PDE Search

Ethnic & Religious Ancestry

Many researchers have difficulty finding information on their ancestors in the general genealogical resources available.  In some instances, such as slaves and native Americans, records were scanty, not consistently recorded, or recorded in less well known collections and databases.  These ancestors as well as immigrants of many nationalities may have had their surnames spelled in a variety of ways in different records of the same time period.

Often persons of a particular religion or ethnic group immigrated and migrated in the United States with relatives or groups of persons of the same ethnic or religious background.  Native American ancestors may have been moved onto reservations.  Knowing the tribal background and history is helpful. The links suggested here will often provide records, helpful background information, or researchers with similar interests to assist the genealogist.

African American 
   
AfriGeneas - African Ancestored Genealogy  
  
Christine's Genealogy - African Americans  
  
Freedmen's Bureau Online 
  
 Catholic 
  
Catholic Ancestors of Pennsylvania 
 
Church of the Brethren 
  
Brethren History & Genealogy 
 
Dutch/German 
  
Pennsylvania Dutch Family History & Genealogy 
  
Pennsylvania German Society 
   
Germany GenWeb Project 
  
Japanese-American 
  
Japanese-American Family History Resources 
 
Jewish 
  
American Jewish Archives 
  
Ellis Island: Search Jewish Passengers 
   
International Tracing Service 
  
Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project 
 
General 
  
Family Tree Magazine Ethnic Toolkit

Mennonite 
  
Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online  
  
Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church 
  
Methodist 
  
Church Records of the Western Pennsylvania Conference 
  
United Methodist Archives Central Pennsylvania Conference  

Moravian 
  
Moravian Church Genealogy Links 
 
Native American 
  
Native American Ancestry 
  
Native American Resources 
 
Polish     
  
Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast 
 
Quaker 
  
Quaker Heritage 
 
Scandinavian 
  
Finding Your Swedish Roots 
  
National Danish-American Genealogical Society 
  
Swedish Colonial Society 
    
Welsh & Scotch-Irish 
  
Welsh & Scotch-Irish Settlers of Pennsylvania & Virginia


For additional information, please contact:

Kathy Hale | Government Documents Library/Access/Systems Supervisor
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Bureau of State Library
607 South Drive. Forum Building | Harrisburg, PA 17120-0600
Phone: 717.787.2327
kahale@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us