AncestorNews: States of Mind

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

Have you ever noticed that lots of online transcripts exist for some states, and very few for others? Unfortunately, my research often takes me to the “few” end of the stick. Lately, though, I’ve moved into two states that have some excellent material online—Pennsylvania and Ohio.

On the Pennsylvania side of the fence, a wonderful recent find was the Bethlehem Digital History Project, a searchable collection of primary source materials relating to the early history of Bethlehem—a town settled by Moravians in 1741. (Yes, I’m still on the Moravian trail!) Among the online records are a register of baptisms, marriages and death records, personal papers, land surveys, meeting minutes and inventories. The details in some of the records are treasures in themselves; for example, the marriage records often include a date and place of birth, as well as occupation.

A second discovery was the USGenWeb Pennsylvania Archives. Here, you’ll find links to early Pennsylvania marriages, muster rolls, church records, and personal journals.

Over in the Buckeye state, the Ohio Historical Society has posted an exceptional online collection of historic documents: African-American Experience in Ohio 1850-1920, Index to [Ohio] Prisoners at Andersonville, Georgia, and Salisbury, North Carolina Prisons, 1864-1865, Ohio Fundamental Documents such territorial ordinances and the state constitution (don’t pass over this link), and Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812. If your lineage takes you to Ohio, stop at this site first.

Other online finds:

Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Civil War Rosters

The GenHome Library
(Find links to transcripts of Pennsylvania land owners, Quakers and naturalization.)

Ohio Death Certificate Index, 1913-1937

Links to Ohio Online Census