Coming to America: German Immigrants, Pennsylvania Germans, and their Records

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Event Date: 
Saturday, May 12, 2018 -
9:00am to 11:45am


Program Description: The 18th century “Pennsylvania Germans” were a different breed than the “German Americans” who immigrated in the 1800s. We will discuss the differences in geography, economic class, religion, and aspirations of – as well as sources about – the two great waves of German immigrants. We will also review the "basics" of German genealogy and demonstrate the peculiarities of searching for records relating to America’s first large ethnic minority population.

Lecture Titles: 

  1. German Immigrant Waves: Contrasts and Sources
  2. Searching for a Pennsylvania German Ancestor


Speaker Bio: Jim Beidler is the author of The Family Tree German Genealogy Book and Trace Your German Roots Online, as well as the writer of “Roots & Branches,” an award-winning newspaper column on genealogy that is the only syndicated feature on that topic in Pennsylvania. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and is editor of Der Kurier, the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society.  Jim is a frequent contributor to other periodicals ranging from scholarly journals such as The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine to popular-interest magazines such as Ancestry magazine and Family Tree magazine. He also wrote the chapter on genealogy for Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, published jointly by the Penn State Press and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, May 12 at the Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High Street in West Chester. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $20.00 for CCHS members and $30.00 for non-members. 

Click here to download a registration form

Register by calling us at 610-692-4800, emailing your form to or mailing it to:

Chester County Historical Society RSVP
225 N. High St.
West Chester, PA 19380