Below is a collection of digital copies of documents and published histories of some Western Pennsylvania Ancestors. Click on a document name to view a description and download the files.
This original, sealed marriage certificate was found in one of the books at the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Library. If you can prove your direct relationship to this family, we will be happy to send you this original document.
This original marriage certificate was found in one of the books at the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Library. If you can prove your direct relationship to this family, we will be happy to send you this original document.
Loretta Luce Evans, AG® has published a book, “Two Major Documents on the Descendants of William Burnett” and she has offered it to the public in PDF format on our website. This is Part I of two parts. William was born in 1771 in Sussex County, New Jersey. As a young man he moved to Trumbull County, Ohio, where he spent most of his adult life. He was married twice and had 29 children (nine of whom died without a name.) The 1901 family reunion reported that there were 490 lineal descendants of whom 140 lived in Pennsylvania, 120 lived in Ohio, 100 lived in Iowa, 50 lived in Kansas, and the remaining ones were scattered throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States. About 1925 Albert Courtney Burnett collected genealogical information on the living descendants of his grandfather, William Burnett 1771-1861. This collection of family group sheets and notes contained 196 pages. Some births and deaths recorded here are not found in any official government documents. From 1879 until 1905 an annual family reunion of William Burnett’s Descendants was held in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Albert Burnett was secretary of the family reunion for much of that time. He carefully kept a ledger book full of notes about each reunion and in some places he recorded births, marriages, and deaths that had occurred the previous year. This new book contains images from Albert Courtney Burnett’s descendancy collection and from the Burnett Family Reunion Book. I have created an index of every name, except those born after 1909 to protect privacy. Women are indexed under both their maiden names and their married names.
An anonymous donation in 1974 of the 28-page pamphlet “The Lineage of John Peter Clover, 1963” created by Mary Clover Fishler (Mrs. W. J.). Holland – NJ – PA – OH. It is not a complete genealogy but compiled for the descendants of John Clover, son of Philip, their Revolutionary ancestor. Most of the early history is from the record in the bible of Gamaliel Clover, Sr., son of Philip, who was a local Methodist preacher.
U.S. Army Private Timothy J. Driscoll Letters to Home February 24, 1917 – May 19, 1919. Timothy lived most of his life in the Strip or on the North Side. Description: World War I and Post-WWI, at 22 Years of Age, with 82nd (“All American”) Division, 164th Infantry Brigade, Company A, 321st Machine Gun Battalion, which averaged 675 men during WWI.
This is a hand-drawn family tree for the family of Samuel Ferguson (1854-1917) and Euphemia Stevenson (1860-1924) that was dropped off at a genealogical society in Michigan, along with two large boxes full of family photos and albums, most of which are not identified. The box and chart were transferred to WPGS at a recent conference in Pittsburgh. A note in the box says, “These are all people in Western Pennsylvania.” If anyone can prove that you are a direct descendant of Samuel and Euphemia and would like to give this family tree and two large boxes of photos a good home, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your proof and we will be happy to arrange for you to get this valuable archives. The entries on the tree for anyone that may still be living have been redacted to preserve their privacy.
The caption on the back of the photo reads: This picture was taken Feb. 28, 1951, when Samuel Ferguson was retired after working 47 years, one month, 15 days at the Westinghouse Electric Corp.
An anonymous donation of the one-page document “All Frampton Descendants” prepared by Robert F. Frampton, Frampton-Clover Historian & Genealogist, Ridgeway, Elk County, Pennsylvania.
An anonymous donation of 19-page “The Howe Ancestry, A Synopsis” for Elizabeth, John Gene, Laura, and Margaret, Children of Frank S. How For their 1979 Reunion. Prepared by Clyde Donalds with an assist by Reid W. Stewart. Page two includes four photo portraits.
