You'll love this if…
- You're getting started tracing your ancestors in Pennsylvania
- You want new ideas and resources to get past a Pennsylvania brick wall
- Your genealogy search is focused mainly on Pennsylvania —you don't need the full State Research Guides collection
Trace your Pennsylvania ancestors with the advice and resources in our State Research Guide! This four-page download includes:
- a how-to article detailing Pennsylvania’s history and records, with helpful advice on tracking your family there
- the best websites, books and other resources for Pennsylvania research, handpicked by our editors and experts
- listings of key libraries, archives and organizations that hold the records you need
- descriptions of the top historic sites for learning about your ancestors' lives and times, including visitor information
- timeline of key events in the state's history
- full-color map to put your research in geographical context
Here's a sampling of the helpful tips you'll get in the Pennsylvania guide:
- In 1681, British King Charles II chartered the land to William Penn in repayment of a debt owed Penn’s father. The king dubbed the colony Pennsylvania, Latin for “Penn’s Woods.” Penn, a religious dissenter and member of the Religious Society of Friends (nicknamed the Quakers), tolerated all faiths.
- Statewide registration of births and deaths started in 1906, but marriages are still recorded by counties. You’ll find microfilmed copies of these records at the Family History Library and the state archives. Check with the county for original records.
- When you talk about the “Pennsylvania archives,” know that the phrase can mean either the Pennsylvania State Archives or the publication Pennsylvania Archives. The latter, a 132-volume set of published records, contains everything from the early government’s official correspondence to land, military and church records.
Plus, each guide contains active web links for one-click access to every recommended online resource. You can view this PDF on your computer and print pages for reference.