Hi! I’m Denys Allen.
My first name is pronounced just like the name “Denise.” My parents gave it unique spelling to remind me to be unique.
I think it worked.
My life’s goal is to understand everything I can about my seven generations of ancestors who called Pennsylvania home. I’m curious and daring, and I go on adventures to find new genealogy records. Think of me as the Indiana Jones of Pennsylvania genealogy.
I created PA Ancestors in 2019 to take everything I’m learning and help as many people as possible discover their ancestors in Pennsylvania.
My published work at PA Ancestors focuses on:
- How to use genealogical records to locate ancestors.
- How to find one-of-a-kind records in archives to learn more about ancestors.
- How to incorporate historical events with genealogy research.
- How to do genealogical and historical analysis.
- How to write up all the above into a family history.
Most of all I distill all the information out there into actionable steps to help people discover their Pennsylvania ancestors. You can access everything I know about genealogy research and history in Pennsylvania through the PA Ancestors Courses, my newsletter, the Your Pennsylvania Ancestors podcast on YouTube and audio, and regular posts on Instagram and Twitter.
Everything I publish is based on hundreds of hours of research and study. Here is a list of recent programs I’ve completed:
- ProGen 53 (2021–2022)
- Research Like a Pro with DNA, FamilyLocket (2022)
- Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy (SLIG): Writing for Peer Review with Karen Mauer Jones (2022)
- Ship30 for 30 with Dickie Bush and Nicholas Cole (2021)
- Gen-Fed (2021)
- Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR): Irish Research with David Rencher (2021)
- Building a Second Brain, Cohort 12, with Tiago Forte (2021)
- Family History Academy: Case Studies with Tom Jones and Harold Henderson (2020)
- IGHR: Military Records 3 with Michael Strauss (2020)
- ISBGFH: British Institute (2020)
- National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS): U.S. Court Records (2020)
- NIGS: U.S. Migration Patterns (2020)
- NIGS: Religious Records, Part 1 (2020)
- NIGS: Religious Records, Part 2 (2020)
- SLIG: Advanced Research Methods with Paul Graham (2020)
- Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh: Tackling Tough Research Problems with Kimberly Powell (2019)
- GRIP: Confusion to Conclusion with Harold Henderson & Kimberly Powell (2019)
I believe everyone deserves to know their family’s history. Learning about my ancestors and their lives is deeply meaningful to me. My personal family history and essays are at Great Grandparents House.
If you’d like to contact me, drop me a message in the form below.