From Elizabeth Moeller: Some cousins and I have gone through old family photos, letters and official documents to put together information about our Johnson family who lived in eastern Ohio and also in Beaver and Washington Counties of Pennsylvania during or before the early 1800’s. | William Johnson (1803-1837) studied medicine at Jefferson College in Canonsburg. He married Elizabeth Orr whose parents, James and Margaret Hawkins Orr, were in Washington County before 1800. Their children lived in Canonsburg a short time before their mother died. Some children remained in Washington County to be raised by relatives. One “went west” and homesteaded in Illinois. | Another son taught school in Hookstown, Beaver County, where he met his wife Rachel Kerr who also taught in Hookstown, where her parents and grandparents lived. This couple, William and Rachel Kerr Johnson became missionaries to India where they taught school and he wrote dozens of books and translated Indian-language literature. They returned to the United States where William was president of Biddle University in North Carolina, one of the first liberal arts colleges for African-American men after the Civil War. He was a white president who transitioned leadership of the university to African-American administration. | I have written a paper about his life for family members and also a paper about Albert and Amanda Johnson, who were murdered during the India uprising in 1857, an event that made headlines in England and New York City. Albert lived part of his childhood in Washington County. | Both papers include a genealogy tracking these men and their wives ancestor who has a connection to eastern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania. | The papers have a bibliography in case anyone wants to do further research.| Compiled by Elizabeth Moeller, 2018 (email@example.com)
Autobiographies of William and Rachel Kerr Johnson, Hookstown, PA, Albert and Amanda Gill Johnson, with a brief biographical sketch of Richard Johnson of Christian County, IL, William & Elizabeth Orr Johnson, Cadiz, Ohio, and Johnson Family Genealogy: Ireland to Ohio vintage photos, and Notes on the Sepoy Uprising in India, 1857 Compiled by Elizabeth Moeller, 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org Albert and Amanda Johnson were martyred in 1857 India uprising. William and Rachel Johnson served as missionaries in India and he was also president of Biddle University (now Johnson C Smith University) in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and Rachel taught school in Hookstown before the 1860s.
WPGS received an unsolicited autograph book and tintype, originally owned by Maggie (Koester?) of Pittsburgh, Pa., from Elaine Pease (non-member) in Glendale, California. It was purchased by her mother, Jeanne Labby, on December 13, 1980 (sales receipt included) in Hollywood, California, for $15.00 and found by Elaine after her passing. Also included with the book and photograph is a handwritten note by Elaine’s mother, dated 12-19-90, that lists some of the names and dates in the autograph book. as well as a “rough” family tree. | If you can definitively prove an immediate relationship to Maggie Koester, we will be happy to send you the complete book. Please email email@example.com if you can prove your relationship and would like to claim the autograph book and tintype. We hope you enjoy this brief glimpse into the autograph collecting pastime of many of our ancestors in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Since we have uploaded all of the pages as one PDF file, we will not separate the pages and send out original individual pages to anyone, only the complete book.
8.5″ x 15″ Color Certificate with a photograph of Pope Pius XII reads: “Most Holy Father, Mr. and Mrs. William McDonough and family humbly prostrate at the feet of your Holiness, beg the Apostolic Benediction and Plenary Indulgences to be gained at the hour of death, on condition that, being truly sorry for their sins, even though unable to confess them and to receive the holy Viaticum, they shall at least invite with their lips or heart the Holy Name of Jesus.” | A very rough translation of the handwritten salutation is — Our Lord’s servant (i.e. the Pope) kindly and (illegible) to …..(those requesting) Given in (or from) the Vatican Palace on the 30th day of 1939 Signed: Joseph Migone, Archbishop of Nicomedia | Anyone that can prove direct descendency from William & Joanna Grant McDonough may claim this certificate. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a claim.
Original marriage certificate for William A. McDonough and Joanna married at St. Athanasius Church, West View, Allegheny County, PA, on October 30, 1923.
This 11.5″ x 17.5″ Certificate states: This Certifies That William A. McDonough and Joanna C. Grant of West View, All’y Co. Pa of West View, All’y Co. Pa., Were United in Holy Matrimony According to the Rites of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and the Laws of the State of Pennsylvania at St. Athanasius Ch., West View on the 30 day of October in the Year of Our Lord 1923. Witnesses: Gerard Jos McDonough, Mercedes Cath. Curran | Aug. A. Vogt, Pastor | Anyone that can prove direct descendency from William & Joanna Grant McDonough may claim this certificate. Please contact email@example.com to make a claim.
Anonymous donation, last updated July 26, 1996: Detailed McEldowney family research first identified a series of family groups in American without the ties between the individual groups being known or understood. The family groups included in this document, four of whom each descend from different John McEldowneys who emigrated from Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland, between 1830 & 1880. They are presented, as closely as is known in 1996, in the order in which they immigrated, starting with Robert McEldowney, who is recorded on a Revolutionary War pay list in August 1776. 303 pages that include family trees, newspaper articles, letters, photographs, and an index of family names (women appear under their maiden name. The alternate spelling of McIldowney can be found in this document. Note: Surname McEldowney is not found in an WPGS surname databases.
