Pennsylvania Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry's resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.

Guides and Bibliographies

Bibliography of Pennsylvania History: A Supplement. Ed. Carol Wall. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1976. Call # Local History Ref Z1329.A5 1957 Sup. (2nd floor open shelf).

Hoenstine, Floyd G. Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research in Pennsylvania. Hollidaysburg, PA: Hoenstine, 1978. Call # Local History Ref Z1329.H73 1973 (2nd floor open shelf). 1985 Supplement: Call # Local History Ref Z1329.H73 1973 Suppl (2nd floor open shelf).

Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania research: county and township records. Washington, D.C. : PA Genealogy Books, 2006. Call # F157.A15 H86 2006.

Iscrupe, William L. and G. M. Shirley. Pennsylvania Line: A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History. Laughlintown, PA: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1990. Call # Local History Ref F148.P448 1990 (2nd floor open shelf).

Pennsylvania Historical Bibliography. Harrisburg: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1970-. Call # Z1329.P45.


The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. Philadelphia: Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, 1895-. Call # E68.332. Holdings: Vol. 1 (1895) currently received.

Pennsylvania History. University Park: Pennsylvania Historical Association, 1934-. Call # F854.006. Holdings: Vol. 1 (1934) currently received.

The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1877-. Call # F83.008. Holdings: Vol. 1 (1877) currently received.

Western Pennsylvania History. Pittsburgh: Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1918- . Call # F854.008. Holdings: Vol. 1 (1918) currently received.

U.S. Federal Census

All years available on-line at public access computers. Ask at 2nd floor reference desk. Also, 1790-1850, 1860 (partial) and 1870-1880 on microfilm. Published indexes are available for 1790-1860.

Vital Records and Local Histories

Consult the catalog under the subject heading for the county in which you are interested.

Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: Genealogical and Personal Memoirs. New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1911-1932. Call # E6968.178.

Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families: From the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1982. Call # Local History Ref F148.G457 1982 (2nd floor open shelf).

Virdin, Donald Odell. Pennsylvania Genealogies and Family Histories: A Bibliography of Books About Pennsylvania Families. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1992. Call # folio Z1329.V57 1992.

Pennsylvania Vital Records: From the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1983. Call # Local History Ref F148.P455 (2nd floor open shelf).

Maps and Land Resources

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries: Pennsylvania. Ed. John H. Long. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993. Call # Local History Ref G1201.F7 A8 1993 (2nd floor open shelf).

Atlas of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989. Call # oversize G1260.A86 1989.

Munger, Donna. Pennsylvania Land Records: A History and Guide for Research. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1991. Call # Local History Ref Z1329.M85 1991 (2nd floor open shelf).

Polk’s Pennsylvania State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1903-1904. Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk, 1903. Call # F147.P65 1903.

Military Resources

Bates, Samuel P. History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, 1869-1871. Call # Local History Ref E527.B32 (2nd floor open shelf). Primarily rosters. Index: Call # E527.B32 Index.
Linn, John Blair. Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution, Battalions and Line: 1775-1783. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1880. Call # Local History Ref E263.P4 L75 1880 (2nd floor open shelf).

Published Pennsylvania Archives

The Published Pennsylvania Archives covers more than 100 volumes. It consists of the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania followed by the Pennsylvania Archives Series 1-9. All of these volumes are kept in the stacks, so you must request particular volumes from the circulation desk on the 2nd floor. The Pennsylvania Archives are also available online at no charge.

Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: T. Fenn, 1831-40. 16 vols. Call # F854.6721. Please specify volume. The Colonial Records include the minutes of the Provincial Council of the Colony of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Archives, Series 1-9. Philadelphia: Printed by J. Severns & Co., 1852-1856; Harrisburg: 1874-1935. Call # F854.67. Please specify series and volume.


The Published Pennsylvania Archives can be difficult to use. It is a huge set, with many different topics, authors, and indexing systems. If you already know the exact series and volume that you need, congratulations! If not, use the following guides to navigate the Archives.

Crawford-Oppenheimer, Christine. “Lost in Pennsylvania? Try the Published Pennsylvania Archives.” The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 1997): 101-119. Call #: E68.332 (Vol. 40, No. 2). A copy of this article is also available at the Local/Family History Reference Desk on the 2nd floor.

Dunn, Mary. Index to Pennsylvania’s Colonial Records Series. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1992. Call # Local History Ref F146.C622 D86 1992 (2nd floor open shelf).

Eddy, Henry. Guide to the Published Archives of Pennsylvania, covering the 138 volumes of Colonial Records and Pennsylvania Archives, series I-IX. Harrisburg: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1976. Call # Local History Ref F146.P41 Index 2 (2nd floor open shelf).

General Index to the Colonial Records…and to the Pennsylvania Archives [1st series]. Philadelphia: Printed by J. Severns & Co., 1860. Call # Local History Ref F146.P409 Index (2nd floor open shelf).

Hoenstine, Floyd G. Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research in Pennsylvania. Hollidaysburg, PA: Hoenstine, 1978. Call # Local History Ref Z1329.H8 1978 (2nd floor open shelf). Note: See pages 87-96 for list of contents in Pennsylvania Published Archives.

Morris, Jean Sansenbaugher. Use of the Published Pennsylvania Archives in Genealogical Research. Pittsburgh: Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1978. Call # Local History Ref folio Z1329.M67 F148 (2nd floor open shelf).

Web Guides

Genealogical Research in the Published Pennsylvania Archives (from the State Library of Pennsylvania).

The Pennsylvania Archives. (Summaries from the Pennsylvania State Archives).