Background Info & Programs

Background Info and Programs

This page provides some general historical resources and maps that may be helpful to learning more about our family history. It also provides some useful free programs for your computer.

Maps:

Pennsylvania Counties - This map of Pennsylvania shows all the counties. It also states when they were created and the county or counties that they had been a part of prior to their formation.

Bucks County - This is a detailed map of Bucks County from 1876. Many of our ancestors lived there.

Northampton County - This is a detailed map of Northampton County from the 19th Century. Many of our ancestors lived there.

Map of German States - Germany did not really become a nation until the late 18th Century. This map shows the various states that make up Germany.

Map of Southern Germany - This is a more detailed map of the states in southern Germany, showing many of the towns.

Books/Articles:

Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration by Walter Allen Knittle, Ph.D., 1937 - Most of our Ancestors came from the "Palatine Emigration" which was the early 18th Century Emigration from what is now southern Germany. This book discusses that movement.

History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania by William W. H. Davis, Vol. III, 1905 pp. 383-85. This is an Excerpt that discusses the Scheetz family in early Bucks County. Robert Scheetz transcribed it in 2002.

Raub Family History by Edward Raub, 1943. This appears to be another branch of the Raubs who descended from the same immigrants as our family.

Forms: Many of the forms photographed for this collection are extremely hard to read. These are some PDF reproductions of the blank forms so you can actually read what they say:

Census Form 1790    Census Form 1800     Census Form 1810    Census Form 1820     Census Form 1830

Census Form 1840     Census Form 1850     Census Form 1860     Census Form 1870     Census Form 1880

Census Form 1900     Census Form 1910     Census Form 1920     Census Form 1930

WWI Draft Registration Card

Research Resources:

Pennsylvania Registrars of Wills - Every County in PA has its on Registrar of Wills. You can frequently get invaluable information on ancestors if you know the county where they died and approximately when their estate was probated. This is contact info for the Registrar in each county.

FamilySearch.org - This free website run by the Mormons contains the 1880 Census transcripts. It also has lots of info from other researchers (requires Internet access).

Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania - There are a few online resources here, but it is pretty limited. It does have some good links to other sites (requires Internet access).

Historical Society of Pennsylvania - This is a great resource if you can actually go there. The online resources are not very good except perhaps to narrow down what you want to see when you go there in person (requires Internet access).

Rootsweb.com - This is a great site to contact other genealogy researchers and share information (requires Internet access).

Ollivetreegenealogy.com - Passenger Ships - This site contains a lot of great passenger lists of immigrants from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries (requires Internet access).

Ellis Island - This web site was not too useful for the families I have been researching here since they came over before Ellis Island opened. But if you are looking for relatives that may have come through Ellis Island, this is a good source for passenger lists and ship information (requires Internet Access).

Social Security Death Index - This is actually a component of Rootsweb.com, but it deserves special attention. You can find exact birth and death dates for anyone who died after 1961 (requires Internet access).

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Run by the National Park Service, this site helps find some Civil War military records. It is useful for trying to confirm service or finding rank or units (requires Internet access).

(Pay site) Ancestry.com This the best online resource I have found. It contains images of Census records, numerous military records, Church records, etc. It is extremely useful. Unfortunately, it is a little pricey, and tracking people down due to misspellings and transcription errors can still be maddening. Also, even if you sign up for the most comprehensive plan, you are still denied access to some areas unless you pay even more. My library provides free and full access. You may want to check with your library before shelling out so much money (requires Internet access).

(Pay site) HeritageQuestOnline.com - I was unimpressed with this pay site. They have all the Census records. Beyond that, most of their resources were of little help. Most articles have to be ordered at additional cost (requires Internet access).