This is a recent donation of a digital copy of the book, The Dozen McLaughlin Pioneers: The 11 Sons & One Daughter of Irish Immigrant John McLaughlin, from James T. McLaughlin of Benbrook, Texas, on behalf of his McLaughlin family. The book is a full accounting of the descendants of two of the 12 children of John McLaughlin –James 1769-1847 and John M. 1782-aft.1855 — with preliminary work started on the other 10 children’s branches. Three of the John-the-immigrant’s children – Joseph, Unnamed, and Nancy — seem to have remained in Pennsylvania. The other nine children moved on to settle in other states throughout the Midwest. John McLaughlin believes that heis located in the 7th McLaughlin branch, descended from the 7th son of the immigrant, John, who himself was named John M. McLaughlin, 1782-aft.1855. Most of this branch eventually settled in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Irish immigrant, John McLaughlin, is our donor’s 4th-great-grandfather, making him a 7th generation McLaughlin.
Updated with the second edition June 2023
An anonymous donation of the 42-page, five-generation history of the brothers, John and James McLaughlin, who immigrated together from Scotland to Pennsylvania and eventually to Columbiana County, Ohio. Page two includes five photo portraits of family members.
“Let’s Talk Puckey” by Donald A. Schiele, 4th Rev. July 2015. Submitted by Thomas Puckey, Trafford, PA 15085. Since the last revision, there are now 486 pages with additions from Montana to Maryland to New Jersey. Along with the family history files, this publication includes a chronology, sketches, news, miscellaneous, and appendices. In addition to Puckey, family names include Stevens, Decker, Shingler, Faris, Nicholls, Rapson, Huddle, Cowan, Ference, Ruda, Ratzlaff, and Howe.
These details were was copied from notes left by Rev. John Franklin Stonecipher, which were procured by David Stonecipher in 1926 from the Reverend’s son, Frank W. Stonecipher of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first person in this tree is John Daniel Steinseiffer, born 1731 in Germany. This branch originally settled in Maryland and moved to the Oakdale area around 1817. The digital file was donated by WPGS member Peggy Bourg. She has also donated additional documents, family papers, and artifacts in their original form to the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society at the Detre Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center.
This is a digital copy of the original handwritten family tree for the Stonecipher and Smith Family Tree that was written on an old blueprint. The detail file was copied from notes left by Rev. John Franklin Stonecipher, which were procured by David Stonecipher in 1926 from the Reverend’s son, Frank W. Stonecipher of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first person in this tree is John Daniel Steinseiffer, born 1731 in Germany. This branch originally settled in Maryland and moved to the Oakdale area around 1817. The file was donated by WPGS member Peggy Bourg. She has also donated additional documents, family papers, and artifacts in their original form to the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society at the Detre Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center.
Tragic accounting of the marriage of Ellen Strassburger to Herman Abrams on July 30, 1871, and the bizarre accounting of her tragic death the following day. There is no mention of the name of the newspaper that printed this story, but Find-A-Grave has her burial in the Troy Hill Jewish Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA.
This is “A Story of a Family” by Margaret Toomey Urzua in 2018. This digital publication was submitted to WPGS to share on the public portion of the WPGS website. Margaret Toomey Urzua has spent many years compiling the data that is included in this comprehensive collection for not only the Toomey family, but some of the Duggans, Kingsburys, and Thorogoods as well.
On August 1, 1861, at the age of 19, Samuel H. White enlisted as a Private in Company A, 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteer Regiment at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was mustered into his rank and left for Washington, D.C. on August 26, 1861. They were attached to Jameson’s Brigade, Heintzelman’s Division, Army of the Potomac, until March 1862. On May 31, 1862, Samuel White was wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks (also known as The Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks Station). Samuel White served all of this time with wounds to his face and ankle and was honorably discharged on September 5, 1864.
This family history was compiled by Walter Allen Woods in 1960 and includes information from Anna Smith Stonecipher from the Fife Family Genealogy (Woods and Espy), Nancy Elvira Glenn, Olive Grace Espy, Harry Woods Espey, Miss Nellie Woods (history of Revs. Samuel and William Woods), and the history of Bethel Church. This family first settled in eastern and central PA before 1734 and moved across the Alleghenies later. William Woods, of this line, was the second minister of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Bethel Park. This file was provided by WPGS member Peggy Bourg.