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Pennsylvania Biographies and Genealogies, 1600s-1800s

    Pennsylvania Biographies and Genealogies, 1600s-1800s
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About the Data

Explore this far-reaching collection of biographies and genealogies covering three centuries of Pennsylvania history. You'll find many hard to find and out-of-print volumes that provide both the "nuts and bolts" of family history research (names, dates, etc.) and fascinating descriptions of your ancestors' daily lives.

Neither the State of Pennsylvania nor its individual counties had a centralized system of collecting vital information prior to late 1800s, making this collection particularly critical to your research.

Pennsylvania's most influential early settlement was organized by a Quaker, William Penn. Chartered in 1681 by King Charles II, Penn's colony was primarily made up of English Quakers (many of whom were referenced in the book Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks included as part of this data set) but also included German, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish. Over the next century, Penn's Holy Experiment attracted huge groups of immigrants to Pennsylvania.

Within the impressive scope of Pennsylvania resources compiled and indexed here, you'll find information on approximately 315,000 individuals. You may find the following information about an ancestor referenced within these 18 Genealogical Publishing Company volumes:
Extensive biographies.
Genealogies spanning 8+ generations.
Details of education, occupation, and religion.
Descriptions of home life and military service.
Names and descriptions of family members.
Dates and locations of vital events.
Immigration details and dates.

Books Included in This Data Set

This data includes page images of the following books:

Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volumes I, II, and III
John W Jordan
These three volumes contain possibly the most authoritative collection of Pennsylvania genealogies ever assembled. The 250 Colonial and Revolutionary family histories included here extend from two pages to upwards of thirty pages. Each genealogy generally commences with a family's first Pennsylvania settler and proceeds in a direct line of descent to family members who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Often, you'll be able to learn about as many as eight generations in one family history.

Pennsylvania Genealogies, Chiefly Scotch-Irish and German. 2nd Edition
William Henry Egle
This collection of Pennsylvania genealogies is concerned primarily with families which, for the most part, settled in the extreme regions of colonial Chester County, an area for which source material is notoriously scarce. Fully two-thirds of the families included are of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and most, though not all, are brought down to the late nineteenth century.

Ohio Valley Genealogies
Charles A. Hanna
This popular work contains genealogies of the first families who settled in Pennsylvania between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Alleghenies, and genealogies of those families who migrated across the Ohio River and made the first settlements in the Northwest Territory, now part of Ohio. About 350 families are listed in alphabetical order, with records of the first immigrant settler, including place and date of birth and death, place of residence, name of wife and date of marriage, names of children and their dates and places of birth, and names of grandchildren and great- grandchildren.

Some of The First Settlers of 'The Forks Of The Delaware' and Their Descendants
Being A Translation From The German Of The Record Books Of The First Reformed Church Of Easton, Penna. From 1760 To 1852
Henry Martyn Kieffer
The record books of the First Reformed Church of Easton are contemporaneous in their origin with the beginnings of the settlement of the borough and city of Easton and contain information of much value to thousands of descendants. These records, found here, are chronological, running from 1760 to about the middle of the 19th century, and are divided into three distinct categories: (1) baptisms—giving parents' names, infant's name, date of birth, and names of godparents; (2) deaths and burials—giving names and dates and sometimes exact places of residence; and (3) marriages — giving names of brides and grooms and dates.

Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks With Some Account of Their Descendants
Clarence V. Roberts
Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks is a collection of genealogical and historical information related to the first settlers of the upper part of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Separate chapters are assigned to each family, and approximately 12,000 individuals are named and identified. Whole chapters are devoted to genealogies of the following families: Adamson, Ashton, Ball, Blackledge, Burson, Carr, Custard, Dennis, Edwards, Foulke, Green, Griffith, Hallowell, Heacock, Hicks, Iden, Jamison, Johnson, Kinsey, Lancaster, Lester, Levick, Lewis, Lott, McCarty, Miller, Morgan, Morris, Nixon, Penrose, Phillips, Rawlings, Roberts, Shaw, Strawn, Thomas, Thomson, Walton, and Zorns. The genealogies begin with the first of the Bucks County line (usually during the period of the eighteenth century, but also earlier) and proceed, on average, through about eight generations. Marriages, births, deaths, places of residence and removal, and references to wills, deeds, and meeting records are amply set forth and documented. In addition to the abundant genealogical data, considerable biographical detail is available. The work is wonderfully designed throughout and is complimented with portraits, drawings, maps, and facsimile signatures.

