Our mission is to provide leadership and support in promoting genealogy through education, preservation, and access to Pennsylvania-related genealogical information.
Founded in 1892 as a non-profit organization, the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP) was among the first in the United States to recognize the value of collecting and preserving the vital and personal records of those ancestors whose lives now comprise our American History.
GSP is committed to preserving and publishing previously unpublished primary sources. The continuing dedication to this service enables the Society to make an increasingly significant contribution to the cultural life of our city, state, and country.
Concentrating primarily in Pennsylvania and its adjoining states, but also including immigration into and out of Pennsylvania, the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania has research materials available to members through the Genealogical Collection at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), accumulated by GSP and HSP and maintained in HSP’s Library. Included are wills, deeds, census and tax lists, church registers, funeral, cemetery, and family Bible records, family papers and correspondence, as well as published genealogies, town and county histories, and periodicals. Comprehensive card catalogs in HSP’s library at 1300 Locust Street provide an index by surname or locale for most of the collections. Much of GSP’s collections can now be found itemized in the HSP Discover online catalog.
A loyal corps of volunteers continues to index records of churches and cemeteries as past volunteers have done, but just as important today are other avenues of preservation, and GSP supports and works with groups, such as the Friends of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, toward preservation and conservation goals.
Each year, the Society conducts conferences, alone or in conjunction with other societies, offering lectures and workshops for all levels of research. Lectures and/or field trips conducted by outstanding genealogists are sponsored by the Program Committee.
GSP is also committed to reaching the next generation of genealogists by working with high school students through various programs geared to spark the students curiosity about their own family history, while imparting solid research skills they can apply to many fields of study as they enter the work force.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Pennsylvania genealogical research. Whether you have Pennsylvania ancestry or are a Pennsylvania resident interested in genealogy and family history, we welcome you.
Members of GSP receive special benefits, including access to our “Members Only” online databases, discounts on programs and publications, our newsletter Penn in Hand, and the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. A membership with GSP is rolling and lasts for one year (ex. January 2015-January 2016).