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Penn Project Reliable Sources

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Back to the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers project page

This Resource space page provides an overview to sources used by the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project.

Project volunteers are encouraged to use these sources on WikiTree profiles.

For a general HELP guide on how to create sources of your WikiTree Profiles, consult How we do Sources at Wikitree and also Style Guide for Sources.

Contents

Reliable and approved sources

Reliable Sources for Pre-1700 Profiles

The general reliable sources for your ancestry for William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Pre-1700 Profiles are the same as any sources at any time. However, the amount of records for Pennsylvania pre-1700 gets harder to find due to inaccessibilty, unavailability and destruction of records.

You want to find church books, ship lists, published passenger directories, Historial Pennsylvania databases, vital records, Burial records, miltary certificates, ect. Also SECONDARY SOURCES are important like newspaper articles, obituaries, some written genealogies, census records, voter's records, directories, ect.

Microfilms from archives or digital images of records are avaiable from FamilySearch, Ancestry and various government websites.

Reliable Sources with Conditions

  • User-contributed trees: Family trees published on FamilySearch, Ancestry, Geni, MyHeritage, Rootsweb, etc. If a tree cites sources, find those original sources and cite them.
  • Secondary Evidence: Biographical, memorials, historical journals, obituaries, published articles, ect. Double-check the facts and events by sources.
  • Published Family Genealogies: with citation of sources. i.e.,original location of source, publication of source and year created, page numbers, certificate numbers, ect.

Unreliable Sources

  • User-contributed trees: Family trees published on FamilySearch, Ancestry, Geni, MyHeritage, Rootsweb, etc. If a tree cites sources, find those sources and use them.
  • Find A Grave memorials: Many memorials come without an actual burial place and burial details, and are in fact reconstructed from trees. These cannot be used as sources. Only those memorials with photographic evidence of the burial should be used as a source. For William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers, these burial sites would be far and few.
  • Published databases containing information of uncertain origin: There are a number of "records" collections available on websites such as Ancestry and MyHeritage (and in some instance formerly distributed on CD-ROM) that do not identify their information sources and in fact are built in whole or in part from doubtful publications and user-contributed content. These include the "Family Data Collection" and similar sources associated with Edmund West, the "Ancestral File," the "Millennium File," the "Pedigree Resource File," and "U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900."

Project approved source list

Note: this list is not exclusive or comprehensive. If you find a source that you believe should be on this list, please contact the project leader or coordinator.

  • Pennsylvania Archives: Perhaps the biggest and best collection of Pennsylvania documents - from Provincial times, throught the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and later.
  • The Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania: The notes and minutes of the earliest Pennsylvania government - the Provincial Council established by Lieutenant Markham under the authority granted him by William Penn. The minutes record the first meetings, laws, and resolutions adopted by the Provincial Council.

Additional Project Resources

Potential Leads

  • Quakers in Delaware in the Time of William Penn, by Herbert Standing 26-page pdf
  • The Quaker Corner, Joanne Todd Rabun's Quaker Genealogy website, now hosted by Rootsweb (still free at the moment though)
  • Ships
    • The Thomas and Anne, posted by Donna E. Ristenbatt and referencing Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Penn's Colony: Volume I by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., 1970.
  • Ships (also has links for The Thomas and Anne)
  • PA Roots, report on William Penn's 1681 deed
  • Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society has a wealth of information about early Swiss and German Mennonites who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s because Penn offered them a safe haven from religious persecution.

Additional Reading

In addition to the sites at footnotes 2 and 3 above, I found the following sites of interest:

On-Line Free Published Pennsylvania Resources:

The Bowne Family Biographies
Pennsylvania 1630-1700 on USHistory.org
Annals of our colonial ancestors and their descendants, or, Our Quaker forefathers and their posterity
The Colonial Homes of Philadelphia and Its Neighborhood By Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Horace Mather Lippncott
Hendrick Pannebecker, Surveyor of Lands for the Penns, 1674-1754 By Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, 1894
Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania, Vol I By John W. Jordan
The Settlement of Germantown, Pennsylvania: And the Beginning of German Emigration to N.A. By Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, 1899
William Penn Ships and Passengers (pdf posted for the US Southern Colonies project on August 28, 2014)
Daughters of the American Revolution Search Engine to find Revo War Patriots and their descendants.
Genealogical Data Relating to the German Settlers of Pennsylvania by Edward W. Hocker
Pennsylvania: The German Influence in Its Settlement, Vol III by Henry Jacobs
The German and Swiss settlements of colonial Pennsylvania by Oscar Kuhns
Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Pennsylvania by Henry Frank Eshleman
Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvania By Charles Henry Browning
History of Lycoming Co., PA Archive.org editing by J. F. Maginness
Before the Constitution and Bill of Rights West Jersey and William Penn leading the way!
Records of the Kingwood Monthly meeting of Friends
Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library has a Quaker History and Genealogy digital library, including explanatory documents like "Quaker Burial Grounds in Philadelphia, 1683-present."
Sippel, Peter. The Quaker Writings Homepage, http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qwhp/qwhp.htm
Futhey/Cope History of Chester County. "SHIPS TO PA area BEFORE 1720" (and, hints/clues of others) http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~GENHOME/shp-1720.htm
Also, Kitty's Library on WikiTree

Useful Pages

  • Dates: Two things to be aware of - Quakers didn't use the names of months, just the numbers (7 8m 1742 for example), and until 1752, "8m" would have been October, not August, since the year started in March (1m).

Additional Reading

In addition to the sites at footnotes 2 and 3 above, I found the following sites of interest:

On-Line Free Published Pennsylvania Resources:

The Bowne Family Biographies
Pennsylvania 1630-1700 on USHistory.org
Annals of our colonial ancestors and their descendants, or, Our Quaker forefathers and their posterity
The Colonial Homes of Philadelphia and Its Neighborhood By Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Horace Mather Lippncott
Hendrick Pannebecker, Surveyor of Lands for the Penns, 1674-1754 By Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, 1894
Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania, Vol I By John W. Jordan
The Settlement of Germantown, Pennsylvania: And the Beginning of German Emigration to N.A. By Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, 1899
William Penn Ships and Passengers (pdf posted for the US Southern Colonies project on August 28, 2014)
Daughters of the American Revolution Search Engine to find Revo War Patriots and their descendants.
Genealogical Data Relating to the German Settlers of Pennsylvania by Edward W. Hocker
Pennsylvania: The German Influence in Its Settlement, Vol III by Henry Jacobs
The German and Swiss settlements of colonial Pennsylvania by Oscar Kuhns
Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Pennsylvania by Henry Frank Eshleman
Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvania By Charles Henry Browning
History of Lycoming Co., PA Archive.org editing by J. F. Maginness
Before the Constitution and Bill of Rights West Jersey and William Penn leading the way!
Records of the Kingwood Monthly meeting of Friends
Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library has a Quaker History and Genealogy digital library, including explanatory documents like "Quaker Burial Grounds in Philadelphia, 1683-present."
Sippel, Peter. The Quaker Writings Homepage, http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qwhp/qwhp.htm
Futhey/Cope History of Chester County. "SHIPS TO PA area BEFORE 1720" (and, hints/clues of others) http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~GENHOME/shp-1720.htm
Also, Kitty's Library on WikiTree




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