A Genealogical and Biographical History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Thomas Cushing et al
Allegheny County in southwestern Pennsylvania was for many years a staging area of westward migration. Thousands of early pioneers passed through it and thousands more stayed. Representatives of many of these early settlers, perhaps the majority, are immortalized in this work in genealogical and biographical sketches. The sketches, numbering approximately 2,250 and naming a total of 50,000 related individuals, generally address people who were born in the early nineteenth century, with reference to immediate forebears of the late eighteenth century. The sketches typically mention the date and place of birth and marriage of the principal individual, the place of birth of his parents and often grandparents, sometimes the name of the first ancestor in America, and details of religion, education, military service, occupation, home, and residence. Our publication is excerpted from Part II of the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, constituting the entire genealogical and biographical section of that work, i.e. pages 209-786. As the index references correspond to the pages in the original, those page numbers have been retained in the reprint.

A Genealogical and Personal History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Two volumes
William W. H. Davis
Originally prepared as Volume III of Davis's History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, second edition, this mammoth compilation is the standard genealogical history of Bucks County and is an appropriate supplement to the ample historical narrative from General William Davis. Over 2,000 families are represented here with full genealogies, including more than 30,000 people identified in the various family histories and nearly 100 full-page portraits of some of the principal figures. The genealogies are extraordinarily elaborate. Besides names, dates of birth, marriage and death, and names of children — and a continuation of same through as many as eight or ten generations — the family studies consist of carefully prepared biographical histories. Church life, town life, military life, domestic life, and other highlights of biographical significance are thoroughly covered. If the individuals were immigrants, the name of the ship and the place of origin are rendered; if soldiers, then a description of their campaigns and engagements; or if politicians and churchmen, an account of their rise to prominence. Significantly, all the genealogical and biographical sketches were submitted for verification to living representatives of the families discussed here.

Biographical and Genealogical Sketches From Central Pennsylvania
Excerpted from "Chronicles of Central Pennsylvania Volume IV. Personal and Family History
Frederic A. Godcharles
In the waning moments of World War II, the Lewis Historical Publishing Company commissioned former Pennsylvania State Librarian Frederick Godcharles to prepare a history of central Pennsylvania. In the tradition of Lewis Historical Publishing, the fourth and final volume of that work, included here, was devoted to biographical sketches of the central Pennsylvania luminaries (mostly businessmen from towns like Harrisburg, Hershey, Williamsport, and Gettysburg, or counties like Lancaster, Union, Sullivan, and Dauphin).

Biographical and Genealogical Sketches from Central Pennsylvania features over 1,200 sketches — some of them illustrated — of prominent business and professional men from this region. The sketches uniformly provide the individual's career, civic and fraternal interests, and political leanings, if any. In addition, you will find an individual's date and place of birth, date of marriage, name of spouse, and names of children and their spouses, and the names of grandchildren, frequently with dates given. In a significant number of the sketches an individual's ancestry is traced back to the Civil War and, sometimes, to the eighteenth century. This collection is one of the largest, if not the largest, single collection of central Pennsylvania biographical/genealogical sketches.

A Biographical History of York County, Pennsylvania
John Gibson
Originally published as Part II of the author's History of York County, Pennsylvania, this work embraces about 1,200 sketches of 19th-century York Countians. Most sketches include a variety of genealogical and biographical data. Colonial York County's prominence as a crucible for German, English, and Scotch-Irish immigrants accounts for this book's importance for genealogists with Pennsylvania origins.

