FAQ-Frequently Asked Quetions about McDonald PA Marriage Notices_Washington County PA Genealogy and Family History_Little Washington

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Washington County 'Little Washington' Pennsylvania
 Genealogy and Family History



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In Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Freshly Updated, Judith Martin reminds that proper ladies of the past lived with a precise lifetime limit on the number of times they could comfortably see their name in print: "Thrice. Marriage, as well as birth and death ? but only one of each ? are the traditional occasions on which a lady is supposed to undergo the pain of public scrutiny. Miss Manners, however, is in no position to criticize those who exceed their limits."

Frequently Asked Questions



Who collected

Sandy Miklavic, and some friends like Victoria Hospodar Valentine 

Who submitted

Sandy Miklavic


Read the Marriage Index page.

County (connection to)

The City of Washington and surrounding towns in Washington County, Pennsylvania

Areas covered

McDonald PA and surrounding towns. 

Additional areas

Brides, Grooms, families, or wedding guests, came from as far as Allegheny County, Mercer, and Erie to the north, Greene County to the south; Fayette, Indiana, Cambria, Philadelphia Counties to the East, and from West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and other western states. Sometimes, notices include one or more parents? overseas birth places. Many notices also tell where couples would reside locally, or if they moved out of state.

Dates covered

1880s to 1950s

Inclusive of all dates?

No. Likely spotty in all years.

Web pages arranged by

Groom's name (i.e. Groom_Bride)

Is there one list of all these marriages?

The Master List in Excel will be updated sometime in 2010 and put online. See bottom of this page for more info.

First marriages


Second marriages


Ages of couples

While ages are not given, some notices show younger persons to middle-aged.

Newspaper names

These notices came from:
The Outlook
The Record
The Record-Outlook

* NOTE: These are not the only historical newspapers for Washington County, but this marriage collection came from the McDonald newspapers listed above.

Where can I get more information? 

The microfilms are held at:
The Heritage Public Library
52 Fourth Street,
McDonald, PA 15057
Phone 724-926-8400
Fax 724-926-4686

Monday: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday: Closed


The Citizens Library holds Washington PA newspapers: 
55 South College Street, Washington, PA 15301
Phone:(724) 222-2400
Monday through Thursday: 10:00 am ? 8:00 pm
Friday & Saturday:  10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Sundays:  Closed



Why are there "2 dates" on some notices?

Every event described in a newspaper has "2 dates". One date is when the event occurred, such as "married on June 23, 1930". The 2nd date is when the newspaper printed the information about the event.  At the top of each article the newspaper date and newspaper name, if known, is given as a "title" for the article. ALL jpg files are named by the newspaper date and the filename is given at the bottom, after the article. 

How accurate are the marriage dates?

The text right above the filename shows the groom and bride's full names, with their marriage date if known.

MOST but not all newspaper notices give the "event date" in the article. So, look at the article and the "groom and bride" line for marriage date.  Look at the "title" line and the filename for the newspaper date.

How accurate is the date given for the newspaper?

As with any newspaper item, searchers should obtain a "primary record" to verify dates-- such as a marriage license application and marriage return at the Court House. 

Newspapers are often used as the only available marriage record, but newspaper articles do contain mistakes.

If there might be errors for dates of newspapers, 
are the newspaper names accurate?

For collections this big, there can be or might be mistakes for the date noted of the newspaper itself. You can obtain a copy yourself to double-check the newspaper date.

I noticed a discrepancy between a date 
or a newspaper name in the "title" you used, 
and what the filename says at the bottom of the wedding notice. Which is right?

The collector tried to accurately note which newspaper and which date, to the best of her ability. However, mistakes might happen with a big collection. You can obtain a copy yourself to double-check the newspaper date.

The *only* source of information I had was in the FILE NAME that Sandy assigned, and the newspaper initial at the bottom of *some* articles. Sandy did put the newspaper name in most (over 1/2 to 3/4ths) of the file names.

If there is a discrepancy between the "title" I made, and the FILE NAME shown, (example, "title" says "The Record" but filename shows "outlook"), then I made a mistake in copying the info from the filename. Believe the filename first... and second, research the newspaper to double-check every part of the "citation" (the title) given.

Why do some "titles" say this.... 
"From the McDonald, PA Record ~or~ Outlook ~or~ Record-Outlook newspaper of...."

Sometimes, the newspaper name was not noted, and so, I listed ~or~ between the names of all 3 newspapers. The Heritage Public Library may be able to help you determine or to verify the newspaper name. Some notices appeared in both The Record and The Outlook, when the two papers operated separately.

Why do some "titles" say probably or possibly, such as "From the McDonald, PA (probably) Record-Outlook newspaper of... "

These had no newspaper name included and none in the article. The Record-Outlook can be on papers as early as 1934--- but because the info was missing, I used possibly or probably in parentheses on many unlabeled notices for 1938 and 1939, hoping to assist researchers..

Why do you have "page unknown" in every "title" you created for the notices?

