Sunday, September 28, 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.

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