Search billions of records on

Washington County "Little Washington" Pennsylvania
Genealogy and Family History 


This unique site focuses on the use of newspaper articles, birth notices, obituaries, etc., and a variety of original documents in building your family history.  We include *anyone* from the County, not just related families.

NOTE: Please call Washington County PA Tourism Office for
information about festivals and other county activities.  I am not
associated with the City or County tourism events. - added May 2009



Downtown Washington PA About 1915

About 1915, Downtown Main Street  in the City of Washington, PA
Facing the North corners of the Beau St. (E & W) and Main St. (N & S) Intersection


Research in "Little Washington," Washington County, Pennsylvania is enhanced by having genealogy (often misspelled geneology) and family history information available on the internet. 

This site has genealogy information on many Washington County families, including data from newspapers (birth, death, marriage notices, obituaries, missing persons, adoption and guardianship, probate and deed notices, and surname-only items.)  Links are provided for biographies, family trees and histories.  Use the site- search to find surnames or individuals.  

History of newspaper publications in Washington County PA

History of Brethren (German Baptist) publications.


[Skip down to bottom of page for links to sections.]


The City of Washington is the County Seat of Washington County and is located at  4010'30" North, 8015'2" West (40.174959, -80.250634).  It lies to the south of Allegheny County, and is north of Greene County.   At one time, parts of both of these counties were included in Washington County.  

Those born and raised in the county will recognized the often-used reference to "Little Washington."  Others grew up calling Washington, Pennsylvania "Washpa" (said just the same as 'ma' or 'pa').   Washington and Washpa of course was pronounced by some locals as "Worsh-ington" and "Worsh-pa" (where a washcloth was a "worsh-cloth." and even George Washington, whose statue is atop the Courthouse, was not immune to having his name altered in like manner.)  

I was born and raised in Washington and learned how to do genealogy using the County Courthouse.  I still had my Worshington "accent" when I moved to Ohio in 1985 and I caused quite a few snickers when others asked where I was from.  I was repeatedly told I definitely had a SW PA "accent" based on other ways I spoke.  Of course, asking for "pop" instead of a "soda" was also a dead-giveaway that I wasn't born in Ohio!   


Tucked in rolling hills, Washington County PA began as heavy forests turned to  farmlands that were toiled over by Germans, Scots, Irish and other immigrants.  The discovery of oil brought great wealth to some families, with oil derricks dotting private lands across the county.  One very interesting old postcard shows the hillside above Prospect Avenue with numerous derricks spread across that area, just blocks from the southern end of town.   And with the County sitting atop the rich bituminous coal field of the Pittsburgh Coal Seam, coal companies grew wealthy by exploiting cheap labor of miners who often traveled from overseas for jobs.  The plentiful oil wells dried mostly, but mining is still in operation in the county, although more jobs today are in the service industry and farming (or dual occupations).   But, throughout harsh conditions of every kind, farmers have always persevered.  Washington farms were widely known for the excellent wool sheared from Merino sheep which were raised in quantity on many, many farms.   In olden days, the National Road or "The Pike" was a noisy scene of men on horseback and wagon taking their herds and flocks (sheep, cattle, hogs and other livestock) for river shipments at Brownsville.  Farmers also grew a variety of crops, and many farms included orchards.  Farmers lived by the farm, and the weather which often controlled whether they, their families, their animals, and ultimately, whether their farms would survive.


Washington  is often overlooked by genealogy researchers.  But, the county served as a gateway point in travel from eastern locations to the west from the 1700s through the early 1900s. Family groups migrated into and out of the county in waves during almost each decade for many families (bt. 1790 to 1880). There was no set pattern to migration.  Sometimes whole families and relatives moved together, or sometimes it was individual families or parts of families.  Age was not a criteria either in the pattern: Some families included everyone, while in other families, the "older generation" stayed behind while the young adults moved on.  

Although not easy, families traveled much more frequently than many researchers realize and often owned land in two states at one time.  If your family is found in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky or Tennessee, you may find braches of your family had either passed through or  stayed in Washington County.  Consult county histories in various states for biographies; these may give clues pointing you back to southwestern Pennsylvania.  Of course, theses folks had often migrated from eastern Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Maryland into the lower corner of PA.  But even if they were only in SW PA for a short time, they may have left records of their time in Washington county or nearby areas.   


My own research has extended from SW PA (Washington, Fayette and Greene Cos.) eastward to Bedford, Lancaster and York Cos., PA., on to Frederick Co., MD (earliest records so far) WVA, OH, IN, IL, KS, CA... and recently over to NJ.  In researching my family, I became interested in the church originally known as German Baptists (Dunkard)  - now called Church of the Brethren.  I have gathered quite a bit of information on many families who lived in the area of the County called Ten Mile.  I have collected copies of original documents since 1983 and inherited documents which my grandmother collected from 1970-2000.  My co-researchers were my sister, Catherine L. Caldwell and grandmother, Ruth Elizabeth Lane McGary, who were both fantastic genealogists.  Our grandmother taught me and my sisters the hobby (passion) of genealogy.


