Class Descriptions

Discovering Your Roots: Genealogy Sources at the Lancaster County Archives

Are you curious about an ancestor that once lived in Lancaster County?  Records within the Lancaster County Archives are a unique resource and can provide valuable information for researchers.  Unravel the mystery behind government records kept at the archives which may be the key to finding your own family history.  This course provides an introduction to the beginner for searching the traditional sources found within the archives.  Get familiar with the birth, marriage, death, and land records that may hold vital information about your ancestors.  Learn valuable research tips when examining a variety of records and see how to make connections to additional sources.  Begin the search for discovering your roots at the Lancaster County Archives.

Mulberry Street:  A Case Study in Archives House History Research (New Course!)  

 ‘Henry’ was like many German immigrants that ventured to Lancaster City in the nineteenth century in search of a better future.  Less than a year after arriving to America on a sailboat he got married, started a family, and bought a modest brick house on North Mulberry Street…

A historic house is a reflection or record of the people that once lived in it over time.  Beyond their working environment, your ancestor spent much of their time within the space of their own home and neighborhood. Neighborhoods in the past were a closely-knit network of social, religious, and personal support where neighbors attended family events such as marriages, baptisms, funerals and assisted with the settlement of estates.  The home was just one physical element of life but its existence shaped the lives of the families that lived in it.  Historic houses often reveal a tangled web of captivating stories.  But what happens when the house of an ancestor no longer survives today?  How do we uncover the history of a house that no longer stands?

This course proposes ideas and new ways of looking at historic house research to tell its history and understand the people that lived there in the past.  Uncommon sources such as unrecorded and late recorded deeds, dower liens, ground rents, civil cases, inventories, orphans’ court proceedings, census records, old newspapers and historical maps can be closely examined to reveal details about a historic house.  Expand your research thinking by taking a closer look at one immigrant’s life in Lancaster City.                        

*Course recommended for intermediate or advanced level researchers with some archives research experience. 

Homemade History:  
Researching Your Historic Home at the Lancaster County Archives

Since walls do not talk we cannot rely on the ‘bricks and mortar’ or architecture of an old home to tell its history.  Was your home once owned by someone notable in the local community?  What kind of people lived in your home and how was it furnished?  Written records within the Lancaster County Archives can provide answers and reveal direct evidence of your home’s history.  This course provides an introduction to the beginner researcher on sources available at the Lancaster County Archives to find the history of an old house.  It also shows how to use the records found here to uncover a wealth of sources outside of the archives.  Deeds are the framework of your home’s history and historical maps depict your home at a certain point in time.  Uncover the records necessary to knowing the people that once lived in your home.  Discover a variety of records and learn valuable research tips.  Go beyond preserving your home to revealing its unique history.  Start uncovering the answers and give meaning to the material evidence of your home.  Your home’s history is waiting to be told!