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 Ancestors of Pennsylvania 
Church of the Brethren 
Brethren History & Genealogy 
Pennsylvania Dutch Family History & Genealogy 
Pennsylvania German Society 
Germany GenWeb Project 
Japanese-American Family History Resources 
American Jewish Archives 
Ellis Island: Search Jewish Passengers 
International Tracing Service 
Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project 
Family Tree Magazine Ethnic Toolkit

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

Moravian Church Genealogy Links 
Native American 
Native American Ancestry 
Native American Resources 
Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast 
Quaker Heritage 
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