I welcome submissions from researchers whose families lived in Washington County and stayed - or from researchers whose families moved - part or in whole - away from Washington County.  Only by seeing which families moved where can a more complete migration pattern be documented.


  ** Check the links for families and data files.**

Note: There are links to websites outside this Site.  I am not responsible for any problems with content or accuracy at any site that is not maintained by me.  If you see errors on my pages, drop me an email"WashingtonCoPA Webmaster"

All links to external websites will open in a new window. 


* I regret that I am unable to do personal research projects.* 
Consult the "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness" (RAOGK) 
list for Washington County, PA. You may also search for 
other Pennsylvania Counties on this page.

Washington County Lookups

Books We Own (look-up request site)


These links start from a broad view of Pennsylvania, 

then to links specific for Washington Co., PA 

 I hope you find some new things.... enjoy!


 Washington County PA Newspapers Who's Who Intro Page - Washington County PA newspaper articles, obituaries, death notices, marriages, births, reunions, etc., & other items. (Other Families, abbreviated to "o-f").  
This is a large area within this website - over 150 years of newspaper items.  Since there is no index to the County  newspapers, these items should help other researchers tremendously.  I hope you find *your* family here.  
*Check back often - additions added continually.*  

Year in Review

McDonald PA Area Newspapers  {Research of Victoria Hospodar Valentine} - This will also be a large area within this website.  Newspapers items from long-defunct papers.  
*Check back often - additions added continually.*  
Marriages from the McDonald Pa newspapers {Collected and submitted by Sandy Miklavic of McDonald PA}.  A collection of approximately 3,000 wedding/marriage notices and some divorces.  
*This section was started April 2007 and will have continual updates.*

Marriage Notices Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Missing Wedding Notices from Master List #1 from McDonald PA Newspapers
Approx 324 notices were not received by Nov. 13, 2009.

Charleroi PA Newspaper Items - {Research of Judith Florian.} Images taken from the Charleroi Mail newspaper. 
*Check back often for additions.*
Added June 2007:



Jacob Miller (class of 1848) Ancestry

Graduates List 1848

Reunion Committee Meeting

Years in Review

1903 Newspaper Items

1957 Newspaper Items


New Content June 2007 as of Oct. 2007, will add more in coming months

Glances, Locals, Personals, Notes, Newspaper research for various cities in Washington County PA





Index to Photos / Photographs of Persons, Businesses, and Businessmen of McDonald, PA and from surrounding areas.

One page of ALL Newspaper Links on one webpage - (links are also on every page for Washington area only.)


Added June 2007, continually being updated so check back often.

3,000 Wedding Notices (and some Divorces) taken from McDonald PA Newspapers (Record, Outlook, or Record-Outlook) from 1800s and 1900s NOTE: Under construction - Started May 2007, est. end Dec. 2007

The obituary for Rev. William Dickson IRONS, D. D.

DIVORCES - A few divorces from the area.




 Tools You Can Use!

 Forms - projected date unknown


Courthouse records, census, and other "official" records are on the Washington County PAGenWeb



"Life in Washington PA"  -  Focus on lives of people who lived in Washington Co.  at   
** We can include items about YOUR families too - just email me  your info!**

Lane Book # 1 - Index 1st Book - [by Judith Florian]
Lane Book # 2 - Index 2nd Book - [by Judith Florian] - projected date unknown

LANE and related lines.  Also items for Bedford Co PA. 

Church of the Brethren (COB) / German Baptist Brethren History
        A page within my second website Life in Little Washington 



World Wars and Military

WWI Index

WWI Index2

WWII (Greene Co and McDonald PA)




Feel free to submit Your Surnames to the webmaster

 Include dates, location, etc. 




Other "toots"

Separator barSeparator bar

Life in Washington, PA

Uptown Landmarks-1

Uptown Landmarks-2

Brethren and other Families of "Washpa"

(Long, will need to scroll down.)

All newspaper items posted with permission of the Observer-Reporter Oct. 13, 2005.

Email Washington.Co.Pa.Webmaster

(c) Judith Ann Florian
Copyright Notice - Data / info. for individuals and surnames may be reproduced for personal family histories only, but not for any commercial use or sale. Please give credit to Judith Florian and Catherine L. Caldwell for locating newspaper items and original documents. You may use J. Florian's research conclusions if credit is given. No other data or images may be reproduced without permission. August 2005-present, Judith Florian, Copyright All rights reserved.

Dates of Site updates and new content added: Dec 2005;  Jan to Dec 2006; Jan to Dec 2007; Jan to Dec. 2008; Jan to Dec. 2009; Jan to Dec. 2010; Jan-Feb 2011; Dec. 2012; Nov. 2013; Nov 2014
Instruction Force Upload