Genealogy: Why you Need to Search Pennsylvania Records

Old Philadelphia compliments of

How is the port of Philadelphia so important for genealogists? For example, your ancestors may have ended up in Virginia, but after arriving in America, they started their journey from Pennsylvania!

One cannot presume to complete their research for the ancestors without considering investigating the county records for Pennsylvania. The reason is that a vast immigration of Irish, German, and Scottish immigrants came to Philadelphia more than any other port city. The seventeen hundreds were a significant year of religious stress and poverty for these countries, so they packed up and left during the early period and continued immigrating through the end of the century!

The necessity to search that State does not imply that is where your ancestors settled. Contrastly, they temporarily settled in Lancaster and Burke Counties until a plan was afoot to travel by wagon train into the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia and southward into South Carolina and Georgia. One should follow the old maps of such wagon trails.

It is best to remember specific facts that exist in finding the settlement regions of the country during this period.

  1. All Indian tribes were not friendly, and travelers across the plains were frequently attacked.
  2. The practice of Indians was to massacre and take scalps, and they also captured white girls and women. This could be your problem in finding certain family members.
  3. There were very few forts in the mountainous Western country. These forts usually contained less than one hundred troops and were frequently subjected to Indian attacks.
  4. The regions that eventually became counties began with one large area and later split into smaller counties. Hence, one should always search the surrounding counties.
  5. Emigrants tended to settle among their countrymen for conveniences like language and social customs.

The pioneer websites

While my website does not officially contain records for all States, it does collect what it can. For instance, sponsors some Pennsylvania records, as follows:

Wills and Estates from out-of-state…

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription.