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General Indexing Guidelines for Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds


General Indexing Guidelines for Allegheny County’s Department of Real Estate


v     Punctuation marks are not used when indexing

v     The “&” sign is used for the word “and” when indexing corporations or companies.  There is always a space between the words and the “&” sign.  For example:  Jones and Brown Company is indexed as Jones & Brown Co

v     There are no spaces between letters of a name.  For example: De Carlo is indexed as Decarlo and O’Brien is indexed as Obrien

v     Last names beginning with St are indexed Saint.  For example: St John is indexed as Saint John

v     Compound and hyphenated last names are double indexed.  For example: Mary Smith-Jones is indexed as Smith Jones Mary and as Jones Mary Smith.

v     Middle initials and middle names are indexed in the First Name Field.

v     When a name is followed by a designation such as Jr, Sr, or 1st, the designation is indexed in the Suffix Field.

v     Designations of II, IV, etc are indexed in the suffix field using the co-responding numbers.  For example: II is indexed as 2nd, and IV is indexed as 4th.

v     When an estate is indicated with a name, it’s indexed as Est in the Suffix Field.  For example: Jane Smith Estate or Estate of Jane Smith is indexed as Smith Jane Est

v     When a name is followed by a word or abbreviation indicating a degree or professional certification, only the person’s name is indexed.  For example: Jane Smith, Esq is indexed Smith Jane.

v     Non-traditional names should be indexed as presented with the last word as the last name.  For example: To So would be indexed as So To.

v     Corporate or company names that are apparent human names are indexed by the last name.  For example: John Doe Corp is indexed as Doe John Corp.

v     Corporate or company names that are apparent human names, but it cannot be determined which is the first name and which is the last name, get double indexed.  For example: Joseph James Co is indexed as Joseph James Co and James Joseph Co.

v     Corporate or company names beginning with the word “the” are indexed beginning with the first word, numeral(s), letter or character immediately following “the”.  For example: The Mortgage Service Center is indexed as Mortgage Service Center and The 123 Company is indexed as One 123 Co.


v     Corporate or company names beginning with a numeral or numerals are indexed with the alphabetical spelling of the first numeral.  For example: 541 Realty Company is indexed as Five 541 Realty Co and 1st Mariner Bank is indexed as First 1st Mariner Bank.

v     Corporate or company names that begin with initials are indexed with spaces between the initials.  For example: ING Bank is indexed as I N G Bank.

v     Corporations and companies have only one indexing field.  They are never indexed as a human name using the First Name, Last Name, and Suffix Fields.

v     All states are abbreviated using their 2 letter postal abbreviation, unless it is the first word, then it is spelled out – 2 exceptions are Colorado & Indiana both of these are always spelled out.

v     We do not index the word “of” except when used in “United States of America”

v     We do not index the word “America” if it is the last word of a corporation or company name.  For example: Equicredit Corporation of America is indexed as Equicredit Corp.

v     Corporate or company names with a state at the end get indexed using the 2 letter postal abbreviation, with the exception of Colorado & Indiana which always get spelled out.  For example: Beneficial Mortgage Company of Pennsylvania is indexed as Beneficial Mtg Co PA.

v     We do not index deceased people as a first party on straight mortgages, unless the borrower is signing as an executor/executrix or administrator/administratrix.  For example: John Doe & Jane Doe (deceased) – we only index John Doe.  But if it states: the Estate of Jane Doe by Mary Smith executrix – we would index both Doe Jane Est and Smith Mary Exrx.

v     When a legal description includes property outside of Allegheny County, we index it as “Outside County”.  For example:

Ø      All that certain lot or piece of ground situate partly in Peters Township, County of Washington and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and partly in Forward Township, County of Allegheny and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, being Lot No. 1………Having thereon erected a 2 story frame house known as 127 Main St.  Being Block and Lot 124-B-5678

This is indexed on two lines as:






Forward Tp



Main St

Outside County





v     Never abbreviate the first word of a corporation or company always spell it out.


v     When indexing a corporation or company name with trustees involved, index all the trustees including all name variations, index the main corporation or company (again including all name variations), and index any certificate and/or series information.  We do NOT index the pooling & servicing agreement information.  For example:

Ø      Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota N.A. as successor by merger with Norwest Bank Minnesota, N.A. as trustee of Salomon Brothers Mortgage Securities VII, Inc. Asset Backed Certificates Series 1996-LB2 under Pooling &  Services Agreement dated as of October 1, 1996 without recourse

      This is indexed on multiple lines as:

                        Wells Fargo Bank MN N A trste

                        Norwest Bank MN N A trste

                        Salomon Brothers Mtg Securities VII Inc

                        Asset bckd ctfs ser 1996 LB2 by trste


v     When indexing it is very important to always use our standard abbreviations.

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