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10 Nov. 1894 - 4 July 1994

Alvin Dinsmore White was a prominent educator (teacher and school superintendent) in Washington County, Pennsylvania. He also had an interest of long standing in the history and early families of the northern and western portions of the county, so as he approached retirement age, it was only natural that he would have some time to devote to these hobbies. A. D. White was not your average retiree who only lived long enough to cash a few checks. When he died on July 4, 1994, at the age of 99, he had worked almost full-time on his historical interests for nearly 35 years!

Shortly after A. D.'s death, a group of his friends (educators, historians and genealogists) formed the A. D. White Research Society, Ltd., with two goals in mind. First was to continue and even expand the scope of A. D.'s work, and second, to establish a facility where all this accumulated material could be made available to the public - something that A. D. had always desired. With the opening of this center in mid September 1998, both goals seem to have been achieved.

Before his death, A. D. selected which of his material he wanted his friends to photocopy - family files, cemetery inscriptions, historical records, obituaries of the tri-state region, ect. This amounted to well over 100,000 pages and constitutes the core of the Center's collection. In addition, the geographical scope of the work has been expanded to also include southern Beaver County, western Allegheny County, the northern West Virginia Panhandle and the adjacent Ohio counties of Belmont, Columbiana and Jefferson. For all of this area, there have been indexed hard copies of the federal census returns mainly 1800-1900, some more, some less. Also available are county histories, well over 100 published genealogies, other assorted record compilations and old maps of the region, not to mention the intriguing miscellaneous material that any repository of genealogical records seems to amass.

An undertaking of this type is never finished. The staff at the Center is collecting and working on new material every day. One of the groups in which A. D. was very interested was what he called the "New Pioneers," the people who flooded into the region with the onset of industrialization and the "later immigration" from eastern Europe in the period from about 1880 to 1920. This is creating great interest and excitement. Interviews with some of the older members of the various ethnic groups in the area are under way. Also on the agenda is the gathering of records from the African-American community. These people have been present in the area since the early parts of the 19th century, but have been almost entirely overlooked. The staff hopes to remedy that situation.

The fee to use the facilities at the Center is $3.00 per day, or $20.00 for unlimited use in the calendar year. At the present time, we are in the process of relocating the A.D.White Research Center and its location will be announced shortly. Genealogist and Archivist Ken McFarland can be contacted at the Center
by e-mail, ADWhite Research Center or through the postal service at;
The A. D. White Research Society LTD
P. O. Box 524
Avella, PA 15312

A serious effort will be made to answer all queries in the order of their arrival, however, we suggest that for any in-depth research, you contact Ken McFarland for the appropriate fee.

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Dale G. Patterson, [email protected]

Copyright © 2000 dgPatterson