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A Directory of Orphanages for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
and some adjacent counties

Scanned photo of Pittsburgh Newsboys in front of Newsboys' Home in 1900.

About the Directory

Compiled by the staff of the
Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The staff has produced this directory of over seventy institutions in Allegheny County and adjacent counties. Each record includes the name of the institution, dates of existence, addresses, and the location of records, if known. THIS IS NOT A LIST OF ORPHANS. This directory, with one exception, does not include a list of orphans by name.

To learn more about the history of institutional child care in Pennsylvania, you may wish to read the pathfinder, From Almshouse to Asylum: Orphans in Allegheny County.

Files and books listed for each institution are available in the Pennsylvania Department. You may obtain photocopies of material by writing to the Department. There is a fee charged for copies.

Location of Records:
When records still exist, contact the agency where they are housed. Some records may be incomplete or restrictions may be placed on them by the holding agency. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh does not have any original orphans' records.

Adoption Records in Pennsylvania:
These are closed records. Court records pertaining to an adoption are NOT available to the public. Although not impossible, access to the information about birth parents is extremely difficult to obtain. The PA Adoption Search web site will provide you with suggestions on how to begin the process. Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division: microfilm records from 1915 currently (November 2002) held by Three Rivers Adoption Council.