Westmoreland County Historical Society

Genealogy & Research

map.jpgThe genealogical and historical collections of the Westmoreland County Historical Society's (WCHS) Calvin E. Pollins Memorial Library and Edward H. Hahn Archives are a significant source of information on the history of Westmoreland County and that of its citizens for researchers.

The Pollins Library is temporarily closed while we prepare to move into the new Westmoreland History Education Center at Historic Hanna's Town. When it re-opens in the spring of 2019, researchers are welcome to conduct their own investigation in the Pollins Library.

In the meantime, you may still contract to have Research Services provided by mail. 

Fees and Instructions
$30 for the first hour and $25 per hour for subsequent hours of research. Link to Research Request Form

The fee is structured on a per request basis for individuals or members of the immediate family/household of the same surname. Each request is assigned an identification number.

Exact citation from the Courthouse: $5 for copies of deeds and wills, and $10 to $15 for large format Patent maps (depending on size) in addition to the research fee.

Photocopies: Up to 10 complimentary photocopies are included with each research request. The fee of $0.25 per copy for non-Members and $0.20 for Members will be charged for 11 or more photocopies.

Sustaining and higher level of membership: One complementary hour of genealogical research per year and $25 for each subsequent hour of research.

Please note the following
Research is conducted on individuals and families who lived within the borders defined as Westmoreland County from 1773 through the present. Official records for your ancestor may be in other Pennsylvania counties, like Bedford and Cumberland, or even in Virginia prior to 1773. Please see "History, Geography, and Genealogy" for more information.
All research requests must be submitted in writing, using the Genealogical Research Request Forms. E-mailed requests should be submitted on the research request form. This form may be downloaded from our web-site.

We can not accept research inquiries by phone.

Please write a clear, complete, but concise, description of the information you are seeking on the appropriate form. Briefly, indicate what you know about the individual/surname or topic you are investigating. List the sources of information that have been consulted so we do not duplicate information. Please do not request information for multiple surnames on one form.

Turn around time for research is approximately 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the number of requests received prior to your inquiry. We know you are anxious to receive information, but please be patient. Requests for information are researched in the order in which they are received. The written report will be mailed to you as soon as the work is completed.

Please be sure to include your current mailing address and phone number with the request. This is particularly important for those requesting research by e-mail. An e-mail address is helpful as well.

A minimum payment for one hour of research must be included with the request to initiate the process. We recommend an initial payment of two hours, which gives our researcher time to investigate the records and write the report. The WCHS will invoice you for any additional hours of research beyond the first payment, but please indicate your budget and authorize that amount on the appropriate line of the Genealogical Research Request form.
The research fee is structured on a per request/per name- basis, not the cumulative total that you request over time. Each request is given an identification number. The work is completed and results are mailed to you. A copy of that report is included in our Genealogical Correspondence File. You may contract for more research time but it is considered to be a new work. A new identification number is assigned to the request for additional information even if it is related to the same individual or surname that was previously researched.
Hours of research are calculated by whole hours, not by increments of hours, such as 15, 30 or 45 minutes
Research fees are non-refundable for the first hour of work.


Research Consultation
Researchers may schedule a personal consultation with our researcher, Karen, to receive help with questions related to genealogical research.
$30 per hour for members and $35 per hour for others.
Sessions must be scheduled with the WCHS in advance.
Call Anita at 724-532-1935 x210 to schedule an appointment.