Dandj488, thanks very much for your reply! I paid for a copy of a 'verbose' birth certificate containing extra data elements. It had nothing on the father but showed my Dad named only as "Baby Boy O'Donnell". Would the original birth certificate from 1916 even be available for viewing in Pennsylvania and would it add anything I don't already know? I also was able to track down and get a photocopy of the actual written catholic baptismal entry which recorded the fathers name as William Smith (a suspiciously common and possibly fictitious name) but nothing else about him. The search continues with me seeking sources such as WW-I draft lists, Adoption papers, City directories, deeds, Tax rolls, political party lists, Source of payments, boarding house tenant lists, letters to relatives, etc... I live 1,000 miles from Philadelphia so it goes slowly. Even professional geneaologists in Philly have been reluctant to take this brick wall on. Any suggestions or tips would be very welcome!