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Pennsylvania: Local History & Genealogy Resource Guide

Print Resources

To find additional library materials on this topic, use authorized subject headings to browse in in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Suggested linked subject browses are listed below:

Also try searching by town or county name to see a list of subject headings for matching communities, such as:

The following selected titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

African American History

Architecture and Historic Buildings

Guides and Handbooks for State Research

Land Records

Early Landowners of Pennsylvania Series

Explore series such as the Early Landowners of Pennsylvania books by Sharon Cook MacInnes. These books of warrantee maps are arranged by county and contain Township Warrantee Maps of the tracts which the Penn family, and then the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, sold to the first settlers. The information on each tract is a gold mine: names of the warrantee and patentee, if the patentee is different; name of the tract; dates of the warrant, survey, and patent; and patent book and page number where the tract is registered. Each chapter contains the map of the township showing its tracts, followed by a chart containing all data on each tract in alphabetical order by the warrantee's name. In addition to documenting the first landowners, the atlases can often reveal family relationships or clues to possible relationships since relatives usually congregated near one another. Since people usually moved in groups, tracking sets of families and neighbors as a whole can frequently suggest routes of migration.

Since the books all carry the Early Landowners of Pennsylvania title, you can refine your search in the Library of Congress Online Catalog by using the Advanced Search option.

  1. Input Early Landowners of Pennsylvania in the first search field and set the criteria to Title.
  2. Next enter your ancestor's county in the second search field and set the criteria to keyword or title to narrow your focus.

The results will show you if such a book has been compiled for that county. Here are a few examples of what you may discover:


Statewide guidebooks explain the variety and importance of land records to local history and genealogical research.

Military History

American Revolution and War of 1812

Civil War

Spanish-American War / Philippine American War

Pennsylvania's National Guard in World War I and World War II

Native American History

Women's History