Welcome to Lehigh Valley Genealogy.
NOTE: This website is currently best viewed using Firefox.
The mission of this website is to:
- Share my ongoing family history research.
- Provide resources that will be useful to others in their own family history research
- Provide information about the various types of municipalities in Pennsylvania, focusing on:
- Berks County
- Lehigh County
- Northampton County
- Support local family-run businesses that have a connection to the history of the Lehigh Valley and Berks county.
I initially started my Lehigh Valley family history research with the families of Martin Buchman and Johann Peter Haas because my husband is a direct descendant of these men. I have recently started adding the families of Melchoir Baer, Johann Jacob Klotz, and Hans Jorg Rex because they are very closely related to the Buchman and Haas families. There are currently just over 500 Surnames and just over 3,900 individuals (although some are on more than one tree) included on the website. The trees are updated fairly often–usually weekly, but at least once a month. Select Family Trees in the menu bar above to access these family trees.
The Lehigh Valley is generally considered to be the area of eastern Pennsylvania located south of Blue Mountain, north of South Mountain, west of the Delaware River, and east of Berks County. Berks County is included here because many of the people found in the family trees on this website were connected to Berks County at some point. The portion of Carbon County between the Lehigh Gap and Lehighton is considered by some to be part of the Lehigh Valley. Many members of these families moved to Carbon County. The same is true for Warren County, New Jersey. Many family members moved out of the Lehigh Valley to Warren County. As a result, information about both Carbon County, Pennsylvania, and Warren County, New Jersey will eventually be added to the website.
In doing family history research in this area I’ve noticed and experienced the confusion that many people have about the various municipalities in the Pennsylvania, primarily for four reasons:
- Postal addresses may have little or nothing to do with physical location. For example, Morgenland Union Church, which is physically located in Lowhill Township, has an Orefield mailing address. Orefield has nothing to do with Lowhill Township, rather it is a village in South Whitehall Township.
- Names of locations are used over and over again. For example, Bethlehem is a city split between Lehigh and Northampton counties. There is also Bethlehem Township, located just outside the city of Bethlehem, in Northampton county. Lehigh is a county, but there is also a Lehigh Township in Northampton County. There is also the Borough of Northampton in Northampton County.
- Lehigh County was once Northampton County. Before Lehigh County was founded on March 6, 1812, it was Northampton County. This is an important date when doing family history research because most documents from this date forward will be found in Lehigh County records, and most documents before this date will be found in Northampton County records.
- Municipal structure. Is the location a county, township, borough, village, or city, and what’s the difference?
Information on Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties, and the various villages, townships, boroughs, and cities located within them, can be accessed by selecting the appropriate menu option listed under the Lehigh Valley tab at the top of the page. Histories of the various municipalities will eventually be included and, when available, there is a link for each municipality that will take you to its website. I hope this helps to you learn more about the areas in the Lehigh Valley and Berks county where your ancestors may have lived.
Repositories are places like historical societies, libraries, and courthouses that hold records. They are invaluable when it comes to researching your families. The Repositories/Resources tab at the top of the page is currently broken down into the following categories:
- Family History Centers
- Genealogy Groups on Facebook
- Historical & Genealogical Societies
- National & Mid-Atlantic Region Church Archives
- Online Resources
- Training & Certification
Here you will find contact information and, when available, links to their websites and Facebook pages. The Courthouse section provides addresses and contact information for courthouses in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Church Archives for the Mid-Atlantic Region is a list of Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Lutheran Reformed, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Society of Friends archives located in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. Historical & Genealogical Societies provides/will provide contact information for historical and genealogical societies for the same counties listed for Courthouses, as well as at the state and national level. Family History Centers lists the LDS Family History Centers located in Pennsylvania. Under Online Resources you will find links to a wide variety of resources that I have found useful and interesting in my search for family information. The Genealogy Groups on Facebook includes general genealogy groups, groups from various areas in Germany, and groups focusing on a variety of topics and counties specific to Pennsylvania. The list also includes groups from Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. Training & Certification lists formal and informal genealogy training programs, as well as organizations that provide genealogy accreditation. I still have some updating to do to these categories. Libraries will be added in the near future.
This can be just about anything. Posts will focus on local cemeteries, businesses such as professional genealogy services, bed and breakfasts, antique shops and flea markets, etc. The most recent posts are also listed in the side bar on the right.
The Amazon Store which can be accessed at the top of the page has been customized to focus primarily on Genealogy, Pennsylvania, and topics related to this website and the Lehigh Valley area. If you are looking for research, “how-to”, and resources about Pennsylvania history and genealogy, you can find it here. I receive 10% of purchases made through this store and the earnings will be used to enhance the website and, hopefully, make it more valuable to you.
COPYRIGHT, FAIR USE & CREATIVE COMMONS
Copyright can be a very confusing. Many people believe that anything found on the internet is free to use as they choose. This is absolutely not true!! The information on found on this website is covered by Creative Commons. You can find more information in the sidebar on the right. Articles on Copyright and Fair Use in general can be found under the Copyright and Fair Use category. I have provided appropriate credit and received written permission to use any photos found on this website that are not my own or are not in the public domain. Please do not copy those photos from this website. Instead, directly contact the person that owns the copyright and get permission to use those photos.
This website is created under a Creative Commons license, which is listed on the right. The license states the following:
You are free to:
- Share–to copy, distribute and transmit the work
- Remix–to adapt the work
- Make commercial use of the work
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You are welcome to use my photos as long as you follow the terms of the Creative Commons license. Also, if a photo is watermarked, do not change or remove the watermark. Credit has been provided where information, including photos, is in the public domain or has been provided by someone else. If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to contact me.
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