In digital format and online from the Penn State University libraries is a nice collection of events and people relating to the history of the state of Pennsylvania, a history that dates back to colonial times. There is information on the Civil War era, the geography, industry and labor, political events, maps, agriculture, biographies, and numerous other topics. Anyone having any ancestors from or living in Pennsylvania over its long history will find this resource useful.
It is recommended you use the general keyword search near the top. Placing the keyword ‘coal’ produced 410 items. There is also a search by Titles; a Title name, or Subject or by an Author’s name. Your best method is by keyword.
Try the county name where any ancestor lived, such a ‘York County’, that produced 511 finds. Make sure to place quote marks at the beginning and end of the keyword if it is more than one word. For each listing there is a description to help you narrow down your search. Many of the listings are booklets covering historical areas. There are also many biographies which can be useful. Some of these are transcripts of interviews, some digital recordings and others the traditional written biographies.
Some of the booklets and documents on major historical events can be helpful in piecing together your ancestors would have been affected by. For example the great Johnstown,PA flood of May 31, 1889. Here is an event where some 10,000 people lost their lives either from the flood waters, fires that started or wreckage striking them. Many names of victims and heroes would be profiled in such a write-up, especially those written shortly there the flood. Each of documents, books or records can be viewed, enlarged and saved to your computer.
The Amish (Pennsylvania Dutch – German) culture is covered well in this collection. Many relatives at one time may have been part of various branches or forms of this religious following.
With any Pennsylvania relative it is worth reviewing these Penn State Collections.
Photo: Booklet on the May 31, 1889 Johnstown Flood.< Return To Blog