and larger families. Pennsylvania had a large concentration of Mennonite and Amish settlers so this is a good source of information for those researching this topic.

23. Jordan, John W. Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1914.

This 32 volume set contains biographical information on representative Pennsylvanians, some photos and portraits, coats of arms, family genealogies. It has a good all name index at the back of the book. 32 volumes allow great coverage of a large number of people and families.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Research Sources - Catalogs and Directories

14. Michaels, Carolyn Leopold, Kathryn S Scott, and Daughters of the American Revolution. DAR Library Catalog. Washington, D.C.: NSDAR, 1982-1992.

Volume 1 lists family histories and genealogies. Volume 2 lists state and local history records. All of these publications are available at the DAR research library in Washington DC. The DAR Library in DC is one of the premier libraries in the country for conducting genealogy research so a catalog of their holdings is very helpful.

15. Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Libraries. Library Development Division.; State Library of. 2006 Directory of Pennsylvania Libraries Harrisburg, Pa: Pa. Dept. of Education, Commonwealth Libraries, Library Development Division, 2006.

Includes names and addresses of libraries in Pennsylvania. Many libraries have genealogy sections. This is a good way for genealogists to locate libraries that may have resources for study.

16. Thurston, George H. Directory For ... Of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities : Birmingham, East Birmingham, South & West Pittsburgh, Temperanceville, Manchester, Duquesne and Lawrenceville Boroughs, East Liberty, and Parts of Pitt and Collins Townships Pittsburgh, Pa: George H. Thurston.

Includes names, addresses, and occupations of people who were employed or considered head of household in Pittsburgh. Also includes business directory, name of owner and address; business ads, directory to public institutions, hospitals, public buildings, public schools, churches, railroads. City directories are one of the most frequently asked for resources for genealogy research.

17. Wheeler, Mary Bray. Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada Nashville, Tenn: American Association for State and Local History, 1990.

Arranged by state, then county. Gives name of institution, contact info, type of agency, programs, collections, hours. Same info for Canada

18. Program, American Historical Association. Institutional Services. Directory of History Departments and Organizations in the United States and Canada. Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, Institutional Services Program, 2000.

Comprehensive directory of historians in the United States and Canada and the departments and organizations in which they work. This is good source for finding someone who may specialize in the history of the area that you are researching. You could then look for books or publications written by that person.

19. Polk's Pittsburgh (Allegheny County, Pa.) City Directory. Edited by R.L. Polk & Co. Pittsburgh, Pa.: R.L. Polk & Co.

City Directories are a great source of genealogy information. They contain the names of head's of households residing with in the city and the name of business owners and people employed along with their address and occupations. There are directories of business and their locations. There are advertisements as well.

20. Polk's Washington (Washington County, Pa) City Directory. Pittsburgh, PA: R.L. Polk & Co., 1896-2002.

same as above. Many large cities have these city directories. They go back quite far, long before there were telephone books and yellow pages.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Research Sources - Atlases

6. Cuff, David J. The Atlas of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Temple University Press, 1989.

Provides maps of different counties in Pennsylvania. Maps can be very helpful in visualizing where families lived, travel patterns, proximity to other locations. They are also helpful when trying to find cemeteries, courthouse, libraries, etc that many genealogists like to visit.

7. Muller, Edward K., Ruth Byers, Griffith Morgan Hopkins, and Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Atlas of the County of Allegheny, Penna. Pittsburgh, Pa: Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1988 reprint edition.

Includes brief history of the county, the county today, suggested readings, maps and plans, township maps, borough maps, village and town plans, etc. This is a great way to find old location names, owners of land tracts, names of streams, old churches, etc.

8. Hopkins, Griffith Morgan, and James Veech. Atlas of the County of Fayette in the State of Pennsylvania : From Actual Surveys and Official Records. Philadelphia G.M. Hopkins, 1872.

Includes township plans, borough and village plans for Fayette County. This is a great way to find old location names, owners of land tracts, names of streams, old churches, etc.

9. Cring, Henry. Caldwell's Illustrated Historical, Centennial Atlas of Greene County, Pennsylvania : From Actual Surveys. Condit, Ohio J.A. Caldwell, 1876.

Contents: maps of towns and villages, maps of townships, directory of townships, views of Greene County, Directory of Towns and Villages, names of counties, date of formation and number of acres of each, population of PA, Presidential elections, historical sketch of Greene County, PA, sketches of buildings.