A good newspaper citation should include the minimum of: 
1. newspaper name 2. city, State 3. date 4. page number.... as well as "what" (newspaper notice), and "who" (name of "person of interest"). My "title" and the article contents gives the basics for the citation. However, it is often difficult to remember to get the newspaper page, or the microfilm is cut off. Early papers had no page numbers. Therefore, I put "page unknown" so searchers would know that the notices sent to me had no page numbers to put online. Most papers are small up through the 1950s, so it should be easy to search for the page number on your own.

Why are some things put inside [ brackets ] ?

Anytime something is added to any original article, book, official record, etc., the person should use [brackets] to contain the added information and show it as [this was added to the original].   To keep the notices consistent for the header, for example, I put [GROOM - BRIDE ] into brackets on articles where no names were used in the header / newspaper title of the article.

Additionally, brackets are used around the word "sic", a Latin term meaning:  
In such manner; so; thus
, to show it appeared in the source.  Or, another way to think of it is "a typist did not introduce an error into the original".  

Any error or misspelling is marked with [sic] immediately after the item, and before any comma or period that immediately  follows the error.  Sic should be italicized, but I did not do it this way simply for my convenience.

I used [sic=correction] to show what the error should be because, sometimes, it is difficult to quickly spot or to understand "Why is this an error?"  The best example is when a town is misspelled, but the reader is unfamiliar with the town names and how each is spelled.


The copy is cut-off, crumbled, difficult to read. Can you get another copy?

Please see "Where can I get more information" listed above. However, many newspapers were in poor condition prior to microfilming. I have no further information and no better copy.

Did the article have a photo of the couple?

I don't know which did or didn't include a photo. If I received an article with a photo, I placed both together online.

How were the images manipulated / changed?

Using Photoshop, these images were changed to lower resolution as needed for web use. Images were straightened to horizontal column lines, cropped as needed. Many images were lightened --and many more were darkened-- to enhance readability.  Some needed poor coloring removed (example: removing page yellowing). Therefore, the items online are likely more readable now than when just scanned or photographed.

I can't see any image/s.  The images won't load; I only see an informational tagline.

With many larger images, and larger web pages to accommodate them, this collection is best viewed with Broadband connection.  

If you use Broadband and can't see an image, please delete the Temporary Internet Files on your PC and try again.  Use F5 for a "hard" refresh of the page.


My apologies to dial-up users.  These pages are based at a 56.6K modem and may take 1 to 2 minutes to load on dial-up.  **Most pages will take less than 1 minute** but some may take much longer.

See Connection Speed Chart 


I noticed a problem on a page....

Please copy the entire URL of the page from your browser's URL Line and email it to me, along with details of the problem. My email address appears at the bottom of every page.

Can the person who collected these help me more?

Unfortunately, no. The Court House and Libraries often have a list of "Researchers for Hire".

Can you help me more?

Unfortunately, no. I do not live in my "hometown" now and cannot do research.

Copyright and re-use; Can I copy an image and the text?

PERSONAL USE ONLY: ** Images and text may be used ONLY for personal family history.**

****No one should copy the entire collection or portions of the collection for re-use. No one should copy these notices, either one or all of them to post them another website.  Ten additional typists worked hard to type; the webmaster, Judy, typed also and fixed images; and Sandy spent hundreds of hours to collect these notices, and no one is permitted to copy the collection for another project.

****NOTE: If 'linkfarms' steal images or text for their websites, I will contact your website Provider. NO 'fair use' is granted to ANY other websites.


Missing Notices

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

Marriage Trends

Newspapers give wonderful insight into world, country, community, and personal trends in every area of social history. Even the typists who helped on this project, the more they worked with the articles, began to notice a number of marriage trends in SW PA towns. Whether these trends follow national fashion or not is unknown.   To learn more, read "Marriage Traditions or Trends In Washington County PA between 1880s and 1940s or so" which I had previously written based on my knowledge about newspaper articles written in our county.


My ancestor lived in Washington Co, PA. Can you get me their marriage notice?

No, I'm sorry, I cannot.  I accept submissions.

Lastly, I and a group of dedicated volunteer typists worked very hard on this project, every day from February to September 2009.  We tried very hard to make the notices available.

The original images were arranged on a "Master List".  However, I received images not on the "Master List".  I will be working well into 2010 to add these extra notices to the "List" and to the web site.  

The "Master List" as a whole will not be put online until I have added in all the notices.  However, the A-B, C-D alpha break-down of the original list is online.  Just click one of the letters on the Marriage Index page.

Typed by Sandy Miklavic and Judith Florian
A group of dedicated typists began helping in 2009.
Volunteer typists included:

Cindy Burchell
Kay Chestnut
Carole Clarke
Amy Denecke
Wilberta DiVincenzo
Liz DuBois
Susan Freer
Doris Greaves
Alice Walton Mason
Leslie Nelson
Trudi Ratican
Carma Rey-Klaja
Carol Taylor-Lanza
Pamela Villafuerte


This page was added Sept 30, 2009


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More than 3,000 couple’s wedding and marriage- related notices!


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This page was last edited Monday, July 06, 2015


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