Library and Genealogy

The Calvin E. Pollins Memorial Library is the premier resource for studying the history of Westmoreland County. Our non-circulating library includes over 5,000 historical reference books, genealogical records, and original documents of local interest.

The new library is located at:

Westmoreland History Education Center at Historic Hanna’s Town
809 Forbes Trail Road
Greensburg, PA 15601

Research in Person

Visit us at the Westmoreland History Education Center at Historic Hanna’s Town to conduct genealogical or local history research.

Library Hours

Tue. - Fri.
Sat.
-
Sun. - Mon.
Closed

WCHS Members

  • No charge for using the library
  • Photocopies are $0.25 per copy

Non-Members

  • $8 per researcher, per day to use the library
  • Photocopies are $0.50 per copy
Policies and Procedures
  • When you arrive, you will sign in. Bags and briefcases must be left at the front desk.
  • Please only use pencils and notepad or a laptop for taking notes.
  • Food and beverages are not permitted in the library.

Research by Mail

Unable to research in person? Submit a genealogical research request by mail. Our research requests cover 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.  Learn more here in our History, Geography, and Genealogy document.

Each research request is structured on a per request/per name basis, not the cumulative total that you request over time. Once research is completed, the results are mailed to you. A copy of that report is included in our Genealogical Correspondence File. You may contact us later for more research time, but it is considered to be a new work with a new identification number, even if it is related to the same individual or surname that was previously researched.

How to Submit a Research Request

All research requests must be submitted in writing, using the Genealogical Research Request Form. E-mailed requests should be submitted on the research request form. Each request is assigned an identification number. Unfortunately, we cannot 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. Please do not request information for multiple surnames on one form.
  • The sources of information that have been consulted so we do not duplicate information.
  • Your budget and authorize that amount on the appropriate line of the Genealogical Research Request form.

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.

Request Turn-Around Time

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.

Research Request Fees

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

  • $30 for the first hour
  • $25 per hour for subsequent hours of research.

Hours of research are calculated by whole hours, not by increments of hours, such as 15, 30 or 45 minutes

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.

Research fees are non-refundable for the first hour of work.

Photocopies

Up to 10 complimentary photocopies are included with each research request. The fee of $0.50 per copy for non-Members and $0.25 for Members will be charged for 11 or more photocopies.

Exact citations 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.

WCHS Members holding a Sustaining (or higher) level of membership receives one (1) complimentary hour of genealogical research per year and $25 for each subsequent hour of research.

Research Consultations

Researchers may schedule a personal consultation with our researcher, Karen, to receive help with questions related to genealogical research.

  • $30 per hour for members
  • $40 per hour for nonmembers

Sessions MUST be scheduled with the WCHS in advance.

Call Anita at 724-836-1800 x100 to schedule an appointment.

Helpful Resources

Westmoreland County Courthouse

https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/1572/Public-Record-Searches

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission

https://www.phmc.pa.gov

National Archives

https://www.nara.gov

Library of Congress

http://loc.gov

Find a Grave

https://www.findagrave.com