10. Caldwell, J. A., C. T. Arms, and J. A. Underwood. Caldwell's Illustrated, Historical, Centennial Atlas of Washington Co., Pennsylvania : From Actual Surveys. Condit, Ohio J.A. Caldwell, 1876.

Maps, sketches of important properties, buildings, business, business directories. These illustrated historical atlases can be very interesting, especially if you are lucky enough to find a sketch of an ancestor's house.

11. Davis, F. A. New Illustrated Atlas of Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania, 1876, with 1971 Supplementary Section; a Reference and Textbook for Schools, Libraries and Historians. Rimersburg, Pa: Pennsylvania Record Press, 1971.

Maps, sketches of buildings, history of Westmoreland Co., populations, townships.

*note - All of these old atlases are great sources of information for genealogists. Maps are helpful in identifying clusters of family and neighbors, many of whom were connected thru intermarriages. Many times the atlases had historical information as well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rest in Peace by Meg Greene

Rest in Peace: A History of American Cemeteries by Meg Greene. 2008.

Research Sources - Abstracts

While in the Masters Program in Library and Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, our final project for our reference resources class was a 125 item annotated bibilography on a topic of our choice. I chose genealogical research in Southwestern PA which focused mainly on Allegheny, Washington, Fayette and Greene counties with a few general resources thrown in. This bibliography is by no means a complete listing of everything that is available but hopefully introduces you to some of the main resources for research in this area. The list is divided by the type of resource and over the next few entries I will post each category starting with ABSTRACTS:

1. Abstracts of Washington County Pennsylvania Willbooks 1-5 (1776-1841). Edited by Bob Closson and Mary Closson. Apollo, PA: Closson, Press, 1995.

This is a very helpful source when searching the wills. It lists deceased, where the deceased was from, date of will, probate date, executor, beneficiaries, witnesses. This is helpful in narrowing down what wills are relevant. Ideally, other volumes of later wills should be complied.

2. Abstracts of the Washington Reporter 1808 - 1814, Washington County, Pa. Edited by Bonnie Malmat. Vol. several: Closson Press, 1990.

Abstracts genealogy information from some of the Washington Reporter Newspapers. It takes things like death rolls, birth announcements, marriages, etc and gives the important details. This makes it easier to search the actual newspapers or microfilm.

3. Livengood, Candy. Genealogical Abstracts of the Laws of Pennsylvania & the Statutes at Large. Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1990.

Contains name changes, children being legitimized for inheritances, divorces and annulments, oaths of allegiance, Rev War Pensions, debtors in prison, Indian murders, etc. Interesting source very different kinds of legal information.

4. The People and Times of Western Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh Gazette Abstracts 1806 - 1811. Edited by Clara E. Duer: Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1988.

Abstracts of articles that appear in the Pittsburgh Gazette which contain information about individuals. Contains an all name index in the back. Although newspapers contain a lot of good information, they are hard to search without an index. This makes it easier.

5. Pittsburgh, Pa Gazette Genealogical Gleanings, 1786-1820. Edited by Mark Welchley. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1986.

News items, advertisements and public notices containing genealogical information from Western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio and Virginia. This is similar to the People and Times abstracts listed above but it covers more years and contains different information. The two compliment each other.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

This is a great website for genealogy researchers. It has over 260,000 links to different resources from all over the world. It is a great place to start your research for online records.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

No time to post

I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to post any new entries, nor have I had time to do any research lately either. I am starting back to school on Monday to get my Certificate of Advanced Studies in Archives and Records Management. I'm hoping to be able to post some interesting things that I learn from these classes over the next few years on how to preserve and take care of personal archives.

I am also going to be teaching a genealogy class at Community College of Allegheny County again this fall and once I find my course packets from the last time I taught, I will be able to post some of that information as well (we moved recently and a lot of things are still in boxes). So be patient with me, I've not forsaken this blog - just had to put it on hold for a little while.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Caleb Leonard graves

This is part of the Veteran burial maps that were drawn in the 1930s as part of the Works Projects Administration. This is the oldest part of the cemetery and no written records exist for this section. The only records that I can find are the tombstones themselves, many of which are worn and hard to read and some have fallen over face down. I also found a partial transcription done around 1936 by some members of a DAR chapter and that listing has some names for stones that can't be read or are no longer there. Then there is this 1930s veteran map. This map also has at least one stone marked that is no longer there - # 4