A Biographical History of Lancaster County [Pennsylvania]: Being A History of Eminent Men of the County
Alexander Harris
Harris's biographical history of Lancaster County, with articles arranged alphabetically by surname, contains nearly 2,000 biographies of early settlers and eminent men and refers in total to an additional 10,000 related individuals. Emphasis is placed on citizens who were born, reared, or who resided in the county, whose works have enrolled them among the premier citizens of the nation. Almost all the biographies contain substantial genealogical data, including critical dates and places of birth, marriage and death, names of children and family members, places of residence, and, in the case of immigrants, countries of origin and dates of settlement in the county. The material is wide-ranging and anecdotal, what is more, enabling descendants to ascertain something of the manner and habits of their ancestors.

A Biographical History of Greene County, Pennsylvania
Samuel P. Bates
Comprising the entire biographical and genealogical section of Bates' History of Greene County, Pennsylvania, this useful offprint contains biographical sketches of approximately 800 southwestern Pennsylvania residents. The sketches are of Greene County families predominantly, though unavoidably some sketches concern families of Washington or Fayette County provenance. The biographies are conveniently arranged in alphabetical order within township and borough and generally address people born in the early nineteenth century, with reference to immediate forebears of the late eighteenth century. Typical sketches mention the date and place of birth and marriage of an individual; the name of his wife and the names of his children; names with dates and places of birth of his parents and often grandparents; sometimes the name of the first ancestor in America; and details of religion, education, military service, occupation, home, and residence. Readers should be advised that since the Table of Contents — virtually an index of names corresponds to the pagination of the present work, the original page numbers of the excerpted section, i.e., [561-898], have been retained in this reprint.

Index to The Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography, Two Volumes
Frederick A. Godcharles, Index to Volumes I-XX
Walter D. Stock, Index to Volumes XXI-XXXII
The Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography is a 32-volume collective biography that was published in irregular intervals from 1914 to 1967 by the Lewis Publishing Company. Virtually all of the biographies identify the person's date of birth, parents, spouse and children, and some provide extensive genealogical notes. Both published cumulative name indexes are published here in one. In both cases the indexes furnish the name, volume, and page number of every subject of a biography in the Encyclopedia. In this way, the Index constitutes a crucial new finding aid for persons with Pennsylvania ancestry. It will be of great use to the many institutions that already own the Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography. Similarly, researchers who buy the Index but have no access to the Encyclopedia can write to the

Free Library of Philadelphia,
1901 Vine Street,
Attn: Social Science and History Department,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

for photocopies of short biographical entries whose subjects they uncover in a check of the Index.

Fayette County, Pennsylvania Biographies
John M. Gresham and Samuel T. Wiley
Fayette County, Pennsylvania Biographies consists of more than 500 biographical sketches of Fayette County inhabitants living at the time of the book's original publication in 1889. The sketches are arranged by city or township and then alphabetically for each of the following localities: Brownsville and Bridgeport, Bullskin, Connellsville, Dunbar, Franklin, Georges, German, Henry Clay, Jefferson, Luzerne, Menallen, Nicholson, Redstone, Salt Lick, Springfield, Springhill, Stewart, Tyrone, Uniontown, Washington, and Wharton. While most of the sketches primarily discuss the individual's education, career, political and religious leanings, etc., they also give, at a minimum, the person's date and place of birth, names of parents, name of spouse(s), date of marriage, names of children, and names of spouse's parents. In some cases, of course, the genealogical content is much richer, as when a person's ancestors had fought in the Revolution or were born abroad.

Families of Beaver County, Pennsylvania
J. Fraise Richard, et. al.
Families of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, extracted from pages 609-908 of Richard's History of Beaver County, consists solely of detailed genealogical and biographical sketches of several hundred Beaver County families. In general, the essays indicate the principal ancestor's date and place of birth, occupation, military service (if any), name of spouse(s), date of marriage(s), and the names and whereabouts of all children, as well as a considerable amount of biographical detail.

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