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WPGS Library - Research Requests

The Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society is an all volunteer organization, but we do try our best to answer research questions as promptly as we can. WPGS will research for anyone - not only members - but members do receive preferential treatment. Turn around time for most library research requests is 2-4 weeks.

Research Request Fees

While we would love to help everyone, our members are all volunteers and research requests do take a lot of time, plus the expense of copying and mailing. For this reason, we have established the following fee schedule (we think you'll find it reasonable) for genealogical research requests:

  • WPA Home Survey - $5.00 for 3 addresses 
    The WPA Home Survey Project, compiled in 1936 and 1937 by the Works Project Administration provides invaluable information on Allegheny County properties in existence at that time. WPA home survey records include a physical description of the property, as well as a sketch of the property's outlines (top view and side view) made by a draftsman. See Allegheny County WPA Home Survey for more information on what to expect, including images of a sample record and available municipalities and wards.

  • Index Search - $5.00
    We will check the indices of up to 5 volumes that you select from our online catalog. Please list authors and titles, and indicate the surname or place name you wish us to search for. The fee includes a photocopy of the title page and the index pages on which the surname or place name is found. WPGS members may request 2 free index searches per year. If you would like us to send copies of the pages cited in the index, we will do so at an additional cost of $0.50 per page. We will copy up to 10 pages per volume per request.

  • Naturalization Records - $5.00
    We will provide copies from "List of Immigrants..." as indexed by Ancestry.com. Please provide the immigrant's name and the source volume and reference as given by Ancestry.com. The information found in these seven volumes was abstracted from the original naturalization petitions by members of WPGS as the society's first project after its formation in the 1970s. All information on each document was transcribed, but the type and quantity of information varies greatly from one entry to the next. Please refer to Ancestry.com's database description for details on what you should expect.  For photocopies of the original documents, please include a total of $10 per name.

  • First Families of Western Pennsylvania - $5.00
    We will send you a photocopy of all genealogical information from the First Family application for any named ancestor submitted by a member. An index to First Family ancestors is searchable online in our Members Only area, one of the benefits of membership in WPGS.

  • File Search - $15.00
    We will search for up to 1 hour, for an individual in our Family Files, Church History Files, Cemetery History Files and Member Ancestor Chart Files for a fee of $15.00. You will be advised as to the number of pages found. All photocopies are $0.50 per page.

  • Library Research Service - $15.00 per hour
    We will search all relevant holdings in our collection for a specific individual, surname or family for an hourly fee of $15. Up to 5 photocopies may be included in that charge. Additional copies will require an additional copy fee. We will copy up to 10 pages per volume per request. We will also provide recommendations of additional sources for further research. Answers are in writing with copies filed in our office. Please allow a turn-around time of 2-4 weeks.
Other Questions That We Answer
Our Library Research services only cover items in the WPGS library collection. If you feel your research needs more time or information than is available in our collection, however, we will gladly send you a list of professional researchers in the area and/or the address of the facility holding the information. We are also happy to provide recommendations of additional sources for information on your ancestors, including Internet sites, upon request.

Submit Your Research Request

Please mail your research request, including payment, WPGS membership number (as appropriate) and SASE to the following address:

Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
c/o PA Department, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080

Please be as specific as possible with your request(s). Be sure to include at least the individual's full name, the approximate dates and the place.

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