How accurate are the facts in The German and Swiss Settlements of Colonial Pennsylvania by Oscar Kuhns?

+10 votes

I just finished reading this book.

Found it first in my local library where it was a reference book, but then found it online so I could read it at home. It is sort of flowery but has a ton of references. I just wonder how accurate it's facts are (particularly about religions and relations with neighbors), and if the flowery style was just because of the time when it was written or if he was fudging things. I would like someone else's opinion because I am fairly new at this compared to a lot of you and can't really find anything else to compare it to. Really a niche topic. No direct family named in book, but many relatives were there at the time. Just wondering about their lives. Thanks

in The Tree House by C Nichols G2G Crew (630 points)
Thanks for sharing. Nice background about the conditions that led to emigration. I visited the Palatinate in 2000 and my first thought was: it’s so beautiful here? Why would people go from here to *Buffalo*?!?!

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Just my opinion

There are fictional records even in books however the great thing is that a profile is always a work in progress. Till proven wrong I personally add any reference or breadcrumb or source. If it pertains to religion quite a few churches kept quite accurate record of course anytime when a human is involved in the record there a chance for error.

Keep up the great work.
by Steve Schmidt G2G6 Pilot (361k points)
selected by Anonymous Barnett
+1 vote  some info about the author who was a professor at Wesleyan University.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (645k points)
0 votes
I'm late answering this query, but think it's worth mentioning that Kuhns's book on the Germans coming to America seems accurate, though broad in topic - not specifics for genealogists but an overview of the period. I just dipped into it here and there, but saw no indications he'd fictionalized or exaggerated. I have long German experience as well as years spent researching PA immigrant families  (both Mennonites of Lancaster and others in Berks and Lehigh Counties), and I think Kuhns did a good 1901-style historical presentation. Occasionally he inserts a comment that shows a rare grasp of the situation, such as his remarks on religion in the Palatinate in the 1700s. So on the whole I'd trust him.
by Janet Binkley G2G1 (1.1k points)

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