A collection of 44 posts
Find Your PA Family History in Military Records at the National Archives
The most useful records for genealogists is military pension files. These files name spouses, children, and occasionally siblings and parents of the soldier. For many Pennsylvania researchers, the military pensions files prior to World War 1 are the most sought after.
The Tragedy of the Boyertown Opera House Fire
The Boyertown Opera House Fire was a devastating historical event that took place in Boyertown, Berks County on January 13, 1908. The Rhodes Opera House was destroyed by a fire started by a kerosene lantern. Almost half the audience died in the inferno, 176 people.
Ditch Your Car and Rediscover How Your Ancestors Traveled
Most genealogy research involves trying to find people as they moved from one place to another. Rarely are researchers lucky enough to have a family who lived on one property for several generations. Knowing how people traveled from one location to another is central to doing genealogy right.
Misinformation on FindaGrave Can Ruin Your Family History
Genealogy websites have been flooded with misinformation over the years. What started off as a small problem a decade ago is now a huge one. Anyone with an account can add any information they want to the profiles and family trees they create. This misinformation problem is most evident on FindaGra
Why You Can’t Find Your Ancestors’ Obituaries
Newspaper obituaries are an essential part of all compiled family histories. Yet there are many researchers who can not find any mention of their ancestors’ deaths in newspapers. Why is that? It’s because they aren’t searching in all the available Pennsylvania newspapers.
All About Pennsylvania German Fraktur
The word fraktur usually refers to a type of German script. In Pennsylvania, fraktur also refers to a type of folk art produced between 1740 and 1850 by German immigrants. It marked life events such as taufschein (birth and baptism), marriage, and graduation from school.
Little Known Facts About Women's Surnames After Marriage
It's possible that the women in your family tree kept their maiden surname in some way after marriage. Traditions brought to America from home countries were not abandoned at the border. Some awareness of our ancestors' practices can help genealogists stay on track with research.
The Two Pennsylvania Archives
Nothing was more confusing to me when I started in-depth genealogy research. In short, Pennsylvania has two things called Pennsylvania Archives. Fellow genealogists would refer to the “Pennsylvania Archives”, and sometimes they meant the building, and sometimes the books. If you are researching family history in Pennsylvania, you’ll want