Pennsylvania German Genealogy

Penn. German Illus.Introduction

Researching your Pennsylvania German ancestors offers its own set of unique challenges. This guide provides a listing of and information on essential resources for anyone delving into their Pennsylvania German ancestry. Many of these resources can be found or accessed at the library at NEHGS.

How-To and Other Guides at NEHGS

A genealogist's guide to discovering your Germanic ancestors: how to find and record your unique heritage by S. Chris Anderson and Ernest Thode
NEHGS, 7th Floor Reference E184.G3A49 2000

Beginner's guide to Germanic genealogy by Lois Hemmeter Edwards
NEHGS, 1st Floor CS614.E39 2005

Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research by Clifford Neal Smith and Anna Piszczan-Czaja Smith
NEHGS, 7th Floor Reference E184.G3S66 1976

Germanic genealogy: a guide to worldwide sources and migration patterns by Edward R. Brandt, et al.
NEHGS, 7th Floor Reference CS614.G47 2007

Immigration/Emigration Resources

Early immigrants from Germany and Switzerland to eastern Pennsylvania by Russell George LeVan
NEHGS, 5th Floor F160.G3L48 1990

Pennsylvania German Immigrants,1709–1786 edited by Don Yoder
NEHGS, 7th Floor Ref F160.G3P43

Germans to America and the Hamburg passenger lists: coordinated schedules by Roger P. Minert, et al.
NEHGS, 5th Floor E184.G3 M56 2005

The Olive Tree Genealogy
Ships Passenger Lists to Philadelphia, PA, 1727–1808

Vital Records

Pennsylvania German Marriages compiled by Donna R. Irish
NEHGS, 5th and 7th Floor F160.G3I74 1982

Penn. German HouseChurch & Religious Records

Pennsylvania German church records, 1729–1870 [CD-ROM].
NEHGS, 4th Floor F160.G3 P427 1998 CD

Lutheran Archives Center and Philadelphia

Moravian Archives at the Moravian Historical Society

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

Military Resources

The German Regiment of Maryland and Pennsylvania in the Continental Army, 1776–1781 by Henry J. Retzer
NEHGS, 5th Floor E259.R48 1991


The first one hundred years: an index of publications of the Pennsylvania German Society (1891–1990) including the yearbooks of the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society (1936–1966) compiled by Earl C. Haag
NEHGS, 5th Floor F146 .P24 Index

Es Elbedritsch: Newsletter of the Pennsylvania-German Society
NEHGS, 5th Floor F160.G3P46

Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, (1955– )
NEHGS, 5th Floor F146.G32

Mennonite Family History Mennonite Family History, (1982– )
NEHGS, 5th Floor E184.M45M46

Articles & Blogs

"18th Century German Emigration Research" by Gary T. Horlacher, 2000

Ah Ha Moments for Genealogists blog - Regional Category "Pennsylvania Genealogy," 2013

Penn. German MillOrganizations

Pennsylvania German Society,
Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center and library at Kutztown University
Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania,


FamilySearch – Pennsylvania

Run by volunteers, this non-profit organization offers free access to its transcribed genealogical and historical records projects.

A non-profit genealogy federation offering free transcribed records in every area of Pennsylvania genealogy and history.

FamilyHart Pennsylvania Dutch Online Databases
This family database has over 750,000 Pennsylvania Dutch names on the Internet with free access, and continues to be updated quarterly.

Need help?

Want to maximize your research? The experts at NEHGS can help! We offer a number of services that can help you break down brick walls and expand your research.

Meet one-on-one with our genealogists

Want research guidance from a professional genealogist? Our experts provide 30-minute to two-hour consultations in person or by phone.

  • Find elusive ancestors—Whether you are searching in the U.S. or abroad, in the 17th or 20th century, our genealogists have the knowledge to assist you.
  • Locate and use records—Vital records, military records, deeds, probate, and more—if you’re wondering where to look for them, how to read them, or what data you can find in them, we can guide you.
  • Get more out of technology—Feel like you could be making better use of your genealogy software? Curious about websites and databases that might be relevant to your research? Let us help!

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Hire our experts in Research Services

Whether you are just beginning your family research or have been researching for years, NEHGS Research Services is here to assist you. Our team of experts can:

  • Conduct hourly research
  • Break down “brick walls”
  • Retrieve manuscript materials
  • Obtain probate records
  • Research and prepare your lineage society application
  • Organize your materials and files
  • Write narrative biographies about your ancestors
  • Create customized family charts

Hire Research Services today or contact, 617-226-1233.