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Pittsburgh-Steel City and More

In the western portion of Pennsylvania is the city of Pittsburgh with a long history. When some of the earliest pioneers settled in that area in the mid-1700s, it was truly the frontier of America. If you have any ancestor who once lived and worked in Pittsburgh, you will want to investigate the online site on ‘Historic Pittsburgh‘ which draws from numerous resources. There are books, maps, documents, photos, illustrations, censuses, etc. from the noted universities, historical museums and archives of the region.

There are tabs at the top of each of the categories available and as well down the main home page. Just click on anyone to begin the search.

One of the major sections of the massive database is the images. With over 28,000 images there is quite a selection. Within the collection are subdivisions along with dates of coverage. There aerial photos of Pittsburgh from 1923 to 1932. A good section covers downtown Pittsburgh and the Highland Park region from 1900 to 1914 with a variety of subjects. Another set from the Carnegie Museum collection covers from 1874 to 1958 with hundreds of photos of street scenes, portraits and the countless factories. Scroll down the many listings to view the variety or also place a name for a search.

Another valuable resource are the censuses for city of Pittsburgh covering 1850 to 1880 and for Allegheny City from 1850 to 1870. The search can be done using a name, a street address or additional advance search keywords. For example the surname of ‘Johnson’ in the city of Pittsburgh in 1860 had 107 census entries. The information has been transcribed with names, ages, race, birth, occupation and especially names of people in the household. So even having already access to the US Federal censuses, these city censuses can be an extra bonus of information.

A third interesting category is the text collection. This includes the Pittsburgh city directories covering 1815 to 1945, again a valuable tool in research. Also are 1,000 general text which are published writings from the 1800s and into the early 20th century relating to a vast number of topics. Some subjects are on the local neighborhood, the industries, landmarks and the religious communities of Pittsburgh.

Other categories are videos on the history of Pittsburgh, a time line of events, maps and other manuscripts in the archives of the universities and libraries.

Any ancestors from or around Pittsburgh, PA, this online site is a “to-do” in your research.

Photo:  A typical row house of Pittsburgh in 1930.

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