Genealogy at Cambria County Library

Researching local history, or looking for a lost family member? Our tools and resources can help you with all your research needs. In addition to the many library resources available, the reference department at Cambria County Library has many options for helping find genealogy information.

Genealogy and Reference Services Research Policy

As staff time allows, the reference department can provide photocopies of obituary and marriage notices, from the Johnstown (PA) Tribune, its successor, the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, and the Ebensburg Sky. No other local newspapers are available for genealogical research. 

Library volunteers have indexed death notices and marriage announcements from the Johnstown papers for the years 1853 to the present, and an independent researcher has posted these.  If you have an exact date of a marriage or death which does not appear to have been indexed and the death or marriage occurred in the area covered by the Johnstown newspaper, we will attempt to locate an announcement or article for you in the event that it was overlooked when the index was compiled. The library cannot refund any money if your information is not found since the fee is charged for the time spent in research. 

Volunteers have indexed death notices and marriage notices from the Ebensburg Sky for the years 1831 – 1837. 

If you do not have an exact date for the years not covered by our indexes, library staff will NOT be able to search for you because this would involve going through a whole year of newspapers day by day.  

News articles from the Johnstown Tribune and the Ebensburg Sky can be copied for a $5.00 charge only if the date is known since there is no subject index for either newspaper.  

Volunteers have also compiled searchable indexes for the following records. 

Cambria County birth records from 1893 – 1905:  https://www.cclsys.org/cambria-birth-indexes/ 

Veteran Records from the Revolutionary War to the present:  https://www.cclsys.org/cambria-veterans-indexes/ 

Naturalization Records:  https://www.cclsys.org/cambria-naturalization-indexes/ 

Cemetery Records for Benshoff Hill Cemetery, Headrick Union Cemetery, and Sandyvale Cemetery https://www.cclsys.org/cambria-cemetery-indexes/ 

The following fees will apply for each name requested: 
Photocopy from a year covered by library’s index……………………………….$5.00
(Approximate year must be included with request)
Photocopy if EXACT date is known but is not indexed………………………….$5.00 
If the month and year of death is known but not the day, we can search through one month of microfilm for a charge…………………………………………$10.00 

Only a limited amount of other research can be provided by library staff. Pages from city directories, telephone books, local histories, records from our microfilm index citations, etc. can be photocopied for a $5.00 research fee if an exact citation is given. When time must be spent in searching for a topic, a $20.00 per hour charge will be incurred. 

To contact us, use the Contact Us form on this page, email requests can be sent to reference@cclsys.org, or mail queries can be sent to Cambria County Library, Attn: Reference Department, 248 Main Street, Johnstown, PA 15901. With your requests for research, please include a check payable to the Cambria County Library, or call us at 814-536-5131, ext. 210 to make payment by phone. DO NOT SEND PRIVATE PAYMENT MATERIAL VIA EMAIL OR CONTACT FORM.

Library staff will be happy to assist you in using any genealogy or reference materials if you wish to visit the Cambria County Library.  Click on the Cambria County Library homepage https://www.cclsys.org/cambria/ for the hours of operation and contact information   

Ancestry.Com Library Edition

The library subscribes to Ancestry.com Library Edition, which offers one of the most important genealogical collections available today. Their over 11 billion documents include US census records from 1790 to 1940, Pennsylvania death certificates from 1906-1964, church records, maps, immigration records, WWI draft registration cards, as well as many other record collections from all over the world.

Ancestry.com Library Edition is can be accessed from within the library.

Genealogy Indexes

The library has an array of genealogy indexes for use.

Visit them here: Genealogy Indexes

 

Newspapers and Microfilm

Cambria County Library is able to help with retrieving obituary and marriage notices from the Cambria Tribune, the Johnstown Tribune, and the current paper, the Tribune-Democrat. Library volunteers have indexed obituaries and marriage announcements from the Johnstown papers for the years 1853 to the present, and from the Ebensburg Sky for the years 1831 – 1837. 

