There are thousands of people doing family history research in Pennsylvania every day.
About 1 in 5 Americans can trace at least one ancestor to the state. DNA testing can identify 14 distinct Pennsylvanian genetic communities. And even with so much, many family historians struggle to find their Pennsylvania ancestors.
Pennsylvania is hard to research because:
- We have over 300 years of records to search.
- Our county boundaries changed continuously for 200 years.
- High-quality genealogy and local history is still only on paper and not published on the internet.
To discover your Pennsylvania ancestors, you need a new formula.
Traditional genealogy focuses on researching using names and dates.
When I first started doing my family tree over ten years ago, I relied only on what was on websites. I assumed everything I could want was there and I would just keep searching and searching. I made mistakes on my tree, missed a lot of records, and struggled to go further back in my research.
Then, I made a breakthrough:
Discovering Pennsylvania ancestors means using both local history and genealogical records together.
Local history provides context for everything found in other records.
Local history means knowing where people immigrated from, what industries were created, when churches were built, and what the major local events were provides a framework.
After the local history framework is built, then genealogy records for the family history can be added. Local history + genealogy records on creates a complete picture of your ancestors.
Using only genealogy websites won't get you what you want for your Pennsylvania ancestors.
Thousands of people use the limited records available on genealogy websites to do family history.
To discover all your Pennsylvania ancestors and everything about them, you need local history, stories, and photographs. Using these plus genealogy records, make your family history come alive!
PA Ancestors creates resources to help people discover their Pennsylvania Ancestors through local history + genealogy records.