Those wishing to locate or even extend the limbs of their family tree would bode well to visit DCHS.
Genealogy is one of the largest draws for our members of the public, who visit often to dig into the thousands of resources to learn their family roots.
Among those are approximately 200 bound family genealogies, files on Delaware County people and other books of Colonial and Revolutionary families in Pennsylvania.
In the collection are items such as The Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of the 19th Century and Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania.
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of the 19th Century was published in 1874 by Galaxy Publishing Company in Philadelphia.
As stated in its preface, it is “an earnest and honest endeavor to supply reliable biography of the men who have contributed most largely to the progress of Pennsylvania during the present century.”
The gold leaf, 672-page book features illustrations of prominent men of their time, as well as some explanation about them.
For example, Amos Gartside was born in Lancashire, England in 1829 and came to the United States two years later. Here, he learned woolen weaving in his father’s factory.
When his father left Cardington, Delaware County, Gartside followed him to Chester. While there, he became very active in the city, serving on city council and as its president.
According to the encyclopedia, “(F)ew men have done more to advance the interests of the city in which he resides.”
He was the originator of many public works in Chester, including the Water Works and was largely instrumental in securing the location of the Chester railroad station as a director of the Delaware River Railroad.
The Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, published in 1932 by the Lewis Historical Publishing Company Inc. in New York, was edited by Wilfred Jordan, a former curator of Independence Hall.
Within its 942 pages, a reader will find a treasure trove of family seals. Each one is exquisitely drawn in full color, no small feat for a publication of that time.
Delaware County Historical Society members are welcome to research these materials during the hours open to the public.
The Genealogy Collection is housed at the home of Delaware County Historical Society, located at 408 Avenue of the States in Chester. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Parking is free in lot behind the building or across the street in the city’s municipal lot.
For more information or for ways to get involved, please call 610-359-0832.
Genealogy books receive much attention at Delaware County Historical Society.