June 21 and 22, 2024 

Click here to register now!

Come to the only conference dedicated to Western Pennsylvania genealogy. Join us in person at Pittsburgh’s historic University Club or enjoy all sessions virtually.

Discover the journey of your ancestors. Perhaps they were driven by frontier settlement or by dynamic industrial forces. Explore these social and economic drivers, migration patterns, and more. Also, dive into techniques for researching DNA, FAN club, and Pennsylvania court and property records.

When & Where

June 21 and 22, 2024 

The University Club, 123 University Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 
Ballroom B (Conference) and C (Lunch Service) (Second Floor),
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Daily

Conference Agenda

The conference agenda contains a detailed list of all our conference programming, including the speakers, their sessions, networking opportunities, and our many virtual sessions that will be available on-demand at the start of the conference. All sessions (in-person and virtual) will be available for viewing for 90 days after the conference for all attendees (in-person and virtual). Virtual attendees have the option to watch our in-person sessions live-streams through our conference website or once the recordings are posted shortly after the conference.


Our conference will feature many in-person and virtual lectures on a variety of topics on Western Pennsylvania genealogy research.

The conference is single-track, so there is no need to pick and choose sessions! After the conference, all registrants will have access to pre-recorded virtual presentations and recorded live sessions.

Leslie Anderson
  • The Bryans Brothers and the United States Colored Troops
Melissa Barker
  • Diaries, Journals, and Calendars: Documenting Your Pennsylvania Ancestor’s Day-to-Day Life (virtual)
Jennie Benford
  • Luncheon Presentations: Stories Cemetery Records Do and Don’t Tell
Kelli Jo Bergheimer
  • The ATGCs of DNA Analysis: Assumptions, Thinking Analytically, Guesses, and Conclusions (virtual)
  • DNA Case Study: An Unknown Grandfather in Washington County, PA (virtual)
James M. Beidler
  • The Case of Pithole: Geography of a Boom Migration
  • Pennsylvania’s State Archives and State Library from the Inside Out (virtual)
  • Deitsch, Deutsch, Dutch: Key Sources for Germans in Pennsylvania (virtual)
Eleanor O. Brinsko
  • Our Black Sheep and Their Prison Records (virtual)
  • Can You Dig It?: Upper Midwest mining records and employment (virtual)
Laura Cubbage-Draper
  • Finding Female Ancestors Using Historical Newspapers in Genealogical Research (virtual)
Debra M. Dudek
  • Mixers and Shakers: Tracing your Saloon, Tavern, and Bar Keeping Ancestors Before Prohibition (virtual)
Sierra Green
  • Researching Your Blue-Collar Ancestors at the Heinz History Center (virtual)
  • An Archivist’s Guide to Genealogical Research at the History Center (virtual)
Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt
  • Luncheon Presentation: The Mount Washington Transit Tunnel Disaster
Sharon Cook MacInnes
  • Struggling for Land against Human and Political Forces: Exploring Our Pennsylvania Frontier Ancestors and the Recorded Treasures They Left Behind
  • Moving Targets: Tangled Misfortune, Historical Events, Personality Traits, FAN Club Reveal Family Migrations Hitting Pay Dirt (virtual)
Kaitlyn Pauley
  • Interweaving History and Heritage: Native American Genealogical Research in Western Pennsylvania (virtual)
Elissa Scalise Powell
  • Men of Steel: Researching Your Steel-working Ancestor
  • How Did My Pennsylvania Ancestor Get There?: Migration Trails Through and Out of the Keystone State
  • Finding Buried Treasure in the Published Pennsylvania Archives (virtual)
Emily Coffman Richardson
  • Writing Your Family Story: Learning to Assess and Compile Your Research
  • Collateral Research + DNA: Using Nine (9) Children to Develop the Story (virtual)
Grażyna Rychlik
  • Finding my great-grandfather, an immigrant from Poland, and descendants of his relatives using Pittsburgh and Polish resources and DNA (virtual)
Kris W. Rzepczynski
  • West from Pennsylvania: Migration to the Great Lakes Region (virtual)
Kate Townsend
  • A Guide to Western Pennsylvania Court Records Research
  • Pittsburgh Genealogy 101 – A Guide to Researching in the Steel City (virtual)
Pam Vestal
  • Discovering the Richness of Your Ancestor’s Life in End-of-Life Records (virtual)
  • Genealogical Pits I Have Fallen Into and How to Avoid Them (virtual)
Megan Clark Young
  • From Ulster to the Alleghenies: Uncover Your Scot-Irish Roots


Lunch included for in-person attendees who register by June 12

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50th Celebration Dinner 

June 22, 2024 

Wyndham, 100 Lytton Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 
7:00 – 10:00 PM; Registration opens at 6:30 PM 

Celebration of the 50 Years of the Society, First Families, and Legacy Member Recognition. If you only want to attend the dinner and/or want to bring a guest, you can purchase your ticket here.

Want to help? 

Review this Volunteer Form and email it to 50@wpgs.org when completed.

Accommodation Information

WPGS has a block of rooms reserved at the Wyndham Pittsburgh Hotel and reservations can be made at the special rate of $179 per night until May 30, 2024, at their Booking Link.  Check here for additional information about hotels and accommodations in the area.

Are you interested in being a sponsor or an exhibitor?

INDIVIDUAL SPONSORSHIP: If you would like to sponsor our Conference as an individual, you can purchase a “brick” on the Conference Brick Wall here and you will automatically receive the form that, once completed, will be sent directly to the Brick Wall Chairperson. If you pay by check, a form will be emailed to you for completion and return.

COMMERCIAL EXHIBITORS: Additional details on exhibitor availabilities are here.

CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS: For information on available sponsorships can be found here.

Check the options in our Shop here or email 50@wpgs.org for details.

The Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization of amateur and professional family historians and genealogists. Since 1974, WPGS has been dedicated to studying and preserving family history, mainly in Western Pennsylvania, and aims to provide members with genealogically related information, connections, and resources to enable your family history research, wherever it may take you.