WPGS is turning 50 years old!

The Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (WPGS) is excited to announce that we are celebrating our 50th anniversary this 2023-2024
membership year. In honor of this milestone, a committee of dedicated members is planning our 50th Anniversary Celebration. Founded in 1974, our organization focuses on the western twenty-six counties of Pennsylvania. We invite the entire Western Pennsylvania
community to join us as we commemorate this momentous occasion.

The following information provides a brief overview of Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration:

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

Live streaming and prerecorded sessions will be available for virtual attendees.


Our conference will feature many in-person and virtual lectures on a variety of topics on Western Pennsylvania genealogy research. Please check back soon for a link to our conference webpage with full speaker bios and lecture descriptions.

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 Presentation (Topic TBA)
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 (Topic TBA)
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


Save the date: Early Bird Registration is March 1 – April 30, 2024

More information on pricing will be announced soon. Check back for updates.

50th Celebration Dinner 

June 22, 2024 

Wyndham (Courtyard Marriott), 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 

Want to help? 

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

Interested in sponsoring?

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 dedicated to the study and preservation of family
history. Since 1974, WPGS has been dedicated to the study and preservation of 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.