In this episode of Your Pennsylvania Ancestors, Denys Allen has a conversation with Pennsylvania State Archive Reference Archivist, Aaron McWilliams. Aaron has experience in PA land records, militia records, and is a professional genealogist. Learn how to research in an archives successfully, what kinds of records you can find, and how to handle surprises.
In this episode, Aaron McWilliams, Pennsylvania State Reference Archivist, shares what kinds of records genealogists can expect to find at the Pennsylvania State Archive in Harrisburg, PA and how to make the most of your visit.
Learn how to research Pennsylvania land records, militia and National Guard records, state hospital patient records, county records, and those more obscure unusual records kept by the state. We also discuss the shocking history of slavery in Pennsylvania and some surprising finds Aaron’s made in his own genealogy research.
We talk about the future plans for the PA State Archive and the current digitization of PA State Archives records by Ancestry, FamilySearch, and the Power Library through PA State Library.
- PA State Archive main website: https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/
- Research by Mail Form for those State Hospital Records mentioned (plus many others!)
- Militia and National Guard Index
- Link to the old html page of Finding Aid for County Microfilmwhich Denys uses
- Link to the current Archon System Finding Aids
- PA Power Library of digitized records of genealogical interest