There are many excellent reference books that specifically address miniorities and their influence on Pennsylvania. Below is a small selection of these resources:


Les Indomptes by Simone Vincens, A History of the Acadians from Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania in 1755 (in french). LDS FHL call number 974.8 F2v.

African Americans

Pennsylvania began the gradual emancipation of slaves in 1780. Slaves are sometimes mentioned in deeds, wills, in tax records, and in court order books. A few parish registers will list slaves who attended church with their masters.

The 1800 Federal Census listed the name, age, and sex of slaves as well as the master's name.

Excellent reference books include:

Edward Raymond Turner's book, The Negro in Pennsylvania: Slavery-Servitude-Freedom, 1639-1861 (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969). LDS FHL call number 974.8 F2t.

Charles L. Blockson's book, African Americans in Pennsylvania: A History and Guide (Balt. MD: Black Classic Press, 1994) LDS FHL call number 974.8 F2bL.


The Germans immigrated to Pennsylvania when it was still a British Colony. There are many good source books with lists of Pennsylvania German Immigrants. Here are just a few notable sources:

Emil Meyen's book, Bibliography on the Colonial Germans of North America: Especially the Pennsylvania Germans and their Descents (1982, Balt. MD, Genealogical Pub. Co.) LDS FHL call number 970 F23me.

William T. Parson's book, The Pennsylvania Dutch: A Persistent Minority (Boston, MA, 1976, Twayne pub.). LDS FHL call number 974.8 F6p.


For information on the Huguenot migration to Pennsylvania, see Memorials of the Huguenots in America, With Special Reference To Their Emigration to Pennsylvania by Ammon Stapleton (Bat. MD 1901 reprint Gen Pub. Co. 1969). LDS FHL film 1321463 item 16.


For information on the Scotch-Irish to Pennsylvania, see The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania by Wayland Fuller Dunaway. LDS FHL call number 974.8 F2dw.


Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvani by Charles Henry Browing is a microreproduction of William J. Campbell's book published in 1912.

Thomas Allen Glenn's book, Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania 2 vols (Oxford, Fox and Jones, 1911-1913). FHL call number 974.8 F2g or film 496948 items 1-2.

Federal Census Schedules for Minorities

The U.S. Minority Census Schedule, 1860 was the first census where Minorities were classified on their own schedule.

Local Reference - Pennsylvania Germans and Dutch

There are several good reference sources available in print or through the library system outlining the history of Pennsylvania Germans or Dutch. Two sources focusing specifically on Somerset County are:

Exploring Bruederstahl, by Glessner and Shumaker, 1996, 60 pp. A travel guide to historic Berlin Village, Brothers Valley, Somerset County. Printed in conjunction with the Historical Society of Berlin. Contact the Berlin Historical Society to see if copies are still available for resale. Two Centuries of Brothers Valley, by Rev. H. Austin Cooper, 1962, 448 pp. Outlines the development of the Brethren Church in Somerset County - includes a nice history of the early German settlers to the county.

Also see a brief overview of several religious groups to the county including Mennonites and Brethren - compiled by Carol Hepburn.


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This county is part of the USGenWeb Project, a non-profit genealogical resource web system, and is maintained by April Phillips and Connie Burkett with help and information provided by other volunteers.

Last Revised: March 28, 2008

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