The Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (WPGS) celebrated its 50th anniversary by announcing a significant achievement in historical research and genealogy. Over 28,500 Allegheny County death records, spanning from 1893 to 2005, have been digitized and are now freely accessible to the public on the WPGS website.

Previously, the records at Allegheny County were in disarray, with some microfilmed and others not. A dedicated team of WPGS volunteers worked tirelessly with the county to digitize these crucial death records, ensuring their preservation and accessibility. This project covers a critical period before Pennsylvania mandated death certificates in 1906 and includes over 100 Allegheny County municipalities, such as Carrick, Greentree, and Mount Oliver.

Pamela Israel, WPGS Archives Chair and President for 2023-2024, emphasized the importance of these records in genealogical research. “Genealogists know that finding an official death record often leads to priceless facts or at least clues in understanding an ancestor’s past. Sometimes a death record is that breakthrough record that helps people step back another generation in their research,” she said. The newly digitized records offer a wealth of information that can unlock family histories.

In the past, WPGS relied on xerox copies of the only set of records they had, resulting in reduced clarity and resolution with each duplication. This made it challenging for researchers. Modern technology has now streamlined the process, allowing for the digitization of documents that are about a meter wide. The color scans are much clearer and detailed images than have been previously released.

The public is invited to explore the records on the WPGS website at