FamilySearch Pennsylvania Collections
FamilySearch provides free access to many Pennsylvania books and collections, Pennsylvania county record collections, and Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania collections now at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Collections and items with a camera link have images available for viewing from all locations. Collections with a camera and a key can be accessed at the GSP FamilySearch Affiliate Library, other FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries, Family History Centers, and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
FamilySearch Pennsylvania Collections
Free search for all and access to most collections with free account registration. Some collections are offered through fee-based partners such as Ancestry and Fold3 and external sites and some are available at the GSP FamilySearch Affiliate Library, other FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries, Family History Centers, and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Pennsylvania County Creation Dates and Parent Counties
To locate records, it’s important to note the date when counties were formed, as records will be held in the county as it was at the time that the event occurred. This list of counties includes county formation dates, parent counties, and counties formed from each county following boundary changes.
FamilySearch Pennsylvania County Collections
The list of counties below includes links to FamilySearch collections for each county, accessible with a free account at FamilySearch.org. Records before the county formation date will be held by the parent county and records after the formation of new counties will be held by those counties. Some collections may be accessed from anywhere, while others have restrictions. See note about access at top of page. Some collections are searchable, while others require manual searching within indexes to find volume and page numbers, which can then be used to locate information in the original records, either on FamilySearch or at the locations that house the original records.
FamilySearch GSP Collections at HSP
Manuscript Card Catalog of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania
Also known as the “Manuscript Material Index” or the “Genealogical Material Index” (FHL films 377629-37), this is an index to many collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania that are now at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, including the Buckman, Clement, Cope, and Justice collections and manuscripts. It references persons, places, families, localities, and events and includes all manuscript collections listed at right, except the Ely and Gerberich collections.
Other collections include Dotterer, Enders, Gearhart, Harlan, Hocker, Hough, Mendenhall, Seldon, Stow, Welch, and Wood. Many genealogical materials are found in the Author-Title Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.
A guide to the card catalog is J. Carlyle Parker, Pennsylvania and Middle Atlantic States Genealogical Manuscripts: A User’s Guide to the Manuscript Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (Turlock, Calif.: Marietta Publishing, 1986.
Family Records Arranged Alphabetically. FHL film 345738 (first of 360 films)
Family Records No. 2 “F.C. Collection.” FHL films 525531-82
Genealogical Notes. 33 volumes and indexes. FHL film 522153 (first of 20 films)
Gilbert Cope Collection of Family Data. This collection is especially important for Quaker research. FHL films 517003-77
Warren S. Ely Collection of Genealogical Data, Letters (Eastern Pennsylvania Families). FHL film 511938 (first of 46 films)
Albert H. Gerberich Collection of Pennsylvania German Families. This collection is alphabetically arranged in 6 sets. FHL films 522107-118 and FHL films 522119-122
William H. Mervine Collection of Genealogical Notes. FHL film 503279 (first of 119 films)
Sophie Seldon Rogers Collection (Genealogical Material). Indexed and in alphabetical order. (On 45 Family History Library films beginning with FHL film 511759 (first of 45 films)