Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SLIG 2018 Course Highlight: The Pennsylvania German and Research in the Keystone State

Course 3:

 The Pennsylvania German and Research in the Keystone State

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM

Between 80,000 and 110,000 German-speaking immigrants arrived in the American colonies before the onset of the Revolution, with the port of Philadelphia being the favored port of disembarkation. Pennsylvanians of German ancestry accounted for 50 to 60 percent of Pennsylvania's population in 1760 and 33 percent in 1790. These men and women became the illustrious "Pennsylvania Dutch" ancestors of many genealogists today.

This course focuses on the push and pull factors that brought these immigrants to America, what their lives were like, and how a deeper understanding of the social history of this immigrant group can make for a better researcher. Unique record groups specific to this ethnic migration will also be discussed. The Pennsylvania Germans were Germans first, and Pennsylvanians second, so understanding the wealth of information available in Pennsylvania records and repositories compromises a great deal of class time. ALL researchers with Pennsylvania roots prior to 1850 will benefit from the wealth of information gleaned in classes devoted to land records, church records, military record, courthouse records, and more.

Level of Instruction

Intermediate to Advanced

Suggested Requirements

An understanding of the Genealogical Proof Standard is necessary in all levels of genealogical research, and this class is no exception. This class is tailored for the intermediate and advanced researcher. Previous research experience in on-site courthouse and archival work will be helpful; simply knowing you have a Pennsylvania German ancestor will not. The class will function under the assumption that you have experience in research methods beyond and Although the German experience will be a focus of this class, any student who wants to learn more about Pennsylvania research pre-1850 will go home with plenty of new knowledge.

Other Instructors

Luana Wentz Darby, MLIS, AG
Michael L. Strauss, AG
Gerald H "Jerry" Smith, CG

Check out the full schedule and Dr. Lacopo's bio at 

Going to the NGS Family History Conference in Raleigh? Stop by booth 326 and talk to us. We have 13 additional courses offered in 2018. 

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