I have turned the drawing sideways because it matches the orientation of the maps I have drawn and it is easier to compare the two that way. Marker number 1 on the map above is for Caleb Leonard Jr. and corresponds to grave number 9 on my map below. It is just inside the stone entrance column for the cemetery. Grave number 21 is for William Leonard who died Dec 11, 1848 at the age of 82.
Marker # 4 above is for Caleb Leonard Sr. and is actually quite far away despite how close it looks on the map. Tha stone is no longer there but # 3 for George Snyder is still in the cemetery and that is how you can find the general are for the Leonard burial. If you go the the cemetery website, click on tombstones, then go to old section, then maps of old section at the top of the index page, then click through the maps you fill find # 53 George Snyder on map section # 3. (I have to find a better way of displaying the whole map. You can print out the sections and tape them together to get a better idea of the locations)

Caleb Leonard - Pennsylvania - PVT in Wash County Pa Mil Rev War July 17, 1845

Both Caleb Leonard Jr and Sr. were Revolutionary War veterans and I am hopeful that someday we will be able to find Sr's grave stone maybe just beneath the surface of the grass. I would love to be able to have it put back up and marked with a Revolutionary War marker. Since I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, that would mean alot to me to be able to find and restore a tombstone for one of our Patriots. Anyone else out there with any information about the possible whereabouts of the missing stone, I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ringgold Cavalry and the Civil War

Elwood's stories of the old Ringgold cavalry, 1847-1865;
by John William Elwood
Book; English
Coal Center, Pa., The author, J. W. Elwood, 1914.
Related Subjects:
Pennsylvania Cavalry. -- Ringgold Battalion, 1847-1864. Pennsylvania Cavalry. -- 22d Regt., 1864-1865. United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Pennsylvania Cavalry -- Ringgold Battalion. United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Pennsylvania Cavalry -- 22d.

The copy of Elwood's Stories that I own is a reprint of the original. Since the original book was published before 1923, it is now in the public domain and so it has been reprinted by different publishers. The one I purchased was from Higginson Book Company and cost about $40.
I found an original version of the book once online and it was selling for well over $200. I also found a listing for this book that said it was published by Closson Press. However, I just checked both Higginson Books and Closson Press and could not find this book listed on either site. I did find a few used copies at Amazon for around $35. Higginson Books and Closson Press are both worth a look though as they have a large collection of genealogy related books that they publish and reprint.
If you enjoy Civil War History, you will enjoy reading this account of the history of the original Ringgold Cavalry which became known as Co A. The books covers the activities and battles that the Ringgold were involved in during the war but also gives a glimpse into the personalities of the soldiers that comprised the comany and that mostly hailed from the Beallsville area and many of whom are now interred in the Beallsville Cemetery.

The author of this book, Sergeant John W. Elwood is buried in Beallsville Cemetery. One of the Ringgold Cavalry companies left Beallsville and the farewell point where everyone met to see their soldiers off, was the National Hotel which is located across and down the street from Beallsville Cemetery.

The photo on the left is from a collector's series 1 in the Pennsylvania Historic Towns of Washington County by Patrick Connors. In case the caption is too small or fuzzy to read it states: "The Ringgold Calvary [sic] was organized in Beallsville at the time of the Civil Was. On the morning of June 22, 1861, Captain John Keys of Beallsville [buried in Beallsville Cemetery] and the original 70 men of the Ringgold Calvary [sic] departed Beallsville from this national Hotel. A rousing address was delivered from the steps of the hotel where over seven thousand were present to say good-by. It was great event in the hisory of the country and Beallsville."
The National Hotel is on the left and you can see the steeple of the Beallsville Methodist church up the street on the right. The Beallsville Cemetery, although not connected to that church, is located right behind it.
You can see the tombstones of both Captain John Keys and John Elwood at the Beallsville Cemetery website. The John W. Elwood papers are located at the Emory University Library in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chiefly correspondence, veterans' reminiscences, clippings, and other papers, relating to Elwood's research and writing of Elwood's Stories of the Old Ringgold Cavalry (1914), a history of the Ringgold Cavalry, which subsequently became Company A of 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment; together with legal and financial papers, photos, and papers (1883-1904) relating to a controversy in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Beallsville, Pa. Includes family correspondence and military papers of Capt. James P. Hart.

