Victoria Dutko Leonelli
Genealogical Records Specialist
Uniontown native Victoria Dutko Leonelli is a Genealogical Records Specialist.
Victoria is a lifetime member of the Fayette County Historical Society ( formerly the Uniontown Area Historical Society) and a
charter member of the Fayette County Genealogical Society. Victoria is the former Curator of the Pennsylvania Room at
Uniontown library, serving twenty years in many capacities. She presently serves as a consultant to visitors wanting to explore
Uniontown and Fayette County's genealogical and historical resources.
The Uniontown Public Library holds one of the most extensive genealogical collections in Southwestern Pennsylvania and is
within walking distance of the Fayette County Courthouse. Uniontown is the county seat of Fayette County.
Victoria Dutko Leonelli paid tribute to Uniontown by compiling a pictorial history titled " Around Uniontown". The book was
published by Arcadia Publishing. The pictorial history has over 200 rare images as well as historical captions concerning
Uniontown and Fayette County. In this book, you'll revisit 1896, when Uniontown had its greatest patriotic festivity. Visit patch
towns and meet the people who lived and worked there during the coal and coke era. Learn about some unique individuals
such as George C. Marshall, David G.Blythe, and the Princess of Thurn n Taxis. This book is truly one that will become a
treasured keepsake for years to come.
The book sells for 19.99 plus 6% PA sales tax. The book can be mailed out for an additional 2.00. Each book will be signed
and dated by the author.
For more information concerning historical or genealogical research in and about Uniontown
Contact Victoria at email@example.com
Please know that there may be fees involved with both public and private genealogical research endeavors or consultations.
The ABC's of Genealogy
by Victoria Leonelli and Beth Bubonovich
Always begin with yourself. Remember we are working backwards. Never skip generations.
Write down your full name, date of birth, and all other important facts in your life. Do the same
for each member of your family.
Be a detective. Use every potential source of information to develop a clear portrayal of your
ancestors. You will become a "family detective"
Consider what resources are commonly used by other researchers and develop a checklist to use
for every name you are researching. Begin with the three Cs. Courthouse, church, and cemetery
records will be an essential part of your research. While visiting the Library, search census
records, county histories, as well as newspaper collections. And most of all, cite your source!
Document everything you include in your family history. Any data you may have which cannot
be confirmed should not be included. Or state that you have no supporting documentation on a
specific note. Look, instead, at these unproven facts as a starting point for future research.
Every generation is important. Never skip generations and jump backwards. You may later find
the missing ancestor and discover that you were concentrating all your efforts on the wrong
Finding everything on the Internet you need to complete a family tree is an unrealistic
expectation. Remember that the Internet is just another tool which family historians can utilize to
assist them in their research.
Genealogy research today can be conveniently stored on a computer, by using either special
genealogy software or word processing and database programs. Remember to make a hard copy
of all computer records to avoid a potential disaster.
Hunt for records in the area where your ancestors originated and lived; that is where you will
likely find the greatest amount of relevant information.
Interview parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who may have some missing piece of
your family puzzle. Get them talking and you may be surprised at what valuable insights you can
gain into your ancestry. It is a good idea to tape your interviews for future reference.
Journals diaries, letters, and photos can provide the information that will make you ancestors
come to life. Your family history should be more than a list of names and vital statistics.
Key records and information not easily available to you can sometimes be obtained from others.
Network with those who share your interest, whether you are related or not.
Learn the difference between primary and secondary sources. Always use primary sources to
authenticate your findings.
Most libraries, courthouses and historical and genealogical societies provide some researching
services. When requesting their help or the help of anyone by post, always include a
self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope.
Never present someone else's research as your own. If you are using information from another
researcher's efforts, give credit where credit is due.
Organize your research. Whether you use a computer, a notebook, index cards or other methods
of recording your research, develop a system for keeping your records straight, and use it
Properly cite your sources! Carefully record the source of information and its physical location.
A detailed citation allows you to locate a reference quickly and accurately for verification.