Several microfilm readers are available on the 3rd floor.  These indexes can also be searched by the Reference department, with a $5 charge per item to obtain a digital copy and/or photocopy. If the month and year of death is known but not the day, we can search through one month of microfilm for a $10 charge.

Here is a list of other available microfilms the library holds that can be searched. Note that all records are countywide except where indicated.  Where noted with an asterisk, corresponding indexes to some of these records sets that have been compiled by our volunteers are available online. To receive the corresponding record from an index citation for copies the library does not hold, contact the Cambria County Courthouse.

Births

  • Birth Records 1893-1905 
  • Index to Johnstown City Birth Records 1891-1932
  • Birth Certificate Index for Townships Outside Johnstown 1909-1931
  • Delayed Registration of Births 1941-1971

Deaths

  • *Death Records 1893-1905

Marriages

  • Marriage License Dockets 1885-1916

Naturalizations

  • Naturalization Records 1835-1906 

Probate

  • Will Books 1808-1918
  • Estate Index 1806-1980
  • Proceedings Index Volumes 1-20
  • Register’s Dockets 1842-1919

Orphans’ Court Dockets 1809-1883

*Veterans’ Burial Records 1775 – present, six volumes

A limited amount of other research can be provided by library staff. Pages from city directories, telephone books, local histories, records from our microfilm index and citations can be photocopied for a $5.00 research fee if an exact citation is given. When time must be spent in searching for a topic, a $20.00 per hour charge will be required. Please note that charges are not refundable, and there is no guarantee of results.

 Please address all queries to:

Cambria County Library
Attn: Reference Department
248 Main Street
Johnstown, PA 15901

With your requests for research, please include a check payable to the Cambria County Library, or call us at 814-536-5131, ext. 210 to make payment by phone.

Pennsylvania Room

The Pennsylvania Room is located on the 3rd floor of the Library in the Reference Department. The collection consists of both state and local history, local authors, and genealogy resources such as Johnstown city directories beginning in 1869, the Pennsylvania Archives series, church and individual family histories, and World War II scrapbooks. The room is open during normal library business hours, no appointment necessary. Please contact the Reference Department at 814-536-5131 x210 or via email at reference@cclsys.org for more information. 

Yearbooks

The library maintains a collection of yearbooks from area high schools. These include:

  • Bishop McCort (formerly Johnstown Catholic) starting with 1926
  • Ferndale starting with 1926
  • Johnstown High starting with 1915
  • East Conemaugh and Conemaugh Valley starting with 1924

These can be viewed in the 3rd floor reference department. The library is also in the process of digitizing these yearbooks, and copies can be found by clicking here.

Additional Reference Services

Reference Services 

Professional librarians provide reference assistance to patrons in the library and quick reference assistance over the phone and via email.  Reference librarians and other staff help patrons within the library by offering basic instruction in the use of the library’s automated catalog and reader advisory services.  The reference staff can provide limited assistance with various computer programs.   

The reference staff also offers an Hour with the Librarian service allows you to spend up to one hour with a professional librarian or another qualified staff member who can offer personalized assistance.  

Please complete the form to be set up for an appointment.

Assistance is also given to individuals who wish to print from personal devices such as laptops and cell phones.  The professional librarians can proctor exams free of charge and the staff can send faxes for a fee of $2.00 plus .12 tax for every 5 pages sent.  

The library maintains a special circulating collection of test tutor books and car repair manuals, a collection of non-cataloged paperback classics, a vertical file of special interest materials, and government documents acquired through its status as a Depository library which are housed in the reference area.  Hard copies of back issues of current local newspapers and a variety of periodicals are stored in the Periodical Department which is adjacent to the reference area.  

Contact Us

Our librarians are here to help. Send us a message and we will get back to you.

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Resources & Tools

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248 Main Street
Johnstown, PA 15901-1677

(814) 481-8131
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M-F 10 am - 2 pm

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