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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Three Centuries Yield Lots Of Data

By Donna Potter Phillips The Spokes

Did you know the word “sylvan” refers to wooded or living in the woods? So, the name “Pennsylvania” translates to living in Penn’s woods. In 1682, when William Penn arrived to begin his long term as governor, the state must have been very wooded.

Today’s column is Part 2 on researching in Pennsylvania, the Keystone State.

Pennsylvania participated heavily in the Revolutionary War and many records relating to its military activities and veterans affairs are available on microfilm. Pennsylvania Archives contain transcripts of military records, such as rosters and muster rolls. These books contain an indexed chronicle of nearly all the official affairs from the state’s first 200 years.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that too-eager researchers tend to dive in without a guide and are soon swamped by all the numbers. (I will send you a two-page guide for these books in return for a SASE sent to me c/o The Spokesman-Review.)

Newspapers have been published in Pennsylvania since the days of Ben Franklin. Many of the microfilmed newspapers are available through this area’s four family history centers. Many more are available through interlibrary loan from the Pennsylvania State Library.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed an act in 1682 requiring wills and letters of administration to be recorded. The best place to look for a will or other types of estate record in Pennsylvania is with individual counties. Again, these microfilmed records can be ordered into family history center branches.

One of the best things about researching in Pennsylvania is the many compiled records, genealogies and biographies in print. There are dozens of historical and genealogical societies that generate many helpful periodicals. You’ll learn of these as you lean more about Pennsylvania genealogy. Have fun and good luck.

This and that:

Leland Meitzler has compiled a booklet helpful to researching in specific states. When all you know is that your ancestor came from, or was born in, a certain state, it’s difficult to know where to start looking.

“Locating Your Ancestors Family when All You Know is the State” lists dozens of compiled works for each state, indexed sources that can be quickly searched for your ancestors’ names. Order this booklet for $5.95, plus $1 postage, from Heritage Creations, P.O. Box 882, Elbe, WA 98330.

Ancestry, publisher of “The Red Book,” announces the reprint of the updated “Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy.”

All original chapters have been revised and several new topics added, including “Tracking Your 20th Century Ancestor” and using computer databases. This book is the first place to begin when searching your family tree.

It can be ordered for $49.95, plus $3.50 shipping, from Ancestry at 800-ANCESTRY; by sending a check to P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110-9949; or, from Shadle Center’s Ancestors Plus.

Did you miss any 1996 Heritage Hunting columns? They have been collected into a booklet which is available for $5, plus $1.50 postage. Send your check to me c/o this newspaper.

, DataTimes MEMO: Donna Potter Phillips welcomes letters from readers. Write to her at The Spokesman-Review, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. For a response, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Donna Potter Phillips The Spokesman-Review

Donna Potter Phillips welcomes letters from readers. Write to her at The Spokesman-Review, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. For a response, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Donna Potter Phillips The Spokesman-Review

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