Question any information gathered by other researchers or downloaded material from the
Internet.Be sure the information has been documented and that every source has been properly
Respect all rules and policies posted by libraries and court houses. Many times you will be using
delicate, rare, one -of -a -kind research materials which cannot be replaced.
Share your information and help fellow researchers. We are learning and working together.
Try to locate any existing church records, they may establish dates of births, baptisms,
marriages, and deaths.
Unexpected discoveries in your ancestry should not discourage you. Horse thieves and other
unsavory characters may show up in your family tree, but do not be embarrassed or
discouraged. Each and every family is unique and interesting. Just think how well you turned
out despite some of your ancestors!
Veteran's pension records provide information about soldiers and their spouses. Service records,
or at least, lists of soldiers , which exist for all wars in which our county has participated, are
also invaluable tools for the family researcher.
Whenever possible, use primary sources to verify exact dates of birth, death, and marriages.
Xerox or photocopy relevant documents, such as courthouse records and other primary sources.
It is much better to have the complete text of these documents in your files to refer to as you
continue your research.
Your family may not have remained in one location all their lives. Tracing their whereabouts
through church census property transfers or other resources will often help you to accurately
chart their migration.
Zero in on wills and estate records as a source for names of children, siblings spouses in-laws,
and other persons who were part of your ancestor's life. They are a primary source and very
often confirm the relationships you may not be able to prove with other documents.
Copyright 2004 -2013 Victoria Leonelli
HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH A BOOK
By Victoria Dutko Leonelli © 2007
I. Begin Here if You Intend to Self-Publish
A. Select a topic of subject
B. Design the cover and select the colors
C. Begin writing the first draft; select photographs, images and illustrations
D. Lay out the pages in the book
E Decide on the number of pages in the book
F. Set a deadline for completion
G. Research and cite sources
1. Compile both an index as well as a bibliography
II. You Are on Your Way……
A. Select a printing company (You may print your own books if you have the technical skills,
program and equipment necessary to do so.)
1. Choose a company that is experienced in publishing, printing and marketing
2. Select a company that will offer a competitive price for the project and one that is accessible via email and/or telephone has a good
3. Select a company that does not “farm out” the production
B. Choose the font as well as the size of the font and the binding of the book; follow the specifications of the printing company (they will offer
1. The company may request that the book be placed in PDF format
C. Decide on the number of books you would like to have printed
D. Assign an ISBN number, Library of congress number, barcode and copyright to the book. You may go online to learn more about these
E. Decide on the price of the book
III. Marketing and Placing the Finishing Touches on the Book
A. Acknowledge anyone who has offered assistance
B. Welcome the advice of others before the book goes to print
C. Revise, edit and proofread again!
D. Decide if you would like to have the book placed in major bookstores; locate a reputable distributor. The distributor will require a
(substantial) percentage of each book sold – This is required.
E. Market the book
1. Print flyers, postcards and brochures
a. Publicity is essential – contact your local newspapers
b. Be willing to promote your book by speaking to individuals and organizations who may share a similar interest
There are many steps to self-publishing and the author is responsible for every aspect of this process, including funding the entire production from start to
Why not go to the Uniontown Public Library’s
Pennsylvania Room and delve into your
ancestor’s past, or search through old
newspapers on micro-film and travel back into
Fayette County’s past? Enjoy an afternoon by
going through those 1950s, 60s or 70s
newspapers. You may be surprised what you
may learn from this experience. Re-visit Fayette
County’s past by using this tremendous
resource. Leave behind your cares and put a
smile on your face by remembrances of the old
days, those long gone places, and familiar
friendly faces. As you search through the old
newspapers, you’ll begin to remember the cost
of a pair of shoes, the price of an automobile,
or even the cost of your first “high tech” stereo
system. You may locate something about an
ancestor and add a piece to the puzzle that’s
been missing concerning your family’s
genealogical past. You may see a class
photograph, an old sporting event, or movies
that were being shown at the local drive-in or
downtown theater. ~ Vicki Leonelli ~