Beginning a Search for Pennsylvania Roots with James Beidler

March 2nd, 2019 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Beginning a Search for Pennsylvania Roots (Track – States)

SESSION:  F306 / TIME/DATE: 8 a.m. Friday, 10 May 2019

James M. Beidler

Pennsylvania didn’t earn its nickname as the “Keystone State” for no reason. It’s estimated that about one in four Americans has ancestors who set foot in the commonwealth at least once, making this presentation “Beginning a Search for Pennsylvania Roots” a must-hear. There are many people who have a need to learn about Pennsylvania history and records—especially what tools to use to narrow down a locality of origin for someone noted as merely “born in Pennsylvania.”

After an orientation to Pennsylvania’s geography and history, the presentation will do a run-through describing the major Federal, state, and private records that exist for researching Pennsylvania ancestors. Several of these record groups are ones that are either unique to the state (such as the colonial-era oaths of allegiance from German immigrants) or that have survived more robustly for Pennsylvania (including the so-called “Window Tax” of 1798). The major repositories of the state (as well as what records are searchable online at major websites) will also be profiled.

Also, feel free to visit James M. Beidler in the exhibit hall at Booth 615 to ask questions about Pennsylvania genealogy!

BIO: James M. Beidler is a native Pennsylvanian and considered to be a German genealogy expert. He has authored three commercially published books, writes the weekly newspaper column / blog “Roots & Branches” and is a research-reports editor for Legacy Tree Genealogists. Find out more at his website