Research in Pennsylvania, 3rd Edition

Research in Pennsylvania, 3rd Edition, is an essential guidebook for family historians who can trace their roots back to early Pennsylvanian immigrants, including African Americans, Dutch, Finns, Germans, Scots-Irish, Swedes, and Welsh as well as later immigrants from Asian and Slovak countries. New to this edition is information about the Vital Records Law Senate Bill 361 (Act 110), enacted in 2011, that opened Pennsylvania’s older birth and death records to researchers for the first time. The author reviews the age restrictions that apply to those records, the transfer of the currently open records to the State Archives, online access to those open records, and the special option established for state residents.

After a concise review of the state’s history and settlement, the author delves into the types of genealogical resources that can be found both in major and lesser known archives, libraries, societies, and federal repositories. Research in Pennsylvania also covers other research categories, including atlases, gazetteers, and maps; business, probate, and court records; colonial enumerations and state and federal censuses; city and county directories; ethnic, religious, and military records; and much more.

Published by NGS, Research in Pennsylvania is one volume in the Research in the States series edited by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS. It is available for purchase in the NGS online store in both PDF and print versions.


Kay Haviland Freilich (1940–2022) was a 2012 NGS Fellow and co-author of Genealogy and the Law: A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian. She was a former president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and winner of the NGS 2009 Family History Writing Competition.