Pennsylvania Periodicals

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Overview[edit | edit source]

A periodical is a regularly published magazine, newsletter, or journal. Several valuable periodicals concerning Pennsylvania genealogical research exist. Many genealogical and historical societies publish magazines and newsletters. The articles in these periodicals often include the following:

  • Family genealogies and pedigrees
  • Helpful articles on research methodology
  • Transcripts or indexes of biographical sketches, censuses, church records, migration lists, military records, obituaries, wills, vital records, and more
  • Historical background
  • Current and historical maps
  • Information about local and national records, archives, and services
  • Interesting articles about social life and customs
  • Book advertisements and book reviews
  • Advertisements of professional researchers
  • Queries or requests for information about specific ancestors that can help you contact other interested researchers

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

The major genealogical periodicals and magazines helpful for Pennsylvania research are:

  • Keystone Kuzzins 1972-. Published by the Erie Society for Genealogical Research, P.O. Box 1403, Erie, Pennsylvania 16512-1403. FHL book 974.899 B2k. This has a cumulative index to 1981.
  • Mennonite Family History 1982-. Published by Mennonite Family History, 10 W. Main Street, P. O. Box 171, Elverson, Pennsylvania. 19520-0171. FHL book 970 F25m.
  • The Pennsylvania Dutchman 1949-1957. 8 vols. This was continued by Pennsylvania Folklife 1958-. Published by Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center, P. O. Box 92, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426. FHL book 974.8 B2pf. A partial index to these is Judith E. Fryer, 25 Year Index to Pennsylvania Folklife (Including The Pennsylvania Dutchman and The Dutchman), volumes 1-25, 1949-1976. Collegeville, Pennsylvania.: Pennsylvania Folklife Society, 1980. FHL book 974.8 B2pf index.
  • The Pennsylvania-German 1900-1911. 12 vols. Published by the Pennsylvania-German Society. FHL book 974.8 B2pg and FHL film 1697727. The Family History Library has vols. 1-8, 11-12.
  • The Pennsylvania Traveler-Post 1964-. Formerly Pennsylvania Ancestors and Their Descendants Today. Published by Richard and Mildred Williams, P. O. Box 776, Newtown, Pennsylvania 18940. FHL book 974.8 B2pt.
  • Your Family Tree 1948-1983. Published by Floyd G. Hoenstine. 414 Montgomery St., P.O. Box 208, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648. FHL book 974.8 B2y. This publication emphasizes the genealogy and history of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Obtaining Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Copies of periodicals are available from the local societies that publish them. Major archives with genealogical collections will have copies of many periodicals, particularly those representing the area they serve. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. PERSI is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of family history periodicals worldwide. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page here:

  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1987-. (Family History Library book 973 D25per; 40 fiche 6016863 (1847-1985); 15 fiche 6016864 (1986-1990).) Partially indexes over 5,000 English-language and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The microfiche indexes are cumulative; book indexes since 1986 are year-by-year. For further details see the PERiodical Source Index Resource Guide (34119).
  • Find My Past Researchers can use the Internet edition of this index at Family History Centers via their site.

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. Pennsylvania periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a Place and Subject search, as found here: Pennsylvania-Periodicals. They can also be found by using:

  • Place Search of the country, state/province, and county
  • Title Search of the periodical
  • Keyword Search for the publishing society name.

Also find Periodical resources available at other libraries via WorldCat. As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog on our Wiki pages.