PA Statewide Resources


Pennsylvania Charter

(Image courtesy Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission: Pennsylvania State Archives Digital Images, "Our Documentary Heritage.")




The Pennsylvania State Archives

Doc Heritage Transcripts

Charter of King Charles II of England to William Penn
(March 4, 1681)

(spelling and usage retained from original document)



Charles the Second, by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., To all to whome these presents shall come Greeting. Whereas our Trustie and well beloved Subject, William Penn, Esquire, sonn and heire of Sir William Penn, deceased, out of a commendable desire to enlarge our English Empire, and promote such usefull commodities as may bee of benefit to us and our Dominions, as alsoe to reduce the Savage Natives by gentle and just manners to the love of civill Societie and Christian Religion hath humbley besought leave of vs to transport an ample colonie vnto a certaine Countrey hereinafter described in the partes of America not yet cultivated and planted. And hath likewise humbley besought our Royall majestie to give grant, and confirme all the said countrey with certaine priviledges and Jurisdiccions requisite for the good Government and saffie of the said Countrey and Colonie, to him and his heires forever.


[Section I*] Know Yee, therefore, that wee, favouring the petition and good purpose of the said William Penn, and having regard to the memorie and merits of his late father, in divers services, and perticulerly to his conduct, courage and discretion vnder our dearest brother, James Duke of Yorke, in that signall battell and victorie, fought and obteyned against the Dutch fleeter commanded by the Heer Van Opdam, in the yeare One thousand six hundred sixtie five, in consideration thereof our special grace, certaine knowledge and mere motion, Have given and granted, and by this our present Charter, for vs, our heires and sucessors, Doe give and grant unto the said William Penn, his heires and assignes all that tract or parte of land in America, with all the Islands therein conteyned, as the same is bounded on the East by Delaware River, from twelve miles distance, Northwarde of New Castle Towne unto the three and fortieth degree of Northern latitude if the said River doeth extend soe farre Northwards; but if the said River shall not extend soe farre Northward, then by the said River soe farr as it doth extend, and from the head of the said River the Easterne bounds are to bee determined by a meridian line, to bee drawn from the head of the said River vnto the said three and fortieth degree, the said lands to extend Westwards, five degrees in longitude, to bee computed from the said Easterne Bounds, and the said lands to bee bounded on the North, by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of Northern latitude, and on the south, by a circle drawne at twelve miles, distance from New Castle Northwards, and Westwards vnto the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northerne Latitude; and then by a straight line Westwards, to the limit of Longitude above menconed...



 To view the entire Pennsylvania Charter, the transcription of this document, and many other important Pennsylvania documents visit the PHMC - PA State Archives page here -

"Our Documentary Heritage"






Company G 114th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers

Company G 114th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers

(Photo courtesy New York Public Library, U.S. Sanitary Commission: Photographer Alexander Gardner, ca. 1865)



History of County Formations in Pennsylvania: 1673-1878 - George W. Durman's site



Atlas of Historical County Boundaries [Interactive Map Project of the Newberry Library, Chicago]



PA State Archives - Record Group MG-11 - PA County Atlases & Maps ca. 1850's - 1870's



Pennsylvania Vital Records - Pennsylvania Department of Health; Requests for birth and death Certificates



Pennsylvania Birth and Death Indexes Online [PA Senate Bill 361] [Birth Indexes - 1906, 1907 & 1908; Death Indexes - 1906 - 1963]



Pennsylvania County Marriages on FamilySearch, 1885 - 1950



Pennsylvania State Archives



Pennsylvania State Library - Genealogy and Local History



Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh [GRIP]

The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania [Located in Philadelphia]



Pennsylvania Mining Resources


Pennsylvania Historical Association



Pennsylvania Archives Series on Fold3 [formerly FREE]



Digitized Pennsylvania Newspapers Available Online - The following newspaper resources are courtesy of the librarians of the Pennsylvania Digital Newspaper Project of Penn State University Libraries, and the Library of Congress Chronicling America project:


--FREE Collections of Pennsylvania Digitized Newspapers Online (August 2011)


--FREE Digitized Pennsylvania Newspaper Titles (August 2011)


--PAID Digitized Pennsylvania Newspaper Titles (October 2010)



Pa-HR ACCESS (People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access)



Cyndi's List Pennsylvania Resources



Pennsylvania FamilySearch Wiki