Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Pennsylvania Archives

The Genealogy & Local History Room has an extensive Illinois genealogy collection but we have interesting resources for other states too. For example, we have eight volumes from the Pennsylvania Archives.

The Pennsylvania Archives is a multi-volume collection of letters, documents, and records pertaining to the colony and early state of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Legislature decided to publish these records in 1835. There are 138 volumes in the entire reference set. Glenview has eight volumes from the second series.

The most useful volume in this series is Volume II: Pennsylvania Marriage Licenses Prior to 1790. The editors explain colonial marriage laws and lists about forty years worth of marriages registered with the colony.

Volume II also contains foreign protestants naturalized in Pennsylvania, 1740-1773; officers and soldiers, 1744-1764; and ship registers, 1762-1776 (unfortunately, this only lists the ship name, the date of entry, and the ship master's name). There are some miscellaneous colonial documents and papers within this volume too.                                                      

The other volumes we own include:

  • Vol I - Minutes of the Board of War March 14, 1777 - August 7, 1777
    • Documents relating to military campaigns; also includes navy muster rolls, militia members, and British prisoner lists 
  • Vol III - Persons Who Took Oath of Allegiance to the State 1776 - 1794, 
    • Lists of men who supported the Revolution and papers relating to the war 
  • Vol IV - Papers of the Whiskey Insurrection of Western Pennsylvania 1794 
  • Vol V - Papers Relating to Colonies on the Delaware 1614 - 1682 
    • Early colonial records and letters; also includes lists of early settlers
  • Vol VI - Papers Relating to French Occupation of Western Pennsylvania 
    • French colonial records
  • Vol VII - Papers Relating to Provincial Affairs - 1682-1750 
    • Letters between early colonial officials and documents pertaining to Swedish and Dutch settlements
  • Vol XVIII - Documents Relating to the Connecticut Settlement in Wyoming Valley
    • Includes lists of early land owners in the Wyoming Valley

This is an important series if you're researching colonial Pennsylvania ancestors!

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