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Germantown Historical Society family files


Held at: Germantown Historical Society [Contact Us]5501 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19144

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Germantown Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Germantown, a neighborhood in the northwest section of Philadelphia, was the site of several nationally significant events. It was settled in the late 1600s by Mennonite and Quaker German-speaking emigrants and incorporated as a borough in 1689. Germantown is sometimes called the home of the American anti-slavery movement, because the first organized protest against slavery in the Americas was begun by four members of the Germantown Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1688. In 1777, the courage displayed by American troops at the Battle of Germantown helped to spur the French to assist the United States in the Revolutionary War. During the yellow fever outbreak of 1793, government officials escaping the epidemic in Philadelphia relocated to Germantown, and it served as the temporary home of George Washington and the First Bank of the United States.

Germantown was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia in 1854.

The Germantown Historical Society family files contain research relating to families of some importance to Germantown, or long established there. Materials consist of genealogical tables, research notes, correspondence with descendants, and written genealogies, as well as photocopies of newspaper clippings and relevant bits and pieces found in Germantown Historical Society's books and manuscript collections. There is a small amount of original primary source materials, such as photographs, Civil War soldier records, and certificates, in a few of the folders. There are several biographical folders for individuals, but in the main these file folders are marked with family names.

The family names are listed on-site in a card catalog and partial paper inventory. Most files are stored in a file cabinet in the Library alcove; some family files are in the Vault.

Materials collected by the Germantown Historical Society at various times.

Germantown Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Red file folders are restricted for privacy. Contact Germantown Historical Society for more information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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