Sewickley Valley Historical Society invites residents to discover their history

Friday, February 1, 2019 | 6:03 AM

Genealogy is a 2-billion-dollar industry that has propagated websites, TV series and at-home DNA kits.

Sewickley-area residents seeking to delve into their own histories have another resource close to home.

“We think there are people who don’t know we exist,” said John Poister, executive director of the Sewickley Valley Historical Society (SVHS). “We want to make sure people who are interested in their family’s history or their house or even the area know we’re here.”

The society has launched a new campaign urging residents in the 11 Quaker Valley communities to “Discover Your History” by using their resources.

The society is the primary repository for historical documents, records, photos, obituaries and architectural information.

“The historical society is the place to go if, for example, you want to find out about who built your house,” said board President Harton Semple in a news release. “We have plat maps, photos and individual histories for many homes in our area.”

The database maintained by the society also has extensive information on area families.

“We have a large collection of obituary information and can trace families back to the 1800s,” said Poister.

Staff and society members are skilled at finding information, even if the person searching doesn’t have many details.

“Once we get a little information, most of the time, we come up with something,” he said.

SVHS is located in the Old Post Office, 200 Broad St. The office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and by appointment.

“The society’s collection is a major asset, and we are working to make it more accessible to the public,” said Semple. “Our staff is eager to help people discover their history. We are happy to provide a considerable amount of expertise in searching out information from our extensive archives.”

“You don’t have to be a member of the society,” added Poister. “We’re happy to help anybody.”

Natalie Miller is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natalie at 412-324-1408, [email protected] or via Twitter @natalieNRMiller.