The Twenty-second Pennsylvania cavalry and the Ringgold battalion, 1861-1865; written and comp. by Samuel Clarke Farrar ...Pub. under the auspices of the Twenty-second Pennsylvania Ringgold cavalry association.
by Samuel Clarke Farrar
Book; English
[Akron, O. and Pittsburgh, The New Werner company] 1911.
Related Subjects:
Pennsylvania cavalry. -- 22d regiment, 1864-1865. Pennsylvania cavalry. -- Ringgold battalion, 1847-1864. United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Pennsylvania cavalry -- Ringgold battalion.

This is another book that is now in the public domain and can be found in reprinted versions. This too gives detailed accounts of the battles and activities on the Ringgold Cavalry and the history of how the original company was eventually joined by several companies composed of men that came from many of the communities that surrounded the Beallsville area. In the back of this book, there are roster listings of the various companies. These include, names, rank, muster in dates, muster out dates.
The author of this book Dr. Samuel Clarke Farrar, became a well known principal in the Pittsburgh School district. He kept a diary while he was serving in the war and this diary is now housed in the archives at the Heinz History Center. While I was working there as an intern, I had the pleasure of transcribing the diary into electronic format. It was so interesting to read of the daily activities, skirmishes, battles, leaves of absences and trips home, Samuel's service as a trumpet player in the company band, etc. during the war. One of the most interesting excerpts described the reaction of the men in the camp when the death of President Lincoln was announced and the memorial ceremonies that the soldiers held in honor of their president.
Dear Esther : the Civil War letters of Private Aungier Dobbs, Centerville, Pennsylvania ...
by Aungier Dobbs; Ralph Haas; Philip Ensley
Book; English
Apollo, PA : Closson Press, ©1991.
1558560890 9781558560895
Related Subjects:
Dobbs, Aungier, Dobbs, Esther Ann Smith, United States. -- Army. -- Ringold Cavalry Regiment (1861-1864) More Subjects ...
I have not had a chance to read through this whole book but it appears to be very interesting. It consists of photos, transcripts of about 300 letters from Aungier Dobbs to his wife Esther during his service in the Ringgold Cavalry, supporting historical commentary and history of the Ringgold and other Civil War related information. Again, many veterans now burind in Beallsville are mentioned in these letters as is my GG Grandfather Joseph and his father George Hill. This book is on my to-read list. This book may be hard to find. It is out of print and not in the public domain so can not be reprinted. It took me a year to finally find a used version online and I have to say, I spent way too much on it. Probably the best thing to do is go to the WorldCat listing to find a library near you that has a copy of the book.
There are many other sources of information for Civil War research. Below are just a few:
  1. Samuel P. Bates wrote History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861 - 1865.
  2. The War of the Rebellion records are now available on line at
  3. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database at

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Life in Western Pennsylvania website

Life in Western Pennsylvania website has recently added film clips to accompany their vast collection of still photos. About a year ago I worked part time at the Heinz History Center as the project coordinator for this film digitization project. I didn't get to see the project to the end as I left for a new full time job at the University of Pittsburgh. This was a fun project to work on so I am thrilled to see the final results are up and running and I hope you enjoy this sampling of the large film collection that is housed in the Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Washington County wills

Index to Washington County, Pa., wills, 1781-1900
by Bob Closson; Mary Closson
Book; English
Apollo, PA (R.D. 2, Box 373-A, Apollo, PA 15613) : B. and M. Closson, [©1981]
2 Editions
Related Subjects:
Washington County (Pa.) -- Genealogy. Wills -- Pennsylvania -- Washington County.

Abstracts of Washington County, Pennsylvania willbooks 1-5, 1776-1841
by Bob Closson; Mary Closson; Genealogical Record Group of Citizens Library.; Citizens Library (Washington, Pa.)
Book; English
Apollo, PA : Closson Press, ©1995.
155856196X 9781558561960
Related Subjects:
Washington County (Pa.) -- Genealogy. Wills -- Pennsylvania -- Washington County
Both of these books can be purchased at . This is a publishing company in Apollo, PA. They have a wide variety of genealogy publications.
Register of Wills, located on the first floor of the Washington County PA courthouse. You can find:
Indexes to Office Records; Wills, Will Books (1781 to present); Administrators Bonds-aka Applications for Lettersl or Administrator's bonds, or Letter of Adm & Bond Docket; Orphan's Court Records (1781 to present); Partitions (1890 to present).
Even if your ancesor did not leave a will, there may be some other documentation that was created at the time of death. There may be an accounting of their estate, their minor children may have been appointed a guardian, etc. So don't get give up if there was no will. That just means you have to dig a little deeper.