Court Records

Allegheny County Resources
for Genealogical Research

Tree for Allegheny County Resources for Genealogy Research

Many legal and public documents and records can be found in our own county offices. Here are some suggestions about resources available from Allegheny County to assist in finding source material in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

  • Adoptions - Adoption records are closed in Pennsylvania and are not obtainable.

  • Birth Records - Birth records from 1906 to date can be obtained by direct relatives from the State of Pennsylvania. Birth records and death records prior to 1906 were not required reporting and therefore may be incomplete. Since they are indexed by location and time period, you should do as much research as possible before searching for these records. In June, 2006, birth and death records dated 1870 to 1905 were transferred from the Allegheny County Offices to:
    World Wide Web Icon Birth & Death Records, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Department 

    Use this reference to find the proper address for locating birth and death records: 
    Finding Vital Records

    Delayed Birth Petitions are indexed in the Estate Index Books in the Wills/Orphans' Court Division. Pennsylvania birth records for 1852 - 1854 are available on microfilm in the PA Room of The Carnegie Main Library.

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
    Genealogy Department
    Pennsylvania Room
    4400 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

  • Census Records -The PA Room of The Carnegie Main Library has census records from 1790 - 1920 available for public inspection on microfilms.

    Any search of Census information after 1920 is private and strictly regulated in accordance with the relationship of the individual. As a courtesy, the Wills/Orphans' Court Division will provide a genealogy package that includes Application for Search of Census Records (Form BC-600) to return to Bureau of the Census, P.O. Box 1545, Jeffersonville, IN 47131.

  • Civil Court Records - Records of Civil Court cases can be obtained from the Civil/Family Division.

    Court Records - Civil/Family Division
    1st. Floor, City-County Building
    414 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh,PA 15219-2471
    Phone: (412) 350-4210 & 350-4205

  • Criminal Court Records - Records for Criminal Trials can be obtained from Criminal Division.

    Court Records - Criminal Division
    County Courthouse
    436 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    Phone: (412) 350-5378

  • Death Records - All Pennsylvania death records from 1906 to the present are available to direct relatives from the state of Pennsylvania. Birth records and death records prior to 1906 were not required reporting and therefore may be incomplete. In June, 2006, birth and death records dated 1870 to 1905 were transferred from the Allegheny County Offices to:
    World Wide Web Icon Birth & Death Records, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Department 

    Usually if the Estate does not list a death record it is not available. From July 1, 1996 on , all Estates will contain a copy of the Death Record. Allegheny County death records 1874 to 1903, and 1852 to 1854 are available at The Carnegie Library.

    Use this reference to find the proper address for locating birth and death records:
    Finding Vital Records

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
    Genealogy Department
    Pennsylvania Room
    4400 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

  • Deeds - Property Deeds are available from 1789 when Allegheny County was formed. Deed Index books are located in the Department of Real Estate. The two sets of index books list Deeds by the Grantor (seller) or Grantee (purchaser). Deeds from 1986 on are indexed on computers in the Deeds office and all deeds from January 1, 1997 will be available on microfilm. Allegheny County averages 130 Deeds filed per day so the records holdings are extensive. Plan of Lots books are also located here. Block and Lot information can be obtained.

    Dept. of Real Estate
    County Office Building
    542 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    Phone: (412) 350-4220 & 350-4221

  • Divorce Records - An index to divorces can be found in the Ejectment & Miscellaneous Index located in the Department of Court Records - Civil/Family Division. Divorce records can be ordered from the Civil/Family Division main desk. Older records may be in storage and will have to be ordered.

    Court Records - Civil/Family Division
    1st Floor, City-County Building
    414 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2471
    Phone: (412) 350-4210 & 350-4205

  • Estates - Estate records are available at the Wills/Orphans' Court Division and run from 1789 when Allegheny County was formed to date. The estates are indexed under the Russell Code system. Estates prior to 1935 use two index books. Allegheny county averages 20 Estates probated a day so the records holdings are extensive. The staff can assist you in the use of the index system.

    The Allegheny County Estates Index for 1788 to 1971 are in the PA Room of The Carnegie Main Library. These references may not show all that is in the Estate packet but will provide the information to locate the Estate at the Wills/Orphans' Court Division.

    Court Records - Wills/Orphans' Court Division
    1st Floor, City-County Building
    414 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2471
    Phone: (412) 350-4180

  • Federal Court Records - There is an index to Federal Criminal Court cases from 1933 to 1994 and Civil Court Cases from 1949 to 1992 located on the 8th floor of the Old Post Office Building.

    U.S. Post Office & Federal Court Bldg.
    7th. Avenue & Grant Street,
    Room 829
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

  • Foreign or High-Seas Births and Deaths - Check here for references for deaths of members of the Armed Forces or finding foreign birth or death records and cerificates of citizenship.

  • Guardianships - Guardianship petitions are listed in the Estates Index located in the Wills/Orphans' Court Division and are in the index by an "M" for minor.

    Court Records - Wills/Orphans' Court Division
    1st Floor, City-County Building
    414 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2471
    Phone: (412) 350-4180

  • Maps - A series of original Plat Map books are located on the mezzanine under the Deeds Office in the County Building. There is an extensive series of maps available in the The Carnegie Main Library. A set of detailed Sanborn Fire Maps for Pennsylvania are on microfilm.

    Dept. of Real Estate
    County Office Building
    542 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh,PA 15219
    Phone: (412) 350-4220 & 350-4221

  • Marriages - Official marriage records for Pennsylvania start in 1885. The index for Marriage Applications are available in the Marriage Office. Allegheny averages 35 marriages applications a day so the records holdings are extensive. Some early marriage records for the city of Pittsburgh only (1870-1879) are also available on the Mezzanine above the Wills/Orphans' Court Division. To obtain a marriage record check here:

    Court Records - Wills/Orphans' Court Division (Marriage Office)
    1st. Floor, City-County Building
    414 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2471
    Phone: (412) 350-4180

    Other records available at The Carnegie Main Library include an index to newspaper marriage notices from 1786 to 1910, Pennsylvania marriage records from 1852 to 1854 and Allegheny County Marriage Index for 1885 to 1925.

  • Military Records - Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall has many resources for military information specializing in extensive Civil War records. These include all of the records for Allegheny County Civil War veterans concerning enlistment, engagements, service and unit histories. Check the library and archives for a lisitng of this collection.

    Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall
    4141 Fifth Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3547
    Phone: (412) 621-4253

    Unit histories & other military research material is available in the PA Room of The Carnegie Main Library and in the Archives of Industrial Science of the Hillman Library.

    For reports of death of members of the armed services while serving in a foreign country see Foreign Births and Deaths.

  • Naturalizations - Allegheny County naturalizations have been copied by the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and published in a series of books that are available in the PA Room of The Carnegie Main Library. All information contained in the original petitions has been listed in the books. Copies of the original petitions can be obtained in the Microfilm Office of the Civil/Family Division.

Court Records - Civil/Family Division
1st. Floor, City-County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2471
Phone: (412) 350-4210 & 350-4205

There is an index only to Federal Naturalizations from 1906 to the present located just inside the 8th floor of the Old Post Office Building.

Clerk's Office
U.S. Post Office & Federal Court Bldg.
7th. Avenue & Grant Street,
Room 829
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Here are some additional resources for finding naturalization and citizenship information:

The L.D.S. Family History Library has a local branch and is a good resource for families in foreign countries as well as immigration records.