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19 June 2019

Our Library Collections: Pennsylvania

The Dutchman is a charming journal with
good articles - too bad we have so few
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

Our Pennsylvania collection is one of the largest I’ve reviewed so far, with over thirty shelves of print books. No doubt there is much more to be found on our catalog. This short blog post cannot begin to cover what is available, so if you have Pennsylvania ancestors you need to schedule a visit to our library and budget plenty of time.

The section starts with just a few issues of the Pennsylvania Dutchman from 1956-1958. This is a charming, informative and well-illustrated journal worthy of review–even if just for fun. We have a large set of Pennsylvania Archives from 1852 that includes “original documents from the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth conformably to acts of the General Assembly February 1851 to March 1852.” This volume has a very interesting fold-out of "Indian Auto-Graphs" from 1682 to 1785. These are sketched depictions of Native American signatures.

 "Indian Auto-Graphs 1682-1785" from Pennsylvania Archives
We have several sets of journals. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography starts in 1960 and continues to July 2009. This appears to be a scholarly journal published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Our Keystone Families, Vol. 1 by Schuyler C. Brossman features a collection of weekly newspaper columns that were published in the Lebanon News from Oct 1966 to Oct 1969.

All of these volumes are Pennsylvania Archives
Our shelves hold ten volumes of Philadelphia Wills covering the period 1682 to 1825. These were compiled by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and consist of copies of handwritten abstracts of wills.

Our shelves also host three volumes of Pennsylvania German Society proceedings, published in 1934. This is a publication of the original lists of arrivals to the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808. Each volume is packed with details and lists of persons who arrived at various times. Other groups represented in our Pennsylvania collection are the Palatines, Huguenots, Welsh and Scotch-Irish.
One of the hundreds of handwritten abstracts of wills
in our ten volumes of Philadelphia Wills
A side note: at our June CGS board meeting earlier this month Vice President Jim Sorenson reported from the 50th annual Jamboree in Los Angeles that Family History Library director David Rencher announced that they are reconsidering the earlier decision to remove most of their books. Current plans for Salt Lake City are to return some of the books to their shelves to augment computer research. Fortunately, we at CGS are way ahead of them!

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