Saturday, July 30, 2011

Visiting The Archives: Surprise findings.

Part 2

After our trip to the Carbon County archives, we drove around Eastern Pennsylvania just to look at the small towns and the countryside. It is a beautiful state. We didn't really have specific plans so we drove back to Allentown and spent the evening there. On Tuesday, we decided to visit the historical district and possibly stop in at a museum. There was a museum listed in one of the hotel brochures that sounded interesting; it was the Lehigh Valley Historical Museum. The brochure mentioned that it told of the history of Allentown and had displays about the Pennsylvania Dutch. We had about five hours until our flight home, so we headed downtown. The city was interesting and I enjoyed looking at the old buildings mixed in with the sky scrapers. After a short walk around the city, we found the museum.
Upon entering we were greeted by volunteers who were very happy to tell us about their displays. I mentioned that I was in Pennsylvania doing genealogical research and the volunteer told me that this museum also housed a genealogical library that contained many collections. I was very excited to see what might be held here. I tried to stay interested in the displays but my mind kept drifting to what I might find in the library. Finally, I just left Curtis in the museum and headed down. This was the highlight to my trip. This library contained church records, cemetery records, family histories, state archive collections, etc.

I spent several hours searching the church and cemetery records for traces of the Peters' ancestors, but I came up empty handed again. One of the other patrons mentioned to me that she saw a book on one of the back shelves that was a history of the Peters' families in Pennsylvania, so I headed back to look. I found the book, but determined that this was not the same family line. As I was perusing the collections, though, a name I was familiar with jumped out at me. There was a two volume collection of family history for the Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfass family. I was familiar with this name, as this is also the name of my 4th GGF. I didn't know that this book existed and I was thrilled to see it. I quickly opened it and verified that this was the same family line. It was. I had not realized until this moment that my family line and Curtis' family line had all settled in the same county in the same state. What a SMALL, SMALL world! I took a picture of the contact information for those who put the book together, and I plan to contact them and see about getting a copy for my library. After this find, I was done for this trip. It was a great trip and I did find some new information to help me along. Some of the information was not expected and very eye opening for me.

Until next time...

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