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Genealogy: Additional Genealogy Resources

This guide provides an overview of library resources that can help with genealogy and family history searching. Please reach out to the library if you have questions or would like additional information.

Additional Genealogy Resources

Looking for more resources to dive deeper into genealogy? Check out this list of helpful resources, as well as local and national genealogy and heritage organizations!

For more specialized or country/region specific research, please check out our book selection below or reach out to our genealogy staff members with your inquiry at

Local Organizations

Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society

An organization of amateur and professional family historians and genealogists dedicated to the study and preservation of family history focused on Western Pennsylvania. The society’s headquarters are located at Carnegie Library-Main. You can visit the WPGS website at for membership and library research assistance.  

Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh

The mission of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh is to provide a means for members and the community at large to reconnect   with their Jewish ancestry in Southwestern Pennsylvania along with their ancestral homelands. Check out its research page here. You may contact JGS of Pittsburgh through its contact form. 

McKeesport Heritage Center

A local museum and research facility that celebrates and preserves the heritage and historical records of the McKeesport area. Contains microfilm of the local newspapers The Daily News. Reservations are not necessary, but recommended if you need to view our extensive archives. Call 412-678-1832 or e-mail them at  for more information. 

Local Agencies Who House Records

Allegheny County Courthouse

Looking for other Allegheny County records not held by CLP? You can request these records from the Allegheny County Wills & Orphans' Court at

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

Searching for records about your Allegheny County Catholic ancestors? You can contact the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh at

Contact CLP staff at for help finding local records of other faiths.

Other CLP Genealogy Physical Resources

Obituaries/Death Notices
CLP has numerous local newspapers, but the papers are on microfilm and that means they are not searchable by name or subject (aside from our limited death notice and marriage notice indexes). To request a search for an obituary, please provide the death date (as close as possible) and where the person lived. If you do not have an approximate death date, we will check our obituary index, but we are not able to perform wide-ranging searches.  

Pennsylvania County Histories
County histories are a source of biographical information for individuals you may be researching. Most of these volumes were produced in the early 20th century. Included in these histories are parents’ names, place of birth, death, marriage, occupation, and other descendants. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania are covered in the library’s collection.  

Biography & Business Card Index
This card index is a useful tool for finding biographical information for Pennsylvania relatives as well as historical business profiles for Pittsburgh based companies. 

Folio Map Collection
This collection includes maps showing the development of the city of Pittsburgh and other areas in Western Pennsylvania. The collection also includes warrantee atlases documenting early landowners, which are helpful in genealogical research. The maps can be searched in the library’s catalog. 

Family Files and Published Family Histories
CLP maintains a collection of these files and family histories for patrons to tie-in their research with others from similar family lines.  

For more information about these collections, please reach out to our staff at

More Online Resources

Chronicling America 

In addition to the library’s newspaper databases, we recommend Chronicling America to researchers who are looking for newspapers outside of Pittsburgh. (Around Pittsburgh, we refer them to our extensive microfilm collection.) This website features digitized newspapers from across the country, and it focuses on small-town papers that might not make it into other databases like Dates range from 1789-1963.  

Newspapers can also supplement official documents you find, like birth and death certificates. Obituaries can be a valuable source of information about your ancestor, telling you names of siblings or parents, their occupations, or their religion (based on funeral arrangements). You might also learn whether your ancestor was a member of any social or fraternal organizations, or where they went to school. All of these things help you understand your ancestor as a person, not just a name and dates on the family tree. 


Black Past is a global resource for researching African American and Global African History. It also features a vast team of researchers. The site also includes a research page specifically regarding African American genealogy and general genealogy resources. Check out the Black Past Genealogy Page.

Family Search Wiki 

Family Search Wiki is connected to FamilySearch, but you don’t need an account to use it. Before you spin your wheels searching for a record that doesn’t exist, check this site. There’s a breakdown of records for every US state, and most foreign countries, that tells you what government records are available based on when each one started keeping vital records — births, deaths and marriages. The site also outlines which records you can get based on privacy laws that vary by state and how to get them. If you’re researching outside of the US, each country has helpful step-by-step guides to getting started. The site itself is very user-friendly: each map is clickable to quickly get you to the information and guides you need and the guides explain the research steps clearly so that even beginners can make sense of it. 

Helpful Genealogy Books & Guides

Tracing Your Female Ancestors

Everyone has a mother and a line of female ancestors and often their paths through life are hard to trace. That is why this detailed, accessible handbook is of such value, for it explores the lives of female ancestors from the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 to the beginning of the First World War.In 1815 a woman was the chattel of her husband; by 1914, when the menfolk were embarking on one of the most disastrous wars ever known, the women at home were taking on jobs and responsibilities never before imagined. Adèle Emm's work is the ideal introduction to the role of women during this period of dramatic social change.

Tracing Your Poor Ancestors

Many people in the past - perhaps a majority - were poor. Tracing our ancestors amongst them involves consulting a wide range of sources. Stuart Raymond's handbook is the ideal guide to them.He examines the history of the poor and how they survived. Some were supported by charity. A few were lucky enough to live in an almshouse. Many had to depend on whatever the poor law overseers gave them. Others were forced into the Union workhouse. Some turned to a life of crime. Vagrants were whipped and poor children were apprenticed by the overseers or by a charity.

The Best of Reclaiming Kin

This book is a compilation of blog posts from my popular genealogy blog, "Reclaiming Kin." My blog is primarily a teaching blog, and I aim to use my own research as a tool to discuss how to evaluate evidence and how to use the records. I discuss family history research in a fun and engaging way, with a special emphasis on African-American families and the challenges of slave research.

Travel Back to Your Polish Roots

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back to Poland to meet your immigrant ancestors' family? Learn the basics of genealogy and discover how to locate your cousins in Poland. This helpful book walks you through the steps for planning a heritage trip of a lifetime and then gives advice on how to write your family's history book on KDP!

Finding Your Scottish Ancestors

Tracing family history has become increasingly popular over the last few decades and the availability of many records online means that those fortunate enough to have Scottish ancestors can easily access many of the sources they need to build their family tree. However, as research progresses, most family historians will eventually hit the dreaded "brick wall" and find themselves unable to proceed further. This book provides a wealth of information, advice, and techniques to help solve these genealogy problems and gives family historians the tools they need to track down even the most elusive forebears.

Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors

This first-ever guide reveals special strategies for overcoming the unique challenges of tracing female genealogy. Readers will be able to uncover historical facts, personal accounts and recorded events to form an intriguing narrative biography of the women in their ancestries

Czech and Slovak Immigration to America

When did your Czech or Slovak ancestors immigrate, where did they leave, why did they leave, how did they get here? This book is a wonderful resource. The author hopes you find the answer to some of these questions in this book. This book discusses the history of their homeland and gives some insights to possible answers to the questions about your ancestors' immigration. The book also presents brief histories of most of the ports that were used by your immigrants for departure from Europe and the ports where they arrived. Also covered are details of life in steerage during the voyage and the process of examination of the immigrants to gain admittance to the United States.

A Guide to Tracing Your Family History Using the Census

The census is an essential survey of our population, and it is a source of basic information for local and national government and for various organizations dealing with education, housing, health and transport. Providing the researcher with a fascinating insight into who we were in the past, Emma Jolly's new handbook is a useful tool for anyone keen to discover their family history. The main focus is on the census in England and Wales, but censuses in Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are all examined and the differences explained. Particular emphasis is placed on the rapidly expanding number of websites that offer census information, making the process of research far easier to carry out.

NEW Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy

New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy is a succinct tool to help those descended from the Emerald Isle